Incredible!! Microsoft Research Develops Incredible HyperCam Which Can See Through Skin

Incredible!! Microsoft Research Develops Incredible HyperCam Which Can See Through Skin
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Microsoft Research Develops Incredible HyperCam Which Can See Through Skin

This is not X-ray people. Microsoft Corporation  has collaborated with a University of Washington research team to create the HyperCam, which uses hyperspectral imaging to capture images across multiple spectrums. The notable aspect is that the affordable camera reveals images of things that would not normally be visible to the naked eye. For a simple application of the technology, it could help tell you whether the fruit you are buying is ripe or not. For complicated applications, there is no exact limit on what can be achieved, particularly at the low costs at which it would be available.

The team revealed the research paper for the HyperCam at the UbiComp 2015 computer conference in Osaka, Japan. The HyperCam team explained how the camera combines images from across the electromagnetic spectrum to provide images from other spectrums which reveal details which would not be visible to the naked eye. This includes images of things such as the veins underneath the skin on the hands. Normal cameras only shoot images in the red, green and blue (RGB) bands of the spectrum, which only represent colors.
In the post by the University of Washington, lead author Mayank Goel explained that the hyperspectral camera reveals the material that an object is made up of. Mr. Goel, who is a Microsoft Research graduate fellow and a computer science and engineering doctoral student at the university, said that viewers can even point out the difference between blue cotton and blue denim.

The HyperCam can shoot images across seventeen bands of the spectrum, enabling users to see beyond the skin of a fruit to determine whether it is ripe or stale. The team says that the HyperCam was 94% accurate in predicting the ripeness of a fruit from just the images. The camera reveals the veins and skin texture patterns on human hands and can hence even be used for biometric verification purposes. According to the HyperCam team, the camera is 99% accurate in telling people apart based only on the images of their hands.
One downside to the camera is that it fails to produce the same results under bright light, so this is something that the research team will look into. They also hope to make the hyperspectral camera small enough to create a version which can be attached to a smartphone, allowing users to take it with them wherever they want. This could even eventually give smartphones something close to X-ray vision.

The HyperCam team said that the camera would only cost around $800, and a smaller version which works with a smartphone camera could even be available for as low as $50. Neel Joshi, a Microsoft researcher who helped work on the camera, said that the team planned to keep the hyperspectral camera affordable in order to establish more uses for it. He said the team was literally pointing the camera at everyday objects and seeing things in a new light.
CNET pointed out that hyperspectral imaging is not a new concept and NASA in particular has been using what it calls the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) for a while. AVIRIS captures images from a staggering amount of bands (224 bands to be exact). Hyperspectral imaging has also been used in industrial applications, but carries massive costs along with it..
The HyperCam’s charm is that this will be an affordable camera which anyone with a bit of savings can get their hands on if they wanted to. It is interesting to note that the HyperCam team perhaps saved costs by reducing the number of bands that the camera can capture. At this point in time, anything beyond the basic red, green and blue band is bound to cause a stir, so the HyperCam’s ability to see across 17 bands should still make it an attractive proposition.

The HyperCam project has uses which can be immense, and can save a lot of costs for individuals. The University of Washington and Microsoft Research team might have stumbled across something extremely useful here, and if there are no side effects to the imaging process, one can imagine it being particularly useful in the medical field. Hospitals in low-income areas, for example, could use the camera to instantly assess the extent of a wound or an injury. The applications are immense, and the project should prove to be successful once it is launched.
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