CatchEye - Kinect to Eye-to-Eye Chatting


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You've heard about how the XBox One can magically make it look like you are making eye contact when video chatting? Even though the Kinect may be above or below the screen?

Oh cool would it be if you could use your Kinect for Windows and do that in Skype for Windows?


The Video Chat problem

Have you ever noticed when you use a video chat system (such as Skype or Hangouts) that the person at the other end is not looking you in the eye, and sometimes not even looking at you at all ? Usually she seems to be looking down at you ! How annoying ! Why is this ? Because she is looking at the image of you in the video window in the center of her screen, while her webcam is viewing her from the top of the screen. The difference in the view angle between the video window and the webcam is precisely the angle that she seems to be looking down.

The CatchEye solution

The CatchEye solution takes advantage of the emerging depth (RGBD) cameras, to be available soon on every mobile device. You may have already used one of these – the Kinect – as part of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system. These cameras produce not only a standard video stream, but also a “depth” value per pixel. Using this extra information, the CatchEye software tracks and maps the shape of the subject’s face, and seamlessly rotates this colored 3D object to its correct position in the image. All this is done in real-time as the video is streamed. The result is that your chat partner is now looking you straight in the eye !

The CatchEye history

The CatchEye technology was conceived and developed at the computer graphics laboratory of ETH Zurich (Switzerland’s premiere engineering institute) in 2012 by a research team consisting of computer graphics professors and graduate students. The team commercialized this deep patent-pending technology, spinning it off into a startup company. The first goal is to release an add-on for Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts by the end of 2014, enabling users of these video chat systems to finally look each other in the eye !

CatchEye 1.0 is now available !

Trouble installing or running CatchEye ? Consult the CatchEye manual here.

Be among the first to try out our CatchEye add-on for Skype or Hangouts.

To use CatchEye – you will need to have a Kinect for Windows, available for purchase here, installed on your PC, including its accompanying software, and a Windows PC equipped with:

– Windows 8 or 8.1
– A 64-bit (x64), dual-core 2.66-GHz or faster processor
– A dedicated USB 3.0 controller
– At least 2 GB RAM
– A graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0, e.g. an NVIDIA GeForce

With CatchEye, you will be able to look your video chat partner straight in the eye. Your partner will need to also have CatchEye in order to reciprocate.

To download CatchEye, please fill in your name and e-mail address below, and we will send you a link to the download, containing an installer and a manual.

The CatchEye manual is also available here.

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