Researchers Extract Sound from Audioless Video

When science and technology intersect, they produce results that, to the layman, are indistinguishable from magic. I say this as a layman who is easy to confuse and even easier to astound. Researchers from MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe teamed up to develop a technique for extracting sound from silent videos. I don’t mean that they found a way to restore sound that was once lost. They use visual information to produce sounds where there weren’t any.

The video below explains the process in depth, but what they did in a nutshell is blast an object – a potted plant, a bag of chips, earbuds – with music so loud that it caused the object to vibrate. They then film that object with a high speed camera that can capture thousands of frames per second and it picks up the vibrations and visual responses to the sound that are usually invisible to the naked eye. The processing algorithm then extracts sound based on the visual signals. This results in songs being played back, yet in crude form. They even accomplished this with a regular DSLR camera, though with weaker results.

This technology likely won’t produce anything that can help in our day-to-day lives, but it’s nonetheless fascinating and is bound to have applications somewhere.

via No Film School

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