Allenstown PD SPOTS Deployment

One of the major ongoing Project54 efforts is to provide SPOTS access to local law enforcement agencies. This past Wednesday, Ross Lenharth and Mark Taipan visited the Allenstown Police Department to install the Project54 SPOTS client application on their cruiser laptops. This application allows the Allenstown officers to perform motor vehicle related records queries through Merrimack County via the cellular network. If you would like more information about the Project54 SPOTS software, please contact Ross Lenharth.

Allenstown PD
Mark installing the Project54 SPOTS Client Software on an Allenstown PD Laptop

Mark Taipan

Project54 at AutomotiveUI 2010

On November 11 and 12, 2010 Carnegie Mellon University was the host of the AutomotiveUI 2010 conference. The conference explored issues related to the design and deployment of in-car user interfaces. Andrew Kun, Project54 principal investigator served as program co-chair.

The Project54 effort was represented at the conference by one oral presentation and two posters. Andrew gave a talk on conducting human subject experiments with the goal of designing in-car user interfaces. Oskar Palinko and Zeljko Medenica presented posters. Oskar discussed his work on evaluating the effects of cognitive load and lighting intensity on pupil diameter changes. Zeljko’s poster adressed his work on using personal navigation systems while driving. Also representing Project54 was Tom Miller, who served as session chair at the conference. For more details read Andrew’s blog post about the conference.

Below are two pictures from the conference – Oskar and Zeljko in action. For more pictures see Flickr.

Andrew Kun

Wildcat Friends visit Project54

On Wednesday of this week, Mark, Ross, Oskar and I had the pleasure of demonstrating the Project54 system to a really great group of folks from the Wildcat Friends.  Mark engaged the group in discussing the driving distraction scenarios that are a part of a police officer’s every day work environment. After demonstrating with the labcar how the use of the P54 system can reduce those distractions, we moved over to the simulator where Oskar showed the group how to drive the simulator car.  Most members of the group had never driven before so it was quite an experience for them.  Oskar switched up the scenery allowing some of them to drive in a city while others experienced winter driving. Given the on the spot driver training they received I thought that all of them drove very well.  A few drove a bit fast and well you can see by this picture a few were driving a bit distracted! 

We topped the visit off by taking the group down to our garage to show them the NH State Police showcar where they got to try the system while sitting in an actual police vehicle. 

It was a fun visit and we hope they enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having them.

There are additional photos of the visit posted on flickr.


NEC-HFES 2010 Student Conference

On Friday, October 22nd 2010, Project54 students Dylan Fransway, David Filipovic and Zeljko Medenica presented at the New England Chapter of the Human Factors Ergonomics Society (NEC-HFES) 2010 Student Conference. The conference was held at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center overlooking the Charles River. The breadth of topics covered was diverse and the presentations were overall of high caliber. The keynote speaker this year, John Moore from MIT’s Media Lab, discussed how technology can influence health care from the clinician’s perspective, but importantly from the patient’s viewpoint as well. Project54 would like to thank NEC-HFES and the rest of the students for making this conference a professional, an enjoyable, and a successful one. To view photos taken at the conference visit this Project54 Flickr Set.

NEC-HFES 2010 Photo
NEC-HFES 2010 Photo

Mark Taipan
Project54 Research Engineer

Project54 at IACP 2010

IACP 2010 Photo

Project54 representatives arrived yesterday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 2010 Conference in Orlando, FL. Dr. W. Thomas Miller, Ross Lenharth, and Mark Taipan will be located at 54ward’s booth (Booth #1779) all day today. Feel free to stop by and talk with us regarding the latest Project54 developments and to learn more about 54ward.

Mark Taipan
Project54 Research Engineer

Visitors from Chengdu University

As part of the efforts to internationalize UNH, our university hosted a group of scholars from Chengdu University, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China. In their tour of CEPS research facilities, the group visited our lab too. Mark Taipan introduced our guests to Project54 and its benefits to first responders.  Next, we demonstrated our high-fidelity driving simulator. Some of the visitors drove on our trademark New Hampshire (simulated) snowy roads, while appreciating the ability to walk away from a scene of a simulated accident, unharmed. Finally Ross Lenharth and Mark Taipan gave a tour of our Project54 showcar. The visiting scholars enjoyed seeing the voice recognition capabilities of P54 put to work in a real vehicle.  Chengdu University and UNH are collaborating in initiating the Confucius Institute at UNH for the study of Chinese culture and language. We hope that this collaboration will be long lasting.

Oskar Palinko
Project54 Research Engineer

Project54 collaborative work with Microsoft Research discussed at SpeechTEK 2010

At SpeechTEK 2010 Project54 Principal Investigator Andrew Kun discussed results of ongoing collaboration with Microsoft Research on developing novel in-car user interfaces. Kun and Project54 staff and students are working with MSR’s Tim Paek investigating issues such as the influence of speech recognition accuracy on driving performance and the viability of personal navigation aids that provide driving instructions using only speech.

