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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
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