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KAIST's Thermoelectric Generator on Glass Fabric Receives the Grand Prize at the Netexplo Forum 2015
The forum announced top ten IT innovations expected to change the world and selected the grand prize on February 4, 2014. Established in 2007 by Martine Bidegain and Thierry Happe in partnership with the French Senate and the French Ministry for the Digital Economy, the Netexplo Observatory is an independent global organization that studies the impact of digital technology and innovation on society and business. Every year, the Netexplo Observatory hosts an international conference, the Netexplo Forum, in Paris, France, which surveys digital innovation worldwide. The 8th forum was held in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on February 4-5, 2015, at the UNESCO House in Paris. Prior to the conference, the Netexplo Forum 2015 named the top ten most promising digital technologies that will greatly impact the world. Among them was Professor Byung Jin Cho’s research on a wearable thermoelectric generator (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/tkai-tgo041014.php). The generator was selected as the most innovative technology this year. Professor Cho of KAIST’s Electrical Engineering Department developed a glass fabric-based thermoelectric generator that is extremely light and flexible and that produces electricity from the heat of the human body. This technology can be applied widely to wearable computers and mobile devices. The full list of innovations follows below: Wearable Thermo-Element, South Korea: The human body becomes a source of energy for mobile devices. W.Afate 3D-printer, Togo: An environmentally friendly fablab that makes a low-cost 3D-printer from recycling electronic components. Slack, USA: By combining email, Skype, and file-sharing and social networks, internal communication becomes much easier and simpler. PhotoMath, Croatia: A free app that enables smartphone users to solve mathematical problems simply by scanning the mathematical texts. Kappo, Chile: Connected cyclists produce and transmit useful data for urban planning to make the city more bike-friendly. Branching Minds, USA: An improved learning process for students in difficulty through a personalized approach. Baidu Kuai Sou, China: Smart chopsticks that can check food hazards. SCio, Israel: A pocket molecular sensor with various applications and data Rainforest Connection, USA: Fighting deforestation with recycled smartphones Sense Ebola Followup, Nigeria: A mobile tool to help contain Ebola For more details on the wearable thermos-element which received the 2015 Netexplo Award, please go to https://www.netexplo.org/en/intelligence/innovation/wearable-thermo-element. Pictures 1 and 2: A high-performance wearable thermoelectric generator that is extremely flexible and light. Picture 3: Senator Catherine Morin-Desailly (left) of the French Parliament presents the 2015 Netexplo Award to Professor Byung Jin Cho (right) on February 4, 2015 at the UNESCO House in Paris. Credit of Loran Dhérines Picture 4: Professor Byung Jin Cho (left) poses with Dr. Joël de Rosnay (right). Credit of Loran Dhérines
The 2014 Wearable Computer Competition Takes Place at KAIST
“This is a smart wig for patients who are reluctant to go outdoors because their hair is falling out from cancer treatment.” A graduate student from Sungkyunkwan University, Jee-Hoon Lee enthusiastically explains his project at the KAIST KI Building where the 2014 Wearable Computer Competition was held. He said, “The sensor embedded inside the wig monitors the heart rate and the body temperature, and during an emergency, the device warns the patient about the situation. The product emphasizes two aspects; it notifies the patient in emergency situations, and it encourages patients to perform outdoor activities by enhancing their looks.” The the tenth anniversary meeting of the 2014 Wearable Computer Competition took place at the KAIST campus on November 13-14, 2014. A wearable computer is a mobile device designed to be put on the body or clothes so that a user can comfortably use it while walking. Recently, these devices that are able to support versatile internet-based services through smartphones are receiving a great deal of attention. Wearable devices have been employed in two categorizes: health checks and information-entertainment. In this year’s competition, six healthcare products and nine information-entertainment products were exhibited. Among these products, participants favored a smart helmet for motorcycle drivers. The driver can see through a rear camera with a navigation screen of the smartphone and text messages through the screen installed in the front glass of the helmet. Another product included a uniform that can control presentation slides by means of motion detection and voice recognition technology. Yet another popular device offered an insole to guide travelers to their destination with the help of motion sensors. The chairman of the competition, Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo from the Department of Electrical Engineering at KAIST said, “Wearable devices such as smart watches, glasses, and clothes are gaining interest these days. Through this event, people will have a chance to look at the creativity of our students through the display of their wearable devices. In turn, these devices will advance computer technology.” The third annual wearable computer workshop on convergence technology of wearable computers followed the competition. In the workshop, experts from leading information technology companies such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and KT Corporation addressed the convergence technology of wearable computers and trends in the field.
Workshop on Wearable Healthcare Takes Place on July 15, 2014
A workshop on wearable healthcare was held at KAIST campus on July 15, 2014. In recent years, wearable healthcare has received much attention as an emerging technology that will have a great impact on our society. At the workshop, participants from academia and industry reviewed the Korean healthcare industry and discussed issues related to the development of a wearable healthcare industry in Korea, while capitalizing on the nation’s strength in information and communications. Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo of Electrical Engineering at KAIST, the chairman of the organizing committee of the workshop, presented a keynote speech entitled “The Current State and Future of Wearable Healthcare,” arguing that the wearable healthcare industry developed through the Internet of things and big data would become the next-generation growth engine for Korea. Other key presentations were “Smart Glasses and Micro Display Semiconductor Technology” by Bo-Eun Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Raon-Tech, Inc., “Wearable Device: A Comprehensive Approach” by Min-Kyu Je, a professor of Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, and “Microwave Imaging System for Breast Cancer Detection” by Seung-Joon Lee, a professor of Ewha Woman’s University. Professor Yoo said, “We hope that the workshop will provide good momentum for participants to evaluate the Korean healthcare industry in the context of the Internet of things, information and communications technology, and medical technology as well as offering practical solutions to nurture the indigenous wearable healthcare industry in Korea.”
KAIST Researchers Develops Sensor That Reads Emotional States of Users
A piloerection monitoring sensor attached on the skin The American Institute of Physics distributed a press release dated June 24, 2014 on a research paper written by a KAIST research team, which was published in its journal entitled Applied Physics Letters (APL). APL features concise, up-to-date reports in significant new findings in applied physics. According to the release, “KAIST researchers have developed a flexible, wearable 20 mm x 20 mm polymer sensor that can directly measure the degree and occurrence on the skin of goose bumps, which is caused by sudden changes in body temperature or emotional states.” The lead researcher was Professor Young-Ho Cho from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at KAIST. If you would like to read the press release, please go to the link below: American Institute of Physics, June 24, 2014 “New technology: The goose bump sensor” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/aiop-ntt062314.php
A KAIST startup, YBrain, builds a wearable device to cure Alzheimer's
A group of KAIST graduates from the Departments of Bio and Brain Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science Engineering, and Industrial Design created a startup called YBrain (http://ybrain.com/). YBrain develops a wearable neuroscience technology to treat or reduce the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Their recent technological developments were covered in e27, one of the leading blogs based in Singapore. The blog covers topics like the latest technology innovation, startups, and entrepreneurship in Asia. A news article follows below: e27, June 24, 2014 “This wearable tech may be able to combat effects of Alzheimer’s” http://e27.co/this-wearable-tech-may-be-able-combat-effects-of-alzheimers-20140624/
KAIST Holds 'Wearable Computer Contest'
Application for ‘2014 Wearable Computer Contest’ until May 23rd KAIST is holding the 2014 Wearable Computer Contest (WCC) sponsored by Samsung Electronics in November and is currently receiving applications until May 23rd. Wearable Computer is a device that can be worn on body or clothing, which allows users to be connected while on the move. It is currently receiving attention as the next generation of computer industry that will replace smart phones. The Wearable Computer Contest will be held under the topic “Smart Fashion to Simple Life” and will be divided into a designated topic contest and an idea contest. In the “designated topic contest,” each group will compete with their prototypes based on their own ideas about a wearable computer that combines IT and fashion. A total of 15 teams that enter the finals after a document review will be provided with USD 1,400 for a prototype production, Samsung's smart IT devices, and a systematic training program. For the “idea contest,” competitors will present their ideas for a wearable computer in a poster format. The teams qualified to continue onto the finals will be given an opportunity to create and exhibit a life-sized model. Chairman of the Wearable Computer Contest (WCC), Professor Hoejun Yoo from the KAIST Department of Electrical Engineering said, “Wearable Computer is the major future growth industry that will lead IT industry after smart phones. I hope WCC will help nurture the future professionals in the field of wearable computer industry.” The applications for the Wearable Computer Contest can be found on the main website (http://www.ufcom.org) until May 23rd. Both undergraduate and graduate students can participate as a team for the “designated topic contest,” and there are no qualifications required for those who enter the “idea contest.” Last year, a total of 104 teams from universities all around Korea has participated in the Wearable Computer Contest. The finalist, team 'Jump' from Chungnam University, received the Award of the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.
