Steve Mann

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Steven Mann (born in Hamilton, Ontario),[1] is a tenured professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.



Mann holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD in Media Arts and Sciences '97) and McMaster University, where he was also inducted into the McMaster University Alumni Hall of Fame, Alumni Gallery, 2004, in recognition of his career as an inventor and teacher.[2] While at MIT he was one of the founding members of the Wearable Computers group in the Media Lab.[3] In 2004 he was named the recipient of the 2004 Leonardo Award for Excellence for his article "Existential Technology," published in Leonardo 36:1.[4]

Ideas and inventions

Many of Mann's inventions pertain to the field of computational photography.

  • Chirplet transform, 1991: Mann was the first to propose and reduce to practice a signal representation based on a family of chirp signals, each associated with a coefficient, in a generalization of the wavelet transform that is now referred to as the chirplet transform.
  • Video Orbits, 1993: Mann was the first to produce an algorithm for automatically combining multiple pictures of the same subject matter, using algebraic projective geometry, to "stitch together" images using automatically estimated perspective correction. This is called the "Video Orbits" algorithm.[5] See also patent US 5828793  , Method and apparatus for producing digital images having extended dynamic ranges.[6]
  • Comparametric Equations, 1993: Mann was the first to propose and implement an algorithm to estimate a camera's response function from a plurality of differently exposed images of the same subject matter. He was also the first to propose and implement an algorithm to automatically extend dynamic range in an image by combining multiple differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.[7] See also patent US 5706416  , Method and apparatus for relating and combining multiple images of the same scene or object(s).[8]
  • Hydraulophone: Mann invented an experimental musical instrument that uses pressurized hydraulic fluid, such as water, to make sound. The instrument is played by placing the fingers in direct contact with the sound-producing hydraulic fluid, thus giving the musician a high degree of control over the musical expression in the sound.[9]
  • Telepointer, a wearable computer based on a pendant that contains a webcam and laser-based infinite depth-of-focus projector.
  • Sousveillance and cyborg-logging

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