Tag: ‘SGI-Japan’

RoomRender renders rooms intelligent

08 Dec 2006

RoomRender -- SGI Japan has unveiled an intelligent room system, called RoomRender, that can control the electronics, appliances and hardware in a room based on the spoken commands and emotions of the room's occupants. The company installed the RoomRender system in one of its Tokyo office meeting rooms on December 5. With the cost of RoomRender's basic components estimated at between 5 and 6 million yen ($40K to $50K), the company initially hopes to see the system put to use in company meeting rooms, homes, hotels, hospitals and care facilities.

RoomRender relies on AmiVoice voice recognition technology (developed by Advanced Media) to recognize and analyze spoken commands, enabling the room to close the blinds, turn on the heater, etc. as instructed. When linked with a home entertainment system, RoomRender can be instructed to record TV shows. At present, RoomRender does not have the ability to learn the routines and preferences of its inhabitants, so it has to be told specifically what and when to record, but perhaps one day when RoomRender can predict your behavior, you won't have to tell it to record your favorite show -- it'll just know.

RoomRender also includes features that respond to the mood of its occupants. FeelingWall ? a wall whose colored lights change according to the mood of the people in the room ? relies on Sensibility Technology (developed by SGI and AGI), the same technology used in KOTOHANA, which was developed by SGI Japan and NEC. Like KOTOHANA, FeelingWall interprets emotions based on the intonation and rhythm of voices, adjusting the color and lighting accordingly. RoomRender can also be programmed to control an aroma diffuser, releasing fragrances that correspond to various moods. Features like these mean that if an inhabitant sighs ?I?m tired,? the room can automatically respond by dimming the lights, causing the light of the FeelingWall to pulsate gently, turning on some relaxing background music and emitting a soothing fragrance from the aroma diffuser.

Segway -- SGI, which recently became Segway's official distributor in Japan, is also developing a function that enables RoomRender to control the two-wheeled transportation devices. In the future, RoomRender will be able to send a Segway to an occupant that asks for it, and it will return a Segway to its battery charger when the power starts running low.

Unfortunately, this also means you won't be able to use the Segway as an escape vehicle if your relationship with RoomRender suddenly turns sour.

[Source: IT Media]

Petaflops-level supercomputer to be unveiled

20 Jun 2006


On June 19, Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Riken), SGI Japan and Intel announced the development of a supercomputer with a theoretical peak performance of 1 petaflops (one million billion floating point operations per second). Known as the MDGRAPE-3 (or the Protein Explorer), the computer system is designed to perform molecular dynamics simulations of such phenomena as non-bonding interactions between atoms.

The system consists of 201 units equipped with 24 of RIKEN?s MDGRAPE-3 LSI chips for molecular dynamics simulation (total of 4,808 chips), which are connected to 64 parallel servers equipped with 256 of Intel's Xeon 5000-series cores and 37 parallel servers equipped with 74 Xeon 3.2 GHz cores.

In the future, RIKEN plans to further upgrade the system with Xeon 5100-series processors (codenamed Woodcrest), and testing is now underway.

The LINPACK Benchmark, which is the standard for the Top 500 List, could not be performed on the system, so the performance cannot be compared directly with the world's other top supercomputers. However, the system's theoretical peak performance of 1 petaflops will set the computer firmly at the top of the list, with a speed about three times that of IBM's BlueGene/L at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (currently No.1 on the list).

The system will be unveiled to the public on June 24 at RIKEN's Yokohama laboratory.

[Source: IT Media]

KOTOHANA communicates emotions from afar

03 Mar 2006

NEC, NEC Design and SGI Japan have teamed up to develop KOTOHANA, flower-shaped terminals that use LED light to remotely communicate human emotions.

Each KOTOHANA set consists of two flower-shaped terminals equipped with LEDs that change color according to the emotions of the person who owns the counterpart. Each flower contains a microphone that captures voice data for processing, the results of which are sent via wireless LAN to the other terminal, where it is expressed as LED light.


KOTOHANA's Sensibility Technology (ST) emotion recognition engine, which was developed by SGI Japan with the cooperation of AGI, detects joy, sorrow, calmness and excitement in speech patterns. Happiness is expressed as yellow, sadness as blue, calmness as green, and excitement as red. Changing emotions are expressed through subtle color gradations and variations in light brightness.

The product is still in the prototype stage, with the ST engine running on a separate computer connected to KOTOHANA. NEC plans to showcase KOTOHANA at CeBIT, the international trade show for information and telecommunications technology to be held from March 9 to 15 in Hannover, Germany.

[Source: Yahoo! News Japan via japan.internet.com]