Latest tracking technology in your gadgets soon
Hi-tech tracking technology might soon be in consumers’ hands, homes, cars and local stores.
If it works as described, the technology developed by a small-but-established U.K. company called Apical could detect not only people but also determine what they are doing or where they are going.
The technology, called Spirit could be used for everything from helping consumers shoot better videos to helping the local coffee shop improve its sales.
“What the Spirit technology is doing solves a lot of problems,” said Mike Krell, an analyst at industry research firm Moor Insights & Strategy. “It could open up a lot of applications.”
Generally, tracking systems try to glean information from video files, which means they have to process the video after it’s recorded. But Spirit works independently of video. It takes a snapshot of a scene, but instead of recording pixel-by-pixel information such as color and brightness, it records only so-called metadata, such as the location, shape, trajectory and pose — how someone is standing or gesturing — of a particular person or object.
Since the system is recording much less information, the data can be used immediately
“That’s the essential difference,” said Paul Strzelecki, a consultant who works with the company. “You’ve got to deal with the data at the edge and not create data that you don’t need.”
The first few places that Spirit is likely to show up are in smartphone cameras. Apical has developed Spirit to help consumers take better videos.
“As with a lot of these things, the actual killer app will turn out to be something that’s completely different, something that we weren’t expecting,” said Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Machina Research.