Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From handwritten CAPTCHAs to 'smart rooms,' tech solutions start with pattern recognition

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Buy something online, enter your credit card number and mailing address. Simple. Then you come to the box with the CAPTCHA, the "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart." Here, the website attempts to confirm that you're a human, not some robot about to commit a cybercrime. Biometrics that researchers are studying for "smart room" applications, beyond CAPTCHAS and handwritten words include hand gestures as well as the more common biometrics of facial, voice and gait recognition.

Buy something online, enter your credit card number and mailing address. Simple. Then you come to the box with the CAPTCHA, the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Here, the website attempts to confirm that you're a human, not some robot about to commit a cybercrime. You dutifully copy down the warped, watery-looking letters.

Related Articles


Incorrect. Another captcha appears. You try again. Also incorrect. A third captcha appears. You start rethinking your purchase.

University at Buffalo computer scientist Venu Govindaraju, who, along with his UB colleagues, pioneered machine recognition of human handwriting, believes that this annoying 21st-century problem has a decidedly old-fashioned solution: handwriting.

"Here at UB's Center for Unified Biometrics, we're the only ones who have proposed and thoroughly studied handwritten captchas," says Govindaraju. "Our perspective is that humans are good at reading handwriting, machines are not. It comes naturally to humans. But computer scientists typically consider handwriting a hopeless case, until someone comes along and shows them that it isn't."

Govindaraju should know. Research he and his UB colleagues conducted in the 1990s helped the U.S. Postal Service establish the first machines that could read handwritten addresses, a feat that many at the time -- especially in industry -- said simply could not be done. In 1996, after years of research, the UB research enabled the USPS to be able to start machine-reading of handwritten addresses, boosting efficiency and saving the agency millions of dollars each year.

Govindaraju believes a similar success can occur with captchas. One of his doctoral students at UB has graduated and was hired by Yahoo! on the basis of his work developing "simulated" handwritten captchas.

"We developed an archive that can automatically generate as many different styles of handwriting as we want," says Govindaraju.

The research is based on pattern recognition, a subfield of machine learning in computer science that is concerned with developing systems based on detecting patterns in data.

Similar issues are being studied by Govindaraju and his UB colleagues in order to develop "smart room" technologies, supported by an HP Labs Innovation Research award.

"Smart rooms" are indoor environments equipped with sensitive, but unobtrusive devices, such as cameras and microphones that can identify and track the movements and gestures of inhabitants for a broad range of applications, from providing supplemental supervision in assisted living facilities for the elderly or disabled, to monitoring office workplaces and retail establishments for security. Eventually, the goal is to extend "smart room" features to larger arenas, such as shopping centers, airports and other transportation centers.

Biometrics that CUBS researchers are studying for "smart room" applications include hand gestures as well as the more common biometrics of facial, voice and gait recognition.

"This, too, is all pattern recognition," Govindaraju says, "but instead of letters, here, we're trying to standardize gestures.

"It's like developing an alphabet of gestures so machines can be programmed to do gesture recognition. The idea is to control objects on a monitor without technology," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "From handwritten CAPTCHAs to 'smart rooms,' tech solutions start with pattern recognition." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144223.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2010, October 18). From handwritten CAPTCHAs to 'smart rooms,' tech solutions start with pattern recognition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144223.htm
University at Buffalo. "From handwritten CAPTCHAs to 'smart rooms,' tech solutions start with pattern recognition." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144223.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins