Chennai-based Mad Street Den startup has built a cloud-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to enable any smartphone with a camera to identify faces, detect facial expressions and emotions, and react to facial and head gestures. The expression acts as a trigger for a certain action, for example, frowning at the phone when an unwanted call comes in could make it shut down forthwith, or lifting an eyebrow could send the caller a message asking ‘What now?’
This image-recognizing platform, called MAD Stack, can be used by app developers and companies to create a futuristic mobile user experience. Mad Street Den founders Ashwini Asokan and Anand Chandrasekaran explain that the idea is to make machines more useful by making them a bit human: fun, intelligent, and relevant.
The process of recognizing a human expression or responding to a gesture is simple for a human brain, but quite complex for a smartphone camera to do digitally. It is artificial intelligence that enables a camera to do this. What’s more, the app keeps getting smarter with use, through machine learning algorithms. Read more
Indian engineer H. Abdul Shabeer has created a device that deactivates mobile phones before they can cause accidents or deaths on the highways. As soon the driver’s use of cell phone is detected, especially when the vehicle is in motion, the jammer flashes warning beeps within five seconds. If he still continues with his chat, it can immediately switch it off or a micro camera will click him in the very act and transmit it along with the number plate to the traffic control room or near a signal post so that police can act on time. If anybody tries to damage or remove the system, then the device will automatically transmit the vehicle’s registration number to the control room.
The low-cost device, powered by the vehicle, can differentiate between a mobile phone being used by a driver or any passenger in a van or a bus, even if many of them are making simultaneous calls.
The system could be a boon for a country like India, accounting for the highest number of road accidents worldwide, claiming thousands of lives every year, according to reports. Shabeer has applied for a patent on the product, which is ready for commercial applications. Read more
Rohildev N., 23, from Kerela has developed a device called Fin, a tiny hardware that one can wear on one’s thumb as a ring and which converts the whole palm into a gesture interface. Fin has been created at Rohildev’s RHL Vision Technologies at the Startup Village in Kochi.
Wearable devices are the next stage of computing and the thumb ring developed by Rohil and his team is stylish and easy to use. Fin, worn as a ring on your thumb, has sensors that can uniquely recognize each segment (phalange) of the fingers and identify various parts of the palm by calculating their distance from the thumb. So you can assign different functions to each finger segment, and can perform a function by making your thumb touch the relevant segment. This means that the simple touch of your thumb on a finger segment can send an emergency alert, silence your phone, move to the next track on your playlist, or pick up a call – all without you actually touching the device.
It uses smart low energy technology such as Bluetooth for communication with connected devices. Fin, according to a report in the Indian Science Journal (ISJ) website, can transmit natural gestures as commands to any connected Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, a music player, a gaming console, a digital interface inside a car, a television set or a home automation device.
According to Rohildev, if you have home automation devices, your palm can operate those without raising a hand or any gestures, unlike other touchless technologies.
Made out of durable, waterproof and dustproof material, a single Fin will be capable of supporting up to three devices at a time. It will come with a custom Lithium ion battery with micro-USB charging dock and last more than one month on full charge.
Fin will be priced at $120 each, but that cost could come down with mass manufacturing. Read more
Indian-origin researchers from the University of Washington (UW) have developed a new gesture-recognition technology called WiSee that leverages Wi-Fi signals to detect specific movements, without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.
Reasearchers have shown that by using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture. Read more