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KAIST Hosts the Wearable Computer Contest 2015
“What you see is a compact electronic system on a dust mask, which monitors the amount of dust taken in by a worker and lets other workers know if the person is injured in an industrial site,” said Bum Taek Jung, a Master’s candidate from Sungkyunkwan University during the Wearable Computer Contest 2015 held in KI building of KAIST on November 5, 2015. He explained his interest in developing this system, “Dust-related respiratory diseases and falling accidents are still prevalent in industrial sites.” He added, “Using the smart dust mask helps monitoring workers’ physical condition in real time, allowing us to cope with accidents in a much more timely manner.” A smart dust mask is a portable device that alerts the user with orange or red light signs when the amount of dust inhaled by the user is higher than the threshold. Its application on a smartphone can also allow project managers to alert the risk of falling accidents to workers by employing a gyroscope and an accelerometer on the mask. The Wearable Computer Contest 2015 met for the eleventh time at KAIST on November 5-6, 2015. A wearable computer refers to a portable device which users can wear directly on the body or on their clothes while moving. Products that can provide various services by connecting to a smartphone have become increasingly popular. The contest is an excellent opportunity for university students to design creative wearable systems similar to those often depicted in movies and comics. This year 102 teams from universities all over the nation participated. After screening and evaluation of their presentations, only 8 teams in the product section and 3 teams in the ideas section were selected for the finals. Of the many entries to the contest, the ECG security system caught many people’s attention. The wearable, which attaches to a shirt, acts like an electrocardiogram. By comparing the ECG reading with the one stored in the data server, the wearable can authenticate the user. The system could be widely used by enterprises and financial companies where tight security and authentication are crucial. The winners of the product and the ideas sections received USD 4,300 and usd 860 respectively along with Minister Prizes from the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea. The Chairman of the contest, Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo from the Electrical Engineering Department of KAIST said, “The contest will be a great opportunity for anyone to have a look at advanced wearable devices developed through close integration of state-of-the-art technologies and creative ideas from young minds.”
KAIST Introduces New UI for K-Glass 2
A newly developed user interface, the “i-Mouse,” in the K-Glass 2 tracks the user’s gaze and connects the device to the Internet through blinking eyes such as winks. This low-power interface provides smart glasses with an excellent user experience, with a long-lasting battery and augmented reality. Smart glasses are wearable computers that will likely lead to the growth of the Internet of Things. Currently available smart glasses, however, reveal a set of problems for commercialization, such as short battery life and low energy efficiency. In addition, glasses that use voice commands have raised the issue of privacy concerns. A research team led by Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo of the Electrical Engineering Department at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has recently developed an upgraded model of the K-Glass (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-02/tkai-kdl021714.php) called “K-Glass 2.” K-Glass 2 detects users’ eye movements to point the cursor to recognize computer icons or objects in the Internet, and uses winks for commands. The researchers call this interface the “i-Mouse,” which removes the need to use hands or voice to control a mouse or touchpad. Like its predecessor, K-Glass 2 also employs augmented reality, displaying in real time the relevant, complementary information in the form of text, 3D graphics, images, and audio over the target objects selected by users. The research results were presented, and K-Glass 2’s successful operation was demonstrated on-site to the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) held on February 23-25, 2015 in San Francisco. The title of the paper was “A 2.71nJ/Pixel 3D-Stacked Gaze-Activated Object Recognition System for Low-power Mobile HMD Applications” (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/home.jsp). The i-Mouse is a new user interface for smart glasses in which the gaze-image sensor (GIS) and object recognition processor (ORP) are stacked vertically to form a small chip. When three infrared LEDs (light-emitting diodes) built into the K-Glass 2 are projected into the user’s eyes, GIS recognizes their focal point and estimates the possible locations of the gaze as the user glances over the display screen. Then the electro-oculography sensor embedded on the nose pads reads the user’s eyelid movements, for example, winks, to click the selection. It is worth noting that the ORP is wired to perform only within the selected region of interest (ROI) by users. This results in a significant saving of battery life. Compared to the previous ORP chips, this chip uses 3.4 times less power, consuming on average 75 milliwatts (mW), thereby helping K-Glass 2 to run for almost 24 hours on a single charge. Professor Yoo said, “The smart glass industry will surely grow as we see the Internet of Things becomes commonplace in the future. In order to expedite the commercial use of smart glasses, improving the user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX) are just as important as the development of compact-size, low-power wearable platforms with high energy efficiency. We have demonstrated such advancement through our K-Glass 2. Using the i-Mouse, K-Glass 2 can provide complicated augmented reality with low power through eye clicking.” Professor Yoo and his doctoral student, Injoon Hong, conducted this research under the sponsorship of the Brain-mimicking Artificial Intelligence Many-core Processor project by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in the Republic of Korea. Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=JaYtYK9E7p0&list=PLXmuftxI6pTW2jdIf69teY7QDXdI3Ougr Picture 1: K-Glass 2 K-Glass 2 can detect eye movements and click computer icons via users’ winking. Picture 2: Object Recognition Processor Chip This picture shows a gaze-activated object-recognition system. Picture 3: Augmented Reality Integrated into K-Glass 2 Users receive additional visual information overlaid on the objects they select.
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.
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.
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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