Seeing through Obscure Glass

Qi Shan , Brian Curless, and Tadayoshi Kohno

ECCV10 Paper [pdf (3M)]
Poster [pdf (18M)]
Supplementary video [avi (15M)]        [Youtube Link]
Download and try our spatially variant non-blind deconvolution executable.
Abstract: Obscure glass is textured glass designed to separate spaces and "obscure" visibility between the spaces. Such glass is used to provide privacy while still allowing light to ow into a space, and is often found in homes and offices. We propose and explore the challenge of "seeing through" obscure glass, using both optical and digital techniques. In some cases – such as when the textured surface is on the side of the observer – we find that simple household substances and cameras with small apertures enable a surprising level of visibility through the obscure glass. In other cases, where optical techniques are not usable, we find that we can model the action of obscure glass as convolution of spatially varying kernels and reconstruct an image of the scene on the opposite side of the obscure glass with surprising detail.

Digital Approach:

A photograph of a piece of obscure
glass with natural illumination.
Image captured through the obscure
Reconstructed image

Optical Approach:

Naive Setup 1) Narrow aperture
2) camera close to glass
3) applying substance whose index of refraction is close to glass
One-sided, outward-facing obscure glass can be compromised with iPod Nano + thin slide cover + honey.


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