Accenture demos the 'Pocket Supercomputer'

Accenture demos the 'Pocket Supercomputer'

Summary: Accenture researchers have been showing off the device, which can recognise objects such as books, pictures and foodstuffs videoed on a mobile phone, and deliver relevant information

TOPICS: Hardware

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  • For the demonstration in Accenture's labs in Nice on Tuesday, Linaker used a laptop running Windows XP.

    The video search can be set up to access any type of image that is in the database. For example, the technology can recognise an image of a painting; Linaker demonstrated using an image of Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. When the camera on the phone took video images of the painting, a search of the database returned results giving information about the painting, and linked the phone to the recent film of the same title.

  • Foodstuffs can be identified by their packets, even if the name of the foodstuff is written in non-Latin characters, such as the Chinese pack of soup seasoning pictured above.

    Businesses can use the application for inventory purposes, or to train staff to recognise different electrical components, says Accenture.

    A "three-dimensional" image of an object can also be uploaded onto the phone, to look at the virtual object from different angles. The motion-tracking technology Accenture uses for this is a free library of algorithms called Open Computer Vision originally developed by Intel. This could be used to train employees about certain pieces of stock in a warehouse, for example.

  • Foreign languages and characters can be translated into the user's language, so a user can find out what an object is. Search results can be personalised, so the user can be alerted if a foodstuff contains a certain allergen, for example.

    The phone takes a video of the object at 10 frames per second, and the images are sent to a database in real-time using "video calling", a low-latency communications medium.

    The database that is used for video search can be built automatically; Accenture has written spiders to crawl the web and download images on a specific theme such as Asian food.

Topic: Hardware

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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