philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


How Microsoft hopes to preserve privacy while gathering AR map data

In the first of the two papers (“Revealing Scenes by Inverting Structure from Motion Reconstructions”), scientists from Microsoft Research and the University of Florida show that the aforementioned AR point clouds, reconstructed using structure from motion or simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), retain enough information to rebuild detailed scene images even after the source pictures have been discarded. Their novel AI system reconstructs color images in the scene given 2D projections of sparse 3D points and their features, even in the absence of attributes like visibility and in cases where the points are irregularly distributed.

towards_privacy_figure_2The second paper (“Privacy Preserving Images-Based Localization”) — the work of ETH Zurich and Microsoft’s Mixed Reality & AI lab — posits a privacy-preserving approach to AR localization that lifts 3D points in maps to randomly oriented 3D lines that pass through the original points. The new representations bear little resemblance to the original scenes on their face, but still allow for precise positioning because of the close correlation among the 2D image points and the 3D lines.

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