I am working on a installation for an upcoming show. This installation is a version of one that ran for one week in a smaller gallery.
I found that the presence detection patch I was using was a little unreliable. I am told that I need to incorporate some background removal, but I'm not sure if that'll work given the installation environment. So I thought I'd post a topic here and pick the collective brains of this community for recommendations/advice when it comes to writing this particular part of my patch.
This is what I'm working with:
The user interaction environment is contained within a 4' x 8' x 8' (W x H x D) box. There is a halogen spot light mounted in the ceiling which lights the inside of the box. There is a Unibrain Fire-i webcam mounted in the top back corner that I'm using for the presence detection. Entry to the environment is through one of two doorways which are covered by curtains.
This is what needs to happen:
Simple really, I just need to know if there is someone in the box.
These are the problems I was having:
1. When someone comes in, they don't necessarily close the curtains all the way. The ambient light from the outside was unpredictably changing the lighting situation, making it difficult for the patch I was using to tell me if there was someone inside the box.
2. I had to dramatically increase the contrast of the camera to get the presence detection to work. The falloff from the spot light was so dramatic, that there if someone moved a bit outside of the light, the patch would sometimes report that no one was inside the box.
3. I also found that if the curtains moved as a result of people passing by the outside box, it would trigger a false positive.
4. I couldn't get the webcam far enough away to cover the entire area inside the box. It was almost far enough away, but not quite. Would bringing the camera down to eye level be a more reliable solution?
Thanks in advance.