Professor Marc Levoy

Stanford University and Google

October 15, 2013 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm

Location: Packard 101

Talk Title: What Google Glass means for the future of photography

Talk Abstract: Although head-mounted cameras (and displays) are not new, Google Glass has the
potential to make these devices commonplace. This has implications for the
practice, art, and uses of photography. So what's different about doing
photography with Glass? First, Glass doesn't work like a conventional camera;
it's hands-free, point-of-view, always available, and instantly triggerable.
Second, Glass facilitates different uses than a conventional camera: recording
documents, making visual todo lists, logging your life, and swapping eyes with
other Glass users. Third, Glass will be an open platform, unlike most cameras.
This is not easy, because Glass is a heterogeneous computing platform, with
multiple processors having different performance, efficiency, and
programmability. The challenge is to invent software abstractions that allow
control over the camera as well as access to these specialized processors.
Finally, devices like Glass that are head-mounted and perform computational
photography in real time have the potential to give wearers "superhero vision",
like seeing in the dark, or magnifying subtle motion or changes. If such
devices can also perform computer vision in real time and are connected to the
cloud, then they can do face recognition, live language translation, and
information recall. The hard part is not imagining these capabilities, but
deciding which ones are feasible, useful, and socially acceptable.

More Information:

Speaker's Biography: Marc Levoy is the VMware Founders Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received a Bachelor's and Master's in Architecture from Cornell University in 1976 and 1978, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989. In the 1970's Levoy worked on computer animation, developing a cartoon animation system that was used by Hanna-Barbera Productions to make The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and other shows. In the 1980's Levoy worked on volume rendering, a technique for displaying three-dimensional functions such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) data. In the 1990's he worked on 3D laser scanning, culminating in the Digital Michelangelo Project, in which he and his students spent a year in Italy digitizing the statues of Michelangelo. Outside of academia, Levoy co-designed the Google book scanner and launched Google's Street View project. His current interests include light fields. optical microscopy, and computational photography - meaning computational imaging techniques that extend the capabilities of digital photography. Awards: Charles Goodwin Sands Medal for best undergraduate thesis (1976), National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator (1991), ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award (1996), ACM Fellow (2007).

Video Files: