Month: August 2019

August 31, 2019

Avatar Mimics You in Real Time

first_imgScreen shots of the avatar showing two different gestures, based on the human’s movements. Credit: Schreer, et al. ©2008 IEEE. It’s a little bit like looking in the mirror at your cartoon double, except that the “reflection” is an avatar on your computer screen. Wave your hand, nod your head, speak a sentence, and your avatar does the same. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The technology is already on display at the headquarters of Deutsche Telekom in Bonn, Germany, and at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories in Berlin. Visitors can experiment with making gestures and watching comical characters mimic them in real time.The public feedback is very positive, according to researchers Oliver Schreer, Peter Eisert, and Ralf Tanger, of the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut in Berlin, and Roman Englert with the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories and Ben Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel. The team will publish the results of its study on its vision- and speech-driven avatar technology in an upcoming issue of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.“The presented approach allows intuitive, touchless user interaction,” Schreer told PhysOrg.com. “Due to the recognition capabilities, any novel interface can be designed for interactive human-computer interaction.”The researchers’ prototype system is compatible with a normal PC, with the only hardware required being a low-cost Webcam and a pair of standard headphones. The complete set of audio-visual analysis is performed in real-time, which allows an immediate animation of the virtual character. To begin, the program wouldn’t require any training or individual input of gestures. However, since the system relies on skin color recognition to follow the movements of the hands and head, users must wave their hands around at first to enable the system to determine the individual’s skin color. Wearing skin-colored clothing should be avoided.The system can recognize a set of 66 parameters that define facial expression, and it also contains a set of high-level facial expressions (such as joy, sadness, surprise, and disgust). Users can also press buttons to manually activate these expressions. The system also recognizes “visemes,” which move the lips in accordance with the phoneme being spoken based on voice analysis. A set of 15 visemes can represent all phonemes. The system also recognizes a set of 186 body motion parameters that define joint rotation in the arms and upper body.The head rotation is detected as well in order to represent head nick, head shake and head roll.By detecting the positions of fingers, the system can recognize many basic gestures, including many from the American Sign Language alphabet. Sometimes the avatar’s hands don’t exactly mimic the user’s hands, as the main aim is to make the avatar’s movements as smooth and natural as possible. In the future, the researchers plan to apply the system in virtual chat rooms and online call center applications, such as technical support. In both situations, users are represented by avatars. The avatars become animated based on the users’ movements and speech, while maintaining the privacy of the users. The researchers also hope to integrate the avatar system into mobile devices, where it could serve as a user-friendly interface in addition to touch screens, a stylus, or speech recognition systems.“Some aspects like gestures based on hand recognition are already market mature,” Schreer said. “Finger analysis and interpretation are more complicated and may need another one or two years in order to achieve robust algorithms that operate under real-life conditions, i.e. the real environment. Initial applications are scrolling of menus in cellulars (e.g. SMS browsing) and in the medical area for the control of interfaces in operating rooms.”More information: Schreer, Oliver; Englert, Roman; Eisert, Peter; and Tanger, Ralf. “Real-Time Vision and Speech Driven Avatars for Multimedia Applications.” IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. To be published in a future issue. Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further Citation: Avatar Mimics You in Real Time (2008, March 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-03-avatar-mimics-real.html Virtual reality faces—animating precise, lifelike avatars for VR in real-timelast_img read more

