ECTtracker - Main menu and functionality

ECTtracker Main Menu Navigation

All the items of the ECTtracker main menu are conveniently grouped. The user can start and stop the image tracking process, load and export user settings, load and save samples for tracking (including the auto-calibration feature), show or hide additional items of the main window of the program, select localization, show debugging windows or exit ECTtracker. In order to provide more comfort and increase the operation speed, all main items of the menu are assigned with so-called 'hot keys'. The appearance and the interface of the main menu are shown on the figure 11.

The main menu of the program (Fig. 11. The main menu of the program)

Let's look closer at the items of the main menu.

"About", the F1 key. This menu item shows the information window of ECTtracker, which contains information about the version of the program, a short description and materials about the developing company, licensing status, available updates and the hardware ID (see fig. 12).

The About window of the program (Fig. 12. The About window of the program)

'Start', 'Stop', the F2 key. During the first start of the program the user has to select the settings profile and adjust it if necessary, as well as create or load the Matrix of Samples from any file for further recognition. Therefore, the image tracking function is turned off by default. In order to use it, the user has to select the 'Start' item in the main menu of ECTtracker. In cases when the tracking process is running already and the user needs to adjust program settings, select other samples or just pause the tracking, the user can use the 'Stop' item in the main menu of ECTtracker. The user can also adjust parameters while tracking is performed, because it's going to stop automatically in cases where changes are made and followed with the 'Set Current' menu item selection.

'Matrix of Samples', the F5 key. This item of the menu can be used to show or hide the Matrix with saved Samples. This window can be hidden during operation in the standard mode in order to save additional space on the desktop. The Matrix of Samples has to be shown during the initial setup process.

PRO'Events Log', the F6 key. This additional window of the program shows the list of all the main actions performed in ECTtracker: e.g. start and stop of the recognition process, import and export of user profiles, various settings changes.

'Stripes Diagram', the F7 key. This additional window of the program shows the level of matching between the image in the program window and the samples in the Matrix in real time.

'Channels Diagram', the F8 key. This debugging window is used to show the graphical information about the color channels (RGB, delta RGB, HSL). The higher the position of the red channel intensity line, the more susceptible the channel is to changes of the video stream. Such channel changes have to be minimal for the same eye states, while maximal for the different eye states. This approach allows the user to identify the most important channels for the recognition of the image and matching with samples.

PRO'Structures Diagram', the F9 key. Allows the user to hide or show the SCO9 window, which is used to show the intensity of color channels for each point of the recognition structure. This debugging window is created for more advanced users who are able to edit the recognition structure file.

More information about the additional debugging window can be found in the 'Debugging elements' section of this manual.

'Exit', the F10 key. This menu item terminates the recognition process if it's enabled, and consequently closes all open windows of ECTtracker and terminates the application. All settings changes (window sizes and positions, elements visibility parameters and all other program settings) are automatically saved and will be applied during the next launch of ECTtracker.

'Settings' submenu

By using the 'Settings' submenu (see fig. 13), the user can show the window with the advanced settings of ECTtracker, import or export user profiles with program settings, apply settings after adjustments, as well as restore default values of all program settings.

The 'Settings' submenu (Fig. 13. The 'Settings' submenu)

'Show Settings', the F3 key. By using this menu item or the hot key, the user can hide or show the settings window of the program (see fig.14), which contains all the adjustable parameters of the program. The settings window of ECTtracker is visible by default.

The user can change the matching level of the sample and the analyzed image, the recognition structure type, target window size and position, idle time after loss of the image, the receiving program name, which receives all the data from ECTtracker, as well as key codes and actions, additional window parameters, autorun settings and many other parameters, making more than 50 changeable parameters. The user can find more information about program settings in the 'Settings and additional parameters of ECTtracker' chapter of this manual.

