If the NFL ever loosens its strict equipment standards, it might one day be able to provide fans with a unique view of the game thanks to research being done at Carnegie Mellon University. Kris Kitani, a postdoctoral research fellow at the school, has developed a clever piece of software that can stabilize footage captured from a camera-equipped spinning ball.
Pre-processing, the footage from a football sent spiraling down the field is all but unwatchable. But Kitani's software uses image recognition to extract parts of the footage where the ground is in frame, and then stitches all of those clips together to create an uninterrupted first-person view of the ball's trajectory.
In theory it could be used to stabilize footage from countless sports—imagine how neat it would be to see what a baseball sees as it's blasted into the bleachers. But until cameras are small and light enough to not affect the weight or balance of a ball, don't expect to see balls-eye view instant replays anytime soon. [YouTube via NewScientist]