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Video to Become Literally Touchable

Olivia Long - August 3, 2016 - 03:07 PM
Video to Become Literally Touchable
Interactive Dynamic Video will let you physically interact with individual objects in videos — and for cheap.

(CCM) — On Tuesday, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that it had advanced its breakthrough Interactive Dynamic Video (IDV) technology, making it possible for users to physically interact with videos that they are watching. This isn't your run-of-the-mill 3D, virtual reality, or augmented reality experience. What the researchers on the project were interested in achieving was accessing the almost-miniscule vibrations of a moving virtual object to create video simulations that users can virtually control. This means that, while watching a video using IDV technology, a user can simply reach out and move objects or manipulate backgrounds in the video that they are watching.

The biggest advantages of this technology are that it allows programmers to avoid both the high cost of 3D modeling and the inability of motion-tracking algorithms to make predictions in an unfamiliar environment. (According to CSAIL researchers, just five seconds of video is enough for IDV to create an interactive simulation.) "This technique lets us capture the physical behavior of objects, which gives us a way to play with them in virtual space," said Abe Davis, a CSAIL PhD student who plans to publish the group's findings for his final dissertation. "By making videos interactive, we can predict how objects will respond to unknown forces and explore new ways to engage with videos." IDV technology could prove to be groundbreaking across several industries, including filmmaking, engineering, gaming, and even virtual reality.

Image: © Halfpoint - Shutterstock.com
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