Perceptual computing: the next big thing

Perceptual computing is a new technique in the already crowded technology area. Perceptual computing may reinvent the way we interact with our computing devices, making it more natural, intuitive and immersive. The computing devices will be able to perceive user actions through new capabilities including close range hand gestures, finger articulation, speech recognition, face tracking, augmented reality experiences, and more.

Perceptual computing is an efficient alternative to  the mouse and keyboard and controls computers with gesture, eye motions, and voice.


Let’s look at the architecture of the Perceptual computer to understand how perceptual computing is implemented.

Perceptual Computer consists of three components: encoder, computing with words (CWW) engine and decoder. Perceptions such as words are provided as an input in order to activate the perceptual computer and  the words are presented as perceptual computer output along with the data, thereby interacting with the user using vocabulary.

The encoder transforms the words into fuzzy sets and leads to a codebook with their fuzzy set models. The output of the encoder activates a computing with words (CWW) engine whose output is other fuzzy sets which are then mapped by the decoder into a recommendation with supporting data. The recommendation may be in the form of a word, group of similar words, rank or class.

The perceptual computer establishes vocabulary for an application and collects data in certain intervals from various sources for all the words in the vocabulary. The perceptual computer maps the collected data into words resulting in the codebook for the application and completes the functioning of the encoder in the perceptual computer. The CWW engine maps the fuzzy sets into one or more fuzzy sets. The CWW engine may consist of If-Then rules and Linguistic Weighted Averages. If there is a CWW engine for the application, then perceptual computer uses its available mathematics to compute its output. Otherwise, the perceptual computer develops mathematics for the new kind of the CWW engine. The new CWW engine should be constrained such that its output resembles the words in the codebook for the application.

Further, the perceptual computer maps the fuzzy set output from the CWW engine into a recommendation at the output of the decoder. If the recommendation is a word, rank or class, then the perceptual computer uses existing mathematical logic for mapping. Otherwise, the perceptual computer develops a new mathematical logic for the new kind of decoder.

Intel is betting big on perceptual computing and has announced devices which work on the technique. Though perceptual computing is still in development stage, it presents innovative way of using your imagination and shows us the vision for the future of computing.


Author, Chandrasekhar is Manager, Patent and Trademark Agent at IP Astra