Natural Feature Tracking

On July 1, 2010, in Blog, by Vlad Cazan

In celebration of my shiny new .com domain, I have decided to write an update about what has been going on in the DMZ these last few weeks.

I have started to move away from both Wii Remote Hacking and AR Tracking with the basic black and white markers. The issues I am having is although the tracking is accurate, the markers that are used are not very nice on the eyes. In my search I have found another option that solves this problem.

With natural feature tracking, there is no longer a marker that is needed. Anything in the real world; a face, a picture, or an object can be tracked and detected. Since one of the goals of this project was to use Flash whenever we could, I set out to find a Flash library for natural feature tracking. I had known that the markers of ARtoolkit, a popular C library for augmented reality had a commercial option called ARtoolkit NFT but I knew there had to be some other option.

I knew there had to be somthing out there and with some luck I stumbled upon ASSurf. SURF (Speeded Up Robust Features) is a robust image descriptor, first presented by Herbert Bay et al. in 2006, that can be used in computer vision tasks like object recognition or 3D reconstruction. As basic image features it uses a Haar wavelet approximation of the determinant of Hessian blob detector. ASSURF based on OpenCV and OpenSURF implementations of SURF mostly

With this library I am able to track real objects in 3D space, as well as add objects to be tracked on the fly. Another great feature is the ability to save and load refernce objects on the fly. Since it is compiled with Alchemy the frame rate is extremely high.  This really opens up many new possibilities since we are designing these products for museums. It is much more likely they would agree to install an installation if the black and white markers where not the main focus of the exhibit.

Give it a try, all you need is a webcam.


2 Responses to “Natural Feature Tracking”

  1. Milad says:


    Thaks for sharing.
    One Question:

    How can i do somthing like this video?


  2. Thanks for posting this cool article!

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