Face and gesture recognition functionality can be added to any embedded system for medical, industrial control, digital advertising, security and other applications, following the launch by Omron Electronic Components Europe of a plug-in Human Vision Component (HVC) module.
The new Omron HVC integrates ten image key image sensing functions, a camera and an external interface in a module sized just 60 x 40mm. Developers can detect a human face, hand or body, and implement face recognition, gender detection, age estimation, mood estimation, facial pose estimation, gaze estimation, and blink estimation. In each case the module returns a value together with a degree of certainty, allowing the programmer to configure the response appropriately for each individual application. HVC can be easily integrated into an established system or implemented as part of a new design.
The module is based on the Omron OKAO Vision software, a proven set of image recognition algorithms used in over 500 million digital cameras, mobile phones and surveillance robots around the world. HVC embeds OKAO on a hardware platform optimised specifically in terms of its digital and optical design for this application. HVC includes a camera and a processor, and a UART interface to control the module and read data.
Key features of the module include speed and consistency of response, and the distance over which it can take readings. For example, HVC can capture, detect and recognise a face over a distance of 1.3 m in 1.1s and will provide a confidence level with its reading. Blink and gaze estimation takes under 1s. The module can evaluate the subject’s mood based on one of five expressions. It can also detect a human body up to 2.8m away and a hand at a distance of 1.5 m.
Omron is also offering the OKAO vision software separately to developers who prefer to implement their own hardware solution.