Refocusing a photograph after taking it and other seemingly magical technologies

Arthur C. Clarke once said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Entire religions have been built around apparently magical events. In this PodTech video interview, Robert Scoble converses with Professor Marc Levoy of Stanford University about ongoing computational photography research that will simply blow your mind.

It’s almost an hour long (and worth watching entirely), but if you can’t afford that much time (really, it’s brain food.. it’s good for you) these are some of the highlights:

11 minutes: Using stock photography to recompose or fix images. Read more about it here.

Carnegie Mellon Scene Completion Technology

16 minutes: A camera that allows you to refocus a photograph after taking it. Ever taken a photo only to find that the camera auto-focused on the background? No problem… this technology will solve that. (Even more amazing is that this technology was presented two years ago at SIGGRAPH and is currently under commercial development by Refocus Imaging, Inc. – How did I miss this?).

Stanford University Refocusing Technology

38 minutes: Gigapixel imaging. Creating gigapixel panoramas. Check out the Gigapixel Panorama viewer at Microsoft Research.

42 minutes: Microscopy research. Using the image refocusing technology to create a three-dimensional image of neurons firing throughout the brain at a particular moment in time.

45 minutes: One of the interviewers asks Prof. Levoy what’s next for image search? His answer is priceless: “I know too much, sorry.”

46 minutes: A bit of trivia: the real origin of Google‘s name.