My previous posts on face detection with Python and on changing the user’s presence when he/she is detected by the webcam are two of the most popular articles on my blog. There were quite a few comments that asked about the code for this project.

Although I already created a Facade project page a while ago and made the code available through Bazaar, I never announced it here. To make it easier to try the script out, I also uploaded an archive of the code. This version includes a simple Python script that works on Windows ( that performs face detection.

I noticed today that Jinwei Gu, a PhD student at the University of Columbia and teaching assistant for the course COMS W4737 (E6737) Biometrics, included my blog post in a list of links to resources for doing face detection.

Last year, two students improved the presence detection in Facade during their Bachelor’s theses.

Bram Bonné worked on the network aspect, to allow users to have their presence detected on multiple computers. When users would move from one computer to another (or to a mobile device), their messages would automatically be routed to their current machine.

Here are a few screenshots from Bram’s thesis:

Multi-device presence

An everywhere messaging service that takes into account the user's presence.

Bram also created a demo video of his system:

Kristof Bamps worked on supporting a more diverse set of sensors (e.g. presence of a Bluetooth phone, keyboard and mouse input). He used a decision tree to model all these sensors, and determine the user’s correct presence based on the collected information.

Two screenshots from Kristof’s thesis:

Showing the user's presence state

A history of presence changes

Kristof’s demo video:

I have unfortunately not yet found the time yet to merge Kristof’s and Bram’s code into the main Facade branch, but this should not be too big of a problem.