While searching for a way to detect screen to face distance on Android I found only one open source project but it lacked some explanation and was quite old and complicated. So I did it myself.

Project on GitHub
A more advanced project using this algorithm

The algorithm is based on the distance between eyes. The further the face, the less the distance between your eyes appears on the camera.

The formula I used is:

Full code of MainActivity

Instead of object height we’ll be using width as we are using the distance between eyes as the object. I’m going to explain how to get each of the parameters required.

Using the front camera

I got the front camera this way:

private Camera frontCam() {
    int cameraCount = 0;
    Camera cam = null;
    Camera.CameraInfo cameraInfo = new Camera.CameraInfo();
    cameraCount = Camera.getNumberOfCameras();
    for (int camIdx = 0; camIdx < cameraCount; camIdx++) {
        Camera.getCameraInfo(camIdx, cameraInfo);
        if (cameraInfo.facing == Camera.CameraInfo.CAMERA_FACING_FRONT) {
            try {
                cam = Camera.open(camIdx);
            } catch (RuntimeException e) {
                Log.e("FAIL", "Camera failed to open: " + e.getLocalizedMessage());
    return cam;

Focal length

Focal length (F) can be obtained from the CameraParameters:

Camera.Parameters campar = camera.getParameters();
F = campar.getFocalLength();

Distance between eyes

The distance between eyes will represent real height in the formula. I took the average value of 63mm.

Image dimensions

Image width and height were declared in the initialisation of the camera source preview. The variables IMAGE_WIDTH, IMAGE_HEIGHT are used to store these values.

Sensor dimensions

The dimensions of the sensor can be obtained from Camera Parameters:

angleX = campar.getHorizontalViewAngle();
angleY = campar.getVerticalViewAngle();
sensorX = (float) (Math.tan(Math.toRadians(angleX/2))*2*F);
sensorY = (float) (Math.tan(Math.toRadians(angleY/2))*2*F);

Object width/height

The class Face stores eyes, ears, etc in a list of Landmark objects. The list can be accessed by calling getLandmarks(). Then, out of the list we pick the left and right eyes and store their positions.

PointF leftEyePos = face.getLandmarks().get(LEFT_EYE).getPosition();
PointF rightEyePos = face.getLandmarks().get(RIGHT_EYE).getPosition();

Then, we calculate the distance between eyes separately for each axis. These values are in abstract units (like pixels).

float deltaX = Math.abs(leftEyePos.x - rightEyePos.x);
float deltaY = Math.abs(leftEyePos.y - rightEyePos.y);

Then, the distance is calculated using the main formula. In order to increase accuracy it’s calculated using either width or height depending on the axis along which the difference(deltaX, deltaY) is bigger.

if (deltaX >= deltaY) {
    distance = F * (AVERAGE_EYE_DISTANCE / sensorX) * (IMAGE_WIDTH / deltaX);
} else {
    distance = F * (AVERAGE_EYE_DISTANCE / sensorY) * (IMAGE_HEIGHT / deltaY);

That’s it! Thanks for reading.

Good luck!