Samsung’s Facesense Recognizes Facial Expressions For VR Navigation

by Charles Singletary • April 26th, 2017

With body language, humans are able to express a range of feelings with only the most the subtle shifts in demeanor. Our facial expressions alone can show off a huge range of responses. Interaction with VR is something various companies continue to try to nail down, attempting to enable users to manipulate these worlds while breaking immersion as little as possible. Samsung’s experimental Facesense is a new attempt at changing the game, harnessing the power of our facial expression for hands-free VR interaction.

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April 14th – 15th at the VRLA Expo, Samsung showed a new creation from their ┬áC-Lab division. C-Lab cultivates ideas that are more experimental and this particular one provides a new way to navigate within VR. Detailed in an announcement, Facesense tracks electric signals that are created any time we speak, change our expression, or shift our gaze. Those signals are then used for navigation input along with a few spoken commands.

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We tried the technology at VRLA briefly and it was a very early concept. It likely won’t be something that dominates as a primary means of interaction within VR, but it could be a complement to VR controllers. We’ll have to see if Facesense can find a degree of consistency with its input across all users. It could also serve as an option for those that cannot use VR controllers, opening up accessibility to virtual technology in a big way.

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  • VR Geek

    Really makes me wonder if Apple is being as aggressive with AR/VR. Going to be so hard for them to maintain their market position.

    • JSM21

      They are which is why they hired someone from NASA to help them….

  • Victor Crespo

    Future: A horror game that reacts to my facial expressions when I’m scarred like a little damn baby. Woooo! haha!

  • Jon Wheeler

    I saw a demo from a British company last year doing this called Emteq VR! With Mindmaze announcing something similar recently, it looks like muscle impulses are all the rage…

  • JSM21

    Facial expressions would be great for social apps/games like VRchat where you already have a full body avatar w/ mouth and eye movements.