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Face detection is a computer technology that determines the locations and sizes of human faces in arbitrary (digital) images. It detects facial features and ignores anything else, such as buildings, trees and bodies.
Definition and relation to other tasks
Face detection can be regarded as a specific case of object-class detection. In object-class detection, the task is to find the locations and sizes of all objects in an image that belong to a given class. Examples include upper torsos, pedestrians, and cars.
Face detection can be regarded as a more general case of face localization. In face localization, the task is to find the locations and sizes of a known number of faces (usually one). In face detection, one does not have this additional information.
Early face-detection algorithms focused on the detection of frontal human faces, whereas newer algorithms attempt to solve the more general and difficult problem of multi-view face detection. That is, the detection of faces that are either rotated along the axis from the face to the observer (in-plane rotation), or rotated along the vertical or left-right axis (out-of-plane rotation), or both. The newer algorithms take into account variations in the image or video by factors such as face appearance, lighting, and pose.
Face detection is used in biometrics, often as a part of (or together with) a facial recognition system. It is also used in video surveillance, human computer interface and image database management. Some recent digital cameras use face detection for autofocus. Face detection is also useful for selecting regions of interest in photo slideshows that use a pan-and-scale Ken Burns effect.
Face detection is gaining the interest of marketers. A webcam can be integrated into a television and detect any face that walks by. The system then calculates the race, gender, and age range of the face. Once the information is collected, a series of advertisements can be played that is specific toward the detected race/gender/age.
Face detection is also being researched in the area of energy conservation.
- TSL color space
- Computer vision
- Facial recognition system
- Three-dimensional face recognition
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