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Diminished Reality – clever new tech can remove objects from real time video footage


Forget about augmented reality, what about some Diminished Reality? Researchers at a German university have just come up with a technology that can remove objects from video footage in real time. This Diminished Reality tech, as it’s called, does it all with a mere 40 ms delay, and the result is pretty spooky Sci-Fi. Professor Broll of Ilmenau University believes the tech could arrive on smartphones very soon.


The potential uses of this technology boggle the mind (imagine, say, a pair of glasses which could filter out all advertising and billboards on your travels) and even though the current resolution is not perfect, you can easily see from the video above that this could eventually be as potent as Photoshop is for images. Not only that, but the software can also let you replace one object with another, which is doubly scary. Press release.

 An example case: A consumer wants to know how a new piece of furniture would look in his apartment. Up till now he either needed a lot of imagination, or could at best get a rough impression using virtual reality. Diminished Reality now lets him remove the existing item from the video of the apartment, and create a virtually empty room with another piece displayed. This could be easily done using a webcam with a conventional PC or in the case of a tablet PC even directly as a kind of window into the world. In this case, all you need to do is click or circle the piece of furniture and it is instantly removed.

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