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Yasutaka Furukawa – Smart Building Technologies to Enhance Living Spaces and Create Opportunities
Simon Fraser University’s School of Computing Science professor Yasutaka Furukawa is researching smart building technology and ways to include people as an integral part of the building system. Furukawa, a B.C Knowledge Development Fund recipient, hopes his research will facilitate a new computational platform that can support the fast-growing start-up ecosystem in British Columbia and provide business opportunities involving smart buildings, ranging from operations to infrastructure that supports autonomous robots.
His team is conducting unique interdisciplinary research across computer vision, motion sensing and wireless networking, which will take smart building technology to the next level by placing people as an integral part of the building system. This will involve an array of infrastructure tools, including 3D laser range sensors, mobile devices, wireless sensors, and GPU servers.
“We spend most of our time inside buildings and benefit greatly when buildings are better able to respond to our needs,” says Furukawa.
“The smart building market has grown quickly and is now estimated to be worth more than seventy billion dollars. Despite the improvements in technology, smart buildings are still a static information system, utilizing embedded sensors to control fixed infrastructure.”
His research covers a wide range of problems in 3D computer vision, and his work has resulted in successful patents and open-source software used in professional visual effects production and for companies like Google and Google Maps. He is a member of the GrUVi team at SFU, an inter-disciplinary team of researchers working in visual computing, computer graphics, computer vision, 3D and robotic vision, animation, virtual reality, augmented reality, image-based modelling, and machine learning. His multiple awards include the PAMI Longuet-Higgins prize (2020), CS-CAN: Outstanding Young CS Researcher Award (2018), NSF CAREER Award (2015), a Best Student Paper Award at ECCV (2012), and several Google Faculty Research Awards (2018, 2017, 2016).
Furukawa believes his research will facilitate a new computational platform for our living spaces that create immense business opportunities, ranging from smart building operations to location-aware services in the mobile market, to autonomous robots in need of intelligent infrastructure support. In addition, he sees the opportunities for indoor modeling technology to enhance the well-established visual effects industry in Canada and allow start-up business in British Columbia and Canada to take the initiative to grow and flourish.
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