Ramesh Raskar: Super-human vision

I’m fascinated by the idea of super-human vision and I want to create super-human abilities to visually interact with the world — with cameras that can see the unseen, and displays that can sense the altar of reality. How can we create cameras that can look around corners, or create cameras that can casually look inside the body. Or convert mobile phones into diagonistic care devices that can be promoted in remote parts of the world. So, I’m really excited about creating unique, and unsually imaging platforms that have an understanding of the world that far exceeds human ability, but then we can meaningfully abstract and synthesize something that’s well within human comprehensibility. During my PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill, my research was about inventively using projectors for large-format displays, augmented reality, and mobility. At MERL, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories here in Cambridge, my work was about computational photography, pocket projectors — which resulted in over forty patents and also novel products. I came to MIT because I want to invent new fields. And here, I am embarking on ambitious projects to invent and create novel imaging platforms. In life, it’s often about the small things. So I am actually writing a book on ‘sweat the small stuff’ And it’s about clever and efficient tricks to live a good life. And even from students — they often write blogs and documents on, you know how to do research how to invent, even how to attend a conference. But the book is really about travel, relationships and money and so on. On the other hand, my passion is about working with NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and I do that, in part, because I am a world citizen, and growing up in India, I understood the tremendous role the absence or presence of technolgy can play in these places.

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