Facial expression may improve learning, gaming

London: A computer algorithm that can recognise human expressions may become a boon for the gaming industry, a team of international researchers has found.

Hyung-Il Choi of the School of Media at Soongsil University in South Korea who is working with Nhan Thi Cao and An Hoa Ton-That of Vietnam National University, in Ho Chi Minh City explained that capturing the emotions of players could be used in interactive games for various purposes

“When facial expressions recognition of players is applied in an intelligent game system, the experience can become more interactive, vivid and attractive,” the team said.

Researchers added that this could be used in purposes such as transferring the player’s emotions to his or her avatar or activating suitable actions to communicate with other players in various scenarios including educational applications.

The team has developed a simple and fast system that had almost 99 percent accuracy on thousands of test facial images. The results of the study were published in the Britain-based International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics.

Their system uses mathematical processing to measure eyebrow position, the openness of the eyes, mouth shape and other factors in order to correlate those with basic human emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and a neutral expression.

The system can work even on images of faces just 48 pixels square.

Facial expression recognition has been the focus of much research in recent years, thanks to the emergence of intelligence communication systems, data-driven animation and intelligent game applications, the team noted.