The University of Rochester is joining five other research universities to form Intel Labs’ new Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
The newest Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) will focus on pervasive computing, which will offer a richer, more personalized experience to consumers of the future. By creating and funding a collaboration of leading researchers, Intel Corporation and its partners plan to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies capable of learning and adapting to consumers’ needs.
Earlier this year Intel announced ISTCs for visual computing, secure computing, cloud computing and embedded computing.
“The next generation of pervasive computing systems will continuously learn environments, objects, schedules and preferences of their users,” said Limor Fix, Intel’s director of academic programs and research. “These future apps will be capable of supporting complex tasks, such as cooking a soufflé or building a complicated piece of furniture. Consumers will have a far richer experience than the technologies of today can offer and will be able to spend far more time achieving their goals, than figuring out how to make the technology work.”
The ISTC for pervasive computing brings together researchers from Intel and universities around the country to create a new breed of mobile, wearable, and cloud-based computing systems that are dependable, fully aware of their users and their activities, and capable of adapting to changes.
At the University of Rochester, the work will be lead by Henry Kautz, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. Kautz and his students will research pervasive computing systems that act as “personal assistants” and support independent living by the elderly and persons with disabilities.
By sensing multiple cues, such as a person’s context, gestures and voice, future systems will be able to adapt to consumer habits, routines and preferences. For instance, a computer would not only sense that someone is in the kitchen, but that the person is slicing ingredients for a particular recipe and that the cuts are too thick for the recipe being used.
The ISTC for pervasive computing will specifically develop three concept applications:
- Mobile health and wellbeing systems that help consumers identify, manage and reduce stress in their daily lives.
- Family coordination systems that track everyday activities and assist families with planning.
- Task space and smart kitchen systems that help with physical activities that don’t typically involve computers, such as cooking a complex recipe or building furniture.
With the University of Washington operating as the hub, the ISTC for pervasive computing brings together researchers from six U.S. research universities, including the University of Rochester, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University, UCLA and Stanford University.