At Vodera we make it a priority to understand our clients’ businesses and industries from the outset. Therefore, we concentrate on areas where our technical knowledge allows us to readily understand your needs in detail. Our team’s technical expertise lies mainly in the areas of wireless communications, pervasive computing and speech processing. We are in a strong position to help your organisation translate these technologies into the marketplace, after having significantly contributed to their development and extensively followed their standardisation.
The wireless technology market remains the fastest growing segment of the global computing and communications business. Over the years it has created a revolutionary paradigm shift, enabling multimedia communications between people and devices from any location, underpinning applications such as telemedicine, environmental monitoring and building automation. In industrial environments, apart from lower installation and maintenance costs, wireless systems offer ease of equipment upgrading and practical deployment of mobile robotic systems and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). As wireless technology proliferates, organisations will need to understand the various implications of these technologies in order to make well-informed business decisions. What are the key features of the systems currently being introduced? How are the standards evolving? What are the key aspects of wireless communications that are driving the innovations to come? Broadband wireless (WiMax, MobileFi) can drive internet penetration in emerging markets and provide a range of niche services for developed markets competing against 3G. WiFi handsets with VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) dramatically reduce telecommunications costs and provide connectivity, without the need of cellular networks. Ultra-wide-band (UWB) can carry huge amounts of data over short distances at very low power enabling faster wireless home networks. Short-range technologies such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communications (NFC), and WiFi simplify connectivity of personal wireless peripheral devices and are being adopted elsewhere. Multihop and mesh networks such as ZigBee extend the reach of wireless networks without requiring huge investment in infrastructure. Most of the issues and technical requirements in wireless (speed, reliability, adaptability, security and scalability) are not orthogonal and trade-offs need to be dictated by applications.
Rather than just computers everywhere, pervasive computing denotes a shift towards human-centered computing, in which computing tasks fade into the background. In such environments individuals are less aware of their everyday computing tasks and computers are more aware of human needs and desires. Pervasive computing is enabled by tiny devices which are embedded in almost any type of object imaginable, including tools, appliances, clothing and vehicles – all communicating through increasingly interconnected networks. Pervasive computing brings smart sensors in factories, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in warehouses, smart clothing for health monitoring, context-aware buildings, and autonomous robots in disaster management applications.
Some prototype pervasive systems already exist for use in constrained environments but the technology for many envisioned products and services is still under development. In other cases, available technology is too expensive to allow for reasonably priced products. Most applications of pervasive computing will face important commercialisation challenges in the coming years such as poor interoperability among devices, the lack of models for human behaviour in context-aware spaces, data security, unspecified revenue models, and the increasing complexity of networking protocols. Yet despite these problems, pervasive computing and the technologies that enable pervasive computing will provide great business opportunities for suppliers of a wide range of devices, networks, and services.
IP telephony enables voice communication over internet protocol (VoIP) networks, inter-connecting businesses and home users leading to cost reductions on tele-working and international calling. Vodera have expertise in integration, interoperability analysis and deployment of a variety of telephony technologies and protocols (PSTN, IP-based PBX systems and VoIP terminals), with QoS requirements. We specialise in market analysis including recommendations for VoIP terminals and VoIP service hosting hardware. Further we undertake studies on VoIP security, mobile VoIP telephony and integration of variety of VoIP services (voicemail, call forwarding, dial-plans, etc.).
Speech processing technologies have improved in recent years to the point where many applications are feasible and commercially attractive. Vodera leverages expertise in interactive voice response (IVR), automatic speech recognition (ASR), natural language processing (NLP) and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies to provide assistance in evaluating, purchasing and optimising the implementation of speech-related solutions. We have also worked in embedded speaker recognition tasks which involve the identification of a speaker, based on his or her voice and the clustering of speakers based on similarities of their voices.
At Vodera, we consider the next big market opportunity to be in spoken media search and semantic retrieval. Until recently, search engines were unable to process information preserved in the form of speech – interviews, lectures, voicemails and radio newscasts – even though this medium allows easy and affordable storage of millions of hours of human knowledge and interactions. Spoken media content combines information from multiple levels (phonetic, acoustic, syntactic, semantic and discourse) and is far richer than what a simple textual transcription can capture. For instance, it has additional cues that disclose the intended meaning and speaker’s emotional state. Spoken media search has become feasible thanks to a number of advances fueled by scalable statistical models with efficient algorithms for inference and decoding, increases in computational resources and the development of large, annotated databases. Applications include the provision of text-based search and the precise playback of audio, content management, customer relation management (CRM) and media archive applications.
The medical industry is searching for ways to improve the accuracy of screening and diagnostic procedures so that patients are not unnecessarily subjected to painful, invasive tests. Diagnostic imaging is a fast growing part of modern medicine and is now entering a new era of digital imaging. The field has evolved from the early x-rays by Roentgen over a century ago to imaging of organs by computerised tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. What was once called the radiology department is now called the diagnostic imaging department because of the wealth of new technologies available beyond x-rays.
Faster, more accurate diagnosis can also help keep the ever-spiralling health costs down and improve overall patient care. Moreover, patients might be more willing to seek screening procedures if the whole process is more comfortable and less time consuming.
Medical imaging is used for diagnosis in the leading causes of death, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Healthcare workers can already view 3D, high-resolution images of virtually any part of the human body, though numerous technical challenges exist to establish those solutions as mainstream in healthcare systems. Such challenges include optimising the capture, storage, distribution and retrieval of medical images and well as algorithms for automatic detection of abnormalities with high accuracy.
Digital systems, however sophisticated, must receive and process information from the outside world that is generally analogue. Sensors are the eyes, ears and noses of silicon chips interfacing between various physical values and electronic circuits. Each year billions of sensors are manufactured and find their ways into automotive, industrial, medical and consumer applications. Whether you are developing a new system or upgrading an existing one, we can point you to practical solutions for the physical measurement and sensing problems. We do this by providing analysis, new concepts, R&D project team support leading to prototype and new sensor product development.
Like most key technologies, the above cannot be seen in isolation. We understand the interactions with complementary technologies and we create synergies, where possible. Unlike companies with a pure technology background, we always take into account the complex socio-economic systems in which industries operate. Recently we have worked on projects examining issues such as privacy, safety and user acceptance of the above technologies.