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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Trump Hasn't Signed a Space Force Into Being—Yet

A brand-new sixth military branch lacks political support.
Source: Wired

What’s under those clothes? This system tracks body shapes in real time

With augmented reality coming in hot and depth tracking cameras due to arrive on flagship phones, the time is right to improve how computers track the motions of people they see — even if that means virtually stripping them of their clothes. A new computer vision system that does just that may sound a little creepy, but it definitely has its uses.

The basic problem is that if you’re going to capture a human being in motion, say for a movie or for an augmented reality game, there’s a frustrating vagueness to them caused by clothes. Why do you think motion capture actors have to wear those skintight suits? Because their JNCO jeans make it hard for the system to tell exactly where their legs are. Leave them in the trailer.

Same for anyone wearing a dress, a backpack, a jacket — pretty much anything other than the bare minimum will interfere with the computer getting a good idea of how your body is positioned.

The multi-institutional project (PDF), due to be presented at CVPR in Salt Lake City, combines depth data with smart assumptions about how a body is shaped and what it can do. The result is a sort of X-ray vision, revealing the shape and position of a person’s body underneath their clothes, that works in real time even during quick movements like dancing.

The paper builds on two previous methods, DynamicFusion and BodyFusion. The first uses single-camera depth data to estimate a body’s pose, but doesn’t work well with quick movements or occlusion; the second uses a skeleton to estimate pose but similarly loses track during fast motion. The researchers combined the two approaches into “DoubleFusion,” essentially creating a plausible skeleton from the depth data and then sort of shrink-wrapping it with skin at an appropriate distance from the core.

As you can see above, depth data from the camera is combined with some basic reference imagery of the person to produce both a skeleton and track the joints and terminations of the body. On the right there, you see the results of just DynamicFusion (b), just BodyFusion (c), and the combined method (d).

The results are much better than either method alone, seemingly producing excellent body models from a variety of poses and outfits:

Hoodies, headphones, baggy clothes, nothing gets in the way of the all-seeing eye of DoubleFusion.

One shortcoming, however, is that it tends to overestimate a person’s body size if they’re wearing a lot of clothes — there’s no easy way for it to tell whether someone is broad or they are just wearing a chunky sweater. And it doesn’t work well when the person interacts with a separate object, like a table or game controller — it would likely try to interpret those as weird extensions of limbs. Handling these exceptions is planned for future work.

The paper’s first author is Tao Yu of Tsinghua University in China, but researchers from Beihang University, Google, USC, and the Max Planck Institute were also involved.

“We believe the robustness and accuracy of our approach will enable many applications, especially in AR/VR, gaming, entertainment and even virtual try-on as we also reconstruct the underlying body shape,” write the authors in the paper’s conclusion. “For the first time, with DoubleFusion, users can easily digitize themselves.”

There’s no use denying that there are lots of interesting applications of this technology. But there’s also no use denying that this technology is basically X-ray Spex.


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft's Ethical Reckoning Is Here

Revelation of contract with US immigration agency sparks criticism amid family separations
Source: Wired

Facebook, Apple and Microsoft among the tech companies continuing to criticize Trump – CNET

Silicon Valley CEOs move past cybersecurity and taxes to comment on social issues like gay rights and immigration.
Source: CNET

Senate votes to reinstate penalties against Chinese telecom ZTE – CNET

Vote sets the stage for a fight with the White House.
Source: CNET

Microsoft takes a stand against ICE separating parents from children – CNET

The company said it was “proud” to supply technology to Immigration and Customs Enforcement — which sparked anger online.
Source: CNET

Fallout 76's beta will launch first on Xbox One – CNET

Here are a few more details about the upcoming beta.
Source: CNET

Emilia Clarke bids farewell to Game of Thrones: 'It's been a trip' – CNET

Park the dragons and straighten the bent knee. The smoldering khaleesi appears to be done filming her GoT scenes.
Source: CNET

The Pepper v. Apple Supreme Court Case Will Decide If Apple's App Store Is a Monopoly

*Apple Inc. v. Pepper* could have wide-reaching implications not only for the Cupertino giant, but also for other companies like Amazon.
Source: Wired

SurveyMonkey has filed confidentially to go public

The IPO window continues to remain open as SurveyMonkey, which last raised money in 2014 at a $2 billion valuation, announced today that it has confidentially filed to go public.

SurveyMonkey can file confidentially with the SEC through the JOBS act signed in 2012, which allows those companies to test the waters before they formally release an S-1. It’s increasingly popular as it allows the companies an opportunity to get a gut check while investors appear to have at least some of an appetite for fresh IPOs, while not having to spill publicly the entire financial guts of the company. SurveyMonkey is also the latest of a wave of enterprise IPOs in the past six months or so. There’s still plenty that can change given that it’s a confidential filing. We won’t know how much money the company wants to raise, what its business even looks like or any of the other granular details of the IPO.

SurveyMonkey gives businesses a way to submit surveys to their customers and try to more seamlessly gather feedback about products, customer service or anything else that a company might be able to measure based on those responses. In an era where tracking all of that data becomes increasingly important thanks to more robust predictive tools and considerably more processing power to make those projections, SurveyMonkey’s data is likely even more valuable than it was when it raised funding in 2014. SurveyMonkey on its own end, too, might be easily able to understand how people are actually rating the companies they work with.

Dropbox and DocuSign are the most recent successful IPOs, both valued at more than $10 billion at this point. But there are companies like Zuora, which went public in April, zScalar and others that have seen significant success after they went public. That means there’s plenty of demand for companies that are about to go public, which is where the saying of the “IPO window being open” comes from.


Source: TechCrunch

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