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Apple looks to do more with face detection, improved video chat

post #1 of 23
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Additional filings pouring out of the United States Patent and Trademark Office this week reveal that Apple may be planning face-detection components for its Mac and iPhone operating systems, in addition to working on ways to netter the quality of video conferences conducted via iChat.

Face detection

Like its patent on a motion-based Mac OS X interface exposed by AppleInsider a few weeks ago, one of this week's filings builds upon ways in which users may be able to passively interface with their Macs in the near future.

Apple notes that one problem with existing personal computing devices is that they're not able to determine whether a non-active or passive user is present and, subsequently, unable to perform certain operations to accommodate the passive user.

"For example, a PC may automatically activate a screen saver every five minutes regardless of whether a user is viewing the PC's display screen," Apple wrote. "Thus, a passive user is often inconveniently required to actively perform an interaction with the PC at least every five minutes to prevent the initiation of the screen saver or to deactivate the screen save after it is initiated."

Another problem is that conventional systems cannot efficiently determine whether certain users have the authority to perform certain functions without first forcing them to manually enter a password.

Remedies to both these problems may lie in face-detection software, according to Apple. Using a Mac's built-in iSight camera, face detection software may be based on a pattern recognition algorithm that includes a statistical model, the company says. The software that detects faces in the captured images could then associate them with an authorized, as well as inform the system that a user is present in situations when manual interaction has stopped for an extended period.

The Cupertino-based electronics maker notes that in addition to a Mac, face detection can be applied a cellular telephone, a wireless communications device, a media player, an MP3 player, a video player, and a PDA.

Illumination systems

Another filing proposes solutions to many common imaging problems, such as, unevenly distributed illumination, shadows, white balance adjustment, colored ambient light and high dynamic range imaging. It's here that Apple believes systems and methods can be provided through a Mac can take advantage of the computer's processing power to provide functionality that goes beyond a typical camera.



In one odd example apparently aimed at improving video conferencing, the company proposes an iMac with embedded lights that retract into the system's housing. The filing states that a processor in the iMac would be able to control the deployment and operation of the lights in combination with other sensors to provide the ideal lighting setting.
post #2 of 23
That would be one ugly iMac!
iFlash?
iStretch?
I don't think so!
post #3 of 23
iMac from the black lagoon
post #4 of 23
[QUOTE=doonkin;1446629]iMac from the black lagoon[/QUOTE

Just had my mac flown in from san diego and boy are it's arms tired.
post #5 of 23
Typo
netter -> better
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post #6 of 23
So this requires that my camera be on all the time? How else would it work?
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

So this requires that my camera be on all the time? How else would it work?

Perhaps you could set it to only turn on for a second for things that would otherwise need passwords... maybe every minute otherwise for the screensaver?

But would there be two lights, one that indicates the computer's watching me and another indicating that another program is accessing the camera? I would like to know that.
post #8 of 23
It's Chitty Chitty Mac Mac!
post #9 of 23
Okay, on the morbid side of the humor spectrum, and possibly the reality spectrum as well, how do you then stop someone from using "Bernie" to access Bernie's computer after Bernie's demise?
dano
if it is to be, it is up to me...
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dano
if it is to be, it is up to me...
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefingers View Post

Okay, on the morbid side of the humor spectrum, and possibly the reality spectrum as well, how do you then stop someone from using "Bernie" to access Bernie's computer after Bernie's demise?

Excellent point. To further it what would prevent a life sized photo of "Bernie" from being used? Would the system sense dimensionality to prevent this simple circumvention?

Neat idea as presented. Just need a few more details...
post #11 of 23
It's like Flying Toasters, except it's Flying iMacs.

I guess it could really be useful if you wanted to do a mac-based commercial photo booth. Otherwise I can't see why I'd want to have a Transformer on my desk
post #12 of 23
dididididididi... batman!
post #13 of 23
Screw face detection and improved video chat.

What's the use if you can't see the screen because of the glare?

Apple should conquer this problem first with better quality glass or a new technology and be proud to be first to offer "reduced glare" computer screens.

With all the glare infested PC crap out there, it would show it's worth it to buy Apple quality machines.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #14 of 23
chitty chitty! you must be old as me!

i was thinking iPenguin - flightless w useless wings
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefingers View Post

Okay, on the morbid side of the humor spectrum, and possibly the reality spectrum as well, how do you then stop someone from using "Bernie" to access Bernie's computer after Bernie's demise?

This is a very good question, but the problem is tougher than that. What's to stop someone with a face-sized photo of your face from setting it up in front of the camera?

The answer is probably that solo face detection can't be used to fully validate a system. There would still probably have to be operations that required something like a password. Voice detection has its problems too, similar to face detection but different. If you make the system discriminate too well, then it fails every time you're in a noisy environ or you get a cold. If you make it too lax, then it's easier to fool.

I guess you've got to start somewhere though. No fully perfect system springs from no beginnings.
post #16 of 23
If I see an iMac self-deploy these wing-like webbed structures, I would be ducking to avoid the inevitable spurt of liquid venom he would be squirting in my eyes before he devours me.
post #17 of 23
...or what's stopping your evil twin from getting into your Mac. (assuming he shaves his goatee first)
post #18 of 23
The drawing looks like DaVinci's iMac.
post #19 of 23
And remember:
- Don't get him wet
- Keep him away from bright lights....especially sunlight
- And most importantly: don't ever feed him after midnight!

That's a scary beast, Stevo!
post #20 of 23
Good riding, Apple. Just imagine using your Mac the night before you got a nose job or whatever the fad is out there. And when you returned, your Mac will not let you sign in because your face is not recognizable. Yeah, you are screwed. Then with your bandaged swollen face, you trek to your local Apple store. That's a sight!

I can't wait to read about it. Wow! Technology can really do some good.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Good riding, Apple. Just imagine using your Mac the night before you got a nose job or whatever the fad is out there. And when you returned, your Mac will not let you sign in because your face is not recognizable. Yeah, you are screwed. Then with your bandaged swollen face, you trek to your local Apple store. That's a sight!

I can't wait to read about it. Wow! Technology can really do some good.

Err, the face detection can also have a traditional password backup. ie, if it does not 'see' the authorized user, it will ask for the password, which the owner can then input. I can't imagine the system will be such that face-detection is the sole option to get authorized. I'm sure Apple knows that this technology will not be 100% reliable for quite a while yet.
post #22 of 23
Ever since the got Face Detection I have been waiting for Apple to apply it to rotating pictures. Think about it .. if they can determine a face, and where eyes are to remove 'red-eyes', then they should be able to know which way a photo (of a person) is facing, and have a setting where you can have it auto-rotate the images the correct way. In fact, I searched around for this feature in the latest iPhoto, and was surprised that it didn't already exist.

I hope Apple implements this. I really hate having to rotate pix.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

The drawing looks like DaVinci's iMac.

It reminds me of that spitting dinosaur that got "Newman" in the first Jurassic Park.
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