August 31, 2019

The Ultimate Test of Atom and Neutron Neutrality

first_img Explore further The neutrality test experimental setup, showing the atoms´ trajectories. This experiment will help answer important questions about charge quantization. Why does the charge appear in units of the electron charge? Why do some particles have no charge? Do the electrons and protons in an atom really cancel out to zero charge?These questions are not answered by the Standard Model, the established theory describing elementary particles, their properties, and how they relate to each other. The Stanford group states in their paper describing the experiment, published in the March 27, 2008, online edition of Physical Review Letters, that an alternative “Grand Unified” theory (“grand” because it links together the electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces into one neat package) can automatically explain charge quantization and atom neutrality.Even so, they quickly point out that a magnetic monopole, a theoretical particle with only one magnetic pole (instead of two like a bar magnet), has been predicted to be able to carry an amount of non-quantized electric charge, under violations of the time reversal symmetry in the theory.“This suggests that we have to rethink our notion of charge quantization and the conditions under which it holds,” said Stanford physicist Asimina Arvanitaki, the paper’s corresponding author, to PhysOrg.com. Arvanitaki is also affiliated with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.Arvanitaki and her colleagues expect that their experiment can greatly improve the sensitivity by which the charge on an atom can be measured: from 10-20e to 10-28e—in other words, a hundred million times better.“This is similar to measuring the distance between the earth and the sun to an accuracy better than the size of a nucleus,” said Arvanitaki.The experimental setup is a type of atom interferometer, an instrument designed to detect tiny differences between atoms by exploiting the wave nature of an atom—the phenomenon that a particle, like a light wave, has its own wavelength, described by a mathematical function called a wavefunction, as predicted by quantum mechanics.The Stanford setup consists of a large vertical cylinder 10 meters tall with two smaller cylinders inside, also oriented vertically but with a gap between them. At the bottom of the device, rubidium atoms are launched vertically into the lower small cylinder with an initial velocity of 10 meters per second (m/s). Researchers image molecules as they change charge states for first time This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: The Ultimate Test of Atom and Neutron Neutrality (2008, April 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-04-ultimate-atom-neutron-neutrality.html Researchers from Stanford University have proposed a new way to test the neutrality of an atom and even a neutron, a method they say will be far more sensitive than current methods, able to probe the charge of an atom or neutron down to an unbelievably small fraction of the electron charge, e. As the atoms stream upwards, a series of meticulously timed laser pulses act on the atoms like mirrors and beam-splitters, breaking up each atom’s wavefunction into a superposition of two space-time trajectories with a difference in momentum. This results in a fast-moving wavefunction component and a slower component, which later recombine and interfere.When “large momentum transfer” beamsplitting is realized, it can lead to a difference in momentum that corresponds to a velocity difference of 1 m/s. This means one component will go significantly higher than the other: The parabola-shaped trajectory of the fast component will extend into the upper of the two small cylinders, while the trajectory of the slow component will not leave the lower cylinder.Taking advantage of this, the researchers can then introduce two regions of electric potential in the device: a positive voltage applied to the upper cylinder and a negative voltage applied to the lower. If the rubidium atom carries a small charge, the wavefunction components will react to the voltage in their respective cylinders, and a phase shift will be introduced between them, meaning one component will oscillate more times than the other. This difference can be measurable. When the experiment is repeated a million times and for a million atoms at a time, the statistics are improved and even charges per nucleon of 10-28e can be detected.The researchers discuss increasing the number of atoms to between 10 and 100 million or using entangled states of atoms, another technique that takes advantage of the quantum mechanical properties of atoms. These changes, they say, can lead to an even higher sensitivity of 10-30e.Citation: Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 120407 (2008) Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Nextar Announces Q4MD Advanced GPS Navigation System

first_img Citation: Nextar Announces Q4-MD Advanced GPS Navigation System (2008, November 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-11-nextar-q4-md-advanced-gps.html With the inclusion of MSN Direct, the Q4-MD provides a unique resource to a wide-range of information. With the addition of MSN Direct, your navigation experience is enhanced by offering relevant, timely, location-specific information.MSN Direct also provides drivers with up-to-the-minute traffic reports, current and three-day weather conditions for a local or national areas and gas-price comparisons for stations nearby. You can also get updated news headlines, stock quotes, and a listing of local events. The Q4-MD comes with a 4.3″ TFT touch-screen display that provides large, clear, colorful images of maps from all 50 US states and Canada´s 10 provinces and three territories. Equipped with a special automatic night mode, the unit offers additional screen lighting for easier-on-the-eye viewing. With voice-guided directions you get clearly audible turn-by-turn voice prompts through a built-in speaker. Road and highway names are clearly pronounced with the advanced text-to-speech technology. English, French, and Spanish languages are fully supported on this device.The Q4-MD provides 1.6-million POI´s (points of interest), including hotels, shopping centers, gas stations, and restaurants; route recalculation is provided in case a driver misses a turn. Tele Atlas is the Digital map provider, which is a leading global provider of digital maps and dynamic content. Other features include:- Storage capability for up to 300 addresses of favorite destinations- 2D and 3D map-viewing modes- SD card slot for additional memory- Capability to play MP3 files and display JPEG images – Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery supplies powerThe Q4-MD measures 4.5″ x 3.1″ x .08″ and weights approximately 2.3 pounds. Accessories include: MSN Direct receiver, AC adapter, car adapter, USB cable, protection pouch, suction cup, and a stylus/touch pen.The Nextar Q4-MD navigation system with MSN Direct will be available at US retailers in spring 2009. It has a SRP of $329.99 and comes with a one-year limited warranty. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img (PhysOrg.com) — Nextar advanced Navigation System with MSN Direct Service (free for 12 months) will be available at all US retail stores in spring of 2009. The unit (Q4-MD) is part of the Nextar Q4 series and includes an easy-to-see 4.3″ touch-screen display, built-in speaker, and voice-guided turn-by-turn prompts for maps covering all 50 states as well as Canada.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Navigon 8100T GPS with 3D Panorama View

