As technical devices grow ever more sophisticated and their complexity increases, the EASY Interactions project is trying to enhance interaction between the human user and the technical system.
Traditional control devices such as mouse, keyboard, joystick or screen have been outgrown by today's information and communication technology (ICT) gadgets, say project stakeholders, claiming that such difficulties inhibit many application opportunities.
The project now investigates novel control instruments, focusing primarily on:
- eye/head tracking;
- gesture analysis;
- speech recognition and synthesis;
- natural language processing and understanding;
- the talking head;
- spoken dialogue;
- three-dimensional video systems;
- three-dimensional multi-display devices.
Ultimately, it is the aim to enhance human-system interactivity in various domains, including the home and medical environment, mobile applications, help for the elderly and the disabled, transportation, industrial and construction, as well as public safety sectors. 'In this way, the project aims to contribute to the achievement of the European Union's 2010 goal to bring ICT to everyone, everywhere,' project partners explain.
'By integrating cutting-edge natural language processing techniques and machine learning with domain ontology, EASY Interactions will make it possible to carry out content and information mining at the semantic - or meaning - level,' they add. 'The innovation foreseen in this project consists in improving techniques to provide an intelligent and semantic access to information and services.'
In order to achieve this, partners including major telecommunications specialists such as Alcatel Lucent and EADS Secure Networks are seeking to develop a context-awareness engine that both takes into account the context in which the device is used, and that can learn from user behaviour and adapt interfaces accordingly.
Having kicked off only recently in October 2007, the EASY Interactions project is still in its infancy. Until its completion, projected for March 2010, it will receive funding from the EUREKA strategic cluster programme ITEA 2 (Information Technology for European Advancement).
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