KAIST developed an extremely low-powered, high-performance head-mounted display embedding an augmented reality chip
Walking around the streets searching for a place to eat will be no hassle when a head-mounted display (HMD) becomes affordable and ubiquitous. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed K-Glass, a wearable, hands-free HMD that enables users to find restaurants while checking out their menus. If the user of K-Glass walks up to a restaurant and looks at the name of the restaurant, today’s menu and a 3D image of food pop up. The Glass can even show the number of tables available inside the restaurant. K-Glass makes this possible because of its built-in augmented reality (AR) processor. Unlike virtual reality which replaces the real world with a computer-simulated environment, AR incorporates digital data generated by the computer into the reality of a user. With the computer-made sensory inputs such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, the user’s real and physical world becomes live and interactive. Augmentation takes place in real-time and in semantic context with surrounding environments, such as a menu list overlain on the signboard of a restaurant when the user passes by it, not an airplane flight schedule, which is irrelevant information, displayed. Most commonly, location-based or computer-vision services are used in order to generate AR effects. Location-based services activate motion sensors to identify the user’s surroundings, whereas computer-vision uses algorithms such as facial, pattern, and optical character recognition, or object and motion tracking to distinguish images and objects. Many of the current HMDs deliver augmented reality experiences employing location-based services by scanning the markers or barcodes printed on the back of objects. The AR system tracks the codes or markers to identify objects and then align them with virtual reality. However, this AR algorithm is difficult to use for the objects or spaces which do not have barcodes, QR codes, or markers, particularly those in outdoor environments and thus cannot be recognized. To solve this problem, Hoi-Jun Yoo, Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and his team developed, for the first time in the world, an AR chip that works just like human vision. This processor is based on the Visual Attention Model (VAM) that duplicates the ability of human brain to process visual data. VAM, almost unconsciously or automatically, disentangles the most salient and relevant information about the environment in which human vision operates, thereby eliminating unnecessary data unless they must be processed. In return, the processor can dramatically speed up the computation of complex AR algorithms. The AR processor has a data processing network similar to that of a human brain’s central nervous system. When the human brain perceives visual data, different sets of neurons, all connected, work concurrently on each fragment of a decision-making process; one group’s work is relayed to other group of neurons for the next round of the process, which continues until a set of decider neurons determines the character of the data. Likewise, the artificial neural network allows parallel data processing, alleviating data congestion and reducing power consumption significantly. KAIST’s AR processor, which is produced using the 65 nm (nanometers) manufacturing process with the area of 32 mm2, delivers 1.22 TOPS (tera-operations per second) peak performance when running at 250 MHz and consumes 778 miliWatts on a 1.2V power supply. The ultra-low power processor shows 1.57 TOPS/W high efficiency rate of energy consumption under the real-time operation of 30fps/720p video camera, a 76% improvement in power conservation over other devices. The HMDs, available on the market including the Project Glass whose battery lasts only for two hours, have revealed so far poor performance. Professor Yoo said, “Our processor can work for long hours without sacrificing K-Glass’s high performance, an ideal mobile gadget or wearable computer, which users can wear for almost the whole day.” He further commented:“HMDs will become the next mobile device, eventually taking over smartphones. Their markets have been growing fast, and it’s really a matter of time before mobile users will eventually embrace an optical see-through HMD as part of their daily use. Through augmented reality, we will have richer, deeper, and more powerful reality in all aspects of our life from education, business, and entertainment to art and culture.” The KAIST team presented a research paper at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) held on February 9-13, 2014 in San Francisco, CA, which is entitled “1.22TOPS and 1.52mW/MHz Augmented Reality Multi-Core Processor with Neural Network NoC for HMD Applications.”Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSqY30FOu2s&feature=c4-overview&list=UUirZA3OFhxP4YFreIJkTtXw
