You may remember back in September 2013 we reported that Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich were working on gaze correction for home video conferencing which used Kinect to re-map users’ faces so that they appeared to have eye contact with each other. Well they’ve now named their app CatchEye, the trailer for which you can watch above, and released it for FREE for use with Kinect For Windows v2 (or Kinect 2 for Xbox One, if you have bought the adapter that allows you to plug it in to any Windows 8 or higher devices) on Windows 8 or higher PCs! Unfortunately it’s not currently available or in development for Xbox One, but we’ll let you know if the situation changes.

Please note that it’s not compatible with the original Kinect For Windows or Kinect For Xbox 360.

Here’s more info from the CatchEye website along with the system requirements and a link to the download page:

 

CatchEye

 

The Video Chat problem

Have you ever noticed when you use a video chat system (such as Skype or Hangouts) that the person at the other end is not looking you in the eye, and sometimes not even looking at you at all ? Usually she seems to be looking down at you ! How annoying ! Why is this ? Because she is looking at the image of you in the video window in the center of her screen, while her webcam is viewing her from the top of the screen. The difference in the view angle between the video window and the webcam is precisely the angle that she seems to be looking down.

 

The CatchEye solution

The CatchEye solution takes advantage of the emerging depth (RGBD) cameras, to be available soon on every mobile device. You may have already used one of these – the Kinect – as part of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system. These cameras produce not only a standard video stream, but also a “depth” value per pixel. Using this extra information, the CatchEye software tracks and maps the shape of the subject’s face, and seamlessly rotates this colored 3D object to its correct position in the image. All this is done in real-time as the video is streamed. The result is that your chat partner is now looking you straight in the eye !

 

The CatchEye history

The CatchEye technology was conceived and developed at the computer graphics laboratory of ETH Zurich (Switzerland’s premiere engineering institute) in 2012 by a research team consisting of computer graphics professors and graduate students. The team commercialized this deep patent-pending technology, spinning it off into a startup company.  The first goal is to release an add-on for Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts by the end of 2014, enabling users of these video chat systems to finally look each other in the eye !

 

CatchEye_02

 

System Requirements

To use CatchEye – you will need to have a Kinect for Windows v2, available for purchase here, installed on your PC, including its accompanying software, and a Windows PC equipped with:–  Windows 8 or 8.1
–  A 64-bit (x64), dual-core 2.66-GHz or faster processor
–  A dedicated USB 3.0 controller
–  At least 2 GB RAM
–  A graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0, e.g. an NVIDIA GeForce

With CatchEye, you will be able to look your video chat partner straight in the eye. Your partner will need to also have CatchEye in order to reciprocate.

 

 

You can download CatchEye via its website by clicking on the following link: http://catch-eye.com/download/

Do you have Kinect For Windows v2 or the adapter for the Xbox One’s Kinect 2 and plan to download CatchEye? If so let us know what you think of it in the comments below and/or in the CatchEye thread in our forums.

 

Screenshots

 

Source: CatchEye website, Vaclav Hnizda's YouTube Channel
Thanks to 123KINECT visitor CatchEye for submitting this news!