A smart camera performs real-time analysis to recognize scenic elements. Smart cameras are useful in a variety of scenarios: surveillance, medicine,etc. We have built a real-time system for recognizing gestures. Our smart camera uses novel algorithms to recognize gestures based on low-level analysis of body parts as well as hidden Markov models for the moves that comprise the gestures. These algorithms run on a Trimedia processor. Our system can recognize gestures at the rate of 20 frames/second. The camera can also fuse the results of multiple cameras

Recent technological advances are enabling a new generation of smart cameras that represent a quantum leap in sophistication. While today's digital cameras capture images, smart cameras capture high-level descriptions of the scene and analyze what they see. These devices could support a wide variety of applications including human and animal detection, surveillance, motion analysis, and facial identification.

Video processing has an insatiable demand for real-time performance. Fortunately, Moore's law provides an increasing pool of available computing power to apply to real-time analysis. Smart cameras leverage very large-scale integration (VLSI) to provide such analysis in a low-cost, low-power system with substantial memory. Moving well beyond pixel processing and compression, these systems run a wide range of algorithms to extract meaning from streaming video.

Because they push the design space in so many dimensions, smart cameras are a leading-edge application for embedded system research.