Texas Instruments Announces Me-D Experience, Powered by OMAP 4

Texas Instruments (TI) has been keeping almost as busy as Qualcomm, coming out with a few announcements of its own today. One of the biggest unveilings is the introduction of the Me-D Experience running on TI’s OMAP 4 platform. Me-D experiences are gestures and interactions, in which customers are “no longer limited to the physical confines of a mobile device.” We’re already seeing OMAP 4 show up on new mobile devices, such as the LG Optimus 3D and Blackberry Playbook, and the Me-D experience itself will be available in the second half of 2011.

TI’s OMAP 4 platform powers the experience, which includes:

  • Touchless gesturing in the “natural” dimension: in essence, Me-D will be able to track hand and arm movements to navigate through the camera app. By rotating and clenching a fist in front of the camera, you can zoom and pan around the photo gallery. You’d even be able to control your music or TV without even needing a remote. In other words, you are using a 3D space to navigate around a 2D screen and thus are creating a whole new mobile world with no physical confines.
  • Stereoscopic 3D in the “third” dimension: we’ll be seeing this type of experience on the LG Optimus 3D as well as several phones powered by OMAP4.
  • Interactive projection in the “projected” dimension: for instance, projecting an image onto a wall or coffee table and actually interacting with those projections as if they were on a physical touchscreen. Using a virtual keyboard being projected onto a countertop could very well become a reality with the Me-D experience.

These types of experiences are impressive, to say the least. It’s hard to believe that these kinds of activities, seen on futuristic movies such as Minority Report, will soon be a reality.

Press Release below:

TI’s OMAP™ platform spurs Me-D™ experiences: Welcome to the next mobile dimension

The world isn’t flat, and mobile technologies don’t have to be either, thanks to TI’s OMAP platform

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today unleashed new dimensions of the mobile world, labeled “Me-D™ experiences,” which are uniquely enabled by TI’s OMAP™ platform. What exactly are Me-D experiences? They are TI’s trend-setting interactions in which consumers are no longer limited to the physical confines of a mobile device, but rather set free by the ability to make any physical environment the center of the mobile universe. The world isn’t flat, after all, so mobile technologies shouldn’t be either. TI’s OMAP 4 platform, shipping today, steps ahead of the market to deliver unparalleled Me-D experiences, including: touchless gesturing in the “natural” dimension, stereoscopic 3D (S3D) in the “third” dimension, and interactive projection in the “projected” dimension. Mobile World Congress attendees can experience related demonstrations at TI’s booth (Hall 8, 8A84), Feb. 14 to 17 in Barcelona. Full details of TI’s show activities are available at www.ti.com/mwc2011.

“At TI, we embody a pace-setter approach, thinking far ahead about how to turn future-looking features into real-life experiences for end users around the world,” said Avner Goren, general manager of strategic marketing, OMAP platform business unit, TI. “Our Me-D experiences represent an inflection point in this approach, as we drive new mobile opportunities for customers to take advantage of – from S3D and interactive projection to natural gestures. Together with complementary solutions from TI’s partners, our OMAP platform now offers a complete package to make mobile interactions truly personalized and intuitive. This is about creating technological demand, in advance of the demand itself coming to market. This is the future.”

The natural dimension: Gesturing

Everyday conversations not only include speech, but natural gestures. TI’s OMAP platform brings these common, intuitive gestures to the mobile environment as a new means to interact with devices. Utilizing technology from TI’s partner Extreme Reality (XTR), TI is demonstrating and offering a touchless gesturing engine which uses a single, simple low-resolution and low-power camera geared for mobile devices.  The solution comes with a complete application framework supported by a full set of tools, which enables application developers and OEMs to easily access the gesturing library, and connect gesture features to existing and future applications. The solution will be available in the second quarter of 2011. The gesturing engine leverages unique OMAP 4 processor hardware resources, including imaging and vision hardware accelerators and libraries, a programmable DSP and an embedded programmable CPU. This allows TI and XTR to offer low-power gesturing running concurrently with any application – an unequaled enabler of this natural dimension.

Everyday life also includes hand writing, notes taking and drawing. TI’s OMAP platform, coupled with EPOS technology, allows users to take notes and draw in the most natural way – using a pen or stylus. The writing tool is equipped with EPOS patented ultrasonic transmitter, and the OMAP processor picks the transmitted signals using three microphones to accurately determine the pen or stylus location. This allows users to take notes either on the screen, or off screen – next to the mobile device, with or without paper or ink.

The third dimension: Stereoscopic-3D (S3D)

Glasses are not a requirement for 3D vision in the real-world, nor are they needed to lift mobile experiences to the third dimension.  TI now provides a feature-complete software package for the OMAP 4 platform, available today, which enables S3D, HD video and image capture, processing and rendering. TI will also provide automatic 2D-to-S3D conversion capabilities, based on the TriDef solutions from DDD, a leader in the S3D market. With this comprehensive S3D and HD support, consumers will be able to capture high-quality images and video using two cameras. They will also be able to view true-S3D content on mobile devices with the naked eye – no glasses required – using auto-stereoscopic displays that send images separately to the left and right eye. These separate, 2D images combine in the brain to create an S3D image.

Unlike other mobile processor offerings, the OMAP 4 platform is an unequaled enabler of the third dimension with the right hardware resources, processing performance and flexibility to support S3D up to HD quality. This includes a powerful image signal processor, which supports the two cameras and provides a crystal-clear S3D images. A programmable display controller supports local auto-stereoscopic displays as well as an external 3D TV connected over the HDMI cable. The programmable IVA also provides support for S3D record and playback up to HD quality.

The projected dimension: Interactive projection

Consumers constantly demand new ways to enjoy and share content. Today, it’s not just about the ability to project a video or presentation on a wall – it’s about interacting with those projected images in the same way possible with a touchscreen. Imagine projecting slides on a wall and moving objects around with a simple touch and drag, or projecting a virtual keyboard on a cafe table to type a note to a friend.

These and other features will be enabled by the unmatched combination of TI’s OMAP and DLP® Pico™ projection technologies, which expand mobile devices’ physical reach to virtually any surface, including tables, walls or desks. The OMAP platform is equipped with highly optimized hardware accelerators and software, which together allow high-performance, interactive projection at low power levels. OMAP processors’ gesture recognition software, developed by XTR and TI, is able to identify the projected image, the finger position and the “click.”  Support for this interactive projection technology will be available in the second half of 2011.

Author: Brad Molen

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