On September the 5th, Omron have released and demoed a new piece of software called OKAO vision. What it does is analyze an image, detect the faces in it, and check everyone’s smile. And, yes, give marks.
It sounds funny and wacky, but it really might become widely-used, because it has several practical uses, which I’ll list after the break.
It’s also interesting to see that not all new software is bloatware. This program is small, very fast, and will definitely be embedded in several new devices.
I’ve tried and thought, but nothing can sum it up better than the original press release: after reading it you’ll also see some personal thoughts and a big picture of a happy Asian family 🙂
The software measures’ how much a subject is smiling and outputs a ‘smile factor’ on a scale of 0 to 100% 3D face mapping technology ensures accurate smile detection and measurement even if the subject is not looking directly at the camera, something which other technologies on the market have not always been able to do, and which opens up avenues for applications in mobile devices.
The software is capable of processing multiple faces at one time. Processing speed is less than a tenth of a second (0.044 seconds to be precise, using a Pentium 4 pc with. 3.2GHz processing speed). At 46Kb, the program is small enough to be embedded on an IC chip for mobile apps.
Applications we envisage are:
- Digital cameras (for taking pictures when the subject’s smiling).
- A ‘smile checker’ for people working in the service industry.
- In human-robot communication interfaces
- New product testing by food manufacturers – as a means of checking, for example, whether low calorie alternatives give the same pleasure kicks as higher calorie originals etc.
The human-robot interface application is a good idea. It would be really nice for stand-up comedian robots. Or for pet robots, helping them choose ‘routines’ based on how entertained the humans around are. For product testing.. hmmm, I don’t know.. Do you just smile if the beer you’ve been given to test is good?.. I’d just ask for one more! and the camera/checker application.. well that one will definitely help people improve their fake smiles.
Thanks Daimaou of Akihabara News. Get well soon!