Royal Academy of Engineering awards medal for computer vision

JUNE 1--Prof. Andrew Blake, an image-analysis researcher, is to receive The Royal Academy of Engineering's Silver Medal for his contribution to British engineering and commercial development.

JUNE 1--Prof. Andrew Blake, an image-analysis researcher, is to receive The Royal Academy of Engineering's Silver Medal for his contribution to British engineering and commercial development. Blake will receive his award, which is only awarded to engineers younger than 50, at the Academy's awards dinner in London, UK, on 5 June 2006.

Blake's principal technical achievements are in visual segmentation and reconstruction and in visual motion tracking. In 1996, Blake and collaborator Michael Isard invented new ways of visual motion tracking through their 'Condensation' algorithm based on probabilistic reasoning, which enabled computers to keep up with rapid motion in a busy video scene.

In addition, advanced techniques developed by Blake's research team underpin Expression, a new development suite for graphic designers and Web designers. Expression incorporates innovative tools such as automatic erasure, which replaces a removed object with texture generated from its original surroundings and automatic segmentation, which allows the user to 'lasso' an object in an image, cutting it free exactly along its outline, ready to slide into a new position or drop it into a new image altogether.

Another invention under development is a new type of camera, which it is hoped will improve the experience of teleconferencing to something seamless and natural. The camera is stereoscopic, which allows it to sense in three dimensions, separating foreground from background, just like human vision.

More in Cameras & Accessories