Detect position and orientation of faces with iOS

4 October 2017 – I updated the code for Swift 4 and iOS 11. You can find it here. When an iPhone is processing an image from one of its cameras, the main purpose is to make it look good for us. The iPhone has no interest in interpreting the image itself. It just wants to adjust the brightness and theContinue reading “Detect position and orientation of faces with iOS”

What can your iPhone see?

The short answer is: not much. Well. Maybe we first have to talk about what it means to “see”. Vision is an extremely rich natural phenomenon. Most of us humans have the uncanny ability to turn light into meaning – as do many other species in the animal kingdom. Vision is mainly used for navigation and recognition. We use our eyes to detect objectsContinue reading “What can your iPhone see?”

Your eye is not a camera

Although sometimes credited to the Renaissance artists and engineers, the camera obscura, or pinhole camera was already used by the Chinese in the 4th century BC and the Arabs in the 10th century AD. If you have never seen one in action, you are missing out. The images have a vibrant dreamlike quality, especially whenContinue reading “Your eye is not a camera”

In perspective

Being skilled in the art of drawing a convincing scene in linear perspective is no guarantee anymore for a successful career. For roughly four centuries this was a pretty good tool to have in your kit as a visual artist – from the moment that Filippo Brunelleschi gave his demonstration of a perspective rendering ofContinue reading “In perspective”

Orwell’s telescreens

Winston Smith is the main character in the famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. In his apartment there is an “oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall.” The description of this flatscreen television goes on to state that the “instrument (the telescreen, it wasContinue reading “Orwell’s telescreens”

Revolution in motion

Yesterday, Microsoft launched a new product called Kinect. It is an add-on for the very popular game console Xbox 360 and allows for the user itself to be the controller. No more fiddling with weirdly shaped controllers. Just step in front of your television and you can control games with your own gestures (and yourContinue reading “Revolution in motion”