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Scientists create real-time arousal-adjusted artwork

Come up and see my etchings...

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the university of bath's empathic artwork

British boffins have built a digital picture frame that adapts its image to suit the mood of the viewer. Dubbed 'empathic art', the interactive image responds visually to eight distinct facial expressions.

Created by a team from the UK's University of Bath computer science department with the help of workers from the Boston University - Massachusetts not Lincolnshire - the rig pairs an LCD panel with a webcam trained on the viewer's face. Software extrapolates the viewer's expression, and matches it against a series of facial patterns to yield two scores: pleasure and arousal.

the university of bath's emotional artwork

The figures give a feel for the viewer's emotional state and are used to apply digital image processing routines - think Photoshop filters - to the image on display in real time. The image updates at a rate of 4fps.

When the viewer is angry, the colours are dark and appear to have been applied to the canvas with more violent brush strokes, said Dr John Collomosse of Bath's Computer Science faculty. But if they appear happy, the artwork adapts so that the colours are vibrant and more subtly applied.

“This results in a digital canvas that smoothly varies its colours and style, and provides a novel interactive artistic experience," he claimed. ®

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