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Cyber-Goggles Record and Identify Every Object You See 108

RemyBR writes "Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a smart video goggle system that records everything the wearer looks at, recognizes and assigns names to objects that appear in the video. Advanced programs then go back and create an easily searchable database of the recorded footage. Designed to function as a high-tech memory aid, these 'Cyber Goggles' promise to make the act of losing your keys a thing of the past, according to head researcher professor Tatsuya Harada. 'In a demonstration at the University of Tokyo last week, 60 everyday items -- including a potted begonia, CD, hammer and cellphone -- were programmed into the Cyber Goggle memory. As the demonstrator walked around the room viewing and recording the various objects, the names of the items appeared on the goggle screen. The demonstrator was then able to do a search for the various items and retrieve the corresponding video.'" Add in facial recognition technology and this would make for a great aid at conferences and family reunions.
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Cyber-Goggles Record and Identify Every Object You See

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  • by slimak ( 593319 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @06:58PM (#22629210)
  • Pointless project (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kazrath ( 822492 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @07:00PM (#22629236)
    If you walked around in public with those things on you definitley would not have to worry about remembering ppl's names/faces as people would probably walk on the other side of the road to avoid you. Don't worry about remembering that girl's name/number because they were both fake also.

    Personally.. I think paying attention to what your doing and maybe not being constantly on a cell phone/Ipod would be more effective and less time consuming in remembering WTF you are/were doing.

  • sounds iffy indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quadraginta ( 902985 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @08:01PM (#22629876)
    I've dabbled in object segmentation and recognition, and it's a bitch unless you cheat, e.g. by restricting yourself to pre-assigned objects, making sure your objects are always in high-contrast good-lighting conditions, or accepting lots of false negatives or positives. So I'm kind of doubting it will replace the ol' eye-brain recognition system.

    That said, I can see some useful related applications. Imagine a helicopter pilot doing search and rescue work. He sees something worth checking out -- say a tiny smoke plume -- and says "bingo." That's picked up by a computer, which is also monitoring his goggles, so it knows in what direction he's looking, and has done some very basic image analysis so it knows to ignore the canopy struts, Sun, shadows et cetera in the field of view. It then combines this with a GPS locator beacon and a good topo map, and instantly computes and records the exact location (latitude and longitude) of the sight of interest. Could save some lives.

    Or imagine an emergency worker on the ground during a big fire. He sees a worrying flare-up. Wearing the goggles, he can just say "Looks like trouble over there!" and the goggles, plus associated GPS device and computer, can instantly transmit to headquarters precisely where there is, even if the guy observing doesn't know himself.
  • by Mr. Roadkill ( 731328 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @08:33PM (#22630204)

    I think this would be excellent tech to provide to Alzheimer's sufferers, as long as they could remember they had it!
    And that would be the problem for some.

    Imagine yourself with Alzheimers. Imagine you used to be a sane, normal person - perhaps a little paranoid, because you worked in IT or security or some other field in which the knowledge that other people could be dicks was rubbed in your face day after day, or just from reading one newspaper too many.

    Now, imagine that part of your everyday environment is a little voice that whispers details to you about what you've supposedly done, people you've supposedly seen, things you don't remember. Or glowing words that appear in mid-air - "This is your son. His last visit was a week ago, and he brought your grandchildren". Only, you don't remember any of that - and that can't be your son, because he's five years old and that man was close to fifty. And it won't stop. You *do* remember that people who hear voices or see things get carted off to places far less pleasant than the one you're in, even though you don't quite know where *here* is, and keep your mouth shut.

    Perhaps things would be better if the person you used to be had trained themselves to accept direction better. Only, you don't know that's the problem because you've forgotten all that - and you were always more of a goat than a sheep anyway. So, you shut up out of self-preservation, go through the motions and pretend to recognise the strangers who show up bearing names of relatives. Only, that man who claims to be your son actually looks a little like your father. Could it be... your hands, they're old... you suddenly realise for a few seconds who you are and what you've become, and you break down into uncontrollable tears. Then, just as the man you claims to be your son calls for the nurse, it stops and you ask him "Who are you? What are we doing here?", just as you always do. The voice tells you that this is your son (only it can't be, your son is ten), and that you're home. You remember the voice - it's the only constant in your life, and you remember it lies, but you can't make it stop and you're too weak to do anything but go along with it. So, you nod along, pretend to know the people who show up ("Ah, he's a little better this week - no outbursts, and he seems to know everyone") and occasionally remember enough to want to pray for forgetfulness - and forget to be thankful when that prayer is answered.

  • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @03:23AM (#22632904)
    Hm, I could also see this leading to a problem of really weak memory skills for people who use it. I mean, I'm used to having to remember little things constantly, and there's good support for the idea that the more you use your memory the better it gets. What would happen if people began relying on this stuff as much as they do on, say, phonebooks in their cell phones?

    When I was younger, I used to remember the phone numbers of dozens of people. Now, on a good day, I might be able to remember mine. Same thing for email addresses, URLs and so on.

    I suppose the problem of weak memory due to overuse could be solved by having the user practice various memory tasks in their down-time - people who'd use a device like this would probably be open to using it to shore up a faltering memory etc.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian