A look at how visual technology can change our perceptions. From projectors to drone mappers, helping the visually impaired, and distorting time itself. Plus tech news.
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This week: waterfalls in Lyons, big screens, and the attack of the
Australian box. We first meet Team Lab,
the 400-strong digital art The team of artists programmers,
engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and the like,
love to make an impact and here at the Pace London gallery,
they're presenting eight As with the work in Tokyo,
the idea here combines motion censors and the projectors,
which means you have a completely interactive piece that
you can touch and change. The whole room has been fully
calibrated so the censors can detect where everyone in the installation
is really, really accurately. The artwork, the project,
the projections, The pictures really do react
to whatever you do while you're This room is called
Flowers Bloom On People. With no-one in here,
it's just a black room but if you sit around for a few
minute, you'll find that nature Now I would say this is pretty
cutting-edge projectector technology but Marc Cieslak has assured me
he can give this a run This is a home entertainment concept
from Razor, a company most famous for manufacturing gaming PCs,
covering more lights than Blackpool The concept makes use of coloured
lights and projected image, working together in
synchronised harmony. What we have here is a concept
lighting rig, which is key So the lights in this room
will change colour depending on what's happening but it's only
part of what's going on. So if I just hit this button here,
we get the largest screen And that giant screen size is thanks
to a pretty expensive The projector is fitted with a 155-
degree fish eye lens, combined with two depth sensing
cameras that scans the rooms for objects and furniture,
and the system adjusts the image to prevent it from
becoming distorting. So the idea is that by having
a screen that envelopes, the peripheral vision of the viewer,
you really feel like you're thrown inside the action,
and it is surprisingly effective. At the moment, this system remains
a concept but Razor has hinted it And now robots. One of the big users
is to go to places and do work that is not safe for humans. But when
Nick wanted to see the situation on a packed ice island in Australia, we
completely believed him... But this is his story. Off the coast of
Brisbane, Queensland, Serena and beauty. --A Serena beauty. But for
over 60 years it was a prison. In 907, -- 19 seven, it was a colony
fall leprosy. Hundreds from the mainland was sent here in ex- for a
life sentence, with over half dying in isolation. Since closing in the
late 50s, many of the unique buildings have fallen into
disrepair. It has been tersely eaten by termites. The only thing keeping
it up is the roof. The majority of the buildings are death trap, it too
dangerous for people to enter. So this group of architectural and
robotics expert are developing ways to preserve the building digitally.
We are using a lot of different kind of equipment. -- clients. This six
leg it best is designed to go into building is too dangerous for
humans. With nimble limbs, it should trade -- transfers all sorts of the
rain. It is a work in progress. The team are developing ways for it to
feel the ground around it and detect for itself if the floor is safe
enough to walk on. In the meantime, this has been built from the bottom
up. It is all modular. We can we design as we go. We should be able
to generate a real-time map as the robot drives through. Depending on
what kind of image you want, for example if you have another system,
depending on the conditions, you could add things. And, of course,
they have a drone, equipped with her sense to scan the island from above.
Covering is this a clearing in 14 minutes and that will have all of
this area mapped from above to walk it and capture all the low staff.
You're looking at half an hour, 40 minutes. Technology really allow us
to capture the changing, fragile, remote and degrading site really
quickly which is incredibly important because it is falling
apart before our very eyes. It is an incredible example of inbuilt racism
in architecture. This was the only example of segregation and it is
important to understand the story and acknowledge it is part of our
history. You cannot imagine sitting around here for 30 years, trapped on
an island. Walking around here is really quite eerie to see how people
were forced to live in these conditions against their will. You
can see that inequality straightaway between how the whites lived and
their purpose-built houses and nice patio and a lovely sea view and how
everyone else, the nonwhites had to sleep. Sometimes four or five to
just the shed. Galvanised iron. The government did not take too much
notice of the aborigines. We need to look down into the ground and
cemeteries for ground penetrating technology, because we do not know
how many people are buried. We do not know who they are that it would
be nice to note just how many and where they are also full of leaving
the island I feel I have little of what it was like to live there. The
team want to share that experience with others. They want to present
their findings in virtual reality to educate new generation is about this
part of Australia's past. The hope is that what they learn here will
also help future technology and perhaps one day it could save lives.
Hello and welcome to the week in Tech. Facebook announced its app to
play videos on your TV. A new C five was born. And a newly opened it
cybersecurity Centre, the idea slammed off using long complicated
passwords. And talking of remembering numbers... Remember
Nokia? Let them help you with the remake of an old model. Exclusive
rights to the brand will launch in March. It is famed for great battery
life, easy usage. Phones in Holland could be a step closer after the
Dutch improve traffic lights. . Some would rather chance of death and
look up. This time, more news for your hair. The unseen says this is
the first air dye that changes colour depending on the temperature.
Remarkably, that semi- permanent pigment is still looking for
commercial partners. In Dubai, passenger journeys for this summer.
This automatically flies to destinations depending on one person
and depending on weight, their bag and swell. Now, we have often talked
about virtual reality and self driving cars on the show but this
week, we take a trip to see how some are put to impressive purposes.
Oh, I can see lightings and stuff playing.
I've been discovering some of the the latest ways
that the technology is being used to help the visually impaired.
It all starts with a spot of virtual reality.
It just made me so, it was happiness but it made me cry and I just
I'd been without full sight for so many years and then
all of a sudden I could see things that I hadn't seen for 30 years.
Here at the Beacon Centre, a charity supporting those
with sight loss, an interesting trial is taking place.
It seems some people can see things in VR they could never see
Yes. Oh, no, he's there now!
I'd never expected it but when they put the head set on,
I mean there was giraffes, coming up and looking at me!
What would you say to other people with a similar level of vision
to you about the experience of being able to do this
Oh, if you've got the chance, you have to have a go.
I mean I know it's not full sight, because you've got to wear
a machine, I'm not saying, that but to give you the experience,
There are a wide range of conditions that cause sight loss.
The nature of which can vary hugely, and even for those with similar
problems, the benefits of the VR have varied.
By along with the University of Wolverhampton, experts are trying
to understand how this is possible at all.
What we found quite quickly is that people who had central loss,
macular type conditions, as they are called, are the ones
Where they still had peripheral vision and whether that peripheral
vision is so stimulated as to fill in the gaps,
or, whatever wee don't understand yet, is it because it's so close?
Is it because there are still sight receptive cells in the centre
of the vision, so that when they're stimulated enough,
that they will fire and therefore create the vision?
There's a whole host of things we're still trying to explore
If I could use that when my daughter's doing her school plays
or she's singing in the choir, I could never pick out
who she was or what she was doing, or be able to see what you are
seeing and that could really be quite life changing.
But however clear the virtual world may seem, finding ways to ease
Temporary footway in road. Five to 10 metres.
There are eye beacons built in here that connect this
to the mobile app, so if somebody is approaching and they have the app
installed in their phone, they will receive an alert to let
them know about the roadworks and how best to approach them.
And for someone like Louise with two young kids,
this smart street furniture could make all the difference.
Because it tells you which way to go, so it can still in my pocket
I can have their hands, one in each, and I can hear the voiceover,
so it will say something like the pedestrian crossing
It's there for three days or however long.
So if I do the school run the same day, I know exactly where it's
going to be, I have done that walk yesterday.
Also this week, big claims from a company that say their smart
glasses can give the legally blind 20/20 vision.
As well as being able to stream content, they've captured the user's
surroundings, converting them into a form, they say,
is easier to identify for those with limited vision.
Sadly we couldn't put a pair to the test just yet,
and it's early days for much of what is being trialled
here but the possibilities are certainly looking good.
Now, virtual reality has been grabbing all the headlines in recent
years but don't forget augmented reality.
Now, this is the idea of projecting computer generated images on top
A bit like this but in a pair of glasses.
Well, a small band of augmented reality pioneers have been really
Here's Marc again with some pretty classy eyewear.
These augmented reality glasses are basically a wearable computer.
For the last couple of years, augmented reality specs have been
used primarily in an industrial setting or in the workplace.
These have been competed by a company called ODG,
and they've been designed far more with the consumer in mind.
They feel a lot closer to normal glasses, so to get the best out
So, I stand up, at the moment, there's a 360-degree video playing.
If I look around, I get a different viewpoint here.
I see a robot in front of me and what looks like some kind
of futuristic hospital, and there's a guy over here,
who seems very unhappy and another guy who looks seems to be
The images move seemlessly with my head.
