We don't realize it, but there's an invisible world of pulsating movement and color all around us. Now a team of researchers has found a way to amplify this unseen world using video. Dubbed "Eulerian Video Magnification," the technology can be used to monitor a sleeping newborn's breathing, the pulse of hospital patients and even industrial machines.
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"Once we amplify these small motions, there's like a whole new world you can look at," MIT computer scientist William Freeman told the New York Times.
The system works by concentrating on a single pixel in a video. The program identifies subtle, frame-by-frame changes in color or motion, then amplifies them 100 times. A video of a person's face that might normally look pink shifts toward bright red when subjected to the algorithm. Such a program could reveal subtle changes in a person's pulse and make them immediately visible to a nurse or doctor.
Besides monitoring pulses, scientists say their system could also be used to monitor spatial patterns of blood flow to check for any asymmetries that could indicate disease. Freeman says in the following video he hopes this will be a useful diagnostic for medical doctors.