Let’s just skip past all the controversies this time because we’re already all under surveillance 24/7 and there’s no going back (we’re kidding, it’s not like that! We hope…)
With the worldwide pandemic going on, most of the population has resorted to wearing face masks. While face masks are an essential accessory these days, it’s difficult to see the facial expressions of people and judge how they are feeling. To better read people’s facial expressions, a device called C-Face was introduced last year. The system consisted of a pair of cameras fixed to the ends of a headphone which was able to find the position of 42 key facial feature points and combine them to display one of the 8 different emotions on a screen.
Upgrading the system for more practical use, researchers have now redesigned C-Face into a necklace-like device called NeckFace that works on the same principle but instead of RGB cameras, uses an infrared camera to capture the images of the chin and neck from underneath the wearer’s face. The technology has taken another step further as the system can now also produce a 3D reconstruction of the wearer’s expressions by studying the facial movements.
The accuracy of the Neckface was tested on 13 different participants who performed different facial expressions while sitting, walking and moving their heads in different directions. The performance of the device was then compared with the TrueDepth 3D camera found on an iPhoneX and the results were pretty similar and accurate.
Researchers are optimistic about this device’s future applications. This device could prove to be very beneficial for therapists or counselors in assessing their patient’s emotions. Similarly, it could be used in virtual reality applications or for hands-free command system in smartphones. With time as more work is done on the system, the more accurate results it would produce, and more uses for this application would be in the market.