Augmented reality is so passé. This German software is all about diminished reality – removing objects from the visual field. We’ve seen something similar for photos (we’re reminded of Photoshop’s content-aware fill), but this software can neatly delete any object from live, full-motion video.
The effect is achieved by an image synthesizer that reduces the image quality, removes the object, and then increases the image quality back up. This all happens within 40 milliseconds, fast enough that the viewer doesn’t notice any delay. As the camera moves, the system maintains the illusion through tracking algorithms and guesswork. It does seem to be thwarted by reflections though; a cell phone removed from a bathroom counter is still visible in the mirror.
Currently the software only runs on Windows, but the Technische Universität team is planning to develop it for Android in the near future, where it will likely be available for free. See the seemingly magical software in action below.