Winning DFKI researchers: Internet access from the car enabled by a glance!

Three employees of the DFKI were awarded on the major international conference on "Intelligent Environments 2012", Mexico (27th-28.06. 2012), with the "Best Video / Demo Award". The winning paper describes a novel way of personalized interaction between occupants and the environment, and the infotainment system of the vehicle.


The publication "Personalized In-Vehicle Information Systems: Building an Application Infrastructure for Smart Cars in Smart Spaces" of DFKI researchers Mohammad Mehdi Moniri, Dr. Christian Müller and Dr. Michael Field (technical realization of the video: Renato Orsini) describes the interaction passengers in a vehicle perform with its external environment. The occupants of the car for example have the opportunity to get information on buildings and other visible objects around them while driving. For this interaction, it is sufficient to look through the window at the target object and formulate a question like "What is this building?", or "Give me more information on this monument". With the help of advanced eye-tracking technology and algorithms developed by the researchers the eye-gaze of the user determines the target object and is detected with high accuracy.


If the driver uses voice interaction for retrieval of information, the system can customize services based on the voice – by recognizing the gender and approximate age of the user. In the example scenario in the publication, this knowledge is used in order for a female user to locate women parking spaces on the map during navigation. 


The publication was funded by the government-funded project SiAM (Situation-Adaptive Multimodal Interaction for Innovative Mobility Concepts for the Future), which is supplemented by activities on Intelligent mobility and transport systems sponsored by the department for Information and Communication Technologies of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT ICT Labs). It was presented together with a video for the first time on the "Intelligent Environments 2012". Known as the “EyeBox” prototype, the system is actually already fully functional in a BMW test vehicle at DFKI.


The CEO of DFKI, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, is proud of the achievements: "Now this is the second time that DFKI employees won the first place at this important conference on the very relevant topic of intelligent environments. "


“The price is very important for us in a very early stage of development of the “EyeBox”, since it confirms that the potential is recognized, not only by industry, but also from of science point of view.  We are very encouraged to continue the development and ensure that the ‘EyeBox’ enjoys a successful technology transfer towards a marketable product,” says Dr. Christian Mueller, in his function as action line leader for Intelligent mobility and transport systems at EIT ICT Labs. With his group, he is conducting research in the field of intelligent user interfaces at the DFKI in Saarbrücken  - finding new information technologies for vehicles - with a special focus on usability.


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