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Collaborative Photography App Allows Smartphones to Record 'bullet Time'

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A scene from "The Matrix" in which Neo (Keanu Reeves) dodges bullets.

A new mobile app allows anyone to create "bullet-time" movies using collaborative photography techniques on their smartphones.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Anyone can now create "bullet-time" movies using collaborative photography techniques on their smartphones, making it appear a person is dodging bullets in slow motion. Columbia University researcher Yan Wang and colleagues have developed a mobile app called CamSwarm that enables users to record bullet-time action.

The app uses a local Wi-Fi network to coordinate multiple cameras. Each smartphone in the "swarm" must run the app, with one designated as a leader. The app generates a quick response code that others photograph to join the group. The video from all participants is then streamed to a cloud server, which stores the data and helps direct the swarm. The app shows each user their own footage along with the footage from cameras next to them in space, enabling them to adjust their spacing and orientation so each camera has a slightly overlapping field of view. The app also provides on-screen guidance to help users achieve the right spacing and orientation, and it replays all the footage to let users select which sequences of camera angles to use to create the bullet-time effect.

From Technology Review
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