Omron Introduces HVC Human Recognition, Interpretation System For IoT Devices, Including Vending Machines

Posted On: 8/31/2016

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TAGS: Omron HVC-P2, Internet of Things, vending machine, human vision components, HVC, OKAO Vision, vending technology

KYOTO, Japan -- Now available from Omron Corp. is the HVC-P2 B5T-007001 Series, human recognition and interpretation devices. The manufacturer describes the technology as a human vision components (HVC) system for the Internet of Things. Those things include vending machines.

It incorporates Omron's OKAO Vision technology that recognizes human facial expressions, gender and age, as well as "gaze" and "blink," by interpreting patterns captured by a camera module.

According to the manufacturer, simply mounting an HVC on a customer's equipment delivers the results of advanced image processing as a sensor output, regardless of that equipment's CPU performance. The HVC-P2 offers a maximum recognition speed 10 times that of the previous model introduced two and a half years ago. This makes it possible to detect a person and his or her expressions four times per second, and to keep track of a person to a distance of 7.4 meters (a little more than 24 ft.) as long as the subject remains within the camera's field of view.

Customers can choose from two camera heads, offering a choice of working at longer distances or covering a wider field. A piece of equipment fitted with the HVC-P2 can detect and analyze attributes of a person coming into its vicinity, enabling the host machine to offer the most appropriate services. By analyzing people's attention to advertising, for example, the most relevant ads can be displayed.

The longer-distance model of the HVC-P2 can detect and interpret or estimate the subjects' attributes -- including gender and age, as well as their sight lines and facial expressions -- from a maximum distance of 3 meters (about 10 feet). For example, the system can assess the degree of attention that people within range are paying to a host machine or display. Applications of this capability include development and optimization of products for sale from vending machines.

The wide-angle model is capable of covering a 1m. x 0.75m. (just under 39" x 29") field of view from a distance of 50cm. (about 20") keeping track of people buying naturally from a vending machine and collecting data for later use. Those data might be applied to optimizing the menu, selecting new products or assessing marketing activities.

The HVC-P2 consists of a camera and a separate main board, connected by a flexible flat cable so the camera can be installed on the edge of a flat display unit. The company noted that it was difficult to do that with previously available all-in-one units. The main board measures 45mm. x 45mm. (just over 1-3/4") on a side. The camera board measures 25mm. x 25mm. (about an inch) square.

The compact, self-contained system can be embedded in a variety of equipment to do various jobs involving humans and machines, including safeguarding people in manufacturing workplaces, keeping track of congestion in elevators and watching out for people under care at nursing homes.

"By embedding the company's proprietary image-sensing technology capable of recognizing human conditions, now available in the form of the HVC-P2, in every piece of equipment and machinery, contributes to the realization of an IoT society where things work for people," the company said.

Established in 1933, Omron Corp. is a world leader in automation based on its core sensing and control technology.

Omron HVC-P2, Internet of Things, vending machine
COVERAGE: Omron HVC-P2 consists of a main board connected to a separate camera board with ribbon cable. It's offered with choice of long-focus (l.) or wide-angle lens. The longer-range model provides angular coverage of 54° horizontally by 41° vertically and can detect a person at a range of 17m. (55 ft.); the wide-field version covers 94°W. x 76°H., with a range of 8m. (26 ft.)

Omron HVC-P2, Internet of Things, vending machine
VERSATILE: New Omron HVC-P2 B5T-007001 Series "human vision component" system can detect people in the vicinity of a display or self-service machine, and perform a variety of gesture, facial expression, and age and gender recognition tasks. Wide-field model (depicted at left) offers advantages when interpreting responses of people standing in front of a machine; long-range version may be preferred for tracking people approaching or walking past.