A young Australian scientist has developed software that can enhance video under low light situations. By mimicking how insects see things, the software can produce digital videos that show every detail. The technique solves a critical problem for surveillance cameras, where the clarity of images is important.
Dr. Russell Brinkworth, a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Adelaide, developed his software with sponsorships from the Australian federal and Victorian governments.
Cameras use a single average light setting to control the brightness of an image. This is fine, says Dr Brinkworth, if there are similar levels of lighting over your whole scene. But itâ€™s not so good if some parts are much brighter than others. For example, a personâ€™s face in front of a window will appear so dark that you canâ€™t make out the facial features.
By recording from cells in the brains of insects Brinkworth has shown it is possible to determine exactly how animal eyes work, and to reproduce the process using computer software and hardware.