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Computer reads text written in the air and other innovations

March 5, 2014
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
In the future, computers and humans will cooperate more seamlessly: perhaps by easier access to data or by the intuitive control of programs and robots. Conference exhibits along this line include gesture-controlled communication, firewalls to data management and computer-supported surgery.

In the future, computers and humans will cooperate more seamlessly: perhaps by easier access to data or by the intuitive control of programs and robots. At the CeBIT, latest innovations in this area will be presented. The exhibits range from gesture-controlled communication to firewalls to data management to computer-supported surgery.

Writing without Keyboard: Handwriting Recognition Based on the Hand's Movement

Writing into the air instead of typing text messages on the mobile phone via the tiny keyboard? This may be done using a sensor wristband, which records hand movements. A computer system translates them into texts. The novel airwriting system of KIT uses gestures as inputs and is suited in particular for mobile communication devices and so-called wearable computing applications.

The airwriting system made in Karlsruhe may be applied in future mixed-reality applications. In combination with smart glasses, i.e. glasses displaying information in the users' field of view, the airwriting wristband can be used to input commands and texts by gestures without holding a mobile device in the hand. The prototype airwriting system is showcased at the CeBIT stand. In the course of the Future Talks lecture series (hall 9, stand F99), the developers Tanja Schultz and Christoph Amma will present the airwriting system on March 13, 2014.

Surgeons Feel and See via Operation Robots

Within OP:Sense, KIT develops methods for future robot-supported surgery. The system focuses on supporting and relieving the strain of the surgeon. It provides novel options for interactive control and sensor feedback. OP:Sense is a modular platform to study novel methods for the secure and precise execution of robot-supported operations.

OP:Sense consists of two robot arms controlled by the surgeon via haptic input devices and several 3D cameras monitoring the working space around the field of operation. Based on this scene monitoring, new safety concepts are developed for close human-robot cooperation in the operation theater. On this basis, further research is conducted in particular in the area of situation recognition. At the CeBIT, the system will be presented live.

Enhanced Security by Combination of Several Firewalls

Firewalls provide protection against attacks from the internet. Figuratively speaking, they filter out "harmful" data packages from the incoming data flow and transmit "good-natured" packages only. Security gaps, however, cannot be excluded completely. Sometimes, the firewalls cannot be trusted entirely or built-in loopholes are used by mischievous attackers.

In a collaboration between the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, the Competence Center of Applied Security Technology KASTEL developed a concept for the secure combination of network firewalls: A specialized hardware module securely implements the combination of several firewalls. The security of this approach has been proven in a formal model. A working prototype as well as an illustrating model are presented at CeBIT.

Participatory Collection of Data by Smartphone

Modern smartphones and their built-in positioning and activity monitoring sensors can simplify complex data collection processes significantly. This concept is known as participatory sensing.

At the CeBIT, FZI scientists will demonstrate the potentials of partici-patory sensing by three applications:

1) A freely configurable platform allows local governments to record danger spots and damages of the local infrastructure with the help of their citizens. In Karlsruhe, the corresponding application called KA-Feedback is being used already.

2) Another prototype is designed for leisure parks to measure flows of visitors and directly recommend rides that are less frequented at the moment.

3) The third prototype of Disy Informationssysteme GmbH, a spinoff of FZI and KIT, shows how ideas of participatory sensing can be merged with the acquisition of complex geodata on tablets to facilitate field work of public administration.

Predictive Data Analytics: Decision Models Based on Large Data Volumes

The volume of business and market data available to companies is increasing steadily. At the CeBIT, scientists of FZI will demonstrate how large data volumes can be evaluated specifically by means of predictive data analytics.

With various applications being used as examples, latest analytics solutions for decision-making will be presented. For instance, data analytics can be used to optimize computing centers or to predict key figures for business management. Data analytics can also be used to carry out targeted marketing campaigns. This idea will be presented at the stand by PriceNow, a spinoff of FZI and KIT.

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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Computer reads text written in the air and other innovations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2014. <>.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. (2014, March 5). Computer reads text written in the air and other innovations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2017 from
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Computer reads text written in the air and other innovations." ScienceDaily. (accessed April 26, 2017).