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`Edgertonian' eyes

Early on, I experimented with a variety of different visual filters[2], as I walked around in my day-to-day activities. Each of these filters provided a different visual reality. For one such filter, I experimented by applying a repeating freeze-frame effect to WearCam (with the cameras' own shutters set to 1/10000 second). With this video sample and hold, I found that nearly periodic patterns would appear to freeze at certain speeds. For example, while looking out the window of a car, periodic railings that were a complete blur without my RM would snap into sharp focus with the RM. Slight differences in each strut of the railing would create interesting patterns that would dance about revealing slight irregularities in the structure. (Regarding the nearly periodic structure as a true periodic signal plus noise, the noise is what gave rise to the interesting patterns). Looking out at another car, traveling at approximately the same speed as me, I could read the writing on the tires, and easily count the number of bolts on the wheel rims. Looking at airplanes, I could see the number of blades on the spinning propellers, and, depending on the sampling rate of my RM, the blades would appear to rotate slowly backwards or forwards, in much the same way as objects do under the stroboscopic lights of Harold Edgerton[18]. By manually adjusting the processing parameters of my RM, I could see many things that escape normal vision.

Steve Mann
Wed Feb 14 01:19:59 EST 1996