Wearable computer follows suit of smart phones
KAIST hosts “Wearable Computer Competition” in KI Building, Daejeon Campus, on the 7th-8th of November “Computer that controls smart phones with the movement of facial muscles” and 12 other wearable computers to be presented As technology transitions to “Wearable Computers,” KAIST is hosting its 9th “Wearable Computer Competition.” The competition will take place over two days, 7th-8th of November, in KI building, on the main Daejeon Campus. The “wearable computer” is designed to enable users to use the computer whilst moving by limiting its weight and size so that it can be worn as a part of the body and clothing. Wearable computers have been considered the future of information technology (IT) ever since smart phones and other miniaturized IT devices made an appearance. The “Wearable Computer Competition” has been held since 2005 under the leadership of Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo from the KAIST Department of Electrical Engineering. It is the only competition in the nation where undergraduate students use their unique ideas and newest technology to produce computers that seem to be existed only in sci-fi movies and comic books. A total of 15 teams out of 70 made the competition and went through a rigorous selection process based on written applications and interviews to enter the final. The teams at the final received USD 1,400 and IT devices including smart phones to produce a wearable computer. KAIST increased the number of finalists from the last year"s 10 to 15 this year as the wearable computer industry is extending, and there is growing interest in the computer around the world after the launch of Google Glass and Samsung Galaxy Gear. This year’s entries included a product for quadriplegic patients to control smart phones with the movement of facial muscles, which attracted public interest. The product in the form of a headband can be worn by quadriplegic patients or someone with limited hand movement. The user can activate the product by clenching their molars and move the mouse on the smart phones with the movement of muscles in their face. Furthermore, a wearable band shaped device that can control smart phones with simple hand movements is also attracting interest. Broad hand movements of the user allows him/her to receive calls and take photos, and handshakes between users control sharing of files. Body communication can be used to protect private information without a password or locking the device. In addition, gloves and shoes that can sense the user’s movement to play an instrument without the instrument being present; a cane for the blind that converts visual information to tactile; a belt that protects children from sexual crimes; and a game where the user can be Super Mario to play and other practical products are presented. The chairman of the competition, Professor Yoo said, “As you can see from the launch of Samsung Galaxy Gear, wearable computers will follow smart phones as the leader of IT devices in the next generation.” He continued, “This competition and workshop is an opportunity to increase public interest in wearable computers and serves as a communication platform for experts to view the present and the future of wearable computers.” The “Wearable Computer Workshop” will be held this year as well. The workshop under the theme of “the present and the future of wearable computers” invited Professor Kyu-Ho Park, Vice President of KAIST, as a keynote speaker to talk on “ubiquitous, fashionable computers.” Moreover, Samsung’s Dong-Jun Geum and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute’s Hyeon-Tae Jeong will lecture on the “trend and direction of progress of wearable devices” and the “technological trend and prospect of industry of wearable computers,” respectively. To participate in the competition or the workshop, please visit the website (http://www.ufcom.org) for further information.
