Tuesday 17th June 2008

Ramesh RASKAR (MIT Media Lav)

Camera Culture

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Slides: presentation.pdf
The Camera Culture groupís research emphasis is on creating tools for better capturing and sharing visual information. The camera is ubiquitous, but image-capturing technology remains limited by designs that follow the optical configuration of the human eye. What if cameras could not only capture images, but also tell a fuller story through the data they gather by collecting more visually meaningful abstractions of our complex world? The Camera Culture group explores ways to go beyond optical sensing as we know it, opening up new ways to create and share visual information. We develop new algorithms and exploit, for example, unusual optics, programmable illumination, and ultra-high-speed imaging technologies so that individuals may access these technologies intuitively. These new tools will spawn new visual art forms. In addition, optically smart sensors will empower disabled persons, pixel-coordinated interactions will harvest the productivity of crowds for complex tasks, and image-savvy commerce will bring together cultures separated by language barriers.
Ramesh Raskar joined the Media Lab in spring 2008 as head of the Camera Culture research group. The group focuses on developing tools to help us capture and share the visual experience. This research involves developing novel cameras with unusual optical elements, programmable illumination, digital wavelength control, and femtosecond analysis of light transport, as well as tools to decompose pixels into perceptually meaningful components. Raskar's research also involves creating a universal platform for the sharing and consumption of visual media.
Raskar received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he introduced "Shader Lamps," a novel method for seamlessly merging synthetic elements into the real world using projector-camera based spatial augmented reality. In 2004, Raskar received the TR100 Award from Technology Review, which recognizes top young innovators under the age of 35, and in 2003, the Global Indus Technovator Award, instituted at MIT to recognize the top 20 Indian technology innovators worldwide. He holds 30 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. He is currently co-authoring a book on computational photography.