Is HDR Imaging the Future of Photography?

July 17 2008 / by niksipolins / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

With all the technology growth in fields like space travel and gene mapping, isn’t it about time photography took a real step forward? HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging promises to do exactly that quite literally democratizing the production of digital images.

High Dynamic Range Imaging, the practice of ‘bracketing’, or combining in Photoshop, a properly exposed image with both underexposed and overexposed versions of the same image, creates stunning, surreal photographs.

The above landscape shot of NYC’s skyline at night is perhaps the most well known example of HDR Imaging. Yes, it is NYC. No it is not a CG promotional image of Gotham City for The Dark Knight (though it certainly could be). It is merely 3 photographs, taken on a tripod at different exposures, and last year it won 2nd place in Wikimedia Commons’ Picture of the Year Competition.

I know that FutureBlogger isn’t exactly a photography site, but this imaging technique shows real promise in putting professional quality photography into the hands of the masses.

While this practice may seem daunting to all but a few highly experienced photogs, it is not as complicated as it looks. Many entry level Digital SLR’s already come equipped with automatic HDR modes (just look in your menus), and as shooting time lag (time between shots) continues to decrease, and on-board camera processors continue to speed up, HDR imaging could eventually become something your camera does for you automatically.

In-Camera HDR would eliminate underexposed shots by automatically taking the bracketing shots for you, and this could happen within a few micro-seconds of your initial shot, eliminating the need for a tripod. An on-board bracketing algorithm would eliminate the need for time-consuming manual bracketing in Photoshop. (cont.)

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Sony's New Reader Marks Another Step Toward Hand-held Digital/Text Convergence

October 03 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

The latest edition of Sony’s Reader, the PRS 700, marks another significant step forward in the race to replace traditional paper books with easy to use digital counterparts.

Sporting a six-inch interactive touch-screen display the new model allows readers to flip pages with the slide of a finger. In addition, readers can easily search terms within a document or book, create notes using the virtual keyboard and highlight text with the included stylus pen.

Five pre-set text sizes are available so readers can find the one most comfortable for them.

Expanded memory offers enough capacity to store about 350 average digital books. By using a removable memory stick, that number can be upped to thousands of books and documents.

The new PRS-700 will be available next month for about $400 just in time for a holiday shopping season that may not respond all to well to the relatively high price. At the same time, it appears to be the closest thing to a paper book killer to hit the market so far.

When TV Switches to Digital, it May Alienate Rural Communities

October 22 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Communication   Year: 2009   Rating: 3 Hot

It has been estimated that about three million TV viewers will let their sets go black when the digital conversion takes place next February. “Approximately three million viewers could stop watching their local channels, which would have a serious impact on local TV ratings and their advertising rates.” About nine million people today have yet to make the conversion to digital broadcasting.

So what about rural areas of America?

Internet is already hard to get in places “out in the boonies.” Some use the words Digital Divide to describe third world countries and their lack of technology. What people fail to realize is that there are places in America that are likewise impoverished.

In an article about the town of Grove, New York, reporter Stephen Watson explains how small towns like these are lacking high-speed internet, cable, and even cellphone service. “They are part of a growing digital divide between those with access to cutting-edge technology and those without, a gap that cuts along demographic, economic and geographic lines.” When you consider how much work is done on the internet these days, it really has become a lifeline for many people in remote locations.

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Your House Key Can be Duplicated With a Cellphone

October 29 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

“UC San Diego computer scientists have built a software program that can perform key duplication without having the key. Instead, the computer scientists only need a photograph of the key.”

Next time you leave your keys on the counter, or even take them out of your pocket, they are in danger of being copied. The program uses digital images of keys to map out the exact shape of the key for later copying. While before people could do this with high-resolution photos, now it can be completely automated.

How many photos have you taken with your keys? Any on the Internet? It might be a good idea to blot those out. You could also switch to an entirely keyless entry system where all you’d need was an RFID chip (much like cars today). In the meantime? Keep them away from prying eyes.


The Pico Micro Projector in Action, Expect This in Your iPhone Soon

September 13 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

The video below is very boring, but you should watch it anyway. Its subject is a totally unspectacular mid-grade projection on a dark wall with big implications for the near-term future of human communication and entertainment. The hook is that this image is generated by a Toshiba Pico Prototype the size of a large cell-phone (at right). Capable of spitting out a 60” wide image at 10 lumens, the micro-projector is due to hit store shelves sometime early next year and will also be licensed to a wide variety of other companies.

Take a look for yourself:

As such projectors shrink in size, increase their resolution and require less and less power, it’s clear that they’ll be incorporated into mobile and other devices. I’d be completely shocked if Steve Jobs, the folks at Apple and all their competitors aren’t right now scrambling to develop the appropriate apps and incorporate the Pico technology into their next-gen products.

(via Video Golem)

AMD's New 3D Immersive Social Media and Digital Browser

April 10 2009 / by Jeff Hilford
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

This baby allows you to navigate all of your content, both locally stored and cloud based, with a 3D immersive application.  It also includes a recommendation app that suggests related content (natch).

Visual search and browsing applications are starting to come fast and furious as the days of static, 2D text-based as sole option fade in the rearview mirror.  The interface revolution is afoot.  Should be a fun ride.

Via TechCrunch