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Published: July 28, 2016

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Tech-savvy consumers who have been following the developments of virtual reality technology are likely familiar with the immersive gaming experience using VR devices such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. These devices use headgear that has limited application when it comes to being used by clinicians.

But technology innovators, including HP and partner EchoPixel, see a broader future for VR applications, such as those that enhance healthcare.

True 3D, a powerful tool that has gained FDA approval for certain applications, is one that allows doctors to better analyze medical images, arrive at more accurate diagnoses and assist in the planning of complex surgical procedures.

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EchoPixel True 3D Virtual Reality Solution, which is powered by HP, has been on the market since March 2015 but the FDA’s nod allows the system to now turn the corner on market acceleration by making the solution usable for diagnostic and planning purposes. 

"We believe that Virtual Reality is the next revolution in medical imaging," EchoPixel Inc. Chief Executive Ron Schilling said. "With our FDA-cleared system, together we can deliver this technology into hospitals, clinics, and medical schools around the world."

By applying the True 3D technology, physicians can interact with medical images the same way they would with real physical objects, enabling radiologists, cardiologists and many other medical professionals to see patient-specific anatomy in an open 3D space.

The technology is already being used in clinical, educational and research settings.

The True 3D tool comes to life with HP’s Zvr display, powered by zSpace Inc.’s technology, and the HP Z440 Workstation, which powers the technology into an open 3D space where physicians can visualize and interact with 3D holographs of organs and tissue.

The system works by using four cameras to track the user’s head movements, glasses to turn images into 3D visuals, and a hand-directed stylus that allow users to move and interact with objects in real time.

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“The technology has the power to transform lives,” said Reid Oakes, senior director of Worldwide Healthcare at HP.

“By working with valued partners like EchoPixel and leveraging emerging technologies like virtual reality, we can rethink how technology can blend the physical and digital worlds to improve the realm of healthcare,” Oakes said.

    Innovation
Published: September 14, 2017

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Audiophiles know that sound reproduction is improved by adding more speakers to a room and making them larger. But that won’t help make today’s increasingly slim and often tinny-sounding laptops, tablets, and phones sound good.

There is a way, however, to make small devices sound larger and better, enabling a high-quality, immersive audio experience, suggests HP Labs researcher Sunil Bharitkar a member of the Media team in HP’s Emerging Compute Lab.

“We can use software to process the audio signals on HP devices so that they approximate the spatial quality of sound that you hear in a room with a multi-loudspeaker audio system,” he says. “We call it immersive audio.”

While competing approaches offer similar processing techniques, the key to HP’s lies in applying specific audio filters and “transforms” that create natural sounding audio with a low compute complexity.

Bharitkar has been guiding an effort at HP Labs, in partnership with colleagues in HP’s Personal Systems and Print groups spearheaded by Personal Systems Chief Technologist Mike Nash, to use this research to upgrade the audio quality on HP’s mobile and desktop devices.

“Audio is an essential, and often underestimated, component of any technology experience, which is why we’re thrilled to be working in close collaboration with HP Labs to make our devices sounds second to none in the industry,” says Nash.

 

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The team first needed to establish objective metrics against which to measure audio performance on HP devices. Based on the outcome of those measurements, they then started redesigning HP’s audio processing technology from the ground up, an effort that has included creating a novel signal topology and a unique set of audio filters.

Additionally, the researchers are applying machine learning in their audio processing topology to classify the sound content (whether it was a movie, for example, or a song). Furthermore, using machine learning it can be ensured that multiple layers of unnecessary processing are not applied where the content is identified as having already been processed, reducing the signal processing compute load and minimizing artifacts.

 

Head, Torso & Mouth Simulator used by HP Labs for extracting directional cues associated with sound localization, and for speech reproduction.Head, Torso & Mouth Simulator used by HP Labs for extracting directional cues associated with sound localization, and for speech reproduction.This is rapidly taking users towards an experience – delivered either through a device’s small speakers or a set of headphones – that faithfully reproduces the intent of its creator of any kind of audio, from a song recorded in a small studio to a Hollywood blockbuster, while consuming as little processing power as possible.

