Software detects motion that the human eye can’t see

Video technique could lead to remote diagnostic methods
July 24, 2012

An example of using theEulerian Video Magnification framework for visualizing the human pulse. (a) Four frames from the original video sequence. (b) The same four frames with the subject’s pulse signal amplified. (c) A vertical scan line from the input (top) and output (bottom) videos plotted over time shows how our method amplifies the periodic color variation. In the input sequence the signal is imperceptible, but in the magnified sequence the variation is clear. (Credit: MIT)

A new set of software algorithms can amplify aspects of a video and reveal what is normally undetectable to human eyesight, making it possible to, for example, measure someone’s pulse by shooting a video of him and capturing the way blood is flowing across his face, Technology Review reports.

The software process, called “Eulerian video magnification” by the MIT computer scientists who developed the program, breaks apart the visual elements of every frame of a video and reconstructs them with the algorithm, which can amplify aspects of the video that are undetectable by the naked eye.

These aspects could include the variations in redness in a man’s face caused by his pulse.