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Monday, July 11, 2011

Google to Stabilize Video for Google Talk on Android


A common problem with video chatting using tablets is shaky video. Now Google has selected SRI International to embed its video stabilization software inside the Google Talk app in Android 3.0 devices, promising to smooth out those jittery video transmissions from front-facing cameras on Android smartphones and tablets.

The Menlo Park-based nonprofit SRI International, formerly associated with Stanford University and responsible for the invention of the computer mouse in 1964, has been working on this stabilization software since the early 1990s. Now, Android tablets are fast enough to allow the software to perform its magic in real time.

The software works by identifying the user’s face, stabilizing that video before it’s compressed for transmission. There’s an added benefit to that steady shot — the video is easier to compress because there’s less movement involved, making the picture look sharper with less video noise.

So far, this video stabilization is only available for Google Talk with Android 3.0 installed. There are stabilization apps for the iPhone and iPad (such as SteadyCam Pro, which we favorably reviewed), but they don’t yet work in real time, a necessity for live chatting.
[via Ubergizmo]

Graphic courtesy SRI International