Watch the Invisible Motion of Humans and Objects: Revealing a New Way to View the World (Video)
(Photo : Flickr/Shawn Carpenter)
Have you ever wanted to see the tiny motions of a baby when his heart beats? How about the small color changes of a person's face as blood pumps in and out of it? What about the vibrations of an eye as it apparently remains still? Now, you can. Scientists at MIT have created the Eulerian Video Magnification, which can amplify small movements in both humans and objects that normally can't be seen with the naked eye.
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How did they do it? Software that the MIT scientists developed takes each frame of a video and then analyzes every pixel of every frame in order to monitor the slight movements that occur from frame-to-frame. The program then amplifies and exaggerates these subtle movements and color changes that we wouldn't normally see up to 100 times. The result is a movie that allows us to view the world as never before.
The technology is cool in and of itself. It's fascinating to watch the air movement above a candle flame, or other "invisible" movements that we wouldn't see day-to-day. Yet researchers also have future, practical plans for this technology. In particular, they hope it can be used as a diagnostic tool in the field of medicine. It could help monitor pulse in patients, and could even help doctors see asymmetries since it can reveal where blood flows in the body. The technology could also be used for newborn infants to monitor their vital signs without hooking them up to machines.
Want to get in on the action? Now you can. Currently, the team has released the open source code for non-commercial purposes. You can now download it and run the program yourself, though doing so does require some technical expertise.
Want to see the tech in action? Check out the video below, originally appearing here.