MIT Guys Come Forward with Eulerian Video Magnification; Make Invisible Movements Visible

March 12, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The world is full of movements and though it is still unexplained, the naked eye can capture only movements that are above a certain threshold. This got MIT guys thinking and they have come with a technique to ‘see’ all these tiny movements with our eyes.

They were kind enough to create a video on this, which looks awesome and scary at the same time. The scientific procedure behind this is called Eulerian Video Magnification. This helps to magnify even the smallest variations in pixels and will impart colour and intensity to make changes noticeable.

This technology is now highly anticipated on Google Glasses, allowing the layman to become a mind reader. The software enables the naked eye to literally see a person’s pulse by observing the color changes as blood is pumped through their body.


Using the program, scientists have correctly estimated a patient’s heart rate just by reviewing footage. This was initially created to monitor the breathing of premature babies without having to touch them and risk infection.

The ability to extract vital signs from standard videos could be a breakthrough in medical diagnostics.  It could also be used by law enforcement agencies doing interrogations, psychologists during sessions, employers in an interview, and even the casual aspiring mind-reader.

The technology is able to target the barely seen changes in the pixels of a video and then amplify them, so what was previously a barely visible change in either motion or color is made evident.

The team first presented this idea last August at the SIGGRAPH conference for computer graphics in Los Angeles. They have since revamped portions of their work based on feedback they received and have posted the code online for inventors and programmers to use.

Quanta Research Cambridge, a Taiwan-based computer manufacturer, has funded the project and is allowing users to upload their own videos in the web application to see how their own personal footage would appear under amplification.

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