Camera helps you drive

garmin nuvicam

garmin nuvicam

Garmin says its nüviCam “offers the protection of having an eyewitness that records exactly where and when events occurred.”

Billed as a “portable navigation device,” the dash cam continuously records video, and automatically saves the files on impact.

“The nüviCam LMTHD goes beyond helping drivers get from Point A to Point B” Garmin says. “The intuitive driver-assist features not only lessen the stress of getting you to your destination, but the nüviCam also provides peace of mind in knowing that your commute is being recorded and can be referenced should you need it.”

And to prevent an accident in the first place, it alerts drivers to stay aware on the road, the company says. There are warning alerts for Forward Collision and Lane Departure.

Also, Garmin says its “Real Vision” system “takes the guess work out of deciphering hard-to-see house numbers by displaying the camera view along with a bright arrow to direct drivers where to go when approaching select destinations.”

The $400 nüviCam features a 6-inch pinch-to-zoom glass display.

Here’s more information.

Imaging Innovation Updates:

depthcam cu

Touchscreen Biometric Scanners, Crowdsourced Camera Monitoring, Faster Depth Camera, Phones model and measure 3D objects


depth cam
Faster depth camera

Researchers at Northwestern and Columbia University developed a 3D camera that is inexpensive, produces high-quality images, and works in all environments — including outdoors.

Modeled after the human eye, the new depth camera only scans parts of the scenes that have changed. “If you send the same signal to your eye over and over, the neurons will actually stop firing,” the researchers say. “The neurons only fire if there is a change in your visual stimulus. We realized this principle could be really useful for a 3D scanning system.”

The Motion Contrast 3D Scanning system captures depth information, not just a stereoscopic view. The work was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the US Department of Energy.
There’s a video here.
Here’s more information



Zensors crowdsource live camera monitoring

A smartphone app can monitor a designated area — using multiple cameras, crowdsourced workers and artificial intelligence — detect changes in what’s being monitored, and automatically notify users.

Developed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Rochester, Zensors are a cheap, accessible way to add sensors to the environment. “Simply ask Zensors a question about your home or business,” the developers say, such as “How many glasses need refilled?” All you need is an unused smartphone or Wi-Fi camera, like a Drop am. In seconds, you can create a live sensor feed. You create alerts, by email or text. Using our API, developers can build rich and responsive applications.”
There’s a video here.
The full research paper is here.




Touchscreens turn into biometric scanners

Researchers at Yahoo Labs developed a biometric system using a phone’s capacitive touchscreen.

Bodyprint authenticates a user via body parts, Engadget reports here: It can recognize your ear, fist, phalanges… and then “you can program the system to answer calls only when it detects your ear pressed against the phone.”
There’s a video demo here.
Here’s more information.



smartphone ruler

Phones model and measure 3D objects

As computer vision has grown more sophisticated, using video from smartphones to create 3D models is becoming common, Carnegie Mellon University says — but “determining the scale of these models has been problematic.”

Now researchers there “have developed a way to use a smartphone’s sensors to build 3D models of faces or other objects and — literally, with the wave of a hand — provide accurate measurements of those objects. The amazing thing is that we can turn any smartphone into a ruler — no special hardware, no depth sensors, just your regular smart device.”

They combined the video info with data from the phone’s inertial measurement units to track the camera’s motion as it captures the imagery.  Now, “when the user waves the camera around a bit, they can calibrate 3D models as they are created and enable the phone to get accurate measurements from the models. We’ve been able to get accuracies with cheap sensors that we hadn’t imagined. With a face tracker program, we are able to measure the distance between a person’s pupils within half a millimeter.”

The article adds that as computer vision advances, the technique conceivably could be used over larger areas, like modeling a room in 3D to see if a couch or other piece of furniture would fit. “And though the technique does not yet operate in real time, it’s possible that someday robots and self-driving cars might be able to use this low-energy passive perception to help navigate, rather than power-hungry active perception technologies, such as radars and laser rangefinders that emit radiation.”
Here is the full article.

Ricoh refines “the ultimate field camera”

pentax K-3 II

pentax K-3 II

With its new Pentax K-3 II, Ricoh Imaging says it is “refining the ultimate field camera.”

Improvements include a high-speed AF algorithm, GPS, gyro sensor panning detection, and automatic horizon correction. Also, with the motion-controlled shake reduction, the new pixel shift resolution feature “move the image sensor at single pixel increments, captures 4 separate images, which are subsequently combined into a single high definition image,” the company says. “Benefits include higher resolving power, reduced false color and improved overall image quality of non-moving subjects.”

Also, the new Astrotracer feature combines the GPS positioning with in-body shake reduction mechanism to photograph astronomical bodies such as stars and planets. “The system uses GPS and orientation location data together with magnetic and acceleration sensors to calculate the motion needed to synchronize the CMOS sensor with the movement of the stars,” the company says, “making it possible to capture stars as points of light rather than star trails during long exposures.”

The 24-megapixel SLR has a magnesium alloy casing and a metal chassis, with “rugged dust proof and weather-resistant construction.” It shoots 8.3 frames per second, and is priced at $1,250.

There’s more information here.


Photobucket buys social video platform



Online photo service Photobucket acquired the Milyoni social video platform.

