Ceva Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.), which has an R&D base in Herzlia, Israel, has been selected to coordinate a European research project that plans to integrate multiple human-machine interface (HMI) technologies on a single platform.
The FANCI (Face and body Analysis Natural Computer Interaction) project has qualified under the European Union's Horizon 2020 funding initiative. Other participants include automotive audio manufacturer Harman International Industries, Belgian gesture recognition software company SoftKinetic, Swiss startup KeyLemon, eye-tracking developer Tobii Technology, nViso and the University of Siena.
The project planned for a 24-month duration, and is estimated to require total funding of around €2.5 million (about $2.9 million). Commercial companies can usually qualify for 50 percent funding while academic bodies can claim up to 75 percent of their costs.
FANCI will work on multiple face and body analytics and natural computer interfaces running on DSP hardware and develop a reference platform suited for multiple market sectors but with an initial focus on the automotive industry. The group wants to combine face analysis, eye tracking, emotion, intention and authentication; hand gesture recognition; voice tone analysis; and head gesture and pose analysis. It will complement those with user intention or distraction estimation and system reaction via visual, voice and haptic feedback as well as autonomous system reactions.
As well as developing an automotive demonstrator the team is chartered with creating an application programming interface (API) to allow other software developers to create natural computer interaction devices.
Ceva has experience providing its MM3101 imaging and vision platform and computer vision libraries for HMI applications. Harman is the automotive expert that will guide the creation of the automotive demonstrator. KeyLemon (Switzerland) is a developer of face authentication software and nViso (Switzerland) of emotion detection software. The University of Siena (Italy) will develop the application layer and the user API.
"Integrating all of these technologies into single reference architecture for embedded products will serve to validate the cost and power savings achievable and enable us to demonstrate the true capabilities of a fully-featured human-machine user experience," said Shay Adar, director of technology collaborative programs at Ceva and FANCI coordinator.
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