by Ken Brown

Aerial drones are one of the most successful tools in the military’s arsenal to fight insurgents in places like Afghanistan.

But one of the challenges of using video collected from such planes was that it tended to shake like an earthquake, as the ultra-light drones were buffeted by air currents.

In their search for a real-time video stabilization solution, the  military turned to MotionDSP’s GPU-powered technology to allow them to distinguish friend from foe on the battlefield.

San Mateo, California-based MotionDSP’s solution to the military’s shaky video woes is a piece of software known as “Ikena ISR.” The software uses CUDA and sophisticated multi-frame algorithms to clean up grainy, shaky video in real-time. Now in use by the Air Force, Navy, Secret Service, Homeland Security, and law enforcement agencies around the world, Ikena ISR relies on GPUs for real-time processing.

We recently visited MotionDSP to talk with its CEO, Sean Varah, and see Ikena ISR in action. We put together this short video (above), which shows how the same technology used by the military can also be used by consumers to clean up shaky cell phone video ( vReveal 3, available for free). It’s a compelling example of how a military technology can “trickle down” to the consumer market, and yet another application that requires a GPU for optimal performance.

Are there any situations where you wished you had video stabilization on your phone? Sound off in the comments below!