Andrew Kun

Project54 Participates in KEEPERS 2010 Camp

This past July, Project54 had the privilege of participating in the Electrical Engineering Day of the KEEPERS 2010 Camp held at UNH’s Kingsbury Hall. Project54 undergraduate students Carol Perkins, Devin Mullen, and Erika Swanson provided hands on assistance to campers ranging from ages 7 to 10. The day involved learning circuit design and electrical engineering theory through fun hands-on projects. Campers were also given tours of UNH ECE’s Biomedical Lab (courtesy of Dr. Smith and Christopher Bancroft) and Project54′s New Hampshire State Police cruiser. Here, the campers had the opportunity to learn more about driver distraction and the Project54 system. All of us from CATLab would like to extend our gratitude to the Leitzel Center, Mimi Winder, Matthew Endrizzi, Abigail Lewis, the participating teachers, and campers for this wonderful opportunity and memorable experience. Feel free to read more about Project54’s participation with Carol, Devin, and Erika’s ECEBlogger posts. To see more photos of the event, please visit this Flickr gallery.

KEEPERS 2010 Project54 Tour

KEEPERS Camp 2010 Electrical Engineering Day

Mark Taipan

Report on the 2010 First Responder Technology Workshop

On Wednesday, July 28, Project54 hosted the 2010 First Responder Technology Workshop. Over 60 people attended, including first responders, industry representatives, journalists, as well as UNH faculty, staff and students.

The workshop started with demonstrations of Project54-based technology. Five first responder agencies (Durham Fire, Greenland PD, Lee PD, New Hampshire Fire Marshall and New Hampshire State Police) demonstrated Project54 technology deployed in the field. UNH’s Research Computing Center introduced a prototype version of a crash reporting system. Finally, 54ward, a company that deploys Project54-based technology, showed us a commercially available integrated system of in-car police equipment.

The workshop continued with a working lunch. Lunch speaker Glenn Shwaery, Assistant Dean of Research for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, reflected on some threats that first responders (as well as the military) have to be able to handle in today’s world, such as flash mobs organized by a few text messages. Glenn also discussed technologies that might be helpful in dealing with these threats, from non-lethal weapons that scare away (most) people to robot chaperones programmed to guide people during evacuations.

Following Glenn’s talk Andrew Kun, Project54 Principal Investigator, led a discussion about the future of pervasive computing technologies for law enforcement. Participants proposed specific technologies that would be helpful in conducting their day-to-day operations. One such idea was a keyless entry system that would provide access to multiple vehicles. Advanced keyless entry systems unlock vehicles in response to the proximity of a person. These systems are available on many cars but naturally, each device provides access to only one car. Providing access to multiple cars would be useful for police agencies where officers might be asked to use any one of the agency cruisers at any given time. Instead of having to find the specific key for a specific cruiser, an authorized officer’s proximity would unlock any of the agency’s cruisers and allow the officer to step inside. Of course, the officers would also need to be able to start the cruiser’s engine without a traditional key.

After lunch, workshop participants moved to Morse Hall for demonstrations of technologies under development in our lab. We discussed the use of our high fidelity driving simulator and eye trackers in developing novel in-car user interfaces. Participants also saw a prototype of the Project54 software for handheld computers, currently being developed for deployment with the mounted unit of the Dover NH PD. Finally, we demonstrated a prototype of a collaborative photo sharing application for a multi-touch table.

Overall, the 2010 First Responder Technology Workshop was very successful. Participants indicated that they found the workshop useful and enjoyable. Project54 faculty, staff and students had ample opportunity to discuss research and development-related issues with first responders. We are also very pleased with the excellent media coverage (thanks to Beth Potier of UNH Media Relations). Finally, it was a real pleasure to host Rich Lougee, a member of Senator Judd Gregg’s staff, at the workshop. Since 1999 Senator Gregg has secured over $34 million in funding for Project54 making it possible to develop and deploy Project54’s in-car technology. Rich read a letter conveying Senator Gregg’s congratulations and wishes for continued success.

For photos from this event go to Flickr.

Andrew Kun

A Written Contact Card vs. the Project54 Mobile Software

One of the current projects in development here at CATLab is the Project54 mobile software for the Dover Police Mounted Patrol Unit. Combined with the Motorola Symbol MC5574, our Project54 mobile software allows the mounted officers to fill out their required contact cards quicker and more efficiently than writing the information on the card directly. The video below depicts a side-by-side comparison between writing a Dover Police Field Contact Card versus filling out the same information using our Project54 mobile software on the Motorola Symbol MC5574.

Mark Taipan