Screen shot of Un-Mouse v0.01, released August 2002
The Un-Mouse enables a user to control the cursor without
touching any equipment, interfacing instead via a video camera
(like a webcam) attached to a computer. The program tracks a user's
moving hand, and moves it.
The Un-Mouse is free for your personal use, though you cannot
distribute it to others.
- Java 1.3 or later, plus the Java Media Framework libraries from
- An installed webcam or other video device.
No guarantees on what will work here. The program was developed using
a Video Blaster Webcam Plus, from Creative Labs, but it should work
on a wide variety of cameras.
Install the Un-Mouse!
How it works
The research paper explains the
project in detail (and I'll post it real soon now),
but it basically works in four steps.
- The program maintains a 20x20 ``search box,'' in which it
assumes the hand is present. It displays the video picture to the
user, with the search box displayed. Thus, if the hand exits the
search box, the user will know where to ``grab'' it again.
- Each video frame, the program looks for motion by subtracting the
color values in the search box from the previous frame. It does
some localized averaging to reduce noise.
- The program finds the center of motion by
averaging the x- and y-coordinates of the
pixels displaying motion. In
averaging, it weights the top half of the search box more heavily in
order to emphasize the fingers over the arm.
- The program centers the search box on this center of motion. To
place the mouse cursor on the screen, it uses a moving average of
the search box location over time.
About the authors
The cantTouch(this) team
|Top row:||Ben Macadangdang, Sera Thornton, Sage
Bowser, Dawn Wheeler|
|Middle row:||Carl Burch, Ray He, Jon Martin, Keith
|Bottom row:||P Matt Jennings|
The Un-Mouse originated as a team research project
at the 2002 Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences,
an intensive summer science program for talented high school seniors.
Supervised by Carl Burch, and led by P Matt Jennings and Keith
Mathers, the six students developed the algorithms used by the
Un-Mouse and produced the initial program. Carl Burch polished the
program up and produced this Web page for release of the software.