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Predator Object Tracking Algorithm the Future of Computer Interface?



I just saw a video demonstrating a new object tracking algorithm developed as part of a Ph.D project. Zdenek Kalal is a Czech student at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. He demonstrated his amazingly accurate system which can track almost anything a camera sees once it is selected. It does some pretty amazing things. In the video he demonstrates it by selecting his finger as it is filmed by the camera. The selection tracks his hands and follows it almost perfectly. What makes it amazing is that it learns from the movement and the tracking improves. One could train it over a short period of time to track your fingers, face or a car racing down a highway. With something like this we could have truly “Minority Report” style human-computer interface. As amazing as the Kinect was for Microsoft Xbox, this system looks even better.

Kalal has a series of 12 videos that show what his algorithm can do. With a good webcam and this algorithm built into an operating system, a computer, tablet or phone could be controlled with razor fine accuracy using nothing more than a dot on your forehead, your finger tip, or just your eyes as you move your head. A camera outside your house could inform you when someone you know is stopping buy and warn you when a visitor is a stranger. People without the use of their hands could easily interface with a PC. The applications are enormous.

Predator Tracking Algorithm

The code for the project is freely available at the Surrey University website. Kalal was recognized by a “Technology Everywhere” award.



  1. Waynebarakat

    04/03/2011 at 11:27 am

    Awesome. Genius.

  2. Reuben Bond

    04/04/2011 at 1:49 am

    I think this would complement the Kinect and vice-versa. The hardware capabilities of the connect and their existing algorithms would probably mesh well with this system… if it is real.

  3. Anonymous

    04/04/2011 at 3:24 am

    very cool.

  4. Jonas

    04/04/2011 at 9:06 am

    Combine this with Gmail and Boom! Gmail Motion without Kinect ;)

  5. Zuiquan

    04/04/2011 at 10:36 am

    Is there someone who downloaded the source code archive before it has been removed ?

    Because, once published in GPL, even for a short time-period, we are allowed to use such GPL code (with respect to GPL terms of course).

    • aaron

      04/04/2011 at 11:47 am

      They’ve created something amazing, let the poor guys make their money. :P

  6. JediOfTheRepublic

    04/04/2011 at 4:45 pm

    Although cool, I can only imagine the evil that this could bring.

    • Zerga

      04/29/2011 at 7:19 am

      Hence the name…

    • caseywollberg

      08/08/2011 at 10:19 pm

      And I can imagine that you live in a paranoid fantasy world. The most likely scenarios are not that scary and the scariest scenarios are not that likely. You should just calm down.

  7. Mcsowerby

    07/31/2011 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, this looks really solid – more than all the other console motion capture pheripherals. Cool name too…

  8. sheft

    01/06/2012 at 11:09 pm

    This guy is set for life, Microsoft (or Nintendo or Sony) will pay him tens of millions for the patent.

  9. websternews

    01/19/2012 at 8:25 am

    Would this system be able to track two objects?

  10. Anonymous

    02/07/2012 at 11:07 pm

    One of my fantasies is a technical drawing program that doesn’t require sitting, wiggling and clicking a mouse and keying until ass paralysis and carpal tunnel syndrome set in. Something that you can stand up, jump around and pull lines and shapes out of thin air. Wii for designers, Go!

  11. websternews

    02/16/2012 at 8:43 am

    I am wanting to track a basketball going through the net with a mobile phone camera. Anyone working on such an application?

  12. Haskell McRavin

    04/19/2012 at 2:30 pm

    I think this is an early library with less functionality, but if anyone’s interested.

  13. Me

    10/17/2012 at 1:17 pm

    Raspberry pi powered rockets

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