BU Researchers Use Human Cues to Improve Computer User-Friendliness
Lijun Yin wants computers to understand inputs from humans that go beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse. Yin’s team has developed ways to provide information to the computer based on where a user is looking as well as through gestures or speech. One of the basic challenges in this area is “computer vision.” That is, how can a simple webcam work more like the human eye?
He’s partnering with Binghamton University psychologist Peter Gerhardstein to explore ways this work could benefit children with autism. Many people with autism have difficulty interpreting others’ emotions; therapists sometimes use photographs of people to teach children how to understand when someone is happy or sad and so forth. Yin could produce not just photographs, but three-dimensional avatars that are able to display a range of emotions. Given the right pictures, Yin could even produce avatars of people from a child’s family for use in this type of therapy.