Posts filed under 'Technology'
… two brilliant figures:
Both images are amazing – and they demonstrate how much we rely on the Internet as a backend infrastructure for whatever we are doing!
August 5th, 2012
… and the winner is … Austria’s TOP-10 IT projects from HTLs:
I happened to be member of the jury of the ITS project award, initiated by Gerhard Jöchtl at FH Salzburg. The idea of the award is to motivate high-school students to engage in science and technical development and secondly, to demonstrate the high quality of these projects. The jury was composed of C. Amann-Winkler (IV), R. Hittmair (BCCS), S. Huber (ITG-Salzburg), P. Korczak (ITS Support Association) and myself (= S. Reich, Salzburg Research).
The Nominees were
- HTL Braunau | Posture Recognizer for Physiotherapy: a pretty cool project using MS Kinect technology to implement a kind of “digital physiotherapeut”;
- HTL Dornbirn | WAKA Kennzahlen Analyse: a project on data warehousing and business intelligence using MS-technology;
- HTL Leonding | CrazyFingers: an early stage project on using various sensor technologies to interpret movements of hands/gestures;
- HTL Mistelbach | Android App über Hautkrankheiten: a seriously well done app for assisting people in interpreting skin diseases – what I liked here was the approach of using a Wizard with questions and answers for narrowing down the choices = diseases (BTW: there was also a learning mode for medicine students);
- HTL Mössingerstraße | Smart Globe: a project on promoting a new chip by Infineon technologies with an eye-catcher device;
- HTL Ottakring | RiffGrabber: a quite clever software for real-time analyzing of guitar riffs. Cool stuff! Also very impressive suite of software tools (web, mobile, …);
- HTL Rennweg | EMPALOGIA – die soziale Plattform: a social web platform for community work/social engagement. See http://www.empalogia.org/: technically perhaps not the really new but truly well marketed.;
- HTL Saalfelden | Hotspot GPS: an innovative, very helpful app for the fire brigade: where is the nearest fire hydrant (it may be hidden behind an anti-noise barrier …)?
- HTL Salzburg | SoccerBoard: again, truly innovative and already in use at the Salzburg Soccer Association, this tool allows for football players to improve their passing;
- HTL Ybbs | Yes, we CanSat: a nicely engineered prototype for measuring local weather and climate data. Needs a rocket to be put up in orbit/space.
The winner is SmartGlobe, HTL Mössingerstraße, Carinthia. Congratulations!
June 5th, 2012
IMHO there are already many systems/concepts/etc. that indicate that “openness” is there and will stay. Open source, for instance. But also Open Streetmap, Linked Open Data, Open Innovation, open access, open science, … The question is whether these are always transparent, safe and privacy aware.
April 22nd, 2012
This week, the official opening of a high performance computing centre at the University of Linz took place. The machine is called Mach.
For many reasons, this is an interesting event.
- Firstly, with the cloud being a part of everyday computing infrastructure, one would have thought that high performance computer clusters (at a single location) are somewhat outdated (or only for niche markets). But given the fact that in many scientific disciplines computing power for simulating processes, analysing data, etc. are necessary, there is an increasing need of HPC power. Dieter Kranzlmüller reported that they could “sell” three times the computing power of the Leibnitz computer centre infrastructure in Munich.
- Secondly, three universities unite in order to make this happen: Linz and Innsbruck as key driver with Salzburg as associated player. It is not typical that universities unite!
- Thirdly, in a keynote by Eng Lim Goh (Senior VP Engineering, CTO – SGI), I learned that the Altix UV 1 sells well to scientists as it basically behaves like a “normal” Unix system. Just with really a lot of memory and high performance. Why is this important? The reason is that many researchers – obviously – are experts in their respective fields but not necessarily in computer science and/or in formulating their research models in a parallel way, i.e., a way that is suitable for HPC architectures
- Fourthly, Eng Lim Goh reported that the increased density of integrated circuits makes high performance computers very heavy. So heavy in fact that standard buildings will in the near future not be able to accommodate HPCs!
- Fifthly, if you plan your next HPC investment, you should think about a partner that would be able to collect the enormous heat that is generated by the processors.
The official press release for Mach is available here.
October 19th, 2011
Together with Michael Mürling, I organised a workshop on behalf of Forschung Austria at the Alpbach Technology Forum. It’s theme was “Digital Cities of Tomorrow“.
