Perceptual Computing: Inflection Point for Embedded Applications

Perceptual computing promises a more natural way to interact with machines. Typically the term is applied to personal computer features such as facial recognition, used to replace passwords, or gesture analysis, used as an alternative to input from a computer mouse. However there are recent developments in software technology made practical by graphics processing unit (GPU) compute that are expanding the concept of perceptual computing, creating a drastic uptick in the functionality of embedded applications.

Computing devices with perceptual capabilities allow machines to interact with humans using human modes of communication rather than forcing the human to adapt to the personal computer paradigm of navigating through multiple levels of screens and menus to find the right command or setting required to carry out the desired task or obtaining the desired information. This eliminates the learning curve users experience when interacting with an unfamiliar device.