Thanks to commonalities between internationally standardized testing methodologies used for image and audio quality assessments, the HP team have been able to draw on the experience of HP’s Print Quality Evaluation group to test their improvements, assembling several panels of non-experts to evaluate their innovations..

In an effort led by HP Mobility’s Head of Software, Chris Kruger, the first iterations of HP’s new audio processing algorithms are now being packaged into the Qualcomm Snapdragon audio processing chips used in HP mobile devices. Next up: further refining the technology and adding it to HP’s consumer offerings, and towards that the Labs are working closely with Sound Research, an HP partner, for integration.

Published: September 10, 2017

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HP’s Security Advisory Board enlists a trio of security experts to help it triumph in a malicious new world.

 

For decades, hackers fell squarely into two camps: “black hats” in it to show off their skills, and then later, for money, espionage and data theft, and “white hats” who breached systems to uncover flaws before the bad guys could find them and make sure companies promptly fix them.

Now, destruction for destruction’s sake has become a hallmark of the global cyberattack.  The foremost example being the 2012 Shamoon attack in Saudi Arabia on one of the world's largest oil companies, that wiped or destroyed 35,000 computers before the devastation was halted. Similar attacks aiming to render PC hardware inoperable have continued since, with Shamoon 2.0 earlier this year or even some of the NotPetya variants more recently. With malicious actors everywhere looking for any possible exploit, one key to surviving the constant escalation of threats is to keep reinventing how you stay ahead of the game.

A new Security Advisory Board organized by HP aims to do just that, by bringing a trio of outside security experts inside the company. All three initial members have unique first-hand expertise in the world of hacking and the latest developments in security technology and strategies.  

Michael CalceMichael CalceThe board builds on over two decades of HP leadership in cybersecurity for endpoint devices. As the world’s largest PC manufacturer and leading maker of printers, HP has driven a slew of security innovations, from technology that provides cryptographically secure updates of a device’s BIOS to run-time intrusion detection, which checks for anomalies, automatically rebooting when an intrusion is detected.

These security experts will act as a reconnaissance team, providing insights from the front lines that the company will use to reinforce its own security work. The board will also generate strategic conversations about the rapidly shifting security landscape with HP executives and the market. 

“We want to be the sharpest we can be on what the future holds, understanding the threat landscape today and being able to address the real problems of tomorrow,” says Boris Balacheff, HP’s chief technologist for system security research and innovation. 

The person HP chose to lead the advisory board is far from your run-of-the-mill corporate security expert. The new chairman, security consultant Michael Calce, a.k.a. “Mafiaboy,” launched his public career in 2000 at the age of 15 by unleashing a massive cyberattack that brought down Yahoo!, eBay and Amazon. It led to an FBI manhunt and $1.7 billion in economic fallout.  

Robert MasseRobert MasseJoining him is Robert Masse, a partner at a major consulting firm (acting independently in this instance), with more than 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, focusing on risk management and – ironically – a shared history with Calce. Following his own run-in with law enforcement over hacking when he was a teen, Masse provided guidance to Calce after his arrest.

A third member is Justine Bone, who began her career doing reverse engineering and vulnerability research at New Zealand’s version of the U.S. National Security Agency before leading security for companies, including Bloomberg LP. She’s now the CEO of MedSec, which analyzes technology security for healthcare companies.Justine BoneJustine Bone

The Security Advisory Board will work with HP to identify evolving threats and help companies adapt to the fundamental changes taking place in the security landscape. One of these changes is that inadequate security can’t be hidden anymore; the hackers’ armory is too deep and sophisticated and automated attack tools are constantly on the lookout for flaws to exploit. Bone says it takes only two and a half minutes after you plug in a smart camera or screw in a smart light bulb for an internet bot to compromise that device. Billions of connected devices span every inch of our economy and our lives, from supply chains and energy grids to connected cars.

That’s putting everyone under a microscope, from the top of the chain to the bottom. “Security has become an imperative for our customers,” says HP’s Balacheff.  With the average U.S. breach costing $7 million and intensifying scrutiny from consumers and investors, it’s increasingly clear that everyone throughout an organization, from a company’s security group up to the board, needs to be involved in anticipating security threats. “Originally cybersecurity was an IT problem. What we’re seeing is now it's being heavily looked at by the board and the audit and risk committee and treated like any other risk,” says Masse. “I think now's the time where we really have the opportunity to improve things at a much better level than before.”

