D7 Tech Demo: Fullpower
Philippe Kahn’s history of entrepreneurship is nearly as old as the PC itself. He developed software for the Micral N, one of the earliest commercial personal computers, back in 1973. As CEO of Borland Software (BORL), he touted himself the “barbarian” of the software industry and embraced that identity by holding one of the first press conferences for his company in a McDonald’s (MCD) in Las Vegas during Comdex. Ousted from Borland in 1995, Kahn went on to found wireless synchronization outfit Starfish Software, which he sold to Motorola (MOT). He followed that up with LightSurf Technologies, a picture-messaging company acquired by Verisign (VRSN) in 2005. Today Philippe Kahn is at D7 as CEO of Fullpower, a company developing accelerometer-based hardware and software.
- Walt and Kara welcome Kahn to the stage.
- Fullpower, says Kahn, has developed the MotionX Recognition Engine, a technology intended to do for motion and gesture what speech recognition did for speech. “We’ve created a system that studies how you move, as opposed to reacting to it.”
- The first demo involves a headset with onboard motion sensing, the MotionX-Headset. “Basically what we’ve done is build a motion-sensing headset,” says Kahn. The headset will differentiate between the sources of motion of its user–if the user is walking or running for example.
- Kahn calls a colleague wearing the headset onstage. The colleague demonstrates how calls can be answered by tapping the headset, without using any buttons. Then the colleague begins walking and running around the stage — the technology is able to differentiate between actual user taps and all the other motion.
- The device also notices whether its user is walking or running, using the MotionX Recognition Engine and accelerometer to obtain an accurate measurement of distance and speed traveled. The headset tracks the user’s speed and distance, and the user can tap it for spoken updates about his or her progress. The headset automatically turns off when set down, thus saving power, and turns back on when the user picks it up again. Kahn: The same technology used in the headset can be embedded in phones and other devices.
- Moving on to the next demo, MotionX-Imaging, the technology demonstrated was full image stabilization using the MotionX Recognition engine and an accelerometer. These were built in to the smartphone. In order to demonstrate this for presentations, every time a picture is taken, the MotionX image stabilization is either applied (“stabilized”) or not applied (“unstabilized”) at random. The pictures are then sorted so you can compare all the regular pictures with the stabilized ones and see the benefit of the technology.