first_img The Navigon 8100T, with its 4.8″ display, is the first GPS navigator on the market with Navigon´s revolutionary Panorama 3D View. This new feature brings a realistic 3D experience to the map using NASA´s terrain height data to provide geographic guidance complete with rolling hills and digital elevations. With the unit´s large 4.8″ widescreen, you have the perfect frame for the panoramic 3D views.The Navigon 8100T offers free Real-Time traffic updates for life that automatically alerts the driver about traffic conditions ahead and provides re-routing with the touch of a button.Additional 8100T features include:Panorama View 3D- True 3D views come to the navigation experience. The road ahead is displayed with surrounding landscapes and digital elevations. This detailed geographic guidance helps drivers see what lies ahead. Built-in graphics accelerator gives the driver impressive 3D views.Real-Time Traffic Updates- Allows routing around congestion by including traffic flow, incidents, and alternate routes. All of this works for the lifetime of the product without any registration processes, fees or additional hardware. The 8100T will alert drivers of traffic troubles and provide alternate routes.Bluetooth Hands-Free- The Bluetooth feature helps drivers keep both hands on the wheel while still staying connected. The 8100T also acts like a Bluetooth speakerphone to hold conversations without all the distractions. Advanced text-to-speech- Spoken directions with street names uses advanced phonetic text-to-speech technology to ensure proper pronunciation of streets. Voice Destination Entry- Advanced voice recognition allows drivers to specify their destination by speaking the address. Navigon´s distinctive iconic interface guides the users through the process.DirectHelp- Help is just a click away with 8100T´s “DirectHelp” feature that provides instant driving directions to destinations and contact information for nearby hospitals, police stations, and roadside assistance.Lane Assistant Pro- Helps drivers prepare to make an upcoming exit or turn by providing clear visual lane guidance. Lane Assistant provides a lane map complete with arrows and actual road geometry.Fast Destination Entry- Using the latest generation of Navigon software, entering and finding information is fast and simple with fewer clicks. SmartSpeller feature helps guide the user through the entry process.The Navigon 8100T sells for $599(MSRP) and is due to hit online retailers in November 2008. Navigon´s optional FreshMaps is also available for $79.99(MSRP) and provides up to 12 map updates over three years. Uses NASA´s terrain height data to provide geographic guidance complete with rolling hills and digital elevations. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Navigon 8100T GPS with 3D Panorama View (2008, November 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-11-navigon-8100t-gps-3d-panorama.html (PhysOrg.com) — Navigon, the leader in the navigation market, today announced the launch of its new flagship product, the NAVIGON 8100T. The 8100T is a new dimension in navigation that revolutionizes map view with an extra-wide 4.8″ display and stunning Panorama 3D View.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Google vision of password rings heard at security event

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Google vision of password rings heard at security event (2013, March 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-google-vision-password-heard-event.html Lenovo, PayPal, and Validity lead an open industry alliance to revolutionize online authentication Explore further Google’s focus on alternatives includes a slim USB key for inserting into a computer and proving validity, and with a chip inside so that it can be used to log into the user’s sites via smartphone or tablet. Another pathway toward password replacement could be in the form of special jewelry to validate the user identity. Google has been paying additional attention to a prototype ring that could serve as an authentication device.Google has been in touch with the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, formed in July last year to ease the way into more convenient but safe modes of authentication. The alliance hopes to come up with specifications for interoperable mechanisms that can end reliance on traditional passwords. The argument in support of better authentication modes has been that the alternatives could relieve the headaches users have in forgotten or stolen passwords. Also, those who re-use their passwords across services have the risk of interception by malware. According to reports, Google has been discussing its aims with FIDO.As of February this year, FIDO said its ranks included Internet companies, system integrators and security providers. The FIDO release said founding member organizations Agnitio, Infineon Technologies, Lenovo, Nok Nok Labs, PayPal, and Validity were developing the specification and FIDO-compliant products. (Phys.org) —Google finds much appeal in gaining the distinction of leading the way toward a future where USB sticks and rings can replace traditional passwords. The idea of killing off passwords has been an attractive one at Google for some time. This year, remarks by a Google engineer indicate Google is still taking the challenge seriously. Speaking at the recent RSA security conference in San Francisco, Google principal engineer, Mayank Upadhyay commented about Google’s interest in a time when password obligations can be dumped and replaced with secure authentication tokens. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Newly purchased Newton alchemy manuscript to be put online

first_img © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A 17th century document written by Isaac Newton has been purchased from a private owner, by a nonprofit called the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and they have plans to put the whole thing online. What is intriguing about the manuscript is that the main page is a recipe hand-copied by Newton that describes a method of creating “sophick” mercury—a supposed necessary ingredient for making the Philosopher’s stone. Citation: Newly purchased Newton alchemy manuscript to be put online (2016, April 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-newly-newton-alchemy-manuscript-online.html More information: www.chemheritage.org/about/new … onal-geographic.aspx Early Newton notebook shows prescient understanding of water ascension in plants Explore further Credit: Chemical Heritage Foundation So great is Newton’s stature in the science world, that mention of his dalliance in alchemy has been cause for not just embarrassment, but for attempts to hide it as one of his great passions. The genius, the father of modern physics and co-inventor of calculus, is believed to have written over a million words on alchemy, which historians have lately begun to note, was originally, a synonym for chemistry.The manuscript purchased by CHF began, it is believed, as a simple hand-copy of a recipe created by George Starkey, a well known American alchemist and sometime writer. Newton than added notes to the text and later, apparently turned the document over and used the blank side to write a procedure for subliming lead ore, an endeavor that he apparently worked on for many years, once again, as part of his desire to make the Philosopher’s stone. Newton was apparently eager to create the mythical substance that would change simple base metals such as lead, into gold, making himself rich, though it might also be noted, that the original Philosopher’s stone was also supposed to cure any disease and allow people to become immortal.CHF has announced plans to put the entire text (which has been in private hands for several decades) online, allowing anyone who wishes (and is able to read Latin) to consider the recipes and note the musings of one of the great minds of history. In recent years, historians have come to offer a more lenient look at the negative reputation of alchemy, noting that in many ways, it led to the development of what is now known as the scientific method. Some have noted, for example, that Newton’s work with natural light—showing for the first time that it is actually made of many colors—might have been a direct result of his work with alchemic processes that involved breaking down compounds into their basic components. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Through a kaleidoscope

first_imgGroup Show Kaleidoscope, with its manifold works brings together the appeal and scope of today’s art. Art is but an expression of human imagination. Thus, a conscious effort is made by a gallery not to restrict the creativity of the participating artists with any particular theme.Set in a city mall, an art gallery is hosting to platform for new artistes and they also offer an opportunity for the viewer to view works of masters. The viewer can figure out his or her own preferences. Works of artistes are strongly representative of the world of Indian art, not borrowing from beyond the shores.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The show is a statement of the evolving taste in Indian art. Unlike fashion, art does not get outdated and we find a lot of artists continuing their previous styles. The show is an opportunity for a viewer to select from paintings, sculptures and photography. There is a mix of figurative and abstract and some works with a surrealist feel, and the other’s inspired by tribal and folk art. Displaying works of quality with lasting value has always been the effort of the gallery to retain the great amount of goodwill it has from the community of art lovers. The show with its portfolios of artworks will revolve around the spirit of balance between the masters and promising talent. The participating artistes are Ankit Patel, Binoy Varghese, Farhad Hussain, Manu Parekh, Pratul Dash, Shipra Bhattacharya, amongst others.last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Plating up Meghalaya

