Recently I wrote about some startup companies in computer vision. However, this is only part of a good industry analysis. I also want to explore some of the interesting research going on in the field. Below is a list of some of the vision research that I’ve come across that seems most interesting (and applicable/marketable).

Seam Carving

This is brilliant (and brilliantly simple work). It solves a problem, and in doing so gives us tools to solve problems we didn’t even know we had! Its hard to explain, check the video out.

Dr. Ariel Shamir has a host of other interesting research as well: link.

Read on for more great research:

Vision-aided multi-touch collaboration

This is a fantastic application of computer vision to do something that was done expensively and not as well before. Using computer vision, the guys at MSR in Cambridge, UK built a multi-touch interface that not only acts as a natural way for people to use a computer solo, but aids in collaboration in what looks like a very natural way. Check out the demo video. This is out of Microsoft research labs, so we may well see this in real-life soon!

3D tracking from 2D videos

Another nice webcam collaboration-type application. These guys can track rigid objects by fitting a 3D model to image data collected. After looking at their paper, I’m skeptical at how widely applicable the algorithms could be, but the posted results are very impressive! Check the video.

3D models from uncalibrated video

I’m seeing a pattern that a new push in computer vision will be to make sense of a 3D world from 2D images (just like our brain does). Dr. Pollefey at UNC has several projects related to this goal. Below is a video of a sculpture. From the video (taken from a hand-held camcorder) a 3D computer model of the sculpture is obtained.

Mixed Reality Billiards

Here’s another application deserving of study: Game-Playing. With the success of the Wii I am certain that interactive games (read: games requiring more than button pushing) will become more and more popular in the coming years. Here, someone is trying to design for that market. In the video below, the player uses real-life objects seen by a camera to control a billiards video game… I’m impressed.

Expect more posts on this type of thing as I try to flesh out my understanding of what the entire industry is doing. By all means! if you know of some cool research, send me a link or leave a comment.

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