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Faceapi: 3d Head Tracking With Any Webcam

by Paul Strauss
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Here’s some pretty cool news which could provide entirely new ways to interact with your computer or game console. This new technology will enable automated 3-dimensional tracking of heads and faces using a webcam along with some very special tracking software.

FaceAPI Head Tracking Software

Seeing Machines faceAPI is a developers’ toolkit which provides easy head tracking on all three axes. When combined with the proper game concept, this type of technology could provide for some really unique experiences, including the ability to interact with environments just by looking around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BduSDvUU6MY

Amazingly enough, it’s all feasible with a single, standard webcam, and no special hardware is required.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA8ZXPS6onk

In addition to tracking head movements, faceAPI can detect changes in facial expressions, regardless of skin color or facial hair, and even works you’re wearing glasses or makeup. It can automatically find the face in the current scene, and reacquire it if the subject leaves the frame. It’s also able to work in pretty much any visible or IR light situation, so it’s not overly sensitive to changes in lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sPh6-J9wOA

Currently, faceAPI works with any Windows compatible webcam, but the technology could theoretically be ported to other platforms if the demand is there. The faceAPI website isn’t live yet, but for now you can check out SeeingMachines’ product page for more specifics.

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