The emergence of new wearable technologies, such as action cameras and smart glasses, has driven the use of the first-person perspective in computer applications. This field is now attracting the attention and investment of researchers aiming to develop methods to process first-person vision (FPV) video. The current approaches present particular combinations of different image features and quantitative methods to accomplish specific objectives, such as object detection, activity recognition, user–machine interaction, etc. FPV-based navigation is necessary in some special areas, where Global Position System (GPS) or other radio-wave strength methods are blocked, and is especially helpful for visually impaired people. In this paper, we propose a hybrid structure with a convolutional neural network (CNN) and local image features to achieve FPV pedestrian navigation. A novel end-to-end trainable global pooling operator, called AlphaMEX, has been designed to improve the scene classification accuracy of CNNs. A scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT)-based tracking algorithm is employed for movement estimation and trajectory tracking of the person through each frame of FPV images. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The top-1 error rate of the proposed AlphaMEX-ResNet outperforms the original ResNet (k
= 12) by 1.7% on the ImageNet dataset. The CNN-SIFT hybrid pedestrian navigation system reaches 0.57 m average absolute error, which is an adequate accuracy for pedestrian navigation. Both positions and movements can be well estimated by the proposed pedestrian navigation algorithm with a single wearable camera.
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