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S'pore tech shines at CommunicAsia 2010

photo At CommunicAsia 2010, local innovations get showcased by Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and the Infocomm Development Authority.
By Liau Yun Qing, Journalist on
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COMMUNICASIA, SINGAPORE--Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) showcases some of its market-ready technologies at the trade show. The exhibition is organized by two of its arms--Institute for Infocomm Research which focuses on research and development and commercialization wing Exploit Technologies.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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In what looks like a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) setup, A*Star shows off its digital forensic evidence and file recovery technology. A spokersperson explained that the files are stored in fragmentation on the hard disk, and contrary to popular belief, files do not disappear when deleted but become shreds of unrelated memory.
Contrasted with "state-of-the-art", commercially-available technology seen on the right, which is only able to recover two-thirds of a deleted image, A*STAR's technology is able to completely recover a deleted file. A*Star achieves this through its "patent-pending technology" using a novel algorithm with more complex scenarios, she said.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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A side-by-side comparison of the two technologies, shows that A*Star is able to recover the deleted file much faster. Normal recovery takes 5 minutes but A*Star is able to complete the recovery in a few seconds, said the spokesperson. The fact that A*Star is running its program on Ubuntu is not a reason for its speed, she clarified.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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Fancy a dancing partner in 3D? Characters in the demostration will mimic a dancer's moves and even make eye contact and blink. No two dances are the same as the character will sync its moves to not only the real person but also to the rhythm and beat of the music.
The booth includes a computer running the game engine, motion-detectors and a projector. The game is also available in 2D, an A*Star representative said.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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A dancing teddy character is available for children and a multi-player version is in the works.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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Joining the soccer fever is the motion-detector kiosk from XYZ Wave. The infrared camera detects feet movement and simulates a penalty kick. The company will be launching a kiosk to detect head motion on Jun. 26--what we would like to know is, will it include detection for The Hand of God? The production of a kiosk takes about a month--content takes 2 weeks while the physical kiosk may take from 3 weeks to a month.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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Just beside the A*Star setup is Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority's pavilion where there are kiosks for visitor to experience the Singapore 2010 Odyssey, a 3D virtual world for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). According to an IDA representative, the online game currently has nine sports and about 200,000 registered members, with half from Singapore. ="">Asked if the virtual world will be maintained after the games, IDA said its intention was not only to build a virtual world for the YOG but encourage the use of virtual worlds by the local industry and schools.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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Also at the IDA booth is an exhibition of digital signage for targeted-marketing from Singapore firm 1-2-1View. A company representative says the signage attracts attention of passers-by by making their bodies look like they are on fire.

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The digital signage detects when a passer-by has fixed his or her attention on the screen using the Web camera located at the top of the screen. The program then detects the age and gender of the audience and displays age and gender-targeted ads. The ad shown here is a shampoo commercial targeted at females.
The technology is currently implemented by Singapore Press Holdings at locations including Far East Square, the demonstrator said, adding that advertisers can benefit by paying only for the ads displayed.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing


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Near-field communications (NFC) technology was also demonstrated by IDA at the show. The Apple iPhone used in the demonstration has an NFC-dongle attached. The photo above shows the dongle reading information from the NFC chip--a video of how to make yummy tiramisu is then pushed to the phone. The phone shown in the lower half of the picture is used as a charge card, with the receipt terminal printing out the amount paid.
NFC will not yet be available for the mass market in Singapore because of a lack of infrastructure ranging from NFC-equipped phones to NFC terminals, said the demonstrator. IDA hopes to promote the technology and is now in discussions with telcos and banks.

Photo by Liau Yun Qing

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