Additionally, organizations need help understanding just how profoundly the thinking behind security strategy needs to change. Traditionally, companies felt that software or network security solutions would be the answer, however with the evolution of attacker sophistication and our increased dependency on devices for everything we do, it is no longer that simple. Security needs to start at the lowest level of hardware and firmware design.

When baby monitors are conscripted into botnets to launch assaults that take down Twitter and Netflix, it’s clear that any connected device can be attacked. And as the flood of network-connected gadgets continues to rise — 20 billion such devices are expected to be in service by 2020 — this challenge will only grow.

That’s why every device must be built from the ground up to be secure and able to adapt, says Calce. This principle is one the tech industry has always preached, but hasn’t always practiced. An example of this, Calce explains, is when a computer or printer boots up: up to a million lines of code can be executed before the device’s operating system is even loaded, in what is known the device's 'firmware' (often still referred to as BIOS in PCs). This occurs before the user is even able to see any kind of welcome screen. Designing protections, but also the ability to detect attack and recover a compromised device, that is how far HP has gone, trailblazing the future of endpoint security by designing hardware-enforced cyber-resilient devices.

“For years,” says Bone, “software and hardware makers were able to rely on security by obscurity. There was no upside to building in this quality all the way through the product because nobody was asking questions. Now, though, people are definitely asking.”

That’s where HP has been focused for years. The security board members say it’s paying off — that’s why they’re eager to work with HP to get this message out. 

“HP is looking to implement security on anything and everything they develop,” says Calce. “That’s the type of mindset we need if we ever want to have some level of security in this world.”

For more information on how HP is creating the most secure business devices in the world visit www.hp.com/reinventsecurity.

Published: August 14, 2017

HP Labs intern Swetha RevanurHP Labs intern Swetha Revanur

We first met with Swetha Revanur last summer, when she was a recent high school graduate heading for Stanford University and interning in HP’s Emerging Compute Lab on a project that used sensor data to create simulations of how people move around in different living spaces. This year, Revanur is back in the same lab but working on a new challenge. We caught up with her to see how her academic interests have developed over the last twelve months and to learn about what she’s been working on this time around.

HP: First of all, how was your freshman year at Stanford?

I had an amazing freshman year! I’ve met some of the most brilliant people, the classes were just the right amount of challenging, and I joined an acapella group on campus. In December, I also traveled out to Sweden to speak at the 2016 Nobel Prize Ceremonies and meet the laureates. I’m excited to start my sophomore year in September!

HP: Are you still planning to major in computer science?

Yes, that hasn’t changed! When I started at Stanford, I was interested in biocomputation, but my interests have since shifted to artificial intelligence.

HP: What prompted the change?

The decision was actually driven largely by my work at HP Labs last summer where I had a lot of exposure to the algorithmic side of computer science. I think that if I can understand these algorithms and optimize them, I can have a much larger impact in whatever sector I choose to work in. At the end of the day, machine learning can always be applied to health, and it has a huge scope. 

HP: So what are you working on this year?

I’m with the same team in the Emerging Compute Lab, but instead of looking at sensor analytics, I’ve shifted my focus to the intersection of deep learning and robotics. I’m using techniques in reinforcement learning, which lets us train software agents to find the optimal actions to take in specific environments. I’ve developed a hybrid approach that maintains the same performance as state-of-the-art reinforcement learning algorithms, while improving data and cost efficiency.

HP: How’s it going?

Reinforcement learning is a new area of study for me, and so it’s been a fruitful process of self-teaching. Initially, I was wrangling with pages of linear algebra to understand how existing methods work. Once I got my bearings, I was able to point out gaps and come up with optimizations, and now I’ve implemented the algorithm in TensorFlow.

HP: How will you test the new algorithm?

The new hybrid algorithm will be tested in simulation. I’ll start with simple tests with basic software agents. For example, I recently ran a test where a pendulum was trained to stay upright. Gradually, we’ll work up to full humanoid simulations.

HP: Why is HP interested in this work?

