2 Month Notice

Well, technically it’s been more than 2 months since I joined my new workplace, but I guess it is high time I gave an update as to what I am up to.

As expected from working at one of the top tech companies in the world, there is a lot of work (and fun), but there is a great potential for learning as well. And man have I learned a lot!! In my first month here, I worked on a Windows 8 Modern UI app and understood the architecture of building a Modern app hands-on. Not only that, but I also had to integrate the app with a web service using Javascript (which, by the way, is my weakest programming language), and after a lot of fumbling in the dark, I can now bend JS to my absolute will (Evil laughter)!!

In my free time, I got together with a senior of mine, Prakhar Gupta, who works at the same company albeit in the Bangalore office, and quickly coded up a Windows Phone 8 app. The app basically acts as a birthday reminder for all those like me who are poor at remembering dates. Expect to see the app in the Windows Marketplace soon! Along the way, I have also been drawn to Cloud Computing, thanks to the amazing Windows Azure (they have tutorials on creating Android apps with an Azure back-end), and hope to soon gain certifications in Cloud Computing. This along with some other projects that I really can’t talk about (Non Disclosure Agreement, you see) have made my life coding bliss!!

Oh, and did I mention that I have also started development on the Leap Motion? Expect to see more on that and Kinect development in my next few posts. This is from a practical standpoint. From a knowledge standpoint, I am learning everyday. I have learned about good design and best practices while coding in C# and am also re-exploring functional programming with F#. SQL and database querying now seem to come more naturally than ever, and I have also started looking into query execution plans to further optimize my SQL code. I have also been trying to read up on the Common Language Runtime (CLR) which so far looks great with the way the CLR handles managed modules and the variety of support provided for different languages, but with all the work and coding going on, I am having a hard time actually removing time for myself to read more. Will have to stretch more on the reading front!

In the pipeline are some more apps (maybe on Android?) and reading papers and texts on NLP (for WishWasher) and Computer Vision (which is still my favoured field). I do seem to be loaded with work, but hopefully, I will keep inventing things and inspiring you to try new things. Keep an eye out for more on this domain.


Face Detection with OpenCV 2

Finally done with my Senior project at college and wow, it was great! Will definitely post about it soon and hopefully will be a good apology for the tardiness of this post.

My project was on Facial Expression Recognition and for starters, I had to process images to detect a face(s) in the image. This is where OpenCV really came useful, since it has built-in capabilities of detecting faces, using something called a Haar Wavelet (which is basically a square wave that you use to apply some digital signal processing to your image) and Cascade Classifiers (a bunch of weighted machine learning classifiers used together).

Now, for its ease and convenience, as well as to maintain forward compatibility with future versions of OpenCV, I decided to ditch the OpenCV1.0 API in favour of the OpenCV2+ API, and moreover, I decided to do it in Python since the numpy library proves very powerful for linear algebra operations and rapid prototyping is easy with Python. But now here comes the big problem: OpenCV 1.0 was really popular (I guess it was because of the Kaehler-Bradski book) and almost all the links on the web show code in OpenCV 1.0 on how to detect faces (which is quite ugly compared to the 2.0 version), be it C or Python. So I jumped right into OpenCV2’s wonderful documentation, but alas, only code in C++. Not to fear, since I have good proficiency in both languages now, and it was just a matter of translating code (This is where iPython came really, really useful for its auto-complete functionality) .

So here I will show you how to detect faces in images with OpenCV2 and Python as succinctly as possible, due to the lack of more documentation, and hopefully you’ll come up with the next-big-thing!

from cv2 import *

# Locate face in image. Using cv2 functions
def detect_face(image):

    # Specify the trained cascade classifier
    face_cascade_name = "/usr/local/share/OpenCV/haarcascades/haarcascade_frontalface_alt.xml"

    # Create a cascade classifier
    face_cascade = cv2.CascadeClassifier()

    # Load the specified classifier

    #Preprocess the image
    grayimg = cv2.cvtColor(image, cv2.cv.CV_BGR2GRAY)
    grayimg = cv2.equalizeHist(grayimg)

    #Run the classifiers
    faces = face_cascade.detectMultiScale(grayimg, 1.1, 2, 0|cv2.cv.CV_HAAR_SCALE_IMAGE, (30, 30))

    print "Faces detected"

    if len(faces) != 0:            # If there are faces in the images
        for face in faces:         # For each face in the image

            # Get the origin co-ordinates and the length and width till where the face extends
            x, y, lx, ly = face[0], face[1], face[2], face[3]

            # Draw rectangles around all the faces
            cv2.rectangle(image, (x, y), (x + lx, y + ly), cv2.cv.RGB(155, 255, 25), 2)

    # Display the images with the faces marked
    cv2.imshow("Detected face", image)


    return (x, y, lx, ly)

def main():

    # Specify the image to process and pass it to the function

if __name__ == "__main__":

And there you go. In just a few dozen lines of code, you have a simple to understand and elegant face detector. It definitely works since I tested it out on plenty of datasets that I had obtained for my project as well as some personal images! So try it out and let me know about your thoughts in the comments.