University of Toronto

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Information and Communications Technology

woman at computer in lab
How we communicate has evolved at a feverish pace in the last few decades. At the helm of this evolution is U of T Engineering, helping to find better, faster, safer and more reliable ways to transmit information.

Improved Video Surveillance

Karl Martin of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Professor Kostas Plataniotis of the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute at the University of Toronto developed revolutionary image encryption technology that addresses the ongoing concern for privacy during video surveillance. Using object-based encryption, this innovation obscures the images of individuals who are the subjects of video surveillance. Unlike current image masking techniques, the technology enables the images to be decrypted by authorized personnel when further investigation is required. Recently featured at International Data Privacy Day in January 2010, this new privacy-enhancing technology allows video surveillance to coexist with individual privacy, without compromise. To read the full article, please click here.

Founded in 2001 by Professor Parham Aarabi in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Artificial Perception Laboratory investigates the theory, implementation and application of intelligent computing systems in three main areas: Biologically Inspired Computing, Intuitive Hardware and Visual Search. Among their many projects is a system that can isolate a given object among images taken by hundreds of cameras from multiple vantage points within a given space, almost instantly. In environments like airports or casinos where multiple cameras are needed, it is often infeasible for a person to quickly track and target a suspicious individual in a crisis situation. Using this technology, a user could click on an image of a person and see all related images of that person from every camera in the environment, with images sorted in order of relevance and best viewpoint. Click here to watch a news segment about this technology from the Discovery Channel.   

Communicative Cars

Professor Shahrokh Valaee, director of the Wireless and Internet Research Laboratory (WIRLab) in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is using his expertise in wireless networks in AUTO21, a national research initiative sponsored by the Government of Canada that seeks to build a stronger automotive sector in Canada. Titled, Wireless Sensor Networks for Communicative and Adaptive Cars, Valaee is co-leading in the exploration of cars that can sense, process and communicate a range of information to drivers, neighbouring vehicles and control centres via wireless links—all in real time. The communicative nature of these vehicles will provide additional safety to passengers while also reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. Click here to read the full article about U of T Engineering's involvement in AUTO21.    
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