Thursday, July 14, 2011

Using Video to get millimeter positioning information.

From Slashdot: Sub-Centimeter Positioning Coming To Mobile Phones
"SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), a technique invented by NASA, defines the concept of building a 3D-map of the environment and simultaneously computing the position within it. Based on SLAM, Swedish startup 13th Lab has implemented real-time sub-centimeter local 3D-positioning by using only the sensors, most importantly the camera, already present in most mobile devices (demo video). The technology will be made available as a software platform for developers (sign up for beta). A first application demonstrating the technology has just been released for the iPad2. The technology should be available on other devices with similar computational power soon."

SLAM isn't the first or only technology to do this.

It's been done before. In fact, it was done in the 60's. Initially, there was a Fourier Transform approach:
"Three Dimensional Fourier Transform Method for synthesizing Binary Holograms" Waters J P Journal of the Optical Society of America; vol 58 (1968)

I wrote about a Video based Automotive Wheel Alignment System that does this using special reflective video targets.

But even more amazing is the Microsoft Photosynth project.

Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth TED
TEDx Dublin - Blaise Aguera y Arcas - PART 2

Papers on the subject.

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