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Machine Design

Software lets camera phones track faces

What's billed as the world's first face-detection and tracking technology for camera phones is designed to detect the presence and position of a subject's face.

The development called Face Tracker, from FotoNation Inc. in Burlingame, Calif., works at up to 30 frames/sec during image capture.

Previously available only in digital still cameras, Face Tracker consists of software that scales in performance according to the power of the processor used in the camera phone. At a recent demonstration, FotoNation showed the device simultaneously tracking up to eight faces. This is comparable in performance to that of current digital cameras, FotoNation says. The underlying software is platform independent and has been demonstrated on both the Symbian Series 60 3rd edition OS and Windows Mobile 5.0. Face Tracker also enables automatic image orientation, face cropping, and face thumbnail generation for use in the phone's contact address book.

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