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October 25, 2011

University joins ‘pervasive computing’ effort

The University is joining five other research universities to form Intel Labs’ new Science and Technology Center. The center will focus on pervasive computing, which promises a richer, more personalized experience to future consumers. 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 centers 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,” says 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.”

At 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.

The center for pervasive computing will specifically develop three concept applications:

  • Mobile health and well-being systems that help consumers identify, manage, and reduce stress in their daily lives
  • Family coordination systems that track everyday activities and assist 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 center for pervasive computing brings together researchers from six U.S. research universities, including Rochester, Georgia Tech, Cornell, UCLA, and Stanford.

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