Graphics conference reunites researchers

Kevin Novins, was to be reunited, briefly, with former colleagues this week at the Image and Vision Computing Conference in Dunedin.

Kevin Novins, was to be reunited, briefly, with former colleagues this week at the Image and Vision Computing Conference in Dunedin.

Novins, appointed a senior lecturer in computer graphics in the University of Auckland’s science faculty in the middle of the year, is an organiser of the conference. The three-day event features presentations on graphics rendering, imaging systems and image analysis.

Novins is a former University of Otago lecturer. While there he was involved in a $600,000 project dubbed “watching window”, which he continues to collaborate on from Auckland.

The project uses two standard web cams focused on an object and connected to a PC. The effort is going into creation of algorithms that assemble an accurate digital representation from the camera images.

The project is headed by Geoff Wyvill, a professor in the Otago computer science department. Wyvill says while there are similar projects under way elsewhere in the world, theirs focuses on developing “an unencumbered method of interacting in a virtual 3D environment”.

“We use TV cameras to track people — their eyes, heads, hands — whereas many other projects focus on an encumbered method of tracking where the user may have to wear special glasses or gloves with in-built tracking systems.”

Wyvill says Otago’s loss of Novins is Auckland’s gain.

“Auckland is very lucky to get him. But the group carries on and we will continue to work with him.”

An update of “watching window” will be given at the Dunedin conference.

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