Questions and Answers
What do SenseCam images look like?
An example ‘flip-book’ movie made from a sequence of SenseCam images is available here.
How many images does the SenseCam take?
SenseCam typically takes a picture every 30 seconds, although this is user-configurable. The maximum rate of capture is one image every 5 seconds. With a 1Gb storage card fitted inside the device, it is capable of storing over 30,000 images which in practical terms is a week or two’s worth of pictures. When the internal storage is full, the images must be downloaded to a PC.
How long does the battery last?
The rechargeable battery in the SenseCam will run continuously for around 24 hours when it’s capturing an image every 30 seconds or so. It takes around 3 hours to recharge using a USB connection to a PC or a mains adapter.
How do you use the sensor data?
Data is from the various sensors in the SenseCam is collected continuously and recorded on the internal storage card. SenseCam also uses information from the sensors to trigger additional image capture, beyond the ‘image every 30 seconds’ which is captured in any case. For example, if the SenseCam has been stationary for some time as a result of being put down somewhere for example, the PIR sensor will be used to detect people coming into view and this will trigger additional photos to be taken. In some applications, for example our work with patients who have memory loss conditions, simple timed-triggering may well be sufficient.
The Sensor data may also be used after the event to facilitate various types of automatic analysis of a sequence of images. A good example of this is automatic landmark generation research.
When will SenseCam be available to the public?
Microsoft SenseCam technology has been licensed to Vicon for a variety of medical applications and is now available commercially as the Vicon Revue. Vicon is currently researching market needs with the intention of making future versions suitable for wider consumer purchase. Please visit the Vicon Revue web site for further details.
Who invented SenseCam? Who works on the project?
Whilst working at Microsoft Research, Lyndsay Williams initiated the first prototype of SenseCam in 2003, motivated by the idea of a ‘black box’ accident recorder for people. Since then a large number of people at Microsoft Research have evolved the project very significantly. Steve Hodges designed the SenseCam device which has been used around the world for research into a number of different aspects of memory, activity and nutrition monitoring, market research, and other topics. This device has also been commercialised by Vicon as the Revue. Others involved in various aspects of hardware and software development, evaluation and experimentation include: Emma Berry, Georgina Browne, Alex Butler, Rowanne Fleck, Andrew Fogg, Richard Harper, Steve Hodges, Shahram Izadi, Matt Lee, Mike Massimi, Narinder Kapur, Dave Randall, Alban Rrustemi, James Scott, Abigail Sellen, Gavin Smyth, James Srinivasan, Trevor Taylor and Ken Wood. SenseCam and all associated intellectual property is owned by Microsoft Research.