People counting using overhead fisheye cameras

One data modality leveraged by COSSY for indoor people counting is the output of an overhead, high-resolution RGB camera equipped with a fisheye lens (e.g., 360-deg by 180-deg, example shown on right).

A reliable detection of people in such images poses two challenges. First, if camera’s optical axis is orthogonal to room’s floor, standing people appear radially with respect to the center of the field of view (FOV). This is unlike in images captured by a side-mounted, standard surveillance camera (e.g., mounted high on a wall) where standing people usually appear aligned with image’s vertical axis. Secondly, a fisheye lens exhibits significant geometric distortions at the FOV periphery (e.g., objects become compressed). This effect is absent or minimal in standard suveilllance cameras. Because of these challenges, people-detection methods developed for side-mounted, standard surveillance cameras perform poorly on overhead, fisheye cameras. To address this, we have developed two approaches to people detection in overhead, fisheye cameras: