Ultamation break new ground with Augmented Reality user interface

Back to News & Views

Ultamation have a proud history of serial innovation: The first company to embrace Crestron’s custom Smart Graphics technology in releasing a number of unique controls, including analogue clocks, colour pickers and lighting visualisation; releasing productivity tools to universal acclaim amongst Crestron GUI designers and programmers; cracking the technical challenges around the hugely popular IP control module for Apple TV devices; to say nothing of a string of unique features for Crestron Residential systems that continue to push the envelope of home automation, be it around location tracking or voice control.

While Ultamation develop their business as one of the global leaders in delivering Crestron solutions, they continue to innovate in order to enhance their standard products. Sometimes, these innovations offer the possibility to break the mould, and they’re excited to release the first glimpse of their “proof of concept” for next generation user interaction.

Ultamation present their concept for a new method of interaction with control systems in residential, commercial, industrial or marine environments.

Ultamation have developed a new cross-platform concept for control of devices around the user’s environment simply by looking at an object and speaking commands. The combination of visual focus and speech recognition greatly simplifies the command structure and improves over other voice interaction schemes by removing the need for attention words and constrained skills.

Their solution doesn’t require any complex set-up or environmental modelling, by using leading edge Artificial Intelligence feature recognition techniques, where the models are built simply by taking photographs.

Augmented Reality is then used to superimpose an overlay around the recognised feature. The overlay can be used to provide information about the feature or environment, or offer touch control. Applications include home control of devices such as AV, lighting and heating; commercial spaces for abstracting complex interactions like placing a conference call with context sensitive information such as personalised phone books, or providing information on a meeting, or services available; through to industrial uses such as hands free control of hazardous machinery and service record retrieval, simply by pointing the camera at a piece of equipment.

Ultamation have then augmented the augmented reality with voice control. This allows the AR overlay to be minimised to providing simple feedback of the recognised object, and any spoken utterances are enhanced by information pertaining to where the command is being directed, based on the visual feature recognition.

Ultamation are actively developing the concept to create USPs for selected automation platforms and innovative “through-the-screen” control products and went on to demonstrate the proof of concept to an industrial audience on November 15th/16th 2017 at the Smart Factory Expo, showcasing innovation and new technology to deliver the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Media: Video: https://youtu.be/JKmo5r6BdRk