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Handhelds Cellphones United Kingdom Technology

Real-Time, Detailed Face Tracking On a Nokia N900 139

ptresadern writes "Researchers at the University of Manchester this week revealed a detailed face tracker that runs in real-time on the Nokia N900 mobile phone. Unlike existing mobile face trackers (video) that give an approximate position and scale of the face, Manchester's embedded Active Appearance Model accurately tracks a number of landmarks on and around the face such as the eyes, nose, mouth and jawline. The extra level of detail that this provides potentially indicates who the user is, where they are looking and how they are feeling. The face tracker was developed as part of a face- and voice-verification system for controlling access to mobile internet applications such as e-mail, social networking and on-line banking."
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Real-Time, Detailed Face Tracking On a Nokia N900

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  • OpenCV (Score:3, Informative)

    by Haven ( 34895 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @08:49PM (#33328756) Homepage Journal

    Those game demos looked a lot like the standard implementation of OpenCV. It's too bad there isn't any security on this technology as merely showing a picture of the person to the camera defeats it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2010 @09:14PM (#33328854)
    I think you failed to understand what the above poster said.
  • Re:OpenCV (Score:3, Informative)

    by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @09:26PM (#33328902)

    Not quite.
    For example - face recognition plus "now smile" "now frown" - required the attacker to be using some sort of video system.

    Face recognition plus a short list of words that the user has assigned an emotion - for example - the phone
    displays in sequence the words
    Fish (erman drowned) = frown
    Localsportsteam (won) = smile ...

    Or gaze tracking on a virtual keyboard.

  • Re:Blacks? (Score:3, Informative)

    by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @10:25PM (#33329116)

    He's talking about the fact that some facial-recognition software works better on lighter-skinned people. []


  • by xnpu ( 963139 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @11:31PM (#33329348)
    The N810 is bulkier and a bit behind in software version. There's no obligation to use the N900 with a carrier. I don't. I use it with WiFi exclusively.
  • by sela ( 32566 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:16AM (#33329500) Homepage

    If I want something like an N900, but I don't plan to use it on a cell phone carrier, is the N810 any good?

    IMHO, you should still be much better off with an N900. The N810 is already quite old and have a lot of annoying limitations. It got only 128MB of RAM, which is a major limitation. You can easily get out of memory with the N810 if you browse a heavy web site, and multi-tasking is limited as well. In addition, it got a relatively slow CPU, no OS support for GPU accelaration, 2GB internal storage and a limited size of system space for installing apps.
    The N900 got 256MB RAM and 1GB virtual memory (with swap space), faster CPU, 32GB internal storage and up to 2GB for applications.

    The N810 have a larger screen, which can be an advantage in some cases, but it is also bigger and heavier.

    Better go with an N900. You can find used/refurb units for quite cheap prices on ebay.

  • by DarwinSurvivor ( 1752106 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:22AM (#33329880)
    250,000 huh?

    Most of the iPhone apps fall under the following categories:
    -small flash-like games
    -videos wrapped in an app api
    -sound boards

    If you are going to count apps like that, then lets add the following to the n900's list
    -*actual* flash games (, etc all work)
    -built in unix tools (top, etc)

    I'm fairly certain if you compared these now-equivalent lists, you would probably find the n900 has MANY more apps, and that most of them are probably MUCH better written to boot.

    Oh, did I mention you can literally write your own apps in almost ANY language you want without paying $100 for a developers key. You can even distribute your own software repository publicly without paying a fee or asking users to void their warranties.

    Yeah, 250 000 apps sounds kind of pathetic to me...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:13AM (#33330210)

    "There is an app for that!"
    There is an app called "Cellular Modem Control Buttons" which turns off the cell phone circuits.
    Once off you can have the N900 connected to Wifi and use Skype, Browse the web (including YouTube) ... use it as you please :) []

  • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:21AM (#33330606)

    >>> Why would you bother? That's a completely different class of gear.

    Different in what way? Both use pretty much the same Cortex A8 processor and share many similar specifications - in that regard both units are just 'sub-notebook' type computers with different operating systems.

    To put the difference in a nutshell, iPhone is an "embedded device", ie. software and hardware are meant to be inseparable. It is a device with fixed features (of course running approved "apps" and limited (no Flash) browsing of web services are very powerful features). N900 is a PC in the sense that it/Nokia/Maemo does not try to limit what you can do with it. Real limits (as opposed to limits enforced by software only) of the hardware are the only limitation.

    N900 has one software feature: it can run software. iPhone has only the software features explicitly approved by Apple.

    Of course if Apple had it's way, they'd bring Macs to the same class as iPhone, running only approved software. But Macs are thought of as computers, so they can't do that. But wait for a displayless iPad Mini with wireless touchpad-keyboard and an HDMI-out, I'm sure that's on it's way... ;-) Actually, just give me "legal" Python or Ruby with reasonable UI library bindings and a developer community, and give me Flash with usable (Linux-like) performance, and I'd buy one as soon as I'd be able get my hands on one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:45AM (#33331074)

    Actually there is fix for PulseAudio which reduces skipping by factor of magnitude. With this my overclocked (1GHz) N900 is able to play 256kbit/s oggs in background while surfing the web without skipping. However, it is not perfect, heavy multitasking still causes skips.

    Instructions how to get updated PA for N900 in talk thread:

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