The start-up is known for its interactive “Madcards” which work on mobile devices.

Techcrunch reports it’s the photo-sharing site’s second acquisition this year: In March Photobucket purcashsed photo chat app Lasso.

Here is the full article.


HDR, panos: Adobe improves Lightroom

lightroom 6

lightroom 6

A “major update” to Photoshop Lightroom delivers faster performance and new tools, Adobe says.

Most prominent are two tasks for which you once had to “round-trip” your images out of Lightroom and into the standard Photoshop application: HDR Merge and Panorama Merge. Now, without leaving Lightroom, you can “create natural-looking or surreal images from extremely high-contrast scenes by easily combining multiple shots taken with different exposure settings into a single raw high dynamic range image,” Adobe says, and “capture super-wide fields of view and amazing detail by stitching together multiple images to create stunning raw panorama shots.”

lightroom 6

Also, thanks to performance improvement and enhanced use of your computer’s graphics processing unit, Lightroom runs up to 10 times faster, Adobe adds.

Other new features include facial recognition, and video slideshows.

Lightroom is $150, or $10 per month as part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan with Photoshop.

There’s more information here.


Polaroid prints phone pics in a Zip

Polaroid Zip

Polaroid Zip

The new Zip photo printer “is one of the smallest and lightest portable printers in today’s market,” Polaroid says.

At approximately the size of a smartphone (2.91 x 4.72 x 1 inches) it weighs 186g (.41lbs) “and can be taken anywhere, adding a whole new dimension to the mobile experience,” the company adds.

The $130 Zip connects to mobile devices via Bluetooth or NFC. The app also has editing and enhancing features. Polaroid’s Zero Ink printing technology embeds a composite material with dye crystals into the 2X3-inch printer paper.

“Smartphones have become the go-to tool for sharing our favorite memories digitally, but there is something special about sharing a physical photo,” Polaroid says. “The Zip photo printer brings the Polaroid experience into the mobile age, allowing users to quickly and easily print and share their favorite photos anywhere.”

There’s more information here.

On the PMA Podcast: Coaching for Warriors


Jeffrey Shaw

Jeffrey Shaw is a business coach, the host of Creative Warriors podcast —  and a photographer.

He works with entrepreneurs who are marketing themselves, and their talents. His core message: they must have a clear direction, know what they stand for, develop a unique branding message, and effectively communicate it.

On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Jeffrey shares advice on “knowing your story,” how to diversify your business, and overcoming the challenges that might stand in your way.

You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

Art app to “help define the digital you”


fiverr faces

There’s no shortage of cartoony photo filters, or even artistic choices like oils or water color… but a new service will provide an artist’s “hand made” interpretation of your self-portrait.

Fiverr calls itself “the world’s largest marketplace for professional and creative services” — and calls it’s new Fiverr Faces iPhone app “”the ultimate tool for creating one of a kind, custom caricatures.”


Upload your photo, and Fiverr Faces’ “top quality artists will create unique, personalized portrait caricatures for you or your friends. There are thousands of styles to choose from and portraits can be ordered in just a few simple steps. Make a creative and original statement with a unique profile pic that will help define the digital you.”

Prices start at $10.

The Next Web reports on it here.


Photoshop to boost 3D



A while back, Adobe rolled the Extended version 3D features back into the standard Photoshop application. Now it’s preparing to enhance those functions in light of ever-growing interest in 3D modeling and solid output.

The company demoed three new techniques at the 3D Printshow in New York over the weekend, The Next Web reports: 3D Mesh Simplification for better performance, printing and sharing options; 3D bump maps for converting textures from a photograph; and Vertex color to texture conversion.

Here is the full article.


Panasonic introduces “true 4k cameras”

panasonic A1


There were many new video cameras announced last week at the NAB conference — but at the same time, new surveillance modes debuted at the main meet-up for security imaging, and Panasonic claimed there to debut “a new benchmark for 4K imaging and performance in video surveillance.”


The True 4K cameras have a 12-megapixel  and a custom-designed lens. “Many competitive 4K cameras do not provide equivalent image quality because they utilize inferior optics,” the company says. “In some cases these competitive 4K cameras only produce about half the resolution actually purported because of inherent losses in resolution due to weak lens performance.” The new optical system here “ensures Panasonic 4K cameras produce the highest quality True 4K images.”


The enhanced resolution of True 4K can cover a four times wider view compared to a 1080p full HD camera, the company adds, and a nine times wider view compared to a 720p HD camera. It also offers “high-sensitivity in color at less than 0.3 lux illumination” and the  IR-LED  “ensures solid low-light performance in 0 lux environments.”


At NAB, Panasonic announced a range of new 4K production products, including the AG-DVX200 4K large-sensor, 4/3” handheld camcorder; AK-UB300 4K multi-purpose camera, and the AK-UC3000 4K-ready studio system.

panasonic A1

Also: the company debuted its HX-A1 wearable POV action-cam. It weighs 1.6 ounces, is water-and dust-proof, and “shoots in total darkness with an IR light source.”

Whether you’ll be getting wet while rafting or snowboarding and skiing in the freezing cold, the A1 is the ideal choice for any adventure thanks to its high durability,” the company says.