Photos: Future tech from HP boffins

Photos: Future tech from HP boffins

Summary: From wearable cameras to addressing developing nations


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  • The gesture keyboard consists of a graphics tablet with an electronic pen or stylus to capture digital ink and a software layer to recognise the shapes. The layout has base characters laid out and the user writes the modifier (matra) on the base consonant cell using the pen.

    It took a year for HP Labs in India to develop the handwriting recognition technology for the keyboard and it has a patent for the character positioning and gestures.

    HP claims the keyboard will help address the problem of poor PC and computer literacy among non-English speaking people in developing countries.

    It takes just 10 to 15 minutes for a Hindi speaker to get to grips with this gesture keyboard, which was officially launched last month. HP licences it to a third party and it costs around $50.

    Photo credit: Andy McCue

  • The Bangalore labs have also developed printcast technology that allows people to print documents related to information on a TV programme as they watch.

    Print applications such as this are more relevant in emerging markets such as India and China where TV and radio broadcasting are much more pervasive than the internet. In India 650 million people have access to a TV compared to 15 million who have access to the internet.

    HP Labs India is doing field trials with ISRO, the Indian government's satellite company, and a state government broadcaster and it has been tested in 10 schools in the town of Tumkur near Bangalore.

    The software embeds the print document into the TV signal. A decoder then unwraps the document from the TV signal. At the appropriate point during the TV programme the teacher can then print out the relevant document and share it with the pupils.

    HP plans to licence the software to set top box manufacturers and the initial use is likely to be for government education programmes. But HP admitted future uses could allow advertisers to let viewers print information related to the advert they are watching.

    Photo credit: Andy McCue

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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