Showing posts from October, 2005

Using your face and a webcam to control a computer

[ Audio Version ] I don't normally do reviews of ordinary products. Still, I tried out an interesting one recently that makes practical use of a fairly straightforward machine vision technique that I thought worth describing. The product is called EyeTwig ( ), and is billed as "head mouse". That is, you put a camera near your computer monitor, aim it at your face, and run the program. Then, when you move your head left and right, up and down, the Windows cursor, typically controlled by your mouse, moves about the screen in a surprisingly intuitive and smooth fashion. Most people would recognize the implication that this could be used by the disabled. I thought about it, though, and realized that this application is limited mainly to those without mobility below the neck. And many of those in that situation have limited mobility of their heads. Still, a niche market is still a market. I think the product's creator sees that the real potential lies in an

Stereo disparity edge maps

[ Audio Version ] I've been experimenting further with stereo vision. Recently, I made a small breakthrough that I thought worth describing for the benefit of other researchers working toward the same end. One key goal of mine with respect to stereo vision has been the same as for most involved in the subject: being able to tell how far away things in a scene are from the camera or, at least, relative to one another. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you've probably seen that test of your depth perception in which you look through polarizing glasses at a sheet of black rings and attempt to tell which one looks like it is "floating" above the others. It's astonishing to me just how little disparity there has to be between images in one's left and right eyes in order for one to tell which ring is different from the others. Other researchers have used a variety of techniques for getting a machine to have this sort of perception. I am currently using a combin