A framework for providing ergonomic feedback using smart cameras.

Chih-Wei Chen, T.T. Maatta, K. Wong, H. Aghajan

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The importance of proper ergonomics for the health and wellbeing of office workers is being increasingly promoted by federal agencies, such as the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), which provide guidelines for improving workplace ergonomics. However, it is up to the individual workers to ensure that they are adhering to the proper ergonomic practices in their office environment. In this work, we describe a collaborative framework that leverages a computer's webcam and cameras in the workplace to provide feedback relating to a worker's current ergonomic state. We use a webcam to locate a worker's face using a 6 Degree of Freedom (DoF) face tracking algorithm, and use the output to calculate useful parameters, such as a worker's average work and break periods, the distance between a worker and the computer monitor, and a measure of a worker's head motion. Cameras installed in the office provide additional information, such as posture and social interaction, that might not be captured by the front facing webcam. We use webcams since they are unobtrusive, and are frequently built into laptops and computer monitors. Additionally, by leveraging a software face tracker, we can avoid the use of expensive sensing systems that are typically needed for gaze and face tracking. We describe the methods that are used to discern ergonomic parameters from the face tracking data, and how the network of cameras collaborate to provide ergonomic feedback to the workers. Experimental results show that our system provides personalized recommendations that promote workplace wellbeing without sacrificing productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Distributed Smart Cameras (ICDSC), October 29 - November 1, 2012, Hong Kong
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-1772-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Eventconference; ICDSC 2012 -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …


Conferenceconference; ICDSC 2012
Period1/01/12 → …
OtherICDSC 2012


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