MIT Introduces Tech That Lets You 'Touch' Objects In Videos, Shows AR Possibilities With 'Pokémon GO'


Interactive videos have taken a big step forward, as researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed what they call Interactive Dynamic Video or IDV, allowing users to "touch" objects in pre-recorded clips.

The project is led by Abe Davis, a Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) PhD student.

"This technique lets us capture the physical behavior of objects, which gives us a way to play with them in virtual space. By making videos interactive, we can predict how objects will respond to unknown forces and explore new ways to engage with videos," Davis says.

To explain and demonstrate how far the technology can go, he uploaded two videos on YouTube — one goes in-depth on how he developed it and the ins and outs involved, and the second one showcases how it could work with AR technology.

In the first clip, he introduces IDV and how it only needs five seconds' worth of video content to capture the possible movements of an object. It should be mentioned that the footage is recorded using only a normal camera. Also, the subject is a wire mannequin, and to make it wobble, someone slammed on the surface it's resting on a few times.

With the data collected from the process, the object can now be programmed to be touchable using a mouse.

"One of the most important ways that we experience our environment is by manipulating it: we push, pull, poke, and prod to test hypotheses about our surroundings. By observing how objects respond to forces that we control, we learn about their dynamics," the IDV website reads.

As for the second video, he exhibits how the technology could be incorporated with augmented reality, using one of the most popular mobile apps that took the gaming scene by storm Pokémon GO, which hit 100 million downloads just recently and earns $10 million in daily revenue.

Using Pikachu and Caterpie, he made the two bounce around bushes and a climbing ramp, and as they moved around, the platforms they launched off from also went in motion as if the Pokémon were really there.

Long story short, this just goes to show the potential of how interactive videos can be in the future.

Don't forget to hit up our comments section below and tell us what you think of this technology.

Also, check out the videos below to see IDV in action.

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