Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Head Tracking Using Stereo



D Russakoff, Martin Herman


Head tracking is an important primitive for smart environments and perceptual user interfaces where the poses and movements of body parts need to be determined. Most previous solutions to this problem are based on intensity images and, as a result, suffer from a host of problems including sensitivity to background clutter and lighting variations. Our approach avoids these pitfalls by using stereo depth data together with a simple human torso model to create a head tracking system that is both fast and robust. We use stereo data to derive a depth model of the background which is then employed to provide accurate foreground segmentation. We then use directed local edge detectors on the foreground to find occluding edges which are used as features to fit to a torso model. Once we have the model parameters, the location and orientation of the head can be easily estimated. A useful side effect from using stereo data is the ability to track head movement through a room in three dimensions. Experimental results on real image sequences are given.
Proceedings Title
Workshop on the Application of Computer Vision
Conference Dates
December 4-6, 2000
Conference Location
Conference Title
Application of Computer Vision


human motion tracking, human-computer interaction


Russakoff, D. and Herman, M. (2000), Head Tracking Using Stereo, Workshop on the Application of Computer Vision, Undefined, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 5, 2000, Updated October 12, 2021