Science & Technology

A New Angle


Morgridge Institute for Research

The selfie stick’s got nothing on a camera capable of a slick optical trick: snapping pictures around corners.

The technology pioneered by Andreas Velten, an imaging specialist with the Morgridge Institute for Research, uses pulses of scattered light photons that bounce through a scene and are recaptured by finely tuned sensors connected to the camera. Researchers use the resulting information to digitally rebuild a 3-D environment that is either hidden or obstructed from view.

The technology has generated excitement about potential applications in medical imaging, disaster relief, navigation, robotic surgery, and national security. The UW team is one of eight receiving grants from the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency to probe different forms of non-line-of-sight imaging.

Velten and Mohit Gupta, a UW assistant professor of computer sciences, are examining how far they can push the quality and complexity of these pictures — a fundamental step before devices can become reality.

Published in the Winter 2016 issue


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