Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tech files

Time for some more output from the "what's next" department.

Seitz 160 Megapixel camera

That isn't a typo, this camera (which is about 16 inches wide) takes photos with 160 megapixels at a shutter speed of up to 1/20,000. What the heck is that for? Well, I've seen some of the new hyper-realism photos of the type this puts out and they are amazing to see. A blow up of a mountain on the wall is so detailed that you can walk all the way up to it and still see the little bird on a branch halfway up as if the photo were just of that bird. It's totally unlike viewing a normal poster or photo because human vision is foveated - meaning that we have more resolution at the point we concentrate on. With hyper-realistic photos you feel as if the object is real because wherever you look you get as much detail as your eyes can see.

If that isn't enough for you the same swiss company offers a version of this camera mounted on a precision panoramic stage that rotates around feeding about 235million pixels per second into your panorama shot. You can set it down and let it do its thing and when you haul your hard drive back to the lab you can examine any object in the room as if you photographed it in detail. I imagine we'll see it on CSI any day now :)


Amazing Interface

This is only my second video link ever but if you are interested in computers and how we might interact with them in the future follow this link and watch the movie. Its a ten minute presentation at the 2006 TED conference by a research scientist at NYU who blew away a normally jaded crowd with his demonstration of next generation computer interface work. The video is completely safe for work (it's a technical conference talk!).

The basic principle is a high resolution, fast, multi-point touch screen based on total internal reflection. You can touch it with as many fingers (or people) as you want, without pressing, and it senses the contact to far better resolution than most touchscreens.

Perhaps most amazing is what they've done with it. The photo program, map interface, and other software should send computer scientists scurrying home to develop something for the consumer market. Other than referring you to the video, I can't hope to convey how cool this is!

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