A lot of folks in HP Labs are working in a fundamental robotics research space, on projects like mapping, localization, and navigation. My hybrid approach helps cut time and cost requirements in that space. In general, robotics dovetails really well into the social, business, and home application layers that HP is a major player in.

I was invited to speak at the HP Labs global all-employee meeting with our CTO, Shane Wall. The implications of better reinforcement learning are broad, the interest is there, and I’m excited to see where it takes us.

Published: February 13, 2017

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When HP declared its mission was to make life better for everyone, everywhere, no one likely considered that “everywhere” might extend past boundaries of the Earth’s atmosphere.

HP’s lineup of high-performance mobile workstations, called ZBooks, are among the technology tools that are found not only on the International Space Station (ISS), but also on the ground at Mission Control.

Today, HP announced that it’s partnering with Intel to launch an innovative new contest, the “Life in Space” Design Challenge, which will tap some of the brightest engineering minds at universities across the U.S. to develop a product that can improve the lives of astronauts in space. 

HP20151008376-Studio-left facing copy2.jpgUndergraduate student teams from prestigious engineering schools across the country will be outfitted with HP ZBook Studio Mobile Workstations, powered by Intel® Core i7® processors, to help them design a manufacture-able product to improve life in space for our astronauts. 

 

“We’re looking to the country’s brightest engineering minds to put HP’s ZBook technology to work by designing and prototyping a product that will make life better for the astronauts on the ISS,” said Lisa Baker, Director, Business & Personal Systems Marketing at HP. “ZBook Studio Mobile Workstations will enable their imaginations to soar, while offering the high-performance specs to make their creations come to fruition.”

Maintaining relatively comfortable living and working conditions while on the ISS is something NASA’s been grappling with ever since the first crew arrived in 2000. Questions from how to help astronauts maintain their physical and mental health to the quality and variety of the vacuum-sealed food they subsist upon might spark a revolutionary new product idea.

 

About the contest

HP and Intel are engaging with student teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, University of Texas, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, Virginia Tech University and Clemson University for the challenge.Astronaut in space web size.jpg

During the first phase of the contest, teams of five students from each school will determine their design and provide a conceptual sketch showcasing their idea as well as a brief team video.

At the end of the month, they’ll submit a work-in-progress CAD (computer assisted design) file of their idea. In the next and final phase in mid-March, the teams will submit fully-rendered CAD files and a video that explains the design overview and finer points of their product vision.

In late March, a judging panel made up of representatives from HP and Intel will narrow down the participant list to three finalists and opens up the voting to the public via social media. Winners will be announced in early April.

 

Each member of the winning team will receive:

  • One HP ZBook Studio Mobile Workstation with Intel® Core i7® processor
  • Thunderbolt™ 3 dock with notebook bag
  • A four-day trip to Orlando including a tour of NASA’s Cape Canaveral and a day at Epcot for an exclusive HP Mission Mars Experience

 

Workstations on the frontlines

The powerful desktops, used by creative types to render, store and send massive files such as detailed architectural plans or CGI dinosaurs in major motion pictures, have long been the reliable workhorses for designers, engineers, architects andyes, astronauts.

They were selected by NASA for their impressive specs, which combine top performance, reliability, innovation and durable design, for a truly stellar work experience—no matter if the office is in a cubicle or located 200 miles above the surface of the Earth.

HP_Intel_LogoCombo.jpgSee full contest rules here: www.hp.com/go/lifeinspaceofficialrules.

Published: January 19, 2017

 

 Reporting this week from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is the below post jointly written by Stephen Nigro, President, 3D Printing business at HP and Shane Wall, Chief Technology Officer at HP and Global Head of HP Labs. Get all the news from Davos, which continues through January 20th, by following #WEF17.

 

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In the 18th century, it wasn’t clear how the new technologies of water and steam power that were driving early industry would affect the then-largely rural societies of Europe and America. It took about a century before the term “Industrial Revolution” was coined.

By that time, the mechanization of production was well under way, along with the beginnings of a middle class. Meanwhile, the seeds of mass production, which would become the Second Industrial Revolution, were sown. The effects of that electricity-driven transformation — affordable goods and solid assembly-line jobs supporting a secure middle class — would not be fully revealed for decades. Then, in the mid-20th century, electronics and information technology ushered in the Third Industrial Revolution of automation, remaking the world once again. This time, however, the impact was felt within a few years, not decades or centuries.

