Recognition Technology to Transform Mobile Devices

Research Aims to Further Expand Connections Between Real and Virtual Worlds

Mar. 11, 2010

UT Dallas researchers are working with Texas Instruments Inc. and GetFugu Inc. to enable next-generation human-device interaction (HDI) technologies that merge a physical, real-world environment with virtual, computer-generated imagery on mobile devices.

The $100,000 project brings together TI’s OMAP processor and WiLink connectivity technology with GetFugu’s search tool and innovative work by researchers in the UT Dallas MobileLab.

When it’s all combined, users will gain quick access to information, seamless connections and vivid multimedia experiences, providing them with information about the world around them instantaneously.

Practically speaking, that means object-recognition technology that allows you to snap a picture of a company logo with a smartphone camera and instantly receive company information via the phone’s Internet connection – all because the smartphone identified the logo and searched for relevant information. It means taking a picture of an ad for a band and immediately obtaining the band’s latest tour dates and ticket information.

TI introduced the idea of next-generation human-device interaction at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010 in February.

While HDI is just starting to emerge in commercial applications, GetFugu has been in the field for more than two years. By integrating mobile phones’ core strengths into a single search tool, GetFugu provides user-friendly access via mobile devices to Web content previously available only on computers.

“TI is excited about the promise of HDI and how it will change the way we interact with our mobile devices,” said Leo Estevez, technology strategist for TI’s wireless business unit. “Our applications processors and connectivity solutions provide the powerful technology mix that sets a foundation for these applications and offers quicker access, improved user experiences and out-of-this-world advancements. As we demonstrated during MWC in February, we truly are at the cusp of a mobile revolution.”

MobileLab researchers at UT Dallas are now testing and running these concepts on the Zoom OMAP34x-II Mobile Development Platform, which features high-performance low-power capabilities that enable easier acquisition of content, an improved search experience and enhanced voice- and visual-recognition capabilities. OMAP processors are the sophisticated chips used in many smartphones.

“Our researchers from MobileLab and the University’s electrical engineering department are excited to collaborate with TI and GetFugu not only on the compelling technology of emerging HDI, but also on the new kinds user experiences it introduces,” said MobileLab’s director, Dean Terry.

Added Rich Jenkins, GetFugu’s co-founder and business development executive: “Our applications are designed to utilize vision- and voice-recognition, bypassing the mobile device’s cumbersome keyboard to connect with the content people want quickly and conveniently. The technology, while spectacular, remains a function of the search and is almost invisible to the consumer. We expect this to proliferate among mobile users and, when combined with powerful engines from TI, bring new levels of interactivity to mobile devices.”


Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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ATEC students Kate Aronson and John Syrinek

EMAC students Kate Aronson and John Syrinek check out a Texas Instruments OMAP processor development board.

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