CatchEye Releases Software to Maintain Eye Contact in Video Chats
Patent-Pending Technology Enables Gaze Correction in Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts Using the Kinect 2 Depth Camera
NEW YORK, January 29, 2015 – The longstanding problem of maintaining eye contact between users of video chat and conferencing sessions has been solved, thanks to CatchEye, a young company specializing in 3D graphics and video processing technologies. The company announced today the release of a first version of its software product: CatchEye 1.0 for Kinect 2. Taking advantage of the data produced by the Kinect depth-sensing camera, CatchEye solves the problem inherent to all video chat systems, an inevitable consequence of the camera being positioned at an angle relative to the gaze of the user.
CatchEye 1.0 may be used with Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts and other popular video chat systems in the Windows environment.
CatchEye uses the Kinect 2 depth camera to perform gaze-correction in real-time during the chat session. Using patent-pending video processing technology, CatchEye tracks the users head movement, generates a 3D representation of the user’s face, rotates it in real-time to compensate for the difference in angle between the camera and the user’s gaze, and blends it seamlessly back into the video stream. The CatchEye technology is a commercialization of academic research done at ETH Zurich and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
CatchEye is especially useful in video chat and conference scenarios where body language and eye contact are an important part of the interaction, such as face-to-face interview and educational sessions.
“CatchEye is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the exponential growth in the use of video chat systems over the past few years and the imminent availability of depth-sensing cameras at the consumer level” said Craig Gotsman, co-founder and CEO of CatchEye and computer science professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York. “Depth-sensing cameras are a breakthrough that promises to revolutionize human-computer interaction, and many leading tech companies are building their future products on this premise.”
“Our deep expertise in 3D graphics and video processing at ETH Zurich and Technion – two of the world’s leading engineering institutes – combined with the extraordinary talent of the CatchEye engineering team, have allowed us to transform an academic invention into a commercial product that will usher in the next generation of video chat systems, the main objective being a superior user experience”, said Markus Gross, co-founder and co-CTO of CatchEye and computer science professor at ETH Zurich. “We are proud that CatchEye was nominated for ETH Zurich’s Spark Innovation Award, reserved for the most promising inventions emerging from the institution.”
Future versions of CatchEye will take advantage of other depth-sensing cameras slated to appear on the market in the next few months, such as Intel’s RealSense camera.
CatchEye 1.0 may be downloaded from www.catch-eye.com/download
CatchEye develops technology to improve the video chat experience with the help of depth-sensing cameras. Using patent-pending technology originally developed in ETH Zurich and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, CatchEye 1.0 solves the eye-contact problem in video chats. The CatchEye team is based in Zurich, Switzerland and New York City.