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`Edgertonian' eyes

Early experiments with a variety of different visual filters were described in[2]. Each of these filters provided a different visual reality. It was found that by applying a repeating freeze-frame effect to WearCam (with the cameras' own shutters set to 1/10000 second), the video sample and hold, caused nearly periodic patterns to appear to freeze at certain speeds. For example, while looking out the window of a fast-moving car, periodic railings that were a complete blur without the apparatus would snap into sharp focus with the apparatus, while slight differences in each strut of the railing would be highly visible as characteristic patterns that would move about rapidly. Looking at airplanes in flight, the number of blades on a spinning propeller would often be readily discernible, and, depending on the sampling rate of the apparatus, the blades would appear to rotate slowly backwards or forwards, in much the same way as objects do under the stroboscopic lights of Harold Edgerton[20]. By manually adjusting the processing parameters of the apparatus, one could see many things that would escape normal vision. It became evident that the temporal visual filter could function as a prosthetic device to improve vision.


next up previous
Next: Flashbacks and freeze-frames Up: The `visual memory prosthetic' Previous: The `visual memory prosthetic'
Steve Mann
1998-09-18