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Most cameras just record colour but now the 3D shapes of objects, captured through only a single lens, can be accurately estimated using new software developed by UCL computer scientists. The method, published today at CVPR 2017, gives state-of-the-art results and works with existing photos, allowing any camera to map the depth for every pixel it captures. The technology has a wide variety of applications, from augmented reality in computer games and apps, to robot interaction, and self-driving cars. Historical images and videos can also be analysed by the software, which is useful for reconstruction of incidents or to automatically convert 2D films into immersive 3D. “Inferring object-range from a simple image by using real-time software has a whole host of potential uses,” explained supervising researcher, Dr Gabriel Brostow (UCL Computer Science).”

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