So, I’m a fan of sci-fi and cyberpunk and every time I see that they use some kind of high-tech that allows them to zoom-in or enhance a picture, to the point of being so clear that it’s absurd, I wonder what if you could have it in real life?

Well, let’s delve into it!

I made a small video explaining how the enhance trope works and how long it has been going on. Also, I created two small clips showing how it would work if I had the enhance ability in my computer. It sounds fun, right?

Now that the trope is explained, you might be wondering if there are actual ways to have the ability to enhance picture nowadays. The answer is yes and no. If you are looking for a way to upscale or “enhance” pictures so they look clear and crisp when made bigger, then yes there are ways. There is this website waifu2x that allows users to choose a picture, anime-style only(you could try a real photo but it probably won’t work), and upscale the picture while trying to keep the clean resolution as it can. You can try it if you want.

If you want to make enhance photos to make them clearer there is an article by Robin A. Smith that talks about a developing algorithm that can make photos crisp and of higher quality. Obviously, this only works with photos that are not for recognizing human faces. Making an algorithm that can do what the TV shows do is still far away. I don’t think it might come any time soon because of the difficulty of achieving a clean and crisp face shot of a bunch of pixels.

And as you read there is no way to enhance pictures/photos like they do on films and series because they are almost impossible with the technology that we have right now. Let be honest, there is no way you can get a hint from someone’s eye. That’s far-fetched! But if you wanna see it, here is the clip of that. There is also a compilation of different shows that display this trope.

Really?! That’s not gonna happen and sounds absurd too. But as you can see, it’s a pretty popular idea that keeps on being used. If you watch anime, then you can see that in an episode of Detective Conan evidence is found from a picture that has a mirror in a magazine. If you wanna check it out, it’s episode 106 (find your way to watch it). I’ll just show some screenshots from it.

Enhancement of a picture to find evidence

It is pretty hard to even see the mirror but here you go! They manage to zoom into the mirror that is at the left of the guy jumping from the window. Impressive! But sadly this is also impossible.

Lastly, if you wanna try a game that uses voice commands based on this trope you can check Nicole He‏’s (@nicolehe on Twitter) game.


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