See What’s Coming…Even Around Obstacles

Imaging uses a direct line of sight, which can be challenging. Some applications, including rescue, archeological expeditions, and infrastructure evaluations, don’t lend themselves well to line of sight.

John Murray-Bruce, a computer science and engineering professor at the University of South Florida (USF), developed a way to reconstruct hidden scenes in 3D using a single photo. Now, we can see what’s behind walls, doors, or cars.

The professor and a student developed an algorithm that creates highly accurate, full-color 3D reconstructions of areas behind obstacles using just one photograph. This is the first successful attempt at this type of technology. The algorithm uses information from the photo of faint shadows cast on nearby surfaces to reconstruct the scene. Until now, the successful demonstrations of 3D imaging of hidden scenes have all required specialized, expensive equipment.

It may take 10 to 20 years for law enforcement and car manufacturers to adopt it, but the team wants to improve its speed and accuracy further to expand its potential applications in the future. 

They’re inviting collaboration and innovation in the field by making their research available to others.

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