When you see people or things, there’s literally always more than meets the eye — a person’s heart rate and blood flow or slight movements in an object, for example. But most of that is invisible to us! Maybe not for long. A team of MIT scientists have managed to reveal those invisible motions in video. It’s fascinating.
The team of scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have come up with a process called Eulerian Video Magnification. It’s an amplification process that exaggerates the impossible-for-the-human-eye to see movements into something completely apparent on video. You can see a person’s face flushing as the blood pumps from his heart. You can read a baby’s pulse without touching it. It exposes a world none of us can ever see.
How the invisible motion is captured is by breaking each video down frame-by-frame to the pixel. The pixel reveals subtle colour changes and the magnification process exaggerates those colours to mimic movement. It turns a slight change into a more visual difference. The NYT says:
The scientists who developed it believe it could also have applications in industries like manufacturing and oil exploration. For example, a factory technician could film a machine to check for small movements in bolts that might indicate an impending breakdown.