MEBOW: Monocular estimation of body orientation in the wild
Body orientation estimation provides crucial visual cues in many applications, including robotics and autonomous driving. It is particularly desirable when 3-D pose estimation is difficult to infer due to poor image resolution, occluded and indistinguishable body parts.We present COCO-MEBOW (Monocular Estimation of Body Orientation in the Wild), a new large-scale dataset for orientation estimation from a single in-the-wild image. The body-orientation labels for around 130K human bodies within 55K images from the COCO dataset have been collected using an efficient and high-precision annotation pipeline. We also validated the value of the dataset. First, we show that our dataset can substantially improve the performance and the robustness of a human body orientation estimation model, the development of which was previously limited by the scale and diversity of the available training data. Additionally, we present a novel triple-source solution for3-D human pose estimation, where 3-D pose labels, 2-D pose labels, and our body-orientation labels are all used in joint training. Our model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art dual-source solutions for monocular 3-D human pose estimation, where training only uses3-D pose labels and 2-D pose labels. This substantiates an important advantage of MEBOW for 3-D human pose estimation, which is particularly appealing because the per-instance labeling cost for body orientations is far less than that for3-D poses.The work demonstrates high potential of MEBOW in addressing real-world challenges involving understanding human behaviors.