Photos: Future tech from HP boffins

Photos: Future tech from HP boffins

Summary: From wearable cameras to addressing developing nations

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  • From wearable cameras to addressing developing nations

    A wearable camera is one idea to come out of the "casual capture" programme at HP's Bristol labs, which silicon.com visited this week.

    There are currently no product plans for the device but the latest prototype being demonstrated here consists of a camera integrated into the centre of the glasses which can simultaneously capture 1.3 megapixel stills at 7.5 frames per second and 0.3 megapixel video footage at 30 frames per second.

    The data is stored on a processing unit worn around the waist that can store three hours of footage on its two 20GB disk drives.

    The camera is continuously recording footage but the user presses a button on the processing unit when something of interest happens that they want to capture. At this point the machine saves the previous 20 seconds and the next five minutes of camera footage.

    Photo credit: Andy McCue

  • The quality of the images is surprisingly good - as seen here from footage taken using the prototype wearable camera by HP's Phil Cheatle on a family holiday climbing in the Italian Dolomites.

    Cheatle said: "We wanted something that's ridiculously easy to use."

    Of course there is too much raw footage for the user to process and select manually so HP developed image filtering and automatic analysis technology to do the hard work for them.

    The saved footage is downloaded to a PC where sophisticated head motion detection algorithms determine which bits are most likely to be of interest to the user and whether a still, panorama or video clip is the most appropriate format.

    The user can then review the edited footage and raise the "interest threshold" rating so that only highlights are selected or lower the threshold so that more footage is shown.

    Photo credit: Phil Cheatle, HP

  • HP has developed prototype e-book devices that can be used to read books, newspapers and view digital photograph albums.

    Anthony Sowden, project lead on the e-books devices at HP's Bristol Labs said: "We envisage the device as a media viewer."

    HP is also looking at integrating audio and video into the devices, which are relatively light and easy to use and have a battery life of around five hours on full brightness.

    The latest prototypes use 'riffling' technology that allows the device to show digital book pages that can be turned in a realistic way similar to physical books as seen in the photo above.

    Books can be viewed in one-page portrait mode or two-page landscape and the device has touch strips around the edge for scrolling up and down and turning pages.

    Some Jane Austen books, which are out of copyright, have been loaded on to the prototypes and HP is currently talking to the Daily Telegraph about the digital newspaper viewer.

    Photo credit: Andy McCue

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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