A Human Vision Component (HVC) module, which can add face and gesture recognition functionality to any embedded system, has been released by Omron Electronic Components. Handling the complexities of seeing and recognising faces, bodies and gestures, the module requires the integrator to read the data output and programme the system to react appropriately.
Measuring 60x40mm, the HVC module integrates ten key image sensing functions with a camera and processor. Implementing face recognition, gender detection, age estimation, mood estimation, facial pose estimation, gaze estimation and blink estimation, the device can detect a human face, hand or body. The module, which allows the programmer to configure the response appropriately for each individual application, returns a value together with a degree of certainty. Enabling easy integration into an established system or implementation as part of a new design, the HVC is designed in a compact configuration.
Providing a proven set of image recognition algorithms used in over 500m digital cameras, mobile phones and surveillance robots around the world, the device is based on the Omron OKAO Vision software. A hardware platform, optimised specifically in terms of its digital and optical design for this application, embeds the OKAO software. To control the module and read data, the HVC features a UART interface.
Over a distance of 1.3m, the HVC can capture, detect and recognise a face and provide a confidence level with its reading within 1.1s. Blink and gaze estimation takes under 1s. Moods based on one of five expressions can be evaluated by the module. A human body can be detected at a distance of 2.8m, while a hand can be detected at a distance of 1.5m. The module can detect at 49° horizontally and 37° vertically.
Interaction between people and machines and equipment reaction under various conditions in indoor and outdoor applications is optimised by the HVC module’s image analysis functions. For developers who prefer to implement their own hardware solutions, Omron is offering the OKAO vision software separately.
Gabriel Sikorjak, European Product Marketing Manager, Omron Electronic Components, said: “Face recognition and gesture control have been features of high volume consumer electronics for some time. Omron’s module gives any embedded system developer access to this technology, without needing any understanding of the complexities of the underlying algorithms or the optical design. The module is a fully integrated, plug-in solution. The developer can just look at the outputs and configure the system to make appropriate decisions depending on their status.”