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October 12, 2009

Researcher foils movie theater pirates with colorful splotches of light

pirate.jpgThe threat of a hefty fine or a jail sentence is going to stop a movie pirate--you know, those enterprising thieves that lug video recording hardware into theaters and get it all on tape. Both threats rank as intangibles that can't register until they actually happen. Mess up a video recording--even threaten it--and that will register.

Isao Echizen of the National Institute of Informatics, in cooperation with Sharp, has invented a technology that places near-infrared LEDs behind the movie screen, sending light through little holes when the movie is playing. The human eye can't see them because the wavelength used is indistinguishable to the human eye. But playback that video recording, dear pirate, and you'll see really, really annoying red and green blotches all over the screen.

Sharp aims to commercialize this technology in 2-3 years, though by that time I'm sure pirates will have moved to something way more high-tech than camcorders for in-theater movie piracy.

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Posted by Justin Davey at October 12, 2009 9:00 PM

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