Live Tracker

You can track any bright object in real time !



This PC/Mac  program tracks the brightest object that it sees.  With it you can :

  1. See velocity (in blue)  and acceleration(in red)  of the object being tracked live
  2. Save the x,y positons  as a .csv file

The tracking works best at about 25 frames a second. It needs to have a bright object with good contrast. Our tracking is based on differences in brightness.

How to teach key mathematics concepts : Coordinate System, Vectors, Velocity Acceleration, Graphing & Conversion using Live Tracker

active learning workshop

Installing Live Tracker in PC

Installing Live Tracker in Mac

More info you have issues installing

If you are a coder

If you know processing, you can download the source code. In processing, go to Sketch> Import library> Add library... Then then download and install the video library. If you make improvements please let us know, we would like to share it with our community.

> DownLoad





trackballPlain ping-pong balls works well. The Live Tracker tracks the brightest object. You can light the ping pong ball if you need to but it is not necessary. If you decide to use light, make sure that it is  diffused light but not direct light as it has glare. You can also use a mini torch or you can attach a bicycle light with Velcro. Make sure that you insert some tissue paper inside it to defuse the light.   You can also track your Phone if the screen is lit. You can use app such as  Screen Light for Android or Flash Light for Free for Iphones or our own web page that will display a yellow spot.



Other Precautions

Live tracking works within limited speed range. It needs a stead background (without movement ). Avoid direct light and glare.  The tracking program works based on relative contrast ,hence the contrast between the tracking object and the other objects need to be high. For this reason do not use bright backgrounds. You will see what is being tracked as white areas in the black background.  You can adjust the cut off level to eliminate any background items. If too much of the background is picked up, try offing or reducing the room light.


Camera Setup

50 MPixesl ,cheap USB Web Cam, with manual focus
50 MPixesl ,cheap USB Web Cam, with manual focus

We recommend cheap Web cams (with manual focus) with a 50Mpixel sensor. The Live tracker senses the position of the object by using a blurring technique - which slows it down. If you have a good web cam with auto-focus you have to use the blur function in the program. If you have a manual focus webcam you can blur it by changing the focus of the lenses - this works faster, as it removes the programmatic bluring of the images. Also best to mount the camera on a mic stand (instead of camera stand), because mic stand has better reach and can point the camera to the floor without causing obstruction.

Since backgrounds are hard to control a dark table tops or the floor with a dark cloth or paper would work well.

Introduction to spreadsheets

If you wish to learn about spread sheets

Graphing with spread sheets