New Tracking Framework Makes Big News

March 13, 2011
Amrita School of Business, Kochi

Smart Tracking SystemComputer Scientists Develop Smart, Less Obtrusive Tracking System, read the headline on the State University of Buffalo’s website on March 3, 2011.

The news article featured research that was jointly carried out by scientists from the US University and India’s Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

That this new framework represented a major breakthrough became apparent when the next day, ACM listed this very news item prominently in its TechNews.

ACM TechNews reaches an audience of nearly 1,00,000; over the next few days as details of the new framework became known, it generated wide spread interest.

Dr. Vivek Menon“Our novel framework for smart indoor environments can unobtrusively identify and track occupants and answer queries about their whereabouts,” explained Dr. Vivek Menon of Amrita, who spent nearly two years as Visiting Research Scientist at the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) at the State University of New York, working on this system.

“The new tracking method has the potential to improve the safety and security in indoor environments such as nursing homes, hospitals and other critical spaces, while providing occupants with freedom from continuous surveillance and other wearable technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that are considered obtrusive,” he added.

Dr. Vivek Menon collaborated with Dr. Bharat Jayaraman and Dr. Venu Govindaraju, both Professors at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York, Buffalo to bring the work to fruition.

The elegant tracking framework devised by the three scientists integrates recognition, reasoning and information retrieval — three highly researched but usually separately studied areas of computer science, within one unified state-transition system framework.

Cyber-Physical SpacesBefore the work made big news all over the world, it was already beginning to attract attention in the scientific press. A peer-reviewed research paper titled Three R‟s of Cyber-Physical Spaces appears online in IEEE Computer, the flagship publication of IEEE Computer Society and will be published in a future issue of this journal’s print edition.

Last year, ACM/Springer Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing’s special issue on Multimodal Systems, Services and Interfaces for Ubiquitous Computing featured this system as a paper titled Multimodal Identification and Tracking in Smart Environments.

Recently, Dr. Menon was invited to present his work at the Indo-U.S. Workshop on Developing a Research Agenda in Pervasive Communications and Computing Collaboration , co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation, USA and Department of Information Technology (DIT), Govt. of India.

The workshop was conducted at IIT Delhi during March 9 – 11, 2011.

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