Settings window of the program (Fig. 14. Settings window of the program)

'Set Current'. This menu item allows the user to apply any parameters adjusted by the user through the settings window. All the changes performed by the user are applied only after selection of this menu item. This feature is really convenient for the settings profile creation process when there's no need to apply changes immediately, as well as for fast settings adjustment in ECTtracker. The 'Set Current' item can be found on the main menu of the program, as well as in the additional menu of the settings window.

'Load Settings'. By using this menu item, the user can load any previously saved settings profile. This feature allows the user to use an unlimited amount of settings profiles and to switch them 'on the fly', including even those parameters that can take some time when adjusted in manual mode (e.g. maximum shift of user's eyes, capturing and processing speed, etc.). This feature also provides comfort work with portable versions of the program. The wide variety of settings can affect processor load and consume other system resources, therefore it's recommended to use different profiles on computers with different configurations and parameters.

'Save Settings'. This menu item allows the user to save all the parameters of ECTtracker in a separate configuration file. When the user selects this menu item, a new window of operation system appears, allowing the user to select the location and the name for the new file. The file is going to be saved in a specified folder, having a specified name. Configuration files have a really small size, which makes it really easy to keep and sort them, as well as copy to any portable devices or send through e-mail and so on.

'Reset Settings'. The user can go back to the factory settings of ECTtracker in automatic mode. It's recommended to perform this action only in cases when the user set parameters that require high amounts of computing resources and the current computer is not able to provide them, resulting in unstable functioning of ECTtracker, as well as in some other cases.

'Samples' submenu

By using the 'Samples' submenu (see fig.15), the user can start auto-calibration and select a desired recognition structure. This menu also allows the user to work with the Matrix of Samples, i.e. save samples as files divided into folders or as one file; load previously saved samples; erase all the information from the Matrix; and calculate the color channels' priority level in automatic mode in order to increase the recognition quality.

'Samples' submenu (Fig. 15. 'Samples' submenu)

'Automatic Calibration', the F11 key. By using this item of the menu, the user can start the automatic calibration in order to create materials for the Matrix of Samples.

'Set Channel Formula'. It allows the user to select the priority level for each color channel in automatic mode. This feature provides an optimal level of recognition in the current conditions (the resolution of the camera, the lightning intensity, positions of the light sources, the distance between the camera and the face of the user and so on). This calculation can be performed only after proper filling of the Matrix of Samples, and the final value is going to be saved as the value of parameter 15 in the settings window of ECTtracker.

'Choose Structure'. When the user selects this item, a new widow of the operation system appears, allowing the user to select one of the available recognition structures. The structure is selected based on the current motor activity of the patient: ability to blink with one or both eyes, move lips, move thumb, and so forth. By selecting different recognition structures, the user can empirically determine the best structure for each particular case.

Other items of the 'Samples' submenu are intended to work with the Matrix of Samples. The current version of ECTtracker makes it possible to save the Matrix as one united graphical file (see fig.16) or save each sample in a separate file, dividing them into folders (see fig.17). In both cases, all the images are saved in the .bmp format in order to provide maximum clarity.

Matrix of Samples as one file (Fig. 16. Matrix of Samples as one file) Samples divided into folders (Fig. 17. Samples divided into folders)

'Choose Matrix of Samples'. This item allows the user to import the Matrix of Samples from one graphic file.

'Save Matrix of Samples'. This item saves the Matrix of Samples into one graphic file.

'Reset Matrix of Samples'. This item deletes samples in the Matrix of Samples that were created during manual or automatic calibration. The Matrix of Samples is cleared automatically during the automatic calibration.

PRO'Export Matrix of Samples'. This item saves samples into separate files, dividing them into folders.

PRO'Import Matrix of Samples'. This item imports samples from different folders.

Saving the Matrix as one file can be really useful when it's necessary to work with profiles of several users. These files can be stored in external portable devices, sent through e-mail and printed when necessary. Furthermore, if the user opens a file without running ECTtracker, the file can give total information about all saved samples.

