PRESS RELEASE: Seeing Is Believing With Breakthrough Digital Imaging Technology From DarbeeVision
Proprietary Darbee Visual Presence Brings Unparalleled Realism to Images in Real-Time
ANAHEIM, CA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2010) - We've all heard the phrase, "You know it when you see it." Seeing is believing, and your viewing experience is enhanced when your eye knows it 'looks good.' That's why high definition has become the standard by which all others are judged, and its proliferation has significantly enhanced the overall viewing experience. Is high definition as good as it gets? Can the best get better?
According to renowned innovator and entrepreneur Paul Darbee, the answer is "Yes." To get to this answer, Darbee found himself asking -- how does one insert depth cues to create images that seem to pop off the screen? Is it possible to make a visual experience where the viewer is immersed into a two-dimensional world with incredible depth and lifelike images?
Darbee employed his uncanny abilities to synthesize large complex blocks of mathematical formulas to develop what became the de facto standard in the television industry in the eighties: the universal remote control. And now, some 25 years after his success as one of the founders of Universal Electronics and with a number of patents under his belt, here he was tackling a new problem.
"Today, improvements in processors extend digital image quality far beyond the limitations of fidelity," noted Paul Darbee, DarbeeVision's founder and CEO. "We now know that fidelity is not the end point for image realism. High performance computation is now being used with image processing in new and innovative ways to enhance the quality of our visual experience. In many ways, what is happening in the world of digital image processing is analogous to the advances made in audio processing, beginning with Dolby's revolutionary approach to audio engineering."
The team at DarbeeVision has discovered that pictures can be made even better than what the most perfect camera and display systems can produce. Going beyond the limitations of optics and electronics and taking into account what the human visual system does when images are viewed is the key to achieving the best images possible. By using computers to process an image in the same way a human brain does and then adding these results back into the original image, pictures take on new properties that are both unexpected and visually gratifying.
Today, all digital media can be processed to improve contrast and color depth, add sharpening and filter noise. However, these solutions are limited by an inability to transcend fidelity constraints, and they often add unnatural artifacts, worsen noise or process parts of the image inappropriately.
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Using technology from DarbeeVision, pictures can be made even better than what the most perfect camera and display systems can produce. In the images of Machu Picchu shown above, the image on the right has been put through the Darbee process, which adds depth cues to make the image seem to pop off the screen with incredible depth and realism. Before DarbeeVision (left), and after DarbeeVision (right).
Photos and caption provided by DarbeeVision Inc.
The Darbee approach solves an extremely tough challenge for monoscopic digital images -- adding depth cues while avoiding artifacts. Darbee uses parallax disparity as the basis for local luminance modulation within an image, using a patented defocus-and-subtract method which is selectively applied based upon a fast and accurate saliency map called the Perceptor™.
Darbee processing happens in real-time, with performance surpassing HD 1080p/60. The image processing is done intra-frame so no large buffer memory or time delays are required. Processing is resolution independent, scaling linearly with the number of pixels in a frame. The processing is local, modifying the image luminance on a per-pixel basis.
With 3D television already in the stores, does Darbee add anything to stereoscopic 3D content? "Indeed it does," notes Darbee. "When you add Darbee Visual Presence™ to the left and right images of each stereo frame in a movie, the result is stunning to look at through the viewing glasses. It's super-realism. We call it 3.5D."
Having already been successfully utilized in feature films, television and billboards, DarbeeVision's technology will next be deployed in three distinct ways: as an IP block, as a graphics processing unit (GPU) workstation and as a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). With market applications spanning legacy, emerging and long term markets, including television sets, video game consoles, mobile devices, digital picture frames, and aftermarket TV accessory boxes, DarbeeVision is poised to be a key player in taking the visual experience to the next level.
It has been said that Darbee does for images what Dolby does for sound. Darbee comments that, "We adapt images to people by adding depth cues. Simply said, we sweeten the image for your brain. If you can see it, you can believe it."
DarbeeVision was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Paul Darbee, a seasoned industry veteran who pioneered the first preprogrammed universal remote control. In 1985, Darbee established Universal Electronics (NASDAQ: UEIC) and was awarded the first of numerous patents in universal remote control technology. Today he holds more than 40 patents with several more pending. In 2006, DarbeeVision was awarded a patent for its visual computing process known as Darbee Visual Presence™.
His vision and engineering prowess have enabled Darbee and his team to develop a host of technologies designed to enhance the digital viewing experience. DarbeeVision debuted on the DVD of the Oscar-winning motion picture Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman. Impressed with DarbeeVision, Altman actually used early hi-def video cameras to shoot his next movie, The Company, then upgraded the digital video with DarbeeVision and released the movie to theaters on film. The technology has also been applied to TV commercials, billboards, large-format printing, and photographic art exhibits.
DarbeeVision's proven technology is suitable for a wide range of applications. The technology suite includes: Darbee Software™, a software application running on the CPU for still image processing; Darbee GPU Software™, a software application running on the GPU for real-time digital video processing; Darbee Box™, a CE accessory device based upon FPGA architecture for real-time digital video processing; and the Darbee IP Block™, a hardware IP block for licensing to be used in embedded applications.
The privately held company is headquartered in Anaheim, Calif. For further information call (714) 931-5941 or visit www.DarbeeVision.com.
All DarbeeVision™, Darbee™ patents, trademarks, copyrights and licensing are a product of DarbeeVision Inc.
(First posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 23:03 EDT)