aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
« math is fun! | Main Page | things my girlfriend and i have argued about »
a symbiotic circle
Posted by dav at 2003 January 13 12:53 AM
File under: Geek

So I was thinking about Mie a little while ago (she's unfortunately back in Tokyo now) and started taking photos of various parts of my body and emailing them to her cellphone. Nothing naughty, strictly PG-13. Tiny thumbnail-sized photos, because 120 x 90 is the best the Hiptop can do.

But anyhow, I started to think about a software program that could take a set of images of a scene and aggregate them into a larger image which reconstructs the larger scene. It would figure out where to overlap and connect each one and then it would do some color balancing to make them all look more cohesive as a whole.

So then I could set this up on a server so people with Hiptops could email a set of photos to the server, and it would assemble them into one photo which it would then submit to Hiptop Nation. Thus allowing us to take larger and more detailed photos for posting.

I really don't know much about the pattern matching and color shifting algorithms that would be required, but I bet it would take a lot of processing. And frankly I don't think my server could handle it. So then I started thinking, what if I used a distributed network to handle all the processing.

And then I started thinking it would probably be easy to scale the capabilities of the system if the distributed network was made up of all of the clients which used the server. Frankly, the current Hiptop processor wouldn't be very good in a number-crunching distributed network, but for now you could make the system work like this:


  1. The user connects to the server from the user's desktop machine, logs with their hiptop email address as username and becomes part of the work-network.
  2. The user takes a bunch of photos of a scene, and emails them to the server so they can get pieced together.
  3. The server checks to see if the user's email address account is active on the network, if so it starts processing the job, if not it can cache the job temporarily to see if the desktop comes back online, but after awhile any unclaimed jobs will be dropped.

There are better ways to handle the authentication, but that's a good simple example. Most of the time the powerful desktop machines would be employing spare cpu cycles, churning through lots of data. The requests should pretty much always undewhelm the network since on average there won't be that many jobs coming in that often, so performance should be very good.

In fact, we would have to come up with ways to challenge it, like say combining the emailed photo sets of many different people into one big picture. Imagine a handful of hiptop nation expats all taking photos of a scene together. You could increase the quality of the final product. Or, thinking forward to new technical capabilities, what if you geocoded each photo, and stored them over time (years). As more images came available the system would constantly be updating its map of the world. It would be a weird mush of temporally scattered glimpses, but it sure would be interesting. And I really like the idea of the mobile device itself being the distributed network; the processors aren't powerful enough yet, but they will be. That's the symbiotic circle ...that's sexy.

Anyhow, I gotta go now, I've really got the munchies.

Comments:

Prof. Mark Davis at Berkeley is doing lots of cool work along those lines:
http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~marc/

Check out his "Garage Cinema" research especially.

-Sean

Posted by: sean@cheesebikini.com on January 13, 2003 02:32 PM

Prof. Mark Davis at Berkeley is doing lots of cool work along those lines:
http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~marc/

Check out his "Garage Cinema" research especially.

-Sean

Posted by: sean@cheesebikini.com on January 13, 2003 02:32 PM

Post a new comment:

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?