Software by A*Star researchers can help clear up hazy images, improve visibility

A hazy view of the Singapore skyline as the Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) hit an all-time high of 371, which is classified under the "hazardous" range, at 1pm on June 20, 2013. Hazy skies here may no longer mean lousy shots for tourists and lo
A hazy view of the Singapore skyline as the Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) hit an all-time high of 371, which is classified under the "hazardous" range, at 1pm on June 20, 2013. Hazy skies here may no longer mean lousy shots for tourists and low visibility for aircraft, if a "de-hazing" software developed by researchers at the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) takes off. -- BT FILE PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

Hazy skies here may no longer mean lousy shots for tourists and low visibility for aircraft, if a "de-hazing" software developed by researchers at the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) takes off.

The software, called Super De-haze, uses an image- processing algorithm which enhances low-quality photos and videos. It can be installed both on Windows computers and Android mobile devices.

"Basically, it is like Photoshop except you don't have to manually configure the image. It will optimise the image to the best settings," said Mr Jerry Lim, 35, who spoke to The Straits Times at A*Star's exhibition booth at the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday.

For example, the software can help a tourist taking a shot of the Singapore Flyer in hazy conditions automatically fine-tune the shot, he said.

Users can also adjust the brightness of the final image, he added.

The software could possibly be used in underwater imaging as well as for airports and aircraft, he added. Mr Lim declined to reveal the potential partners in discussion with A*Star, but The Straits Times understands that these could include Changi Airport and other government agencies.

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