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Toward an era in which everyone uses advanced information-communication technologies

2014.06.08

Unit Name:
Next-Generation Interactive Information and Communication Infrastructure
Unit representative:
Professor Jiro Tanaka, Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems

Unit members:
14 (14 faculty members, 0 postdoctoral fellows, none from other organizations)

Key words:
Ubiquitous, networking architecture, sensor information processing, human-computer interaction, secure information processing

URL:

 

The rapid progress of information-communication devices has been going on. Various forms of information device are currently available, including personal computers, touch-screen tablets, and mobile phones. How will this device change in the future? The research unit develops technologies required to establish infrastructures for next-generation information-communication. The key technology is the interactive communication that allows computers and humans to interact with each other bi-directionally. The research unit, consisting of leading specialists, is involved in various technological developments by incorporating knowledge and techniques (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Research themes and the organization of the team

Figure 1: Research themes and the organization of the team

Development of next-generation communication infrastructures by pursuing user-friendliness

The research unit proposes future-generation information environments, and develops technologies required for their development. For example, touch-screen devices supported by recently-developed technologies are expected to undergo significant changes in the future. When the users of touch-screen devices touch a button displayed on a panel in the near future, they will feel as if they are touching a real button. There will also be a further progress in multi-touch technology in which users can touch multiple places at the same time using two or more fingers to perform a task. The research unit has worked for the research on multi-touch interfaces using cylindrical objects. Unique operating procedures are developed by taking advantage of the depth of the cylindrical object and its 360-degree rotation in the left-right direction (Figure 2). The research unit also conducts research to develop technologies designed to present a variety of information for people to understand easily (Figure 3).

Figure 2: Cylindrical multi-touch interface

Figure 2: Cylindrical multi-touch interface

Figure 3: The relationship between a website and visitor expressed three-dimensionally

Figure 3: The relationship between a website and visitor expressed three-dimensionally

Linking the cyber world to the real one

Next-generation devices are challenged by the issue of how the cyber world and the real world will be integrated. For example, when the users of a smartphone supported by such technologies hold it up toward products on a shelf, information on their sales, the best-selling products, and customers’ responses are displayed on the screen, using augmented reality technology (Figure 4). When purchasing clothes at online stores, it is sometimes difficult to associate online information with real one. However, under the new system, online shoppers will be able to examine whether or not an outfit is appropriate for the occasion by viewing synthetic images created based on their personal data and conditions. The research unit is involved in the development of interactive communication technologies, which allow people to interact with computers utilizing augmented reality technology.

Figure 4: Linking the cyber world to the real one. A system to visualize the level of congestion using augmented reality.

Figure 4: Linking the cyber world to the real one. A system to visualize the level of congestion using augmented reality.

Social contributions and achievements
● Promotion of research on next-generation interactive information-communication infrastructures in the following fields, which is expected to become more important in computer science:
– Sensor information processing
– Interactive information-communication architecture
– Ubiquitous software
– Infrastructure for a secure society

(Interviewed on September 18, 2013)


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