Microsoft using LiU technology
Soon it will be possible to control Xbox games using facial expressions. The technology is part of the latest software for Microsoft’s Kinect and was developed at Linköping University.
A couple of years ago Microsoft launched a control console for Xbox called Kinect, with which it was possible to control a game with body movements or even by speaking to it. The latest software also includes what is known as a face tracker - a function that is able to discover faces and identify the user’s facial expression. The information then becomes available in real time.
The function can be used to make an avatar’s facial expressions more realistic, but ii can also be used to control a game with one’s facial muscles, which is a further development of the natural user interfaces.
The technology behind the new functions were developed by Mikael Rydfalk at the Division for Information Coding, LiU’s Department of Electrical Engineering. A fact that Microsoft isn’t keeping secret either.
We are very pleased that they’re using our technology and that they also clearly refer to the project’s website, says Robert Forchheimer, Professor of Information Coding.
The technology was first developed back in 1987, in a project called CANDIDE aimed at coding the information from models of human faces. They were what are known as parameterised models, in which the faces are divided into about a hundred polygons. The calculations do not require particularly great computational power. Based on how the polygons are positioned in relation to each other along three different axles, the computer can determine which facial expression the model has.
The results of CANDIDE were published in scientific journals at the end of the 1980s and are used today by research teams all over the world. Visage Technologies also developed a commercial version, which was a spin off company from LiU in 2002. In May of this year, for example, a version of face recognition was launched for developers of apps for the iPhone and iPad.
- Division for Information Coding at LiU
- Robert Forchheimer
- Microsoft’s developer site: Face Tracking
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Last updated: 2013-06-18