In South Korea, telematics is big business. If it sounds like a buzzword to advertise the latest purveyor of high-tech must-have gadgets, its etymology is no less firmly rooted: "tele" means remote; "matics" means information. Cruising right alongside wireless broadband and DMB (Digital Media Broadcast) cell phones, telematics refers more specifically to automobiles receiving remote information from commercial service providers. These services could include Global Positioning System (GPS), on-demand entertainment, Internet and Web access, or weather and traffic conditions.
Among the corporate sponsors of telematics research and development are Samsung, LG Electronics, Hyundai and General Motors, who all have speech-interfaced applications targeting consumer products launching in early 2008. Among the top academic contenders of this highly competitive field of R&D is one of South Korea's top three elite institutions of higher education, Korea University.
Within Korea University, the School of Electrical Engineering's Intelligent Signal Processing Lab (ISPL), headed by Professor Ko Hanseok, specializes in both image and speech processing. Applications of image processing include such popular consumer features as light balancing and face recognition, now standard on most digital cameras, which can also be associated with voice recognition. Current research in audio processing includes noise suppression and continuous speech recognition, which can be applied as much to cell phones as to voice-controlled telematic devices in vehicles. Read full article »