Today, we are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — and its impact is being felt even before it’s fully under way. This transformation, built on the blending of the physical and digital worlds, will have profound consequences across industries, business, finance and government. That’s why it’s a leading topic at this week’s annual gathering of global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“One of the features of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is that it doesn’t change what we are doing, but it changes us,” said Klaus Schwab, executive director of the Davos event.

How will it change your life?

 

The emergence of immersive commuting

We’re living in a world that’s still experiencing the effects — both good and bad — from the previous industrial revolutions. Our cities are more crowded, globalization has shifted work to the far corners of the planet, and technology has been integrated into every facet of our lives, from social interactions to healthcare. 

The next step for technology will be for computing to become immersive, the way energy and water are delivered to us today. Instead of running our lives from PCs on our desks or smartphones in our pockets, we’ll be guided through the day by technology that’s integrated into everyday objects, like the jewelry we wear, the windshields on our cars and even the buildings where we work and play. These devices will not only be useful tools but will also collect data, further powering and fine-tuning artificial intelligence in a virtuous cycle.

The daily route from home to office in a self-driving car, for instance, will be determined autonomously by the vehicle, based on traffic and other data. Time that was once lost to gridlock can be put to better use.3DP CONCEPTUAL.JPG

 At the office, people will no longer scour through information to make decisions. Instead, artificial intelligence will analyze and synthesize data more efficiently than any human could and present it in more useful ways than on a computer screen. Through virtual reality, an engineer might be transported inside a jet engine to see a problem firsthand. Doctors examining an X-ray will see treatment options layered onto the document through augmented reality — a literal blending of our physical and digital worlds.

 

Reinventing manufacturing

The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be even greater behind the scenes of the economy, where the blending of the digital and physical will remake how goods are manufactured and distributed. The digital will become the physical with the touch of a button. 

3D PRINTED PART1.jpgFor years, 3D printers have been used to create prototypes and small parts. With the introduction of the HP Jet Fusion 3D printer, physical parts can now be created 10 times faster and half the cost of previous systems. We’re on the path to manufacturing products from digital files that can be transmitted anywhere in the world, allowing goods to flow nearly as efficiently as ideas do today across the internet.

Designers and engineers will be able to work from anywhere, freed from the constraints of traditional manufacturing techniques such as injection molding. Instead, they’ll design products with an unprecedented degree of granularity and precision, making it possible to manufacture goods that simply cannot be made today.

And once those digital files are transmitted, they can be adjusted for local or personal needs before production. For consumers, this technology promises, for the first time, both mass production and mass personalization. Imagine ordering a shoe that’s not just your size but precisely tailored for your feet.

Digitization of manufacturing also promises faster improvement cycles. After all, a digital file is much easier to change than a mold or an assembly line. Shifts in style, demand or functionality will be turned around instantly.

This efficiency of production will create opportunities, too. Manufacturing jobs that had been outsourced will be needed closer to where the final products will be offered, purchased and consumed.

New businesses will be created to support the 3D manufacturing ecosystem. Even in today’s early stages, an open ecosystem is being built to identify sustainable materials from which parts and products will eventually be manufactured. HP is working with partners across multiple industries to find materials to use in digital manufacturing.

 

Changing the world  for the better

It should be no surprise, then, that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a major theme of this year’s World Economic Forum. The shift from shipping materials and products back and forth around the globe to local sourcing and manufacturing has huge implications for trade, taxation and regulations. What is an export or import when the “product” only exists as digital file? How should it be taxed? What policies need to be invented?

 The $12 trillion manufacturing industry and its global supply are likely to be disrupted. The first savings from more local manufacturing, both economic and environmental, will be the 5 percent of the world’s oil supply that now goes to the mere shipment of goods. Products also can be constructed with materials that are reusable after consumption, minimizing waste. And there will be no need to warehouse unsold products if demand declines since they’ll only be built when needed.

Economists describe this change as a decoupling of economic growth from the world’s limited resources. It’s nothing less than the creation of an environmentally friendly future — a historic benefit for all residents of Earth.

The next Industrial Revolution won’t just change the world. It will sustain it.