first_imgCuisine from the north east of our country has one of the most distinct and unique flavours ever. It took me a while to get accustomed to the flavours when I first dug into the pork curry from the Nagaland stall at Dilli Haat. And I am glad I did, because had I not I would have missed out on an incredible experience.Rosang, one of the best known restaurants for North-Eastern food, just shifted base to Green Park (near Uphaar Cinema) from Hauz Khas Village. Just a stone throw away from the metro station, this location might work better for Rosang. Recently they hosted a Meghalayan Food Festival and it was perhaps one of the best things we have attended in a long time. Rosang dished out some authentic fare which included Jadoh (rice with minced pork with black sesame), Dohneiihong (pork curry with black sesame), Kappa (chicken entrails cooked with soda) and Daineiiong (dal with black sesame). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This spread set one person back by Rs 599 (without taxes). We loved the Jadoh, the Dohneiihong and the Daineiiong. Have the pork curry with steamed rice to get the perfect taste of the black sesame. The dal and the vegetables make you feel right at home no matter where you come from and these are things we are definitely going to order the next time we head over to Rosang.  The proprietor of Rosang, Mary updated us with all the plans she has for her new property and we are as excited as she is. We can’t wait to head over again – if you love food, you should too!last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Treat to theatre lovers

first_imgCaught between continuing with his monotonous life and the enticing prospect of turning things around; this play chronicles Parminder’s journey as it ebbs and flows with practical, comic, ambivalent, confusing and passionate tides. Each of us has a different way of dealing with a crisis. But how does Parminder, tangled in the web of mixed emotions and vexed choices, deal with his midlife crisis? And what happens when three women enter the picture…complications galore or does his life take another twist? For better or for worse! What’s guaranteed is that these flaming personalities when thrown together in the cauldron of life turn up the heat – leaving things more complex than ever, it takes — 2to Tango, 3 to Jive. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The cast of the play includes established film and television stars Achint Kaur, Sadiya Siddiqui, Preiti Mamgain and Saurabh Shukla himself. Shukla professional career began in 1984 with his entry into theatre. He began serious theatre in 1986 with lead roles in plays like A View From The Bridge (Arthur Miller), Look Back In Anger (John Osborne), Ghashiram Kotwal (Vijay Tendulkar) and Hayvadan (Girish Karnad). Shukla has written five full length plays and 11 short plays. His play Uljhan based on Vijay Dandetha’s short story by the same name was critically acclaimed. Till Now Shukla has featured in close to 75 feature films and 10 Television series. He has penned 6 tele-series and 14 feature films. Achint Kaur is an Indian television actress who comes from a Sikh and Punjabi background and is best known for playing the antagonist in operas. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBesides working in some of the popular drama series, she has also played many roles in Bollywood movies. She has also won numerous awards for her strong character driven roles. Sadiya Siddiqui is an Indian film and television actress who won various awards in different categories. Preeti Mamgain is a  renowned actress, appeared in various plays and movies like Barfi and Luck By Chance.When: April 19 Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus MargTiming: 4 pm and 7 pmTickets price: Rs 200last_img read more

August 31, 2019

Dont think Hate Story 3 will affect my image

first_imgActor Karan Singh Grover says playing a negative part in upcoming film Hate Story 3 will affect his screen image. Karan, who is a known face on television with shows like Qubool Hai and Dill Mill Gaye in his kitty, was last seen in Bollywood film Alone alongside Bipasha Basu.“I have always played the sweet, lovable good guy. This film had a negative role for me. This film gave me the opportunity to grow as an actor. It’s a hit franchise, so it’s a bonus to be a part of it,” said Karan. Also Read – A fresh blend of fameKaran is playing a negative character for the first time and he said venturing into the grey area was a challenge for him. “I did not it as a risk. I think as actors we must always try to do something new and different. For the ten years I have played the good guy. I am trying to offer variety to the audience as an actor. I am hopeful the effort would be acknowledged,” he added.Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Hate Story 3 also stars Sharman Joshi, Daisy Shah and Zarine Khan. “He (Sharman) is a good actor… I think I got better because of him. Daisy and Zarine both have done a good job. I had a great time working with them,” Karan said.The film directed by Vishal Pandya is set to release on December 4.last_img read more