The workshop was motivated by the fact that we are living in the age of cities: estimations suggest that by the year 2050 over 70 % of the world’s population will be living in cities (BTW: in many countries in Europe we had the moment of urbanisation already in the 1950s). There are many open issues and research questions related to this development, from urban development, transportation and economic development to social services, healthcare, energy, public safety, education and more.
In general the participants (30 overall) agreed that overall the objectives towards smart cities are driven by factors such as sustainability, energy efficiency, high quality of life, safety & security, etc. and that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will (only) serve as enabling technology. Amongst the services that ICT could offer several aspects were mentioned:
- visualization as a communication tool between different parties
- geographic information systems for handling spatio-temporal data
- semantic interoperability of the various data sources to allow a standardized processing
- open data policies enabling communities to create low-cost services
- real-time systems for managing and monitoring huge data volumes in a near real-time manner
- simulation and prediction to enable decisions by stakeholders in a timely manner
- as well as the possibility for new business models enabled by digitized processes.
At the same time the participants pointed out the need to address the vulnerability of connected services e.g. smart meters and to consider the privacy of customers and to take into account the threats post by decentralized autonomous systems.
As a conclusion there was a consensus that technology-only approaches towards smarter cities will not be sufficient to realize these cities. As a basis a holistic approach is needed, considering the different cultures, the willingness to experiment – especially at the level of decision makers -, the constraints in public funding and most prominently the interaction with the citizens (e.g. crowd intelligence, inclusion of local knowledge, open innovation, modern lifestyles of digital natives).
Further details at www.forschungaustria.ac.at
August 26th, 2011
The University of Salzburg, Dept. of Computer Science, organised the 2nd Austrian High Performance Computing Workshop (May 30-31, 2011). There were almost 60 people registered, mostly Austrian, but also including participants from Germany and the U.S.
I think that recent advances in computation enable new methodological approaches in many disciplines. Computer science is a tool for many other disciplines, e.g. physicists, astrologist, and many more. They all are provided with better problem solving capabilities. Exciting times!
And also: the more we establish procedures for simulation, the more we create a corpus of data and results of various methodologies approaches. Cool stuff.
And finally: In his keynote, Esmond G. NG, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory mentioned that GPU will have a great future. At least for the next five years ;-!
June 1st, 2011
Excellent talk by Manfred Bortenschlager (Samsung mobile research, London and “ex” Salzburg Research) on Samsung Bada – an ecosystem for mobile apps (the talk was given this afternoon at the ICT forum of FHSalzburg).
Why yet another eco system?
Some really good links
May 19th, 2011
Together with IBM Salzburg, we are organising a series of events on the theme of making “Salzburg a smarter city”. The first circle took place on Friday, May 13, 2011, and it focused on innovations in traffic. We had around 35 senior experts from industry, research and the public sector. Here is the homepage of smart(er) Salzburg: http://www.smarter-salzburg.at/.
There is a strong cluster of companies in the region, we had many of them as contributors. For instance Salzburg AG, IBM, Audio Mobil, Skidata or Hale electronic. Additionally, the County of Salzburg and obviously we as Salzburg Research are committed to a smarter Salzburg as well.
May 15th, 2011
Pavitter Josan and Gökhan Özdemir, both of HTL Salzburg Itzling, are working on a prototype solution for future interactive shop window advertising. Salzburg Research, Salzburg AG and FH Salzburg MMT are supporting the project.
Technically, this is realised with a time of flight camera which recognises movements of people (standing in front of a shopping window) and interpreting them intelligently.
Info in German on the project: see HTL project page
January 19th, 2011
Together with Markus Lassnig (head of e-motion competence centre for ICT in the tourism- and leisure-industries) we edited an HMD special issue on eTourism.
„Experience Economy“ is a term to describe a phenomenon in our society, which describes that the experience itself is being made a product. Tourism is one of the branches that takes the role of the dream factory. And because tourism is information intensive it makes heavy use of information and communication technologies.
This special issue has two types of contributions
- on the one hand, we have socio-economic papers that explain the cultural and societal backgrounds and provide facts and figures;
- on the other hand, we have technical contributions which are showcases of knowledge-based systems that explain the state-of-the-art of advanced IS systems.
See http://hmd.dpunkt.de/270/ for further details.
December 21st, 2009