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Surprising Science

Smartphones Acting In Concert, At A Concert

An MIT engineer has designed a system that links phones together wirelessly, creating a network of shared cameras and, potentially, thousands of different photos to choose from.

What’s the Latest Development?

MIT engineer Eyal Toledano has built a software system, CoSync, that links smartphones together via Bluetooth or wi-fi, allowing their users to share cameras, microphones, and other phone features. In a demonstration, six phones were connected to a master phone, which instructed each phone’s camera when to take a picture. The resulting photos created by this network of cameras “evenly [lit] subjects and [avoided] washed out, overexposed images.” Toledano says that camera flashes controlled in this way could also provide unique lighting, among other photo effects.

What’s the Big Idea?

A wireless local area network comprised of smartphones could prove beneficial in several ways. Consultant David Uhler says CoSync would offer an enhanced experience to audience members at a concert or sporting event: “Could you get a virtual front-row experience while sitting at the back? Could you be the spectator that catches the most epic play ever?” Additionally, people in volatile settings, such as war zones and disaster situations, could set up a network quickly to assist aid workers.

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Read it at NewScientist


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