Scientist Turns Own Face Into Remote Control

Pretty soon you can ditch that remote control and change the channel with just winking at the TV or something, thanks to Jacob Whitehill.

Jacob, a computer science Ph.D. student from UC San Diego built a technology for detecting facial expression that turns his face into a remote control that speeds and slows video playback:

In a recent pilot study, Whitehill and colleagues demonstrated that information within the facial expressions people make while watching recorded video lectures can be used to predict a person's preferred viewing speed of the video and how difficult a person perceives the lecture at each moment in time.

This new work is at the intersection of facial expression recognition research and automated tutoring systems.

"If I am a student dealing with a robot teacher and I am completely puzzled and yet the robot keeps presenting new material, that's not going to be very useful to me. If, instead, the robot stops and says, 'Oh, maybe you're confused,' and I say, 'Yes, thank you for stopping,' that's really good," said Whitehill, the computer science Ph.D. student leading the project.

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Couch potatoes will go nuts for this. But also I think this would be a great system to use for folks with disabilities or are elderly.
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