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Image sensor allows easy interpretation of user's intentions

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Omron Corporation? image sensing? face recognition? HVC?

A new image sensing component that can be embedded into a variety of devices and equipment was recently announced by Omron Corporation. The Human Vision Component (HVC) uses ten algorithms from OKAO Vision and a camera module into a compact configuration. OKAO Vision is the company's image sensing technology capable of recognising the intentions and conditions of people through face recognition, estimation of facial expressions, age estimation, gaze estimation, hand detection, and other functions.

Launch of the standard-type HVC is scheduled for December. From next year onward, OMRON plans to introduce a succession of application-specific HVC products, which will incorporate optimised hardware and optical systems to enable customised functions that meet the requirements of each specific industry.

By adding the new HVC line of components to conventionally available software products, the company expects to meet the market requirements for easy use of image information. This will further expand its image sensing business targeting human faces and motions. The new HVC will be unveiled at CEATEC Japan 2013, which will be held October 1-5 in the Makuhari Messe fair site.

In recent times, image analysis technology targeting human faces and motions has been incorporated into more and more types of equipment. Examples include air conditioners capable of automatically adjusting the temperature to the level that people feel most comfortable; lighting products with efficient automatic control depending on the presence of people, their movements, or other conditions; automatic vending machines that suggest a product that matches the preference of a specific consumer; home appliances controllable via hand movements; robots that can react to the facial expressions of users; cars that prevent drowsy or inattentive driving by recognising signs of fatigue in the driver's face; and many more.

Still, conventional technology has limitations. When it comes to incorporating sophisticated algorithms into equipment, the CPU performance and memory size of the equipment are often insufficient. Extensive knowledge of software and hardware is required, and the development process is time-consuming. With Omron's HVC, all the processes up to image analysis are handled within the component itself. The user simply needs to mount the component on the equipment to obtain information on the conditions and intentions of people.

By combining these technologies, HVCs will enable high-precision interpretation of the faces and motions of people under various conditions in which the equipment is in use, whether indoor or outdoor. By offering these components, the company aims for smoother communications and interactions between people and machines, while enabling a wide range of equipment to operate optimally in response to the intentions or conditions of users.

Further information regarding Omron's Human Vision Component can be found here.

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