The new Intel ISTC for pervasive computing is the fifth centre to open this year and underscores Intel's commitment to establishing and funding the collaboration of university research to fuel innovation in key areas. Earlier this year Intel announced ISTCs for visual computing, secure computing, Cloud computing and embedded computing.
"The next generation of pervasive computing systems will continuously learn environments, objects, schedules and preferences of their users", stated Limor Fix, Intel's director of academic programmes and research. "These future apps will be capable of supporting complex tasks such as cooking a soufflé or building a complicated piece of furniture. Consumers will have a far richer experience than the technologies of today can offer and will be able to spend far more time achieving their goals than figuring out how to make the technology work."
The ISTC for pervasive computing research will focus on developing applications that are organized into the following themes: low-power sensing and communication; understanding human state and activities; and personalization and adaptation. To ensure the trustworthiness and security of the systems involved and to safeguard privacy, researchers who focus on these challenges will be involved in all of the centre's projects. The centre will explore task spaces that interact seamlessly with users by combining multiple cues such as a person's context, gestures and voice, and that provide assistance through multiple output modes such as audio and projected imagery. Ultimately, future systems will support applications that have much deeper awareness of users and their activities, context and goals. They will be able to learn and adapt continuously to consumer habits, routines and preferences.
Research at the new ISTC will center largely on developing new algorithms to extract complex context and activity information from sensor data. For instance, the algorithms will not only sense that someone is in the kitchen but that the person is slicing ingredients for a particular recipe and whether the cuts are too thick for the recipe being used.
Improving consumers' physical and emotional wellbeing, assisting in the co-ordination of busy lives and enhancing the home functionality are high-value application areas. The ISTC for pervasive computing will develop three concept applications: