Home > BBC, Culture, Musings, Rants & Raves, TV, YouTube > Derren Brown lottery result explained…

Derren Brown lottery result explained…

As you may (or may not) have seen, Derren Brown broadcast a live show last week in which he (correctly) predicted the results of the National Lottery. Very impressive! But not in the way he would like us to think.

On the follow-up show he tried to explain how this was done. This was for want of a better word ‘Guff and mumbo-jumbo’. His explanation was that he used 24 people to predict the results, using the ‘wisdom of crowds’ method,  See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_of_crowds]. While this system works for predicting the weight of an Ox (where there is an actual ‘guessable’ weight) it doesn’t work for completely random numbers. See [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8252235.stm]…

There have been hundreds of ideas circulating the net since his show, trying to explain how he did the ‘trick’, as he obviously didn’t do it for real! Most use the semi-plausible use of split screens and hidden helpers replacing the balls. These explanations are (in youth speak) ‘so yesterday’. Things have moved on, technology has advanced…

I have no insider information on how it was done. Only an explanation of how I would have done it. So here goes…

Here are the two magic words “augmented reality“. This is a process where a computer generated image is superimposed over live video footage. The live footage has a number of ‘markers’ that the software tracks and a computer generated image is rendered matching the camera position and angle. It is a very complex process and I don’t have the time to explain it fully here, See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality].

I would have used the balls themselves as the markers and tracking points. You wouldn’t even need to render the balls, just the numbers to be superimposed. So, as the live results are drawn, someone simply enters the numbers onto the computer and magic!… I nice use of technology to perform a very simple trick.

More to follow in my “Derren Brown, where are you going with this” post…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Derren Brown lottery result explained..., 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Categories: BBC, Culture, Musings, Rants & Raves, TV, YouTube Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.