Color-Distortion Filtering for Remote Photoplethysmography

This paper introduces a powerful filtering method that exploits the physiological and optical properties of skin reflections to improve the performance of remote photoplethysmography (rPPG). Based on the fact that the pulsatile and non-pulsatile (e.g., intensity and specular changes) components have different reflection-spectra in a multi-wavelength camera, we propose to use their different characteristic color changes as a soft criterion to filter the RGB-signals in the frequency domain, such that the AC-components containing clear color distortions can be suppressed before the actual pulse extraction. This leads to a novel “Color-Distortion Filter” (CDF) that can be used as a common pre-processing step for arbitrary rPPG algorithms to increase their robustness. The benchmark in challenging fitness recordings shows that CDF brings significant and consistent improvements to all benchmarked rPPG algorithms, and drives all multi-channel approaches to a similar high quality-level.