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EETE MAY 2015

How the 3 Cs drive IC consumption TBy Peter Clarke he communications, computers and consumer electronics sectors are set to be responsible for more than 70 percent of IC sales in every geographic region – Americas, Europe, Japan, and Asia-Pacific – in 2015, according to market research firm IC Insights. Communications and computers lead in all regions with consumer electronics coming third in the Americas, Japan and Asia-Pacific. In Europe the third largest sector in 2015 will be automotive, IC Insights forecasts. Collectively, communications, computers, Regional IC consumption by system type: Source: IC Insights and consumer systems are projected to account for 85.7 percent of IC sales in the Americas this year compared to 77.9 percent in Japan and 90.8 percent in Asia-Pacific. Communications, computer, and automotive applications are forecast to represent 82.3 percent of IC sales in Europe in 2015. Computer applications were the largest market for IC sales for three decades but the global communications IC market took Total IC usage by system type for 2015 ($310.5 billion forecast). Source IC Insights. over the top spot in 2013 due to the strengthening demand for smartphones and weakening demand for personal computers. IC sales to the automotive market are forecast to represent only about 8 percent of total IC sales of $310.5 billion in 2015 but the predicted compound annual growth rate of 10.8 percent for the period 2013 to 2018 is highest among all the end-use applications. When user interfaces dig into your emotions By Julien Happich As the London-based startup company EmoSHAPE is about to ship its first EmoSPARK Cubes, EETimes Europe caught up with Brian Fitzpatrick, lead content developer of the device’s wake-up and bonding sequence to learn more about the device’s emotionally-aware artificial intelligence (AI). Successfully crowd-funded through an IndieGOGO campaign in March last year, the EmoSPARK Cube is described as the world’s first emotionally intelligent home console dedicated to your happiness, no less. Designed to play a central role in the home and to serve as a voice-controlled universal remote for all other Bluetooth or WiFi-connected electronic devices, the 90x90x90mm cube could not only help users access the information they want in a timely manner, but it could also tune into the owner’s mood to offer comfort with upbeat conversation or even playful suggestions. The secret recipe to this new venture resides in the patentpending Emotion Processing Unit (EPU), in effect a microcontroller programmed to create a synthesised emotional response in AI-enabled machines, based on user input such as facial expressions (through their smartphone or tablet camera), or speech tonality and voice inflexions. The EPU algorithms enable machines to respond to stimuli in line with one of the eight primary emotions: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy, as identified by Robert Plutchik’s psycho-evolutionary theory. As the Emo- SPARK Cube interacts with her/his owner, it stores the perceived emotional stimuli within its memory bank, as emotional patterns or fingerprints. This, claims EmoSHAPE, is possible thanks to the EPU’s Computational Emotional Neural Frequency Architecture (CENFA) and its Emotional Profile Graph (EPG) computation functionality. Over time, the socalled EPG is used to register and develop a bank of emotional associations for each memory (data) within each Cube. In principle, this emotional profiling could help the Cube share adequate data with other AI technologies, so the user would experience adequate emotional responses from other AI interfaces. But why a physical cube when pretty much all of this could be done in software in today’s smartphones or at least on the cloud? “Because we need to establish trust, each cube develops its own emotional intelligence in relation with each specific user, the data connections that are made, the Emotional Profile Graph are very personal”, told us Fitzpatrick. “The EmoSPARK Cube learns a lot about you, it may even figure out emotional states and data about you that you may not actively know and that you may not want to share with everyone. Hence each cube acts like a mini-server where the EPG is securely hosted” he added. According to Fitzpatrick, having a standalone product makes the interface more tangible, something that users would want to give a name and engage with in small talk. “The cube can find information from different sources of knowledge such as Wikipedia, Freebase and internet search en- 10 Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAY 2015
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