It *can* hypothesize

3D image
My friend the doctor always rolls his eyes when medically improbable/inaccurate devices are used in TV shows and movies. For my part, I hate when technology is abused; the infinite zoom with no loss of image quality, for example. My all-time worst abuse is from the 1998 Will Smith vehicle Enemy of the State . In one scene, the NSA operatives watching Smith's character take a 2D image of him from a security camera, and rotate it around to see something he's carrying on the other side of his body. When asked how it does that, the NSA techs explain: "It can hypothesize."

Ohhhhhh, right. That explains it.

Actually, it might. Some students at Carnegie Mellon University are showing off a system whereby 3-dimensional data can be interpolated from a single 2D image, based on recognizing key features like the ground, the sky, people, and so on. The demonstration video is strikingly impressive, taking a variety of photos and then turning them into virtual pop-up books.

Then again, the technology is still limited. I'm certain a computer could hypothesize information not shown in the photo. I'm also fairly certain they have a good chance of getting it wrong.

[via popgadget ]

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