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Vision projects travellers in billboard advertisement

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An interactive billboard installed at Antwerp’s central station from 25-29 October 2011 has been entertaining travellers as they waited for their train. The billboard uses machine vision to project passersby on a huge screen on which they would see themselves struck by Belgium's top model Hannelore Knuts with a feather-filled pillow.

This interactive screen was part of a campaign by Belgian fashion label JBC to introduce their DAAbyJBC collection. This specific collection will raise funds for Designers Against AIDS (DAA), an international charity that uses pop culture to raise awareness of young people for AIDS and promote safer sex.

The technology behind the billboard was developed by Belgian multimedia artist Kris Meeusen, whose agency Lab101 is well established in multimedia advertising. The system relies on machine vision to detect the presence and the position of people in front of the screen. A custom software application fits pre-recorded images of Hannelore Knuts into the live stream in real time. Virtual feathers fly around the scene as she smashes a pillow on the person’s head.

Meeusen used Allied Vision Technologies’ AVT Manta G-145 30fps camera to monitor the station’s hall. The camera was chosen due to its ruggedness and reliability, its good resolution/frame rate ratio, its GigE Vision interface enabling long cable length, and the convenient API for C++ programming.

The camera is the high-speed version of the Manta G-145. It features the Sony ICX285 high-sensitivity CCD sensor with 1.4 Megapixels resolution and delivers 30fps at full resolution.

'The promotion at Antwerp central station was a full success,' said Meeusen. 'The Manta proved to be the right choice both for its easy integration during the development process and its reliability in operation.'

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