New system combines video streams from multiple cellphone cameras

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London, Dec 24 (ANI): Cellphones are frequently used for making videos during public events or street performances. Now, Microsoft researchers in Cairo have came up with a novel way to combine the video from multiple phones taken from the same scene into larger, more detailed footage to be broadcast live online.

Usually cell phone users use services such as Qik or Ustream to stream video live to the web.

"The number of users of these services is growing fast but there's a catch," New Scientist quoted Ayman Kaheel, who developed the new system as saying.

He added that the limitations of cellphone hardware and mobile-network capacity make for relatively low-quality footage.

The new system called Mobicast uses two sets of software - one for their smartphones, which run the Windows Mobile operating system, and one for a server receiving the video streams.

When two or more phones with the software start streaming video, they synchronise their clocks with the server, which then uses timestamps on the footage to align video frames in time.

Then image-recognition technology gauges how footage physically overlaps: features such as edges and corners are used to find areas that match, before the images are blended to create a wider view of the scene.

In simple words, the method involves stitching multiple photos into a larger image.

"To do this in real time is very challenging," said Kaheel, but the relatively low quality and frame-rate of video from cellphones makes it possible to do live.

According to Bhaskar Roy, co-founder of Qik, this kind of technology has the potential to enhance services like his own.

"Think of somewhere where there will be a lot of people capturing video on phones, like a sporting or breaking news event," he said.

"This could bring us closer to experiencing it in 360 degrees from our desk," he added. (ANI)

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