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reo camera version we can extend the range up to 20 meter, but this version is not yet in the piloting phase”, told us Johannes Peltola, Team Leader for Smart Service Interfaces at VTT. But why not use regular video analytics to determine people’s positions on video streams from installed CCTVs instead of relying on a dedicated network of depth sensing nodes? Peltola acknowledges that competing solutions include cameras or thermal sensors. He pointed out that while the range and accuracy of thermal imagers is about the same as depth sensing cameras, their price is higher. Cameras allow a longer range but they are less accurate in people detection and tracking. “We could and we have developed such camera analytics tools. The camera Conference on Next Generation Mobile Apps, Services and Technologies. With this knowhow, the Finnish research center is investigating the possibility to spin-off a company that would commercialize low-cost WiFi-enabled depth-sensing nodes. “In current pilots we are already using ARM Cortex A9 based small/cheap computers, so it is just housing the sensor to the same package”, added Peltola. Pilots of the tracking system will run this summer and autumn at Shalkwijk Shopping Centre in Haarlem in the Netherlands, and with Procter & Gamble in Brussels, and in the city of Rovaniemi in Finland. Welcome to Planet e. The entire embedded universe at a single location! Tickets & Registration www.electronica.de/en/tickets 26th International Trade Fair for Electronic Components, Systems and Applications Messe München, November 11–14, 2014 www.electronica.de Connecting Global Competence years 2014 elec14-Dach_125x200_EETimesEurope_E.indd 1 18.08.14 14:52 is performing well, if it is positioned directly upwards from the monitored area. This will limit the range and it is often unpractical due to normal ceiling height. Calculating the people flow from typical CCTV stream is possible, but in crowded situations it generates much more errors compared with the use of depth information. Better visual algorithms require a lot more CPU/GPU power, so low cost processing is difficult to achieve” says Peltola. But what more information does depth sensing provide you? We asked. “Compared to a camera image, depth allows better object segmentation (segment based on distance rather than texture that may be similar between two objects or different inside a same object). It improves calibration since sensor position and physical object properties can be calculated directly from sensor data. Depth information also helps managing occlusion, when one person is temporarily blocking the view of another. The distance information tells you directly which object is behind which object and based on distance it can be tracked again when it becomes visible”, clarified Peltola. WiFi-enabled depth sensors To add more data to the system, could you conceive depth sensing from a product’s perspective? For example, a product shelf or a booth could detect people getting close, reaching for a product? “It’s bit early to define the exact functionalities for a commercial product, but we are investigating how to detect groups, group behaviour, front of the booth behaviour (e.g. reaching the shelf), predicting next point of interests, etc.” told us Peltola. In fact VTT has another paper in the making, “Predicting Consumers’ Locations in Dynamic Environments via 3D Sensor-Based Tracking”, to present the technology at the 8th International www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2014 41


EETE SEP 2014
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