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Cellphone App Developed that Could Allow For 'Pocket Supercomputers' 73

Posted by Zonk
from the putting-your-brain-power-elsewhere dept.
Jack Spine writes "A robotics researcher at Accenture has given a demonstration of a 'Pocket Supercomputer' — a phone behaving like a thin client. It can be used to send images and video of objects in real time to a server where they can be identified and linked to relevant information, which can then be sent back to the user. 'The camera on the phone is used to take a video of an object — such as a book ... By offloading the processing from a mobile device onto a server, there are few limits on the size and processing power available to be used for the storage and search of images.' To pinpoint the features necessary to identify an object, the image is run through an algorithm called Scale-Invariant Feature Transform, or SIFT, a technology developed by academic David Lowe. The software extracts feature points from a jpeg and makes a match against images in the database. If a match exists then the software on the server retrieves information and sends it back to the user's phone. 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."
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Cellphone App Developed that Could Allow For 'Pocket Supercomputers'

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  • Re:Great, but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by JustinRLynn (831164) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @09:50AM (#22245558)
    Mods please erase above comment. Link goes to site with hostile javascript, images.
  • The age old question (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @10:00AM (#22245638) Homepage
    We really need to stop throwing the supercomputer term around. How do you really define supercomputer? Is it based on number of calcs per second it can do? Size? Hell, my PSP has more power in it than room-filling monstrosities from the 50's...
  • by Serapth (643581) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @10:13AM (#22245780)
    I agree completely, the title is highly misleading. The cyclical nature of our industry does make me laugh though, its like every few years the balance of power between the network and the device shifts and WOW!!! a whole new way of computing!!! Repeat and rinse. How people fail to recognize its the same thing over and over, boggles my mind. Oddly though, the cell phone has basically been a thin client all along, and its only recently with Palms Treos, Windows smartphone, Apple iPhone's, etc... that things started trended towards thick clients again.

    Lastly, atleast here in Canada, this idea is completely unrealistic anyways as the bottleneck is essentially the network not the device. A combination of high data charges, no flat rate billing plans and slow networks just doesn't mix well.
  • Barcode (Score:3, Informative)

    by Taulin (569009) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @10:39AM (#22246108) Homepage Journal
    Something sort of similar already seen in Japan. Look in any Japanese magazine, and in almost every add you will find a 2D square barcode. Point your cell phone camera at it, and it will look up the information. Basically, it is just a URL, but it is a standard thing over there. Really nice.
  • by davidsyes (765062) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @01:57PM (#22248944) Homepage Journal []

    "A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code.

    Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context spanning both commercial tracking applications as well as convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users. QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that a user might need information about. A user having a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone's browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL."

    But, in the good 'ol US of A, many stores would KICK OUT patrons who openly comparison shop. In Japan, it's the norm, otherwise QR would have flopped, I think. Even on the street, I was handed adverts having QR codes on them. Makes life a HELLUVA lot nicer to not have to type in or use a search engine when a QR will do either, and quickly.

    More URLs:

    QR-Code Generator: []


    But, even USPS & UPS and such entities use them, too, seemingly to replace get around damaged bar codes. IIRC, QR Codes are multiply (plee) redundant, so damaging part of it still does not prevent extraction of information.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @07:08PM (#22254658) Journal
    Sure! From the wiki [] (not a great article, but a good place to start): the best bet is the FAST corner detector. Also on the wikipedia page, there's Trajkovic and Headly with their paper "called fast corner detection", which is different from FAST corner detection". It's very similar, so it might be as fast if it used the same tricks. There's also the venerable SUSAN detector which is somewhat older and slower, but still one of the quicker ones.

    The wiki page is a good place to start because it has links to publically available versions of most of the papers, so it you want to read further, I suggest downloading a recent paper and playing the reference chasing game. The wikipedia page also has links to reference implementations.

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound