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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Solving the Problems of Imaging

Solutions make life easier, safer and more productive
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By Barry Hochfelder

Many of you responded to our annual Imaging Solutions of the Year with some truly remarkable ideas. I'm left to wonder what's out there that we don't know about, for whatever reasons. It's understandable, though, that security, proprietary knowledge or, perhaps, a publicity-shy client prohibit some from sharing their achievements.

But what we do have is wonderful. For example, how do we combat "change blindness," the phenomenon where someone viewing a scene apparently fails to detect large changes in it? Typically, the change in the scene coincides with some visual disruption such as a rapid eye movement or a brief obscuration. When looking at still images, change blindness can be achieved by changing a part of the image over 13 seconds or longer.

Imagine how important that is in defense or security. Our nominee, Delta Image, says that some military experiments have shown that after 12 minutes of continuous viewing of two or more sequencing monitors, an operator will miss up to 45 percent of all scene activity. The more monitors, the worse it gets.

Delta's solution: software called Real Time Change Detector, which compares the current image with previous frames and looks for changes. Other software does that, of course, but this version keeps track of changes and generates a rolling average and peak of changes on a cell-by-cell basis and provides an alarm, circling and magnifying the region of interest for the operator to study.

If you've read this space before, you might remember my interest in medical applications. Point Grey has come up with a video system that helps people suffering with dementia enjoy a better quality of life. It's a real-time system that helps in routine tasks by giving audiovisual prompts and actually can adapt to user internal states of awareness and responsiveness from the video of the user's behaviors. It can be used to modify the system online or inform caregivers of the user's well-being.

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