From Hebrew University of Jerusalem
3-D photo technology developed at Hebrew University could revolutionize photography
Prof. Shmuel Peleg wins Kaye Award Jerusalem, June 6 -- The technology that Computer Science Professor Shmuel Peleg, of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, developed to create three-dimensional photographs may result in the most significant step forward for photography since color was introduced. Prof. Peleg was awarded a prestigious Kaye Innovation Award this week for designing the OmniStereo technology.
HumanEyes Technologies Ltd., the start-up company founded to commercialize this technology, already has signed contracts with a number of leading advertising agencies and printers. The major international advertising agency Publicis has already started to work with HumanEyes and intends to use its technology for some 300 signs that will be placed in the French metro this summer. Coca Cola performed a pilot study in Chile, placing Human-Eyes' 3D signs on the front of some of their vending machines. Sales at those machines increased substantially.
"I hope it will do to two-dimensional photography what color did to black and white photography -- that people will come to expect three-dimensional pictures," Prof. Peleg said.
Prof. Peleg explained that the technology is based on stereoscopic vision. People have three-dimensional vision because the difference in location between the eyes causes each eye to see a slightly different two-dimensional image. The brain combines these images into a three-dimensional image.
With the assistance of graduate students Moshe Ben Ezra and Yael Pritch, Prof. Peleg designed a computer program called ImpactioTM which stitches together photographs of a scene taken by a regular digital camera or a video camcorder. The photographs are combined to show different views of the image, printed onto paper or translucent plastic, and then combined into a picture which appears three-dimensional to the naked eye, without the assistance of special glasses.
The most expensive part of the photograph is the plastic that covers it, Prof. Peleg said, noting that this makes producing a three-dimensional photograph only slightly more expensive than producing a two-dimensional photograph for an advertiser and therefore something that could be used in magazine advertisements, posters at bus and metro stops, point-of-sale signs, and even for family pictures taken by amatuer photographers.
Prof. Peleg established Human-Eyes along with his students and businessman Gideon Ben-Zvi (co-founder of Ligature and Wizcom). The company has raised $1m. from private investors and is about to complete another round of fundraising. Human-Eyes, which was the first company to establish an office at the new hi-tech village at the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University in Givat Ram, employs 15 people, many of whom are Hebrew University students or graduates. The company already has service bureaus in different countries around the world.
The Kaye Innovation Awards at the Hebrew University have been awarded annually since 1994. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards to encourage faculty, staff, and students of the University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which will benefit the University and society.
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