Capturing images of bystanders by zooming in on pictures of corneas




Unlikely until we get gigapixel digital images.


If only you could see what I have seen, with your eyes.


The #1 rule for data security is to not post it on the internet.


39 megapixels from a Medium Format Hasselblad system is not comparable to a 39 megapixel pocket/phone camera. It would be much more convincing if they could duplicate their results with a 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020, but I’m pretty sure the results wouldn’t be pretty.


Maybe you shouldn’t have such reflective eyes if you expect some degree of privacy, ever think of that?


Something silly that immediately sprung to mind…


In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches,
The resolution of all the fruitless searches.


Interesting related work:

Using reflectance of eyes to calculate lighting conditions of scenes. This work strikes me as requiring much lower quality images.


I cannot see this being a problem for the next few years. The file size of a 39 megapixel image stored in a lossless format might be about 15 MB, which would be prohibitive to have on a web page. Few typical phone vendors, web hosts or users are going to keep the resolution at a point where the corneal reflections are intact. Someday when lens are better and bandwidth and storage is cheaper, sure. Interesting concept though.

1 Like


I just want Pris the Basic Pleasure Model and I’ll be happy.

1 Like

Maybe you shouldn’t have such reflective eyes if you expect some degree of privacy

I endorse the matt grey metallic finish on Tleilaxu eyeballs.

1 Like

It is unlikely this will ever work that well in the real world for several very physical reasons.

First, they used an overly ideal four flash lighting setup. This setup was designed not only to properly expose the subject of the photo correctly but also put enough light on the people to be analyzed to be seen in the iris of the subject. For a random photograph the subject would have to be looking at someone that is in a much brighter location than where the subject is located. Granted this does happen but it is only going to be found in a minority of photographs.

Second, sensor resolution is the least important factor in the resolution of an image. The main factors are the lens itself, how far away the subject is from the lens is and what f-stop the aperture (how big the opening) is at. A lens with a smaller opening like those found on a typical cell phone camera will never be able to produce the resolution needed for this technique. This is because of quantum mechanics, the light acts more like a wave than a particle and interferes with itself. This interference always results in blur. The only way around this is to have a larger sensor, that needs a larger lens that needs more physical elements to correct for the spherical aberrations of that lens.

Third is making sure you always have focus on the virtual image reflected off the eyes. A shift in focus of a few millimeter is enough for that image to not be formed at all.


I’ll just leave this here.


If it’s digital, it’s getting on the Internet.

John Donne noted the phenomenon in 1633 in his poem, The Good Morrow:

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest....

Notably, this was used as a device in Twin Peaks - Agent Cooper was able to make out the outline of James Hurley’s motorcycle from a video of Laura Palmer dancing - and thus discern that James was behind the camera.

1 Like

Thank you! Not to mention motion blur from not using a tripod… A tiny bit that isn’t so noticeable in the scene overall would be enough to blur that little eye reflection.