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Indian software engineer receives British award for innovation

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London: A software engineer from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has received a prestigious British award for developing an innovative electronic smart key system.

Nandagopal Lakshminarayan, who has been working as a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) associate at Lincoln Security Ltd. for the past two years, won the “Business Leader of the Future” award at Innovate Britain’s “KTP Best of the Best Awards 2015”, a company statement said.

Lakshminarayan was awarded in November but the announcement was made public on Tuesday.

The software for the electronic locking system, called eLOQ, enables the creation and management of electronic keys and locks that cannot be copied or picked.

“The project has enabled me to get involved in both the academic and business sides. The KTP project has presented a unique challenge because it was not just about innovation and technicality, but also about creating awareness of a new product,” Lakshminarayan said.

John Murray, principal lecturer in the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “The project has been very fortunate to have recruited Nanda. He came with a predominantly embedded hardware background which meant that although he had good programming skills, there was a lot for Nanda to learn.”

“However, very quickly he had taken up the challenge and has been one of the most enthusiastic and diligent people I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” he added.

Lincoln Security has established a separate company, Dynamic Access Solutions, in order to take the product to market.

“The KTP between the university and the company has enabled the company to diversify the business and offer a unique product when compared to traditional locking systems that meets the needs of the 21st Century,” said Peter Corlett, managing director for Dynamic Access Solutions Ltd.

“Over the past two years Nanda has provided the company with the necessary skills to develop a high-level online management platform where keys and locks can be programmed and managed,” he said.

Britain’s national KTP scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow by linking them with a university to work on a specific project. (IANS)

(Photo: Huffington Post)

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Know About Where Do Employees Actually Gaze At During Video Calls

For the study, published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, the team compared fixation behaviour in 173 participants under two conditions

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The phenomenon known as "gaze cueing," a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of "shared" or "joint" attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location. Pixabay

 As more and more people use video conferencing tools to stay connected in social distancing times, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University have found that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them.

The phenomenon known as “gaze cueing,” a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of “shared” or “joint” attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location.

“Because gaze direction conveys so much socially relevant information, one’s own gaze behaviour is likely to be affected by whether one’s eyes are visible to a speaker,” said Elan Barenholtz, associate professor of psychology. For example, people may intend to signal that they are paying more attention to a speaker by fixating their face or eyes during a conversation.

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“Conversely, extended eye contact also can be perceived as aggressive and therefore noticing one’s eyes could lead to reduced direct fixation of another’s face or eyes. Indeed, people engage in avoidant eye movements by periodically breaking and reforming eye contact during conversations,” explained Barenholtz.

People are very sensitive to the gaze direction of others and even two-day-old infants prefer faces where the eyes are looking directly back at them. Social distancing across the globe due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the need to conduct business “virtually” using Skype, web conferencing, FaceTime and any other means available.

For the study, published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, the team compared fixation behaviour in 173 participants under two conditions: one in which the participants believed they were engaging in a real-time interaction and one in which they knew they were watching a pre-recorded

The researchers wanted to know if face fixation would increase in the real-time condition based on the social expectation of facing one’s speaker in order to get attention or if it would lead to greater face avoidance, based on social norms as well as the cognitive demands of encoding the conversation.

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As more and more people use video conferencing tools to stay connected in social distancing times, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University have found that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them. Pixabay

Results showed that participants fixated on the whole face in the real-time condition and significantly less in the pre-recorded condition. In the pre-recorded condition, time spent fixating on the mouth was significantly greater compared to the real-time condition. There were no significant differences in time spent fixating on the eyes between the real-time and the pre-recorded conditions. To simulate a live interaction, the researchers convinced participants that they were engaging in a real-time, two-way video interaction (it was actually pre-recorded).

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When the face was fixated, attention was directed toward the mouth for the greater percentage of time in the pre-recorded condition versus the real-time condition. “Given that encoding and memory have been found to be optimized by fixating the mouth, which was reduced overall in the real-time condition, this suggests that people do not fully optimize for speech encoding in a live interaction,” the authors wrote. (IANS)