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Laser-pointer Based Intent Recognition for Controlling Computer-Aided Presentations

Jochen Oberreiter

Computer-aided lectures and presentations are the most frequent form of information and knowledge transfer in science and business environments.

Interaction with the computer during the presentation often needs the physical presence of the speaker near the computer to control the keyboard or mouse. There are efforts towards a more flexible and mobile control, in which a first step is the use of radio or infrared-based input devices. A disadvantage here is however the required installation of device drivers and/or additional software.

A more universal control would be desirable, simultaneously minimizing the need for hardware and software installation and providing a reliable, user-friendly PC mouse control. One idea is combination of a simple laser pointer with a low-cost web camera to fulfill those requirements.

In this work the basic feasibility of such a system is studied, corresponding hardware requirements are specified and a basic software implementation is developed. The presented system allows the detection of a laser pointer on a presentation area and subsequently controls a computer by simulating mouse actions.

Figure 1: The system in practical use during a presentation. Cursor and mouse events can be influenced by means of laser pointer interaction.

Keywords: laser pointer, computer control, computer vision, human computer interaction, human interface, gesture recognition, computer based presentation, e-learning

October 13, 2011