Nicta opens research lab

National ICT Australia (Nicta) opened a new laboratory yesterday opposite the University of New South Wales in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Named the Neville Roach Laboratory, it houses up to 170 researchers.

Part of the launch included rolling out three new breakthrough technologies Nicta has been developing along with some 60 PhD students from the University of New South Wales. These include a mobile telephone application called mContext, an intelligent video analysis system and networking kit for digital audio.

The mContext (mobile context) application allows data and content such as graphics, video, sound and text from PCs and the Internet to be viewed on a mobile handset. The intelligent video analysis (IVA) system uses multimedia surveillance to automatically activate alarms if it detects inappropriate behaviour. The IVA also includes facial recognition tools.

Another technology Nicta has been working on is labelled the DANTE, or digital audio networking technology. This allows professional audio to be sent over networks and is expected to simplify the way audio is sent around recording studios and large auditoriums.

Minister for Education, Science and Training Dr Brendan Nelson officially opened the new facility.

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