Great Success!: 2011 Wearable Computer Contest
The 2011 Wearable Computer Contest (WCC) was held on the 28th and 29th of November at Seoul COEX. The WCC is hosted by KAIST and Korea Next Generation Computing Society and is an annual event. A wearable computer allows the user to freely use the computer even a moving environment and involves the miniaturization, weight lightening to incorporate the computer into clothing. It is the fusion of IT technology and fashion and is opening new fields like entertainment, healthcare and other forms of fashion culture. The competition selected 10 teams out of the 57 teams that applied that will participate in the finals. The selected teams have to use smartphones to create a wearable computer that detects and uses the biorhythm of the wearer. A staff member commented that the requirement to use biorhythm reflected in many teams entering products related to health and safety, and body and entertainment. The most notable of the products entered was the outfit that prevents bicycle accidents. The LED attached on the back shows the direction the bicycle is traveling, or if it is stopping and uses the smartphone as a camera to show the cyclist what’s going on behind him. Other interesting products included a product that turned clothes into a movie theater. Whilst watching movies on the smartphone, sensors attached to the clothing give out vibrations, water vapor, smoke effect; essentially brining the 4D movie experience to each person. In addition products like ▲LED jacket that turns music into light and vibration ▲a prosthetic arm using an electromyogram to move it ▲an exercise suit that detects regional exercise load and helps design a balanced exercise regime. Kolon Industries Ltd. Provide the clothing for the finalists and the team that receives Kolon Special Award will be given the opportunity to commercialize the product.
2011 Wearable Computer Competition Participant Registration Started
The registration process for the ‘Wearable Computer Contest’ (WCC) held by KAST and Korea Next Generation Computing Institute. The contest is the only contest that designs wearable computers in Korea. This year’s theme is ‘Smart Wear for the Smart Life’ in response to the spread of smartphones. In 2010 the contest was run cooperatively with International Symposium on Wearable Computer (ISWC) and is fast becoming an international even with students from foreign universities attending. The participants will be putting forth an idea on wearable computers that have IT and fashion fused into it and actually produces such an outfit. The cost of producing a prototype will be provided by the holders and education of basics needed in producing a prototype like ubiquitous computing, wearable computer platform, human-computer interface, fashion and design. The restriction of theme was taken out of the equation and in its place, an idea tank involving handing in ideas in poster format was put into place. In addition the competition is no longer limited to undergraduates or graduate students. Detailed information on registration and of the contest itself can be found at www.ufcom.org .
3rd Ubiquitous Fashionable Computer Contest
KAIST will be receiving until May 31, Thursday, applications for ‘the 3rd Ubiquitous Fashionable Computer (UFC)’ Contest, which will take place under the title of ‘Enjoy U-life with UFC’. The contest has begun in 2005 by KAIST and the Korean Society for Next-Generation Computing to raise people’s concern over next-generation computing and to prepare for the upcoming ubiquitous era. ‘UFC’ refers to a wearable computer small and light enough to be worn on human bodies or clothes so that users can use computers with no restriction while moving. This terminology was created by Korea. The contest includes designated items division and free items division, and not only university students but also general public can participate in the free items division. Teams qualified for the final contest in the designated items division will be offered wearable computer platform and 1.5 million won of production cost. The final contest will take place at the UFC fashion show stage ‘Next-Generation Computing Exhibition’ at KOEX in November. Hee-Joon You, Co-president of the Contest Committee and a professor of Electrical Engineering, stressed on the future life made joyful by IT technologies by saying, “Considering the title of the contest, we’ve selected ‘games enjoyed with UFCs’ as a mission of the designated items division to combine games, rising software, and wearing computers, hardware.” UFC is a brand-new field that fuses IT technologies and fashion, seeking the improvement of computer technologies and fashion creation. UFC, a further advanced wearable computer than existing ones, is an important advanced field that leads computer industries in the ubiquitous era.
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