TI's OMAP transforms ordinary houses into smart, interactive homes

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 12, 2012

The OMAP smart multicore processor capabilities in four smart home categories: big-screen displays, family video chat, handy household applications, and in-home robotics.

Texas Instruments (TI) pushed forward with the expansion of its OMAP 4 mobile processors into the smart home space. From OMAP processors empowering some of the hottest smartphones and tablets in 2011, TI  has now pushed its OMAP multicore processor capabilities in four smart home categories: big-screen displays, family video chat, handy household applications, and in-home robotics.

"Like anywhere else, we often use our smartphones and tablets at home. However, we're just beginning to realize the unique usage models the home environment triggers. The OMAP platform's smart multicore architecture delivers multimedia capabilities, low energy consumption and many  differentiated features, which help us enjoy new ways to share, view and interact with content in our digital homes – whether leveraging the larger screens in our living rooms or cooking in the kitchen," said Fred Cohen, Director, OMAP user experience team, TI.

The big-screen user experience

From the comfort of your sofa or home office, you can watch everything from premium HD movies to the latest sports broadcast, play interactive games or browse through family pictures snapped with your mobile device – all on a large, full HD TV screen or monitor.

The OMAP4460 processor is a platform to create radically fast and crisp visual experiences. Content can be sent from smartphones or tablets to large HD displays via HDMI or TI's WiLink 7.0 combo wireless connectivity solution. The OMAP 4 platform's smart multicore architecture complements two ARM Cortex-A9 MPcores with a full HD video encode/decode accelerator, powerful graphics core from Imagination Technologies (SGX540 or SGX544), hardware display subsystem and dual-channel LPDDR2 memory to drive such usage models. Premium content is protected end-to-end through TI's M-Shield security solution, which runs secure services from its trusted execution environment (TEE).

One of the applications of these technologies is the realization of wireless display - finally connecting devices peer-to-peer without being bogged down with cord limitations for the ultimate screening experience. At CES, TI is demonstrating wireless display use cases such as "cinema mode" where users beam smartphone or tablet HD video content onto large TV screens.

An augmented wireless display demo from Screenovate showcases an OMAP4460 processor-based TI tablet beaming a game to a TV while simultaneously using the tablet as the game's touch-screen controller.   



For users interested in watching streaming, full-HD TV programs on mobile devices, TI has worked with MobiTV, Inc. to optimize its premium white-label mobile video platform on the OMAP4460 processor. MobiTV's media delivery technology and friendly user interface delivers multiple video channels in parallel for an enhanced live video experience.

Fanhattan, a new digital entertainment discovery service that helps users navigate the increasing number of premium digital content services available on connected devices, chose the OMAP4460 processor to bring its rich and fluid user interface to life, and make discovering, exploring and watching premium entertainment a truly inspiring experience.

TI will be the first to demonstrate Dolby's cinematic audio experience on its OMAP4460 processor-based tablet. Leveraging the OMAP processor's ARM Neon acceleration, Dolby technology creates an immersive surround sound and improves dialogue audibility to deliver the first-to-market ultimate HD audio experience on mobile devices.
Friends and family video chat

The OMAP 4 platform brings video chat amongst friends and family to a new level. With the OMAP4460 processor, video communication can now include multiple parties, with great HD image quality on a big screen. New features such as real-time recording and content sharing further enhance video chat as users can now view photo albums or videos together, collaborate on school or work assignments and archive precious family moments.

These are made possible by the OMAP platform's hardware and software features, including:

• H.264 encode/decode accelerated on IVA-HD
• Improved image quality via on-chip Image Signal Processing (ISP)
• Tunneled OpenMAX, ensuring low latency
TI's OMAP4460 processor enables peer-to-peer full-HD mobile video chat from Skype, and adds concurrent video recording in HD. The 1080p experience is further complemented by Skype's SILK audio and acoustic echo cancellation for crisp audio.

Handy household applications

Imagine cooking from a recipe on your tablet. Now imagine turning pages, zooming in and out, setting the timer or calculating measurements without touching the screen with flour-covered fingers. With the OMAP 4 platform's gesture recognition technology, this and many other everyday tasks can be enhanced with gesturing.

"The innovation of gesture recognition paired with the performance capabilities of the OMAP4460 processor are enabling an entirely new generation of games and touchless controls. The integration of gesture into everyday household tasks has the potential to dramatically change how we manage ourselves day-to-day," said Philip Belhassen, CEO, Stonetrip. TI showcases this useful application, developed by Stonetrip using its Shiva3D engine and enabled by the OMAP Gesture Recognition Engine from XTR3D technology. 

In-home robotics

Today's robots can assist with daily tasks or enhance learning experiences within the home. TI's robotics demonstration at CES underscores the potential of the OMAP 4 platform in this industry as a low-cost, ultra-low power solution.
OMAP processors can add vision capabilities to robotics designs by using any standard raw camera sensor. With support for up to three cameras, the OMAP4460 processor is stereo-vision ready and offers hardware-accelerated computer vision libraries in open source. Developers designing next-generation robots on OMAP 4 processors have the added benefit of the smart multicore architecture's complete feature set leveraged in numerous multimedia rich and processing-heavy use cases – creating the foundation for limitless design opportunities.

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