Imagine everything in your house being connected to a camera, and could asses your mood, what sort of music you may want to play, whether you were angry or sad, or if you had a heavy drinking session the night before. It would share all that data with apps on your smartphone, and silently change your environment to suit your mood. That’s what electrical products equipped with the Omron HVC-C could potentially do in the future.
Omron’s HVC-C – that’s Human Vision Components: Consumer Model – cameras use the firm’s own facial recognition technology, which goes way beyond knowing if you’re smiling or not. The camera module is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and designed to be integrated into almost any connected product in your home. Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it’ll sync up with apps on your phone, which could automatically adjust equipment according to the data received.
Related: What is the Internet of Things?
Here’s a few examples of how Omron’s HVC-C could enhance your life. By interacting with the music player on your phone, it could recognize your face and play tracks only you like, or quickly adjust the thermostat because you prefer the room to be cooler than the last person to mess with the settings. Getting sleepy? The HVC-C will know, and dim the lights for you. Used in conjunction with a door security system, it could recognize family members and alert you accordingly, or judge by a person’s expression whether they were angry or excited.
Omron’s face recognition tech knows how old you look, and when used in the bathroom, could quickly tell if those last few pints the night before added a few years to your face. On a more positive note, an app could help you judge the long-term effects of anti-aging products, or even help you perfect which smile suits you best. We’ve seen how shockingly accurate age-detection systems can be already, thanks to Lenovo’s Vibe Z, so have no doubt Omron’s example will be equally capable.
It doesn’t only have slightly creepy and intrusive uses. The system could be linked up to games and used as a gesture controller, or to monitor your sleeping baby’s health, all based on their expression.
Commercial HVC cameras have been available to businesses since March, and Omron demonstrated the consumer versions at the CEATEC 2014 tech show in Japan. Sadly, there’s no information on when we could see the HVC-C on sale, but Omron has released a software development kit to help developers integrate the system into their apps and hardware.