Donnerstag, 23. August 2012

Camery Mouse - die Maus mit Kopfbewegung steuern

Camera Mouse heißt das Programm, das die Boston college absolut kostenlos und werbefrei zum Download zur Verfügung stellt. Homepage:

Die Kamera-Maus ist ein Freeware-programm, mit der ihr den Mauszeiger auf euerem PC oder Laptop steuern könnt, nur indem ihr eueren Kopf bewegt. Augenbewegungen werden aber nicht erfasst. Notwendig ist Windows ab XP und eine webcam, die auch eingebaut sein kann.

Auszüge aus der FAQ:

Camera Mouse was invented at Boston College to help people with disabilities use the computer. We make it available for free - download, with no gimmicks or advertisements or registration, because we want to help as many people as possible.

The main audience for this program is people who do not have reliable control of a hand but who can move their head.

How does Camera Mouse work?

Place a standard USB webcam on or near the monitor so it is pointing at you as if for video conferencing (or use a built-in webcam). Start up Camera Mouse. Your moving image will appear in the Camera Mouse window. Use the mouse to click on a feature on your face to track. Some unique area of the face. We usually use the inside edge of an eyebrow or eye or the area between the nose and the mouth. A small green square appears at the feature being tracked. As you move your head the square moves with it in the image.

Now press the Ctrl key or the F9 key or just wait for 4 seconds without moving the mouse ("Auto start"). The Camera Mouse program takes over control of the mouse pointer on the screen. As you move your head the mouse pointer moves accordingly. If you move the mouse itself (or press the Ctrl key or F9 key) the control returns to the mouse.

You can adjust the settings by clicking on the Camera Mouse Settings button at the bottom of the window. Here you can change the gains and turn on clicking. Clicking is done using "dwell time," by holding the mouse pointer within a small area of the screen for a second or two. Or you can click in the regular way using the mouse button or a switch.

People learn to use Camera Mouse quite quickly.

Are there any hidden costs or gimmicks or advertisements? Why? How?

Camera Mouse really is completely free. There are no hidden costs or gimmicks or advertisements with Camera Mouse. There is no registration.

Camera Mouse is the result of our academic research. We decided to carry through and not just publish scholarly papers on the research but to develop it into software that might help people and to make the software available here for free download.

We keep our expenses quite low. We are grateful for continuing contributions from the Philanthropy Committee of the Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) in Cambridge, MA and from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF). We are grateful for the support provided by Boston College.

Camera Mouse is part of our mission of education, research, and service.
What hardware do I need?

A computer with Windows 7, Vista, or an up-to-date XP (with .NET Framework 3.5 for Camera Mouse 2012 or with .NET Framework 2.0 for Camera Mouse 2011).

Also a standard webcam, either one built into the computer or monitor or a standard USB webcam. We use and recommend the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 and the Microsoft LifeCam Studio HD. We've tried Camera Mouse with various webcams from Logitech, Creative Labs, and Microsoft and cameras built into various (Windows) notebook, netbook, and tablet computers with success. If the webcam is very low quality, the video image may be noisy and Camera Mouse might have a problem with tracking.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with Camera Mouse?

Start with slow but steady head movements. The computer is trying to track the point on your face that you selected. If you make quick, jerky movements the computer might lose tracking. Experiment with your head movements to see what the computer can track and when the computer loses tracking. Pretty soon you should be able to minimize the Camera Mouse program and still control the mouse pointer by moving your head. It's not at all difficult to use Camera Mouse but it does take a couple of minutes of practice.

Then download the free Aliens and Paint programs from the Downloads page and give them a try.

If the program has trouble with tracking try clicking on a different feature on your face. You want a feature with high contrast that remains as you move your head. You can try to adjust the lighting. A bright window or light behind your head might cause problems for the webcam.

How do I click and double-click in Camera Mouse?

Camera Mouse has a built-in facility for clicking using "dwell time". That is, if you hold the mouse pointer over a button or icon for a set amount of time, usually a second, then the Camera Mouse program will click on it. Clicking by dwell time is turned off initially. To turn on clicking first go the the Camera Mouse Settings window. There is a similar facility in Camera Mouse for double-clicking. For more information, see the Camera Mouse 2012 manual.

Other programs for clicking (and for double-clicking or right-clicking) are available from the Downloads page.

You also can click using the regular mouse. You can lift the mouse and use the buttons or use a second mouse with tape over the red light on the bottom so that only the buttons work.

You also can obtain a switch interface and use various switches to act as mouse clicks with Camera Mouse. See, for example, the Switch Interfaces page at
When I start up Camera Mouse the video image is all black. What can I do?

If the video is all black it usually means that another program, for example Skype, is using the video. Close Camera Mouse. Close the other program. Then start up Camera Mouse again.

I wear glasses. What is a good point on the face to track?

The place on the bridge of the glasses between the eyes where the different parts of the frame come together often is an excellent spot. Best is to track some small area on the face that has a unique shape. Eyeglasses can provide an advantage here.

The center of the forehead usually is not a good spot to track as it usually looks just like the rest of the forehead so the green square will float around. The tip of the nose usually is just a fair spot as the shape may change with the lighting as the head is rotated. The corner of an eyebrow usually is a good spot or the area between the nose and the mouth.

It is good to experiment with some different spots for tracking.

Is it possible to use Camera Mouse with moving eyes?

No. Camera Mouse tracks head movements. If a person can just move his eyes you need to use an eye control system, rather than a head control system. At Boston College, we have developed an eye control system called EagleEyes. EagleEyes is manufactured and distributed by the Opportunity Foundation of America. For more information see or Or contact Debbie Inkley, Executive Director of the Opportunity Foundation of America, at There also are commercial eye control systems available, for example, from LC Technologies and Tobii.

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