No one wants to be Clippy – Impressions from Convercon 2017

IMG_9493The phrase was spoken by a panel member and the audience nodded sagely. We’ve come a long way from Microsoft’s attempt to animate a paper clip and imbue it with supposed intelligence. Attending Convercon, Ireland’s first conference on conversational interfaces, it was clear that those gathered in the room now had the power of voice recognition and deep artificial intelligence to hand.

Held in Trinity College’s inspiring Science Gallery, Convercon billed itself as bringing together the world’s leading conversational interfaces platform players and technology enablers. The intimate setting led to some interesting panel combinations where conversational experts from Google, Facebook and Microsoft discussed some of the current challenges.


With 20% of Google searches in 2016 being triggered by voice according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, it’s time has come as a viable interaction method.

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Connected Car, Autonomous vehicles, Electric and Hybrid Car models and the technology that will populate the future automotive landscape

CaptureTSSG’s attends first Electronomous Conference in Ireland on 27th of April 2017.

This event was hosted by and chaired by former Top Gear host Qunetin Wilson. Attendees included representatives from the automotive industry across Ireland. Speakers included the Managing Directors for BMW and Volvo Ireland and also academics from Trinity College, University of Limerick, University of Ireland Galway and University of Surrey. Talks were also given by members of ESB Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and leading Irish tech companies VALEO Vision Systems and Cubic Telecom.

The main topics of the conference were ADAS (Advanced driver assistance sytems) and Autonomous Vehicles, Electric fuel residue values and Commercialisation of connected vehicles. The conference focused on the advancement in autonomous vehicles to date and the progress expected in the next 5 years, while also highlighting the challenges the industry will likely face in the coming years that could slow the progress being made towards autonomous vehicles being introduced on Irish roads. The overriding theme was the lack of legislation and the need for government to work in conjunction with the major car manufacturers to embrace this new technology and offer subsidies to potential owners of autonomous/electric vehicle.

For more information on the event, please click here

TSSG attends ITS Ireland and ITS UK Enforcement Interest Group Meeting

its_irelandOn April 27th the annual meeting was hosted at ARUP in Dublin. The conference had speakers from both Ireland and the UK in the ITS sector. Superintendent O’Donohue gave a presentation on safety cameras in Ireland. He explained how the use of marked safety camera vans on known dangerous stretches of road are used to reduce the number of speed related collisions and increase compliance with speed limits. Ken Pierce and Riobard Pierce gave presentations on the Eflow tolling system on the M50.  At the time it was launched it was one of the first free flow tolling systems in the world.  They described the challenges in promoting the system to the public and getting people to pay the toll.

John Jones from Atkins gave a presentation on the Smart Motorway System used on the M25 in England.  Smart Motorways use a series of speed cameras and speed signs where the speed limit can be varied.  This allows the speed limit to be reduced while road works are being carried out and the speed limit is enforced with the cameras.  The smart motorway operates over four lanes with no hard shoulder.  This gives a 10% increase in traffic volumes.  Luke Macauley from Transport Scotland gave a presentation on the Average Speed Enforcement System used in Scotland.  Average speed cameras are used on three routes in Scotland. The installation of this system has seen a reduction in speed on the road where they are installed.

For more information, please click here

Extend your R&D capability with an Innovation Voucher

€5k-innovation-voucherAre you an Irish SME looking for help with research and innovation? Have you a product or service that requires expertise currently outside of your existing R&D capacity? The Technology Gateway Network, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers, can help!

Technology Gateways

The Technology Gateway Network is composed of 15 specialist gateways, situated within 11 Institutes of Technology around Ireland. We focus on key technology areas which are aligned to industry needs in areas such as polymers, photonics, mobile, coatings, industrial design, mechatronics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, wireless technologies and precision engineering. Each centre works in conjunction with industry to aid the research and development of innovative products and services through a dedicated team of specialised engineers.

Technology Gateway Clusters

To boost the power and knowledge of the Gateways, three unique gateway clusters have been developed to enhance the delivery of research and innovation for Irish SMEs. These clusters are in the areas of Applied Internet of Things (A-IoT), Engineering, Materials and Design (EMD Ireland), and Food and Beverages. Each cluster consists of relevant specialised gateways and a dedicated support office, which can assist you with any questions you may have about the Technology Gateway Network or the upcoming Innovation Voucher call.

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Web-based IoT solution for monitoring traffic lights

WCCC-imageA Web-Based IoT Solution for Monitoring traffic lights Using MQTT Protocol and Embedded system through GPS zone transition

Traffic is a major concern for most metropolitan cities throughout the world. This is a new GPS-based system that is more efficient than current traffic control systems, also it has zero infrastructure cost. This system integrates an Android application and communication modules with an embedded system and power supply. The intelligent traffic control system (ITCS) is based on a simple principle; the principle being that, “an ambulance can only move ahead if there is space for it” and “the signal remains green until the present vehicles have passed”. This is achieved by creating zones at traffic junctions and whenever there is a transition of a vehicle from one zone to another, there is an alert message sent to the traffic light to turn green. The alert message will be sent to other traffic lights at a distance of 40-50 meters away from the current traffic lights so that all other vehicles can move freely and traffic can be controlled in an emergency situation.

Working principle: Zones are created around the traffic junction. Whenever the vehicle is travelling from one zone to another in the traffic junction, there will be an alert message generated by the Android application. The alert message generated is published to MQTT broker (Message Queue Telemetry Transport broker) with a specific topic name. The embedded board is then programmed to subscribe to a specific topic from the central server. Once an alert message is received, the embedded board will start communicating with the traffic lights and they will be controlled according to the requirement.

 Conclusions & Future work : This technology can be used mainly during emergency situations for ambulances and fire engines etc. and provide traffic free movement inside busy cities. Further, going ahead it can be used in buses to mirror bus timetables and reduce delays/waiting times. Also, we are trying to integrate this developed embedded system with SCATS (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System) which uses a responsive approach to control urban traffic in Ireland.

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