Reality Bites: Erase Unwanted Items From Real-Time Video

So Uncle Bernie is wearing his embarrassing inappropriate sweater at the family Christmas gathering and has decided to pass out, drooling, on the armchair. Does that mean you can’t make a nice video memory of the day? Ordinarily, you’d simply avoid that part of the room with the camera, but new software from the Technical University of Ilmenau has made it possible to erase unsavory items from video in real time.

The software works by dramatically reducing the quality of the video, removing the offending object (identified by your drawing a circle around it), and then improving the video quality back to its original state – all within 40 milliseconds. The entire operation happens so quickly that the viewer doesn’t even notice it, and the software keeps up the illusion even as the camera moves around. Eagle-eyed viewers might notice a slight blur where the unwanted object has been erased from the frame, but a blur is a small price to pay for the the amazing new technology of diminished reality.

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See more in Futuristic or under Technology. October, 2010.