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Live video in a 3D world is cool, and it's not even Google

Department of Defense-funded company shows off client software in YouTube video that fuses live video into 3D environments.

It sure looks like Google Earth, but it's not.

A company called Sentinel, funded by the U.S. Defense Department, has posted a demo of its client software on YouTube that shows the viewer flying through 3D cityscapes with live videos embedded in them.

A higher-quality version is on the Sentinel site.

The software, AVE Video Fusion, "combines Google Earth-like features with live camera videos projected on a 3D model" the video caption says. "This program is NOT Google Earth. It is written from scratch using C++ and OpenGL." It runs on PCs and requires no custom hardware.

Applications include wide-area surveillance systems such as those at military bases, airports, railroad stations, borders, coastlines, harbors, and power plants, according to Sentinel's site.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based company was founded in 2005 by computer science and electrical engineering professors at the University of Southern California.

Here's the five-minute YouTube video:

The AVE Video Fusion software seamlessly blends five video streams onto a 3D model of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., in this screenshot. Sentinel

This screenshot shows a live USB camera and 18 live TV feeds projected onto monitors in a lab in Hong Kong. Sentinel