Stronger ‘smart’ glass that offers virtual keyboard in the air

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Seoul, Feb 29 (IANS) Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a stronger version of a smart glass that allows users to text a message or type in key words for internet surfing by offering a virtual keyboard for text and even one for a piano.

The team upgraded its K-Glass — smart glasses reinforced with augmented reality — with a low-power multicore processor to employ stereo vision and deep-learning algorithms, making the user interface and experience more intuitive and convenient

The latest version called “K-Glass 3” is equipped with a stereo camera, dual microphones, a Wi-Fi module, and eight batteries to offer higher recognition accuracy and enhanced augmented reality experiences than previous models.

Currently, most wearable head-mounted displays (HMDs) suffer from a lack of rich user interfaces, short battery lives, and heavy weight.

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Some HMDs, such as Google Glass, use a touch panel and voice commands as an interface, but they are considered merely an extension of smartphones and are not optimised for wearable smart glasses.

Recently, gaze recognition was proposed for HMDs including K-Glass 2, but gaze is insufficient to realise a natural user interface (UI) and experience (UX), such as user’s gesture recognition.

As a solution, professor Hoi-Jun Yoo and his team developed “K-Glass 3” with a low-power natural UI and UX processor to enable convenient typing and screen pointing on HMDs with just bare hands.

“We have succeeded in fabricating a low-power multi-core processer that consumes only 126.1 milliwatts of power with a high efficiency rate,” said Yoo.

“It is essential to develop a smaller, lighter, and low-power processor if we want to incorporate the widespread use of smart glasses and wearable devices into everyday life,” he added.

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The new processor is composed of a pre-processing core to implement stereo vision, seven deep-learning cores to accelerate real-time scene recognition within 33 milliseconds, and one rendering engine for the display.

The stereo-vision camera, located on the front of K-Glass 3, works in a manner similar to three dimension (3D) sensing in human vision.

The results were presented at the “2016 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) conference in San Francisco, California, recently.

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