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Tv Outside the Box

By MIT News

April 15, 2010

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed Surround Vision, a system that works with Internet-connected handheld devices to enable TV viewers to see what is happening off screen, similar to the way surround sound technology allows viewers to hear what is happening off screen. If users want to see what is happening off the left edge of the TV screen, they could point their mobile device in that direction and an image would appear on its screen.

MIT graduate student Santiago Alfaro and Media Lab scientist Michael Bove envision the system using images streamed over the Internet, so TV providers would not have to modify their broadcasts or their set-top boxes. The MIT system requires a magnetometer as well as new software to read the data.

The researchers plan to conduct user studies that employs content developed in conjunction with several partners. "We're looking at sports; we're looking at children's programming, both live action and cartoons; we're looking at, let's say, ordinary entertainment programs, as well as programs shot in a studio like talk shows," Bove says.

View a video of MIT graduate student Santiago Alfaro showing how Surround Vision provides a separate, personal view of the action on a TV screen.

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