© naftemporiki.gr New technology for even more “smart” smartphones
The ability to perform tasks and functions depending on the areas on which they are placed on, aspire to give smartphones a pioneering technology developed by University of St. Andrews.
SpeCam is a program that allows today’s phones to use their cameras to identify different materials they have come into contact with. This, coupled with a pre-created database, would allow the phone to “understand” what type of surface has been placed on – which opens a wide range of applications: From the ability of your phone to “tell you” where it is, when you can not find it, until it is programmed to trigger certain functions when it is on certain types of surfaces.
For example, if the phone rings and you have left it with its screen touching the laptop, it could send a message by itself to someone who calls you that “I am busy”, or, if it is in your pocket, suggest to him who calls you during a meeting to try to call another colleague.
Other functions could be to begin playing relaxing music, or to change the volume of the sound on the TV, if it “senses” being leaning on the sofa etc.
One of the major advantages of this technology is that the required hardware already exists on today’s smartphones, so SpeCam can be installed simply by means of a software update or downloading an application.
As for the way SpeCam works, what it does is to use the smartphone screen as a multi-faceted light source and the front camera to capture the reflection of the material on which it touches. The program then switches the lighting of the material rapidly in different colors, recognizing it, and concluding on the spot and location of the phone.
The system will be presented in the context of the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, ACMSIGCHI MobileHCI 2017 in Vienna on September 6th. As the lead researcher, Professor Aaron Quigley, said:
“This is a case of what we call Discreet Computing or discreet interaction, where subtle and silent actions on the part of the user can bring completely new forms of interaction.”
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