Google launches the closest thing to a real time machine

By Sara Yin | Published on 16 Mar 2016
Google launches the closest thing to a real time machine
Remember watching those time-lapse videos of growing plants in science class? They look pretty dated once you've checked out the same sequence through Google's new "GigaPan Time Machine" application, which lets you zoom in and out of a time-lapse video without losing resolution.
"With Time Machine, the cameras capture these image mosaics at regular intervals to create a video with hundreds of millions or even billions of pixels in each frame. The result is a video that viewers have the ability to zoom in on while it's playing and see incredible detail," Google wrote in a blog post (see video demo below).
For example, Google links to a video of potted plants growing from seed to full bloom. You can target where you zoom in and out to focus on certain leaves or flowers (you may even be able to spot a catepillar taking a chomp of a leaf). The panorama was created by taking photos every 15 minutes for 26 days, using a Canon PowerShot G10 mounted on an Epic Pro.
The application, created by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, uses GigaPan photo technology, which involves "stitching" together high-resolution photos to create a panorama. You might have come across it while spying on people at President Obama's inauguration. It was also built using HTML 5, making it optimal to use with Chrome 7.0 , Google wrote. It works on Safari 5.0 as well.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]"Science has always been about narrowing your point of view -- seeing a particular experiment or observation that you think might provide insight," Illah Nourbakhsh, an associate professor of robotics at CMU told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In the future, Noubakhsh also said he expects upgrades whereby high-resolution photographs, stitched together into a vast panorama, can be taken in fractions of a second to better examine fast-paced events like sports or volcanic eruptions.
Check it out at GigaPan's website, where you can also create your own time-lapse videos using stock photos.
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Sara Yin

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