Researchers Develop Hair Counting Software

Nov 25, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Katie Schaefer
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Title: Researchers Develop Hair Counting Software
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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has developed a software that can count hairs to test the efficacy of hair care or hair removal products. The organization worked with an unnamed UK personal care company to find a way to objectively test how well hair removal products work.

Pascal Valloton, PhD, who led the biotech imaging team, finds that hair counting is often done manually by human assessors and frequently results in errors or variance. The company's software uses images captured by a small flatbed scanner pressed onto the skin. The software crunches the numbers to analyse the image of skin and hairs. It reports information about the length and number of hairs in the picture.

To detect the linear feature of hair, the software uses algorithms that exploit some special things about hairs, like the relative straightness.The linear feature algorithms the software uses are similar to those developed by the team for medical research to measure the branching structure of nerve cells and to find the boundaries of fat cells.

The images can be compared to test the efficacy of hair removal products. According to the company, it does not vary based on the background skin color or texture and can detect small hairs.