Computer vision startup YouSpace launched the first version of its real-time human motion capture and recognition system that enables retailers and advertisers to bring unprecedented user experiences with an in-house demonstration in its Santa Clara office on August 30.
The YouSpace Total Experience Kit (TEK) uses depth sensors and advanced AI algorithms (YouSpace COAT™) to recognize and interpret real-time human data such as human body shapes and actions, which then enable on-screen content to respond to users and create unique interactive experiences. The kit comes with the YouSpace Hub, a content management and data-analytics hub, that provides insight into what content people respond to and find interesting.
By combining three main components – YouSpace’s proprietary COAT™ AI algorithms, a one-year cloud service to the YouSpace Hub as well as an Intel® RealSense™ Depth Module D430 provided by Intel and a mini PC – the YouSpace TEK is a ready-to-go solution that can be applied to any retailer’s existing digital display. It will be offered at USD 2,999when it goes on sale in Q4 of 2018.
The introduction of YouSpace’s first product to the marketplace also represents their official coming out of R&D mode. Says CEO Vivi Chen: “Launching TEK is a huge milestone for the company. It will provide a smart, efficient and cost-effective way for businesses to incorporate machine learning and AI to vastly upgrade their user experience. This also brings us one step closer to our big vision — enabling visual intelligence to make everyday life more fun, intelligent and safe.”
In the basic use case scenario, anyone who sees content on a digital display and is in range of the depth sensor can use touch-free gestures to control the content, such as swiping with their arms to reveal different content, then stop on the one they are interested in. In the background the YouSpace Hub is running real-time analytics that knows how many people walked past the display, how long they stood or interacted with it, and which on-screen content was the most popular.
The YouSpace Hub is a content management platform which enables retailers and advertisers to create, edit, schedule and distribute their content across multiple devices and locations remotely, around-the-clock. Unlike other digital signage solutions, content can be scheduled not only by time and date, but also by the presence of people, meaning depending on how many people are in front of a display, the screen will know and respond accordingly.
The core tech of YouSpace is a real-time AI engine, Computer Optical AI Telemetry (COAT™), that gives smart devices the ability to sense human presence and interpret their gestures and actions from depth sensors. To do this, the company has created the world’s most accurate 3D human-surface mapping model composed of more than 6 million labeled 3D human poses configured from the study of over 240 different individuals.
YouSpace’s team comprises experts in computer vision and machine learning with decades of technological and entrepreneurial experience. CTO Ralph Brunner explains that the key advantages of YouSpace technology are its ability to observe spaces at scale in a lightweight and fast way: “Large space means we can combine multiple depth sensors to serve an area. Lightweight enables us to target low cost IoT devices where you have very little computer resources to do the work. The fast aspect is most important for interactive applications where you want to have an immediate response to whatever the user is doing.”
Requiring no wearables and with instantaneous user behavior response and real-time processing at speeds of up to 90 frames per second, users are guaranteed a fluid user experience.
This stationary application of human recognition computer vision technology is merely the first phase of YouSpace’s go-to-market strategy.
The technology has the potential to be contained in the smallest chip to enable integration into any camera, smart phone, AR/VR/game engine or IoT device. Next year the company will launch mobile application solutions. In 2020, they plan to introduce a microchip that can handle the processing at a low enough power and cost to enable embedding in almost any device.
“The key idea is that the human body can become one more input to control machines, just like today you would use voice control or a keyboard. Our technology enables this in a way that any device with these capabilities can now react to human presence. Our goal is to make this lightweight and low cost enough so that it truly can go into any device in your home or workplace.”
YouSpace will be launching a pilot smart fashion shop with strategic partners in China in late September 2018, with plans to deploy smart solutions to many more shops next year.