Not satisfied with the pictures you get with your 35-mm camera? Now there is a software program that lets you fix the pictures that don't capture all the visual quality and color intensity that your eyes see. The software is based on Retinax Image Processing—technology originally developed for remote sensing of the Earth by researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center and at Science and Technology Corp. "Current technology like that found in Adobe's PhotoShop software makes adjustments in gain, contrast, and other variables," says Glenn Woodell, an engineering technician and co-inventor of image processing software. "The difference with ours is that we not only look at the pixel, we also look at pixels around a given pixel." Woodell also says that colors are context dependent. "A given color, say green, surrounded by blue will look different than that same green when it is surrounded by red," he says. The software automatically makes corrections, but also allows manipulation of the image by the end user. The inventors—Woodell, Dan Jobson, and Zia ur Rahman—believe that existing image enhancement tools are either too tedious or insufficiently powerful compared to theirs. The software is currently licensed to TruView Imaging Co. "We think there are applications for the software in medical imaging, forensics, security, recognizance, mining, assembly, and many other industrial applications," says Rahman, who works for TruView. The company will make a software product available for home, professional, and industrial use by the end of the year. For more information, call (757) 221-3479 or go to www.dragon.larc.nasa.gov/retinex.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.