michael naimark
"Projects Pending"
Why I believe "open patent protection" might work.

How to Seamlessly Flickrize Google Earth

Began in 2006 as research into how to democratize Earth mapping and modeling, Viewfinder combines the "folksonomic" community aspect of Flickr with the visceral "flyaround" feel of Google Earth. It received a Google research award in 2007; in 2008, the results were published online. The research was well-received by the press, on blogs, at USC, and at Google. Today, using the newest generation of smart phones with onboard position and orientation sensors, the process may be automated.

Patents granted:
Seamless Image Overlay Into 3D Models (via USC)
Patents pending:
Estimating Pose of Photographic Images in 3D Earth Model Using Human Assistance (via USC) (with W Carter, P Debevec, P Hoberman, A Jones, B Lamond, E Loyer, G Mattiolo)

Spontaneous One-to-Many Webcasting

This system helps level the playing field for all live global video by enabling individual sources (e.g., from mobile video phones) to generate real time alerts. These alerts can propagate through a network and provide end-users access to news, live video, and other time-critical information faster than methods currently available. This work complements earlier developments made at Paul Allen's Interval Research Corporation and improves the overall utility and functionality for both the alert provider and end-users.

Patents granted:
Source-Based Alert When Streaming Media of Live Event on Computer Network is of Current Interest and Related Feedback (via USC) (with S DeBerry, I Moresco)

A Method and System for Parsing and Richly Tagging
Every Movie Ever Made

Movie Tagger engages a community of enthusiasts to crowd-source text-based annotation ("tags") to movies - scene by scene, shot by shot, and frame by frame–with a custom logging tool. The tags can be about the performers, action, dialogue, cinematics, mood, environment, or anything else. This metadata is uploaded to a shared database, where it can be used to rank, search, filter, and visualize. Movie Tagger was originally proposed internally at USC in 2007 shortly before Apple premiered its "Hello" ad for the iPhone launch, which nicely illustrates the challenge and opportunity.

Movie Tagger: A Method and System for Parsing and Richly Tagging Every Movie Ever Made (via USC) (with S Anderson, M Churi, P Hoberman, A Kratky, E Loyer)
"Thumb-Frame Generator": A Motion Picture Logging Tool

Update: "Movie Tagger Alpha" is officially a USC sponsored research project, August 2010.

An Inexpensive Next-Generation Digital Camera Feature

"True Tally" provides subjects with a visual indication when they are within a camera’s view, achieved by placing a light source behind the lens on-axis with the cameras’ sensors and pulsing it out-of-phase with the sensors’ activity. Thus, True Tally provides a more accurate indication than the conventional "tally lamp" mounted on the front of a camera. It is currently being pitched to consumer camera companies as a new feature in the spirit of "respectful" and "expressive" cameras, increasingly critical as we move toward worldwide webcams. Having an on-axis light source behind the camera’s lens also opens the door for more ambitious possibilities, such as shadowless illumination and projector-camera ("procam") style applications.

Patents pending:
Providing Real-Time Data For and About Subjects within a Camera’s View (via USC)

Seeing Different Times & Events Overlaid on Actual Places from the Actual Places and Online

Began as a response to an RFP from the Singapore Tourism Board for AR-related projects, Time Binoculars are permanently installed, user aimed, binocular viewers at popular sites around the world, like the iconic coin-operated teardrop-shaped viewers, but with several novel improvements. First, small, high-resolution displays are integrated inside the unit, one for each eye, on axis with the binocular optics. The intensity of the display and binocular optics can be controlled, enabling the full range of transparency and opacity for both. Second, the unit’s aiming mechanics, for panning, tilting, and zooming, incorporate sensors which can be used to determine the proper viewpoint for the displays. They may also have motors on them for remote or automated control. Third, small, high-resolution cameras may also be integrated inside the unit, one for each eye and on axis with the binocular optics. Finally, the unit may be connected via an onboard computer to the Internet. Thus, Time Binoculars enable onsite users to look around an actual site and see perfectly aligned augmentations of what they see, such as different times of day or different seasons, or historical views, or full-out Hollywood-style reenactments, or yet-to-be-invented games. At the same time, a community of online users can watch and participate as well.

Time Binoculars: Seeing different times and events overlaid on actual places from the actual places and online

Immersive Display for 3D Earth Models

Inspired by the newly opened Ars Electronica Centre's "DeepSpace" Theatre, an immersive display for 3D Earth models is described which seamlessly combines a floor display, for optimal flying around and viewing of the ground below, with one or more wall displays, for optimal viewing of ground-level scenery and action. Done properly, views from the ground level appear "like being there" and done artfully, flying around feels as if Earth is literally falling out from below the viewers' feet as they skyrocket upward and land somewhere else. Two preferred embodiments are described, a large, theater-like space and a smaller, more portable version.

Immersive Display for 3D Earth Models

Modular, Climate-Controlled, Immersive Display

Intended as a specific improvement on Google's "Holodeck,
a novel enclosure is integrated around a flat panel video display. The enclosure has a "window" in front fitted with a flat magnifying element such as a Fresnel lens to create (or suggest) an infinity-focus effect. The enclosure also has sides that isolate and ventilate the air inside to eliminate heat from the display and to provide climate control for the viewers. The enclosed display may serve as a module that can be displayed together with other modules as a larger, orthoscopically correct, immersive display (and one where a larger, magnified image and drastically reduced mullions are "free"). A more advanced embodiment additionally integrates stereoscopic 3D, both for far-field 2D imagery and for mixed near-field and far-field stereoscopic imagery. 

Modular, Climate-Controlled, Immersive Display