A Plug In Smarter Device

Gear and Gadgets May 27, 2016

You have heard of smart devices have you not? Recall that the word smart was thrown in front of phone only a few short years ago to give us the now ubiquitous smart devices. Yet there is a rather intriguing technology you may well to take a moment to understand.

This technology comes from a company by the name of Movidius and is in the form of what they refer to as a computer on a chip. As in literally. The Movidius device plugs directly into any USB port and is reputed to be a computer on a chip.

Not just any computer mind you. Start with the name, that will give you a clue as to what the Movidius device is all about. This product is named the Fathom Neural Compute Stick. According to the company, the Fathom Neural Compute Stick can be safely plugged into any USB capable device such as a regular desktop or laptop computer, a camera, the GoPro and more.

Movidius says that once installed (plugged in), the Compute Stick works by making these devices inherently smarter due to the Myraid 2 neural network processor embedded into the Compute Stick. What this means in practice is that any device with the Fathom 2 installed will be able to cognitively react based on the visual sensors from the device (as in the case of a camera) or data from other sources (such as the laptop).

More importantly to note, is that once the Compute Stick is in place, the device is now able to make real time cognitive decisions. Incredibly, all of the processing is done on the Compute Stick itself so there are no required calls to the cloud.

Along with the Compute Stick, Movidius makes available a software system that is designed from the offset to allow you to optimize and compile learning algorithms into binary code that will run on the Compute Stick at an extremely low power level. Touting their system, Movidius spokespersons cited the example of utilizing computer vision with the Compute Stick. Movidius claims that up to 16 frames per second can be processed while only using a single watt of power.

Now with all of that being said, what does that mean? Here’s a quick example to make the point. Suppose you want to train your laptop to recognize certain images or partial images and then react very fast. As in a drone camera being able to tell the difference between a vertical wall and a flat landing spot. That is exactly the promise of the Compute Stick. Real world neural network computing technology available with a quick plug in.


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