Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A wink is enough to switch off the PC

15.11.2002


It is already possible for PC users to switch off simply by winking their eyes, but it is expected this will soon be possible wirelessly! Now in its start-up phase, the Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Proactive Information Technology or PROACT includes a project dedicated to the development of wireless technology. One of the applications is a PC interface controlled by eye movement.



All five Academy research programmes launched during 2002 will benefit from international funding. In the case of PROACT, the Academy will be working closely with the French Ministry of Research and French research teams.

The technology is already in place


Bioelectric changes in human muscles are measured for various different purposes for instance in the field of health care. Senior Assistant Veikko Surakka from the University of Tampere has the job of coordinating one of the PROACT projects that is concerned with studying and testing wireless sensor technology for the measurement and interpretation of the physiological and bioelectric changes caused by emotional reactions in humans. The main focus will be on the measurement of changes occurring in the heart, brain, muscles as well as in the electric function of the eye.

The sensor technology is already there in place. Work in the project coordinated by Veikko Surakka will be concentrated on developing prototypes of wireless sensors as well as wireless measurement technology and data transfer:

‘We will be looking to introduce the first prototype of a wireless sensor patch that is applied to the skin by around spring 2004,’ Dr Surakka says.

One of the most exciting applications for real-time recording of the electric function of the eye and muscles is in the development a PC interface that can be operated without hands.

Apart from the operation of PCs and household appliances, reliable wireless measurement systems may have useful applications in the field of health care. One of the PROACT projects will be working to develop an ordinary-looking chair that measures the cardiac function of the person sitting by means of wireless data transfer techniques. A proactive application of the electromechanical EMFi film that measures sound and movement is an intelligent underfloor safety system for homes of the frail elderly: the film can detect when the occupant has suffered a fall and needs help, and when the occupant is simply bending over to pick up something that has dropped on the floor.

One of the major current concerns in research on proactive technology is how to get different kinds of information systems to communicate with each other. Professor Juha Tuominen from the Helsinki University of Technology is coordinating a project concerned with the development of a middleware platform for the linking of mobile and fixed computer and datacommunications systems. This kind of platform will make it easier for mobile emergency units to maintain contact with headquarters. This project also involves French researchers.

Three Finnish-French projects in the programme

The PROACT programme comprises three independent projects and 11 consortia that involve at least two research teams with a joint research plan. During the three years of the programme from 2002 through to 2005, Academy funding will amount to more than EUR 5.3 million. The French Ministry of Research has earmarked EUR 2 million that will be spent on supporting three projects; one of these projects is funded from the Finnish side by the National Technology Agency Tekes.

‘Although foreign projects have not had a very prominent role in these first jointly funded Academy programmes, international funding cooperation has now got off the ground and the experiences so far have been very good. As we continue our efforts to further develop international cooperation, it is important to bear in mind that the themes for research programmes and the funding partners must be chosen with a view to the needs of cooperation,’ says Academy of Finland Director of Research Anneli Pauli.

Research results in the public domain

Right now, research in the field of proactive information technology is booming the world over. A number of projects are underway in the United States, funding is made available to this line of research through the 5th and 6th EU framework programmes, and a major new research programme has just been launched in Britain. In addition many major IT companies including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, IBM, AT&T, Sony and Nokia all have their own proactive projects.

‘If Finland wants to keep abreast of things, this is the right time to start up a research programme in this field,’ says coordinator of the PROACT Programme Greger Lindén.

‘Several Finnish companies have gone into production with small proactive IT devices, and the National Technology Agency is funding R&D in applications. Funding from the Academy is absolutely crucial for this kind of research: none of the applications would be possible in the first place without basic research. And of course all the research results are in the public domain,’ Greger Lindén points out.

What is proactive technology?

Proactive information technology is designed to look ahead and anticipate the user’s intentions, to adapt to the situation and the individual user and to respond accordingly. A proactive system may be incorporated in a smart environment, in the auxiliary devices used by the elderly and the disabled, or it can be worn in clothes.

Marja Pemberton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aka.fi/eng

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>