Now, many crime shows and films like CSI will have a video recording or image from a crime, and you’ll see them ‘zoom’ in on the picture and then ‘enhance’ the details. Here’s an example:
In reality, what would actually happen, is the image would become more and more blurry, the more you zoom into it. Most cctv cameras are very low in quality because they are recording all day long and often try and cover a wide viewing area, which would make it even harder to see details once you zoom in. You can try this with a simple image viewing program on your computer or phone, as you zoom into the picture, you will see more and more of the pixels and the details will become less distinct.
The writers of the american tv show ‘Castle’ acknowledged this in one of their episodes, which you can see a clip from, below.
In the last few decades, the technology of cameras and video recorders has improved by leaps and bounds. We now have 8-12 megapixels in our smartphones – go back 10 years and the best quality you would have been able to get, with the most expensive cameras, would only have been about 5 megapixels.
Researchers are now utilising these improvements in technology to try and make the idea of ‘zoom and enhance’ a more accessible reality. Using very high quality cameras, the researchers at the Universities of York and Glasgow were able to extract the reflection of a person from the eyes of a person in an image. Although the quality of the cameras the researchers used exceeds what most people would be using on a day to day basis, with the rate at which the quality of cameras are improving, images from members of the public, and security cameras might soon be able to allow us to extract this level of information from them too, resulting in more accurate and faster prosecutions.
This idea has been around for some time, even in crime shows
but the concept is only now becoming something that we can actually use.
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