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Author Topic: Face tracking utility for X10 cameras needs testing  (Read 7801 times)


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Face tracking utility for X10 cameras needs testing
« on: January 08, 2010, 09:29:39 PM »

UPDATE (01-18-2009):  The article about the utility is now up on ExtremeTech.  You can see screenshots of the utility and detailed information on how it works too here:,2845,2358139,00.asp

I'm writing an article on advanced usage of X10 gear via the CM15A transceiver.  I have written a utility for the article that does face tracking with the help of the Ninja Pan N Tilt camera turret (or any other turret that responds to the X10 RF camera command set).  I've only tested it on Windows XP.  It may work on other versions of Windows but I can't say for sure.  When you run the software and you look into the camera a red box will be drawn around it indicating your face has been detected.  As you move your head a yellow or light blue box will be drawn around it to show where the system thinks your face is in the video display area.  If you move your face away from dead center, X10 commands will be sent to the camera turret to keep your face centered.  The face tracking is not perfect by any means so expect the system to make plenty of mistakes in tracking.  It's a fun utility meant to demonstrate to people what kind of advanced applications can be made with X10 gear.  There is more information in the program's help screens.

If all you have is a camera and no turret, you can still see the tracking system in operation via the face detection/tracking rectangles, but of course your camera will not move to follow your face.  Also, if any of you who do try it are running Vista or Windows 7, especially 64-bit, please post to let me know your findings.  When the article is published I will update this post with a link to it.  Here's a link to the download page:

Developers should definitely check out the About Tab to see the open source machine vision libraries that were used to make this utility.

Thanks in advance.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 12:00:07 PM by roschler »

HA Dave

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Re: Face tracking utility for X10 cameras needs testing
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 07:34:38 PM »

Has anyone tried this out... it looks interesting.
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Re: Face tracking utility for X10 cameras needs testing
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 11:00:29 AM »

Hello Dave,

The article goes up next week on so hopefully we get some takers then.  It sure was fun doing it.  The Ninja's slow to move but I won't complain because it's really quiet and smooth.  I used it to pan my Sony HandyCam, mounted with masking tape, with the help of the remote control when I was running my own little web TV show with Yahoo Live.  One of these days I'll have to give the Vanguard a try.  The only thing I'm really disappointed about is the lack of a command to purge the CM15A's queue to facilitate an "emergency stop" or change of directions.  I had to add a inter-command delay of about 2250 milliseconds (modifiable) to keep commands from piling up in the queue.  I have to believe that a purge command is in the firmware otherwise factory testing of it would be a pain and that nobody's found it yet.  Of course I could be wrong about that.

For those who never heard of it Yahoo Live was a brilliant free service by Yahoo that let you multicast your own video/audio stream over the web.  Sadly it's been shut down as yet another casualty of Yahoo's cutbacks.

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