New Software Automatically Edits Out Boring Parts of a Video

Everyone's recording video these days—from the phone in your hand to the GoPro strapped to your head—but that means there's a lot of garbage being filmed, too. Now, a new piece of software from Carnegie Mellon University can automatically edit out the boring bits and allow you to watch just the interesting parts.

The new software, called LiveLight, constantly evaluates action in a video. It tries to identify visual novelty, so it flags sections that are repetitive or eventless and then edits them out. In effect, it produces a trailer version of the footage you shoot—just the best bits.

Obviously, it doesn't provide a professional edit—it just fades in and out the clips of interest—but the ideas is that it could help people find the footage they need within huge files captured from cameras that are always on. So, it could help you find the crash in your GoPro recordings, or, perhaps more usefully, identify a break-in from CCTV footage. Just as the the researchers suggest, in fact:

"A particularly cool application is using LiveLight to automatically digest videos from, say, GoPro or Google Glass, and quickly upload thumbnail trailers to social media. The summarization process thus avoids generating costly Internet data charges and tedious manual editing on long videos."

The edit happens in quasi-real-time, and can take between 1 and 2 hours process an hour of raw footage, which isn't too shabby. There's an example of the results it produces below for you to watch.

All in, it's an interesting little idea—and the kind of thing we might expect to see popping up in Google's smart image and video sorting features for content captured on your smartphone. [Carnegie Mellon University via Network World ]

Image by filmingilman under Creative Commons license.