CREU Project Blog


The Quickcam Pro 9000
November 25, 2007, 7:24 pm
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We ordered the Quickcam Pro 9000 from Buy.com this tuesday.  It was black friday week so the webcam was on sales.  The original price is $99 USD but we were able to get it for less than $50 USD.  Buy.com was selling it for $75.99 earlier this week and there is a $20 mail in rebate and $10 off for using Google check out so it was $75.99 – $20 -$10 = $45.99 USD with free shipping.  Considering that it comes with Carl Zeiss lens with auto focus and a 2.0 Megapixel camera this is an amazing deal!!



A Possible Refinement?
November 18, 2007, 9:53 pm
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So while I was studying for my test yesterday, I suddenly came up with this idea.  The design we are currently considering involves tracking the IR light reflecting off the finger using a webcam.  This design has  a few downsides to it such as the issue that it can only operate in a dim environment and it cannot tell which blob is generated by which finger.  Also the spherical surface seems unnecessary especially when we no longer uses the surface for refracting the IR beams.   So I was just thinking that we can possibly do something like the following.  

 

You can download the pdf to the above image Here .  Logitech has recently released its new HD webcam with auto-focus and a high quality lens system.  We can have the user wear labels on their fingers (see picture above).  The pattern/lines on the label allow us to calculate the distance the user’s finger is from the camera and possibly identity the individual fingers.  I think that this is better than our current design for the following reasons.  This system can work under various lighting conditions and it will give us more information about the position of the user’s hand to play with.  This is an extension to the wiimote multi-touch that Johnny has demonstrated in the youtube video below.    

Picture of 3D Hand is courtesy of: http://perception.inrialpes.fr/Publications/2004/DDH04/ 



Experiment
November 16, 2007, 7:40 pm
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Here is a quick recap of our idea inspired by Johnny’s youtube video   We are going to have an IR LED array just like the one in the video and behind the array will be a webcam.  We will then cover it with something transparent and spherical looking object as our multi-touch surface.  The whole purpose of this is that we are hoping to capture the IR light that bounces off the finger using the camera, and we can use this information to track finger movements.  As for the experiment, we weren’t able to get any IR Led from the ECE electronic shop because they don’t have any.  So we are currently ordering some from Ebay.  In the meanwhile I have a wii sensor bar lying around so we did some experiment with that but apparently the IR light emitting from that is not strong enough.  So we end up having to place our finger really close to the camera, and instead of tracking blobs, we only see a blur.  We will have more conclusive results when the IR LED comes in the mail next week.



More Brainstorming =____=
November 6, 2007, 7:46 pm
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Yen Wen was sick today so she couldn’t come =(.  During the meeting with Professor Anind, we talked about potential problems that we might encounter if we proceed with the multi-touch sphere that uses a camera for finger tracking.  One of the biggest potential problem is getting IR rays to refract internally in a semi-spherical plastic surface.   It is very possible that the rays will penetrate the surface.  So we beside that it would be worthwhile to do a little experiment.  So this week we are going to try to get some IR LED and some sort of transparent plastic dome-shaped object and examine how much internal refraction we can get.  At the same time we would continue to investigate our previous design and hopefully it would somehow work out?  We somehow need  to find something useable that is semi-sphere, transparent that we can use for the experiment.