I loooved to hate-watch CSI:Miami. David Caruso's sunglass acting was the stuff of legend. But the part that killed me the most was in each episode he would tell some random CSI tech that he should essentially push the "enhance" button to magically see impossible details on a photo taken on a terrible security camera, like the reflection of the killer in a person's cornea. Hahah. Stupid CSI.
Well…not so fast, say researchers at the University of York.
According to they research, the cornea of the eye in a photograph of a face often displays hidden information, such as the reflected faces of bystanders. So in crimes in which victims are photographed, like a hostage situation, reflections in the subject's eyes could actually identify perpetrators. The researchers demonstrated this by zooming in on high-resolution passport-style photographs and recovering bystander images that could be identified accurately by observers.
The caveat to that, of course, is "high-resolution style photographs." So while you can definitely still call laugh at the outrageousness of the magic CSI "enhance!" button, it won't be long until the resolution on our smartphone cameras is high enough to allow the techniques used by the University of York team to work on your own photos. Okay fine, not this much, but still...