Sponosored camcorders to embed ads in video

I didn't know Optimus Prime endorsed Castrol GTX
I didn't know Optimus Prime endorsed Castrol GTX

Think advertising is intrusive now? Wait until corporate logos and full adverts start popping in almost any video clips - including those you shoot yourself.

A group of Stanford University researchers specializing in artificial intelligence have developed Zunavision software that can embed graphics, images or full motion video in any video, whether home-made or broadcast.

They say a user of the software can easily plunk an image or clip on almost any flat surface in a video, whether wall, floor, ceiling - or even another picture on the wall.

Blend game

The Zunavision software analyses the video, then subtly alters the colour, texture and lighting of the new image to blend in with its surroundings, even adding shadows seen in the original video.

The result is a photo or video that appears to be an integral part of the original scene, right down to being obscured by people or objects moving in front of it, and changing its angle as the camera angle pans and zooms.

Assistant Professor Andrew Ng suggests that suggest that anyone with a camcorder might earn money by agreeing to have "unobtrusive" corporate logos placed inside their videos before they are posted online, like a video version of Google's AdSense.

Big TV networks and movie studios already have this technology, but Zunavision is the first time the software can be run on normal PCs - or even online, using a simple interface.

Check out the extremely impressive results - and sign up for your own Zunavision Beta account - at http://zunavision.stanford.edu/index.php.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.