SPX Lab is a laboratory of digital technologies, which experiments new solutions in the most varied fields of application, through a constant human centered approach..


Research is almost always stimulated by expressed or observed needs and concerns mainly the advanced interfaces (HCI, Tangible Bit, AR), the User Experience UX), the prediction aimed at process optimization (AI), the Internet of thinks (IoT), the application of neuroscience for marketing and rehabilitation, the relationship between science, technology, design and art.
In order to effectively carry out its R&D activities, SPX Lab experiments new creative processes, making its programmers constantly interact, designers, User Experience experts, always with a clear vision of business.

 

SPX Lab's academic background is the inspiration behind our ongoing, methodical quest to find innovative solutions that meet the needs of our modern-day information society. This research involves:

  • using a scientific method to develop new ideas
  • keeping up-to-date by studying scientific literature
  • regularly attending specialist courses and conferences or training events
  • taking part in research projects and programmes
  • entering innovation competitions
  • working with universities.
  • organization of informative events

 


 

THE IMATI PROJECT 

Objectives

The INTER-CH Imati tender for the development of innovative interfaces aims to favour the enjoyment of cultural and artistic works and environments through technology and applications. The use of a tool to allow the concurrent engagement of several user senses seemed to be the perfect project theme; from this assumption, we decided to use Ta.Bi for research purposes.


The first version of the Ta.Bi project, a table with a surface that implements Object Recognition, is designed for exhibition spaces, trade fairs and stores, but can also be used for education and cultural offerings. The screen's ability to recognise touch and objects makes it a tool halfway between edutainment, infotainment and smart retail, able to excite and engage all senses, from touch, to sight, to hearing.


The research aims to enhance the Ligurian heritage through the use of natural interfaces, implementing virtual and augmented reality tools, object recognition in a human computer interaction logic that is close to and stirs emotions in users. Computer science, art and mathematics work together for a digital reinterpretation of Michelangelo Pistoletto's work Terzo Paradiso, famous all over the world.
At the presentation of the project for the Imati - CNR TENDER, on the development of innovative interfaces to favour the enjoyment of cultural and artistic works and environments through technology and applications, the use of a tool to concurrently engage several user senses seemed the perfect project theme.

Partners

The research project in collaboration with IMATI and CNR, won last year and on which we are currently working, lasts two years.
This a four-handed collaboration; a constant synergy between SPX Lab and the Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies of the National Research Council, and the Museo della Ceramica di Savona, of local and international heritage.

Project description

The research activity revolves around the mathematical representation of the work Terzo Paradiso, an artistic work that fits perfectly with the purpose and meaning of the research, from a point of view not only of mathematical but also conceptual aesthetics.

According to the artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, indeed, the work Terzo Paradiso symbolises the merging of the first and second paradise. The first paradise is the one in which human beings were one with nature, a world made of intuition and instinct. The second paradise is instead artificial, developed by human intelligence and skills, which has allowed the development of science and technology. The third paradise concerns the encounter between artifice and nature, coexistence, the symbiosis of two entities that propels us towards a hybrid future, where the most primordial part of humans, made sensations, overlaps with technological and scientific progress.

Project Status

Through the interaction with tags on the table surface, users may reproduce and influence the work representation through commands by rotating, moving or combining multiple tags for different results.

For application development, we are using a more updated version of the tactile surface of the Ta.Bi, which allows greater precision and reactivity thanks to the massive multi-touch screen, which allows up to eighty touches or the recognition of 10 objects simultaneously.

The development and experimentation activity involves the integration of an AR vision of the work Libro d'Oro, exhibited at the Museum of Ceramics in Savona, through the use of confidence markers or location-based applications.
The project aims to bring together different disciplines, such as art, science, technology and design to promote local heritage and innovation.

       


 

THE ME CONNECTS PROJECT 

Objectives

ME Connects is an R&D project conceived by SPX Lab in 2016 following the analysis of the application context of trade fairs and stores.
ME was created with the aim of developing a new solution in "marketing automation", i.e. the ability to collect and generate information from and to customers or potential customers.

In particular, with the 2019 research and development, we deal with aspects related to image recognition and processing via artificial intelligence algorithms, aimed at scalability in data collection and analysis, and privacy protection using technology.

Project description

ME Connects is a project conceived for the B2B market, especially in a marketing and retail context, an effective tool for collecting people's data and opinions to improve their shopping experience, relying on the very widespread practice of the "selfie".
As expected, ME Connects has no rivals on the market, as it is designed for profiling people in a fun way, while ensuring information security and privacy.

From the project version developed in 2018 and successfully tested in different application contexts and with various commercial organisations, the 2019 plan - as per the objectives of the previous year - envisioned the development and experimentation with early adopters of automatic functions based on image processing and recognition.
ME allows the collection of data entered by users and is an important tool for profiling potential targets for future marketing campaigns. Data are collected in compliance with privacy regulations, using a suitable versioning of the digitally signed versions.
With automatic recognition, we may identify whether the person who passes in front of the screen is a man or a woman, and his or her age.

Project Status

For each phase, objective (automatic collection of information through the application and interface) and subjective (questionnaires and interviews with application users) analyses have been provided.

In 2018, various development, testing and integration activities were carried out on the following advanced features: image processing: automatic acquisition of information based on face recognition to automate the collection of image information such as ethnicity and number of subjects in a photo privacy protection: identification and concealment of elements and backgrounds unrelated to the main subject; in particular, research has identified and separated these elements making them unrecognisable emotion recognition: automatic detection of the emotional state with relative visual feedback effect on the screen.

All modules have been designed according to a "user experience" approach and tested with focus groups and early adopters. Finally, they were put into production.