Detecting Motion Within Motion While Moving – Humans Have Evolved to Great Visual Acuity


Have you ever read the newspaper and there was a story about a police officer shooting someone they’d been chasing because it looked like they were going to pull out a gun, and instead it was their wallet to show ID, or worse a kid with a toy gun? Yes, it happens, and we all cringe when it does. We often think that poor kid or that poor police officer that now has to deal with the psychological repercussions that he shot someone’s son, and usually it’s even worse because the officer has sons of his own – the psychological trauma, not to mention the death are quite troubling. Yes, let’s talk about visual acuity.

First, before I start, let me suggest a worthy research report to read if I might: “Feasibility Study on a Hyperacuity Device With Motion Uncertainty: Two-Point Stimuli,” by Lei Wei, Dennis M. Levi, Roger W. Li, and Stanley A. Klein. Now then, why would I suggest a research paper looking into developing robotic computerized vision systems? Simple really, because it is really difficult to match what evolution has given to modern humans in the present period – I’d also submit to you that there are vast differences in the visual acuity department within the human species – perhaps, not so politically correct, but true never the less.

Can you imagine the benefits of such a robotic vision system? Not only for things like Drone Warfare, rescue robots, but everything else as well. How about a car washing robot for your garage? Or a robot to walk the dog, deliver the mail, or teach you how to surf? Too far-fetched, not if we could figure out this very easy thing humans can do, but is virtually impossible with current technologies for computer scientists and robotics to do.

What type of humans can do this the best? I believe the answer would be professional athletes for one, but there are many other jobs humans do that would hone ones skills. Genetically, there is no doubt that some human lines are better than this than others, and it turns out other primates and even monkeys excel at the same abilities. How about Cheetahs, birds, and other creatures, yes they too from observation have figured this out, hunters and prey alike, otherwise they wouldn’t be here amongst the living species today right? Sure, that only makes sense.

Sit sometime and just observe things in a park, things that move and watch how your eyes quickly spot movement and identify and focus in on objects. Impressive when you think about it, but what if you are moving, say riding a bike or in a car? Your mind can also see divergent movement, potential threats to collisions, etc., but have you noted you can focus on something else also moving, and motion within that object. Say a friend waving or smiling while going the other way. Pretty good humans, keep it up, evolution has suited you well. Please consider all this and think on it.