The ability to electronically detect someone’s smile has been around for a little while. Lat year, Sony unveiled its Smile Shutter features on some cameras, and other manufactures, such as Fuji, offer face (not smile) detection technology on their cameras. And now there is another use for smile and face detection technology–medical use.
These technologies analyze different features of a face, from the curving lips, cheekbones that are high, squinting eyes, etc., to determine when someone is smiling.
What is the Smile Shutter Feature?
With the Smile Shutter feature on selected Sony digital cameras, such as the Cyber-shot DSC-T200, the camera automatically takes a photo when the subject is smiling. Sony promises that there are no more missed opportunities or worry about shutter delay. In truth, the reviews on this feature are mixed. Most say that the camera itself takes wonderful photos but that the Smile Shutter feature leaves a lot to be desired. One of the complaints about this technology is that it locks into only one face (you can chose that face among any others). Another complaint is that the technology can be fooled by hats, sunglasses or even bangs. A third complaint is that once the smile shutter feature is activated, the shutter can’t be engaged manually, making you possibly miss a good shot. And it is useless without that smile, so you might never be able to take a photo of the guards at Buckingham Palace, for example.
Measuring the Breath of a Smile
In Japan, Omron Corp has developed software technology that scans a video image and detects faces. It then measures the amount of a smile on a person, from a 0 percent (no smile) to 89 percent for a huge grin. The software can detect. up to 100 faces at a time and will adapt its analysis as the person’s smile changes.
Omron hopes to use their technology not for taking photos but in the medical field to help doctors assess the emotional state of patients. Something else Omron may pursue is to pack this technology for use in mobile phones.
What do you think?
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.