A real-time head pose and gaze estimation (HPGE) algorithm has excellent potential for technological advancements either in human-machine or human-robot interactions. For example, in high-accuracy advent applications such as Driver's Assistance System (DAS), HPGE plays a crucial role in omitting accidents and road hazards. In this paper, the authors propose a new hybrid framework for improved estimation by combining both the appearance and geometric-based conventional methods to extract local and global features. Therefore, the Zernike moments algorithm has been prominent in extracting rotation, scale, and illumination invariant features. Later, conventional discriminant algorithms were used to classify the head poses and gaze direction. Furthermore, the experiments were performed on standard datasets and real-time images to analyze the accuracy of the proposed algorithm. As a result, the proposed framework has immediately estimated the range of direction changes under different illumination conditions. We obtained an accuracy of ~85%; the average response time was 21.52 and 7.483 ms for estimating head poses and gaze, respectively, independent of illumination, background, and occlusion. The proposed method is promising for future developments of a robust system that is invariant even to blurring conditions and thus reaching much more significant performance enhancement.
Keywords: Zernike moments; feature extraction; head pose and gaze estimation (HPGE); linear discriminant analysis; principal component analysis.