Visually tracked flashlights as interaction devices

Green, Jonathan (2008) Visually tracked flashlights as interaction devices. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the feasibility, development and deployment of visually tracked flashlights as interaction devices. Flashlights are cheap, robust and fun. Most people from adults to children of an early age are familiar with flashlights and can use them to search for, select and illuminate objects and features of interest. Flashlights are available in many shapes, sizes, weights and mountings. Flashlights are particularly appropriate to situations where visitors explore dark places such as the caves, tunnels, cellars and dungeons that can be found in museums, theme parks and other visitor attractions.

Techniques are developed by which the location and identity of flashlight projections are recovered from the image sequence supplied by a fixed camera monitoring a target surface. The information recovered is used to trigger audiovisual events in response to users' actions.

Early trials with three prototype systems, each built using existing techniques in computer vision, show flashlight interfaces to be feasible both technically and from a usability point of view. Novel methods are developed which allow extraction of descriptions of flashlight projections that are independent of the reflectance of the underlying physical surface. Those descriptions are used to locate and recognise individual flashlights and support a multi-user interface technology.

The methods developed form the basis of Enlighten, a software product marketed by the University of Nottingham spinoff company Visible Interactions Ltd. Enlighten is currently is daily use at four sites across the UK. Two patents have been filed (UK Patent Publication Number GB2411957 and US Patent Application Number 10/540,498). The UK patent has been granted, and the US application is under review.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Pridmore, T.P.
Benford, S.D.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computer Vision, Tracking, Mixed Reality Interface, Storytent, Flashlight, Torch, Enlighten, Pattern Recognition, User Interface Design, Light Projection, Museum, Exhibition, Cave, Children
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:604
Deposited By:Jonathan Green
Deposited On:20 Nov 2008
Last Modified:03 Oct 2012 16:38

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