The storage of samples in separate files has some advantages and makes it possible to change the Matrix of Samples without running ECTtracker or by using any third-party graphic editor. In order to change the position of any sample in the Matrix, the user can just change its name or move it to another folder. Thus, the user can switch two samples without any need to create them once again. The user can also copy or delete any samples using the file manager of the operating system. All changes will appear in ECTtracker after reloading the samples.

Storage of the Matrix of Samples in separate files and folders can be useful in some other cases, e.g. for remote control needs. In this case, the user can create a new Matrix of Samples using the auto-calibration feature, allowing the assistant to edit it remotely by moving files between folders. This makes it really easy to adjust Matrixes for personal needs.

'Main Window' submenu

The 'Main Window' submenu (see fig.18) allows the user to enable or disable various elements of the main window of ECTtracker, i.e. the video area, the structure of the image, statistic information, or coordinates for sample matching. Enabled elements of the program are marked with a tick.

The 'Main Window' submenu (Fig. 18. The 'Main Window' submenu)

This feature allows the user to properly set up the program initially or adjust some parameters. Furthermore, disabling some elements during normal work of ECTtracker allows the user to lower the required level of computing resources. It also allows the user to create some free space on the desktop and use it for some other application windows, e.g. the virtual keyboard window. All debugging element are enabled by default during the very first launch of the program. Positions of such elements are shown on figure 19.

Positions of the debugging elements in the main window of the program. 1 – statistics, 2 – video output, 3 – recognition structure, 4 – list of recognized samples (Fig. 19. Positions of the debugging elements in the main window of the program.
1 – statistics, 2 – video output, 3 – recognition structure, 4 – list of recognized samples)

'Video Output'. This menu item allows the user to show or hide the image from any other software in the main window of ECTtracker. When the video window is disabled, the user won't be able to see the structure. This feature is useful for computers with low-end technical characteristics, allowing the user to consume computing resources in the optimal way. Despite the fact that the video and the structure are not displayed in the window, tracking is still working and statistic data in the main window of ECTtracker and the 'Stripes Diagram' window is updated; all key codes are also sent to selected receiving software.

'Statistics'. The main window of the program contains various useful statistic information, including row and column number of the sample from the Matrix of Samples corresponding with the current image, the matching level, coordinates of the best sample, speed of visualization and processing of video. By disabling statistics through the corresponding item of the menu, the user will obtain an insignificant reduction of the required program resources and save some screen space when using ECTtracker on computers with low-resolution displays.

'Structure'. Structure visibility in the window with the acquired image allows the user to check if the correct area of the image is recognized by the program in real time, the quality of ECTtracker eye area 'control', and the focus on the selected area. When the program is set in the proper way and properly follows the user's eye image, the user can hide the structure from the image, lowering required computing resources.

PRO'List of Recognized'. This menu item allows the user to show or hide the additional part of the main window that contains the numeric table of samples, coordinates and maximum matching level between samples and the image acquired from the video window. By disabling this list, the user will have the same result as with items in previous chapters, i.e. decreased level of required computing resources.

In case there's no area with the list in the main window of the program after the 'List of Recognized' item activation, the user has to change the value of parameter 34 of the settings window of the program. This parameter defines the height of the list in pixels.

'Localization' submenu

ECTtracker gives all users the possibility of using their own language by using separate localization files. Currently the main menu and the settings description of the program are available in Chinese (Simplified), German, Spanish, French and Russian. The default language is English.

Localization through separate files is really convenient, because it doesn't require a full program update after each release of a new language. Language files are really light and located in the language subfolder.

There's a separate 'Localization' submenu in ECTtracker for language selection (see fig.20).

The 'Localization' submenu (Fig. 20. The 'Localization' submenu)

'Set Language File'. This item of the menu allows the user to select the localization version of the program. The user will see a standard file explorer window, where it's required to select any desired file from available languages.

'Set English'. By selecting this menu item of ECTtracker, the user will change the language to English without any additional confirmation windows or manual selection. This feature provides extra convenience for the user.