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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 1001-1017 (September 2004)

Real-Time Software Method for Preserving Eye Contact
in Video Conferencing

Yu-Pap Tsai1,3 Ching-Che Kao1,2, Yi-Ping Hung1,2
and Zen_Chung Shih
3
1Institute of Information Science
Academia Sinica
Taipei, 115 Taiwan
2Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
National Taiwan University
Taipei, 106 Taiwan
E-mail: hung@csie.ntu.edu.tw
3Department of Computer and Information Science
National Chiao Tung University
Hsinchu, 300 Taiwan

By maintaining eye contact in visual communication, such as in video conferencing, the feeling of intimacy can be greatly enhanced. Unfortunately, due to the physical constraints on the arrangement of cameras and monitors, it is not easy to preserve eye contact in video conferencing. Most people have tried to solve this problem using hardware approaches, which usually lead to bulky or expensive solutions. In this paper, we propose a real-time software method for preserving eye contact in video conferencing. For each station involved in video conferencing, we use two pre-calibrated cameras to acquire a stereo view of the local participant. Then, we apply disparity-based view morphing to the acquired stereo view to generate the desired view that preserves eye contact with another participant. Our experiments demonstrate that the eye contact problem can indeed be solved in real-time by using our software approach. This is the first time a software approach has been shown to be practical for preserving eye contact in video conferencing.

Keywords: video conferencing, eye contact, disparity estimation, disparity-based view morphing, eye tracking

Full Text () Retrieve PDF document (200409_11.pdf)

Received April 19, 2002; revised November 11, 2002 & February 6, 2003; accepted March 18, 2003.
Communicated by Kuo-Chin Fan.