Last updated December 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm
Thanks to new technology, humans are one step closer to seeing what the world looks like to animals.
Why This Matters: Seriously, who doesn’t want to see how the world looks to their pets?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what the world looks like through the eyes of your cat or dog you’re not alone.
“Most animals have completely different visual systems to humans, so for many species it is unclear how they see complex visual information or colour patterns in nature, or how this drives their behaviour.”
Improving our ability to analyse visual information through animals
To solve that problem, the team of researchers developed The Quantitative Colour Pattern Analysis (QCPA) framework.
“The framework is a collection of software and hardware, combining innovative image processing techniques with digital visualisation and analytical tools,” says van den Berg.
“Collectively, these tools greatly improve our ability to analyse complex visual information through the eyes of animals.”
These images can be captured using both off-the-shelf cameras and purpose-built camera systems.
“You can even access most of its capabilities by using a $100 smartphone to capture footage,” van den Berg says.
It took four years to develop and test the technology, including the development of an extensive interactive online platform to provide researchers, teachers and students with user guides and tutorials.
Crossing the boundaries between human and animal visual perception
UQ’s Karen Cheney says that the framework could be applied to a wide range of environmental conditions and visual systems.
“The flexibility of the framework allows researchers to investigate the colour patterns and natural surroundings of a wide range of organisms such as insects, birds, fish and flowering plants,” she says.
“We’re helping people to cross the boundaries between human and animal visual perception.
“It’s really a platform that anyone can build on, so we’re keen to see what future breakthroughs are ahead.”