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Google and MIT can take reflection-free photos through windows

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 5, 2015
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Who knew that reflection-free window photos were suddenly in vogue? Google and MIT do, apparently. Some of their researchers have developed an algorithm that eliminates unwanted visuals by using frames from a short video to separate the foreground from the background. Unlike an earlier MIT-only technique, this works with nearly any kind of obstruction. It'll remove rain drops and chain link fences, for instance. And in an odd twist, it can also capture an uncannily clear image of any reflections -- you know, in case you want to remember what shirt you were wearing when you took that shot.

There's no word on whether or not the algorithm will reach shipping devices you can buy. However, it's easy to see this technology wending its way into just about any camera, including smartphones. You could take that scenic instagram shot from your airplane window without having to apologize for the picture quality.

[Image credit: Tianfan Xue]

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