Bringing Hollywood special effects to your smart phone

Mantis Vision’s technology, which uses a projected infrared light pattern to capture 3-D images and videos, is included in Google’s Project Tango tablet, shown here. Credit: Mantis Vision

Take a look at the clip. I found it amazing.  Yes, the video clips that this innovation from Mantis Vision delivers looks great, at least in the ads they have crafted. They might be more difficult to produce than what is being suggested by the clip but still they are feasible. And they can be produced on a device like your smart phone (duly connected to the Internet.

Now, this is what is impressive to me. Doing this kind of filming, capturing images using different cameras or different points of shooting and then mixing all of them together in a coherent way to provide a 3D image (they call it 4D because it brings in the position of the viewer and the possibility of changing the point of view based on the one of the viewer) is quite a feat. Both in terms of software and in terms of processing capacity.

Mantis Vision is one of Google Partners in project Tango, the building of a tablet and related ecosystem by Google. Mantis is providing its technology to create 3D images out of the cameras video capture. It can detect the existence of several cameras around the place where you are shooting and (asking permission) mixes the various points of shooting into a single 3D movie that both provides a sense of depth (3D) and allows during the vision to change the point of view.  The effect is quite impressive.

Not sure how you and me will be using it (I think it requires quite a bit of practice, even though Mantis Vision claim they have developed specific functionality to manage the lighting differences that usually result in very poor rendering) but I have no doubt that many people will get the knack and will be posting interesting clips.

I do not know how much bandwidth (how big a 1 minute 4D rendering) will be required but I suspect quite a bit more than the one needed for a normal clip. More burden on mobile networks. It remains to be seen if Operators will be able to leverage on this increasing bandwidth demand.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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