If I look around I can see planet Earth in front of me.
I can walk inside it and see from outside of the planet,
and appreciate it from this angle, and if I stand here,
yep, a Space Station that's orbiting the earth as well.
Now, the glasses know where they are, spacially,
because there's a couple of cameras on front of them.
And all of the processing is happening on the head set itself.
The ODGR-8 glasses will cost around ?800 but they are basically
There are some cheaper lower tech AR options
There are lots of low-cost virtual reality headsets that make
This is a low-cost augmented reality headset that uses a phone.
Put an AR app on it and the images on the screen
So when the headset's on, I can look down the screen
and I scan see graphics reflected from the phone just in the headset.
Now, it has another trick up its sleeve as well.
I can see my hands in front of me and use them to cast flames.
Just a normal day at the office for Marc then. Now, if you're watching
the programme last week you would have seen us chatting with the
visual effects supervisor for the film the jungle book. Last Sunday
the team behind it picked up one of the biggest honours in the film
world and won the BAFTA for Best visual effects. Many congratulations
to them and of course we'll claim absolutely no credit for their
victory. See, we love visual effects! Can't you tell? This week
we're continuing the buildup to buildup to the Academy Awards by
looking at another movie that's been nominated in the Best visual effects
category, this time it's Marvel's Doctor strange. Now, we got
exclusive access to industrial like magic in London, they worked on the
breathtaking final scene in the film set in Hong Kong. Warning, if you
haven't seen the movie yet, this next set contains spoilers. I
repeat, it contains spoilers. Still with us? Good. I spent so many years
peering through time. Looking for you. The idea of reversing the
traditional end to any kind of superhero movie where it gets bigger
and bigger and the city gets destroyed and the superhero saves
the day, but there's a big old destruction going on. This is the
opposite, there's a big old destruction going on and it gets
reversed, by the end the city is pristine, nobody knows they hero
saves the day because he made time go backwards. One of the challenges
was constantly selling backwards time, every shot is stuffed with
things falling upwards, explosions happening, puddles splashing, people
not falling over and these things so we mixed together some footage of
people going forwards in time, that's one of the things in the
movie, Doctor Strange and his friend are going forward in time but they
exist in an environment going back in time. Mixing those two things
together is quite challenging. There are some digital humans in there but
there's also a lot of play photography as well so one of the
big challenges was how do you have convincing footage of people moving
forwards and backwards but with the camera moving? One of the solutions
was using something called motion control, a computer-controlled
camera so we could film Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and
the camera moving around, record the move and reversed the same move and
have the extras running through the frame. When you reversed the
footage, the camera move goes back to the original movement but
everyone in the frame by virtue of reversing the footage is running
backwards. Now you're mixing together people running forwards and
people running backwards in the same footage. But once you get beyond
that, of course, every frame is full of explosions and fire and smoke so
the key thing again is blending those things together and making
sure people aren't running through places where there's meant to be an
explosion or Doctor Strange hasn't got someone running through his cape
because lots of careful planning has to go into making sure there's no
interceptions of the action so that can be achieved by having markers on
the floor, saying Doctor Strange will be here, people do forget those
things, though, and people run straight through. Or it can be a
case of doing something called body tracking, so we might look at Doctor
Strange, we might point out his arm or shoulder is here in 3-D space by
measuring the distance on a computer and having something bounce off his
shoulder, so it sells he's in the played by emphasising the
physicality of the area so we can put in some 3-D generated degree so
it can bounce off him and go in a different ways of there's a variety
of ways you can approach these things together. This is a breakdown
of one of the shots we did, it gives you an idea of some of the layers of
material that go into something like this. That's the plate photography,
this was all shot at longshot studios, a set built along the
bottom and the top of everything is digital and all the flying debris is
digital. You can see there's a mixture of actors running forwards
and Doctor Strange in there as well, a shot of different plates are mixed
together. So much you don't know. Teach me!
Yet, Benedict Cumberbatch giving Doctor Who a run for his money in
the tiny whiny nurse of it all. That's it from us, this is at the
gallery until the end of March and you can see a few more photos from
this and all the other things on Twitter and @BBCclick is where we
live. Thanks for watching and see you soon.
No great dramas expected weatherwise through this weekend.
Certainly no cold weather in prospect.
A relatively mild weekend coming up and a lot of dry weather too.