Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Lip sync

5 A Talking Head System for Korean Text

Authors: Sang-Wan Kim, Hoon Lee, Kyung-Ho Choi, Soon-Young Park

Abstract:

A talking head system (THS) is presented to animate the face of a speaking 3D avatar in such a way that it realistically pronounces the given Korean text. The proposed system consists of SAPI compliant text-to-speech (TTS) engine and MPEG-4 compliant face animation generator. The input to the THS is a unicode text that is to be spoken with synchronized lip shape. The TTS engine generates a phoneme sequence with their duration and audio data. The TTS applies the coarticulation rules to the phoneme sequence and sends a mouth animation sequence to the face modeler. The proposed THS can make more natural lip sync and facial expression by using the face animation generator than those using the conventional visemes only. The experimental results show that our system has great potential for the implementation of talking head for Korean text.

Keywords: Talking head, Lip sync, TTS, MPEG4.

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4 Aerodynamic Interaction between Two Speed Skaters Measured in a Closed Wind Tunnel

Authors: Ola Elfmark, Lars M. Bardal, Luca Oggiano, H˚avard Myklebust

Abstract:

Team pursuit is a relatively new event in international long track speed skating. For a single speed skater the aerodynamic drag will account for up to 80% of the braking force, thus reducing the drag can greatly improve the performance. In a team pursuit the interactions between athletes in near proximity will also be essential, but is not well studied. In this study, systematic measurements of the aerodynamic drag, body posture and relative positioning of speed skaters have been performed in the low speed wind tunnel at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in order to investigate the aerodynamic interaction between two speed skaters. Drag measurements of static speed skaters drafting, leading, side-by-side, and dynamic drag measurements in a synchronized and unsynchronized movement at different distances, were performed. The projected frontal area was measured for all postures and movements and a blockage correction was performed, as the blockage ratio ranged from 5-15% in the different setups. The static drag measurements where performed on two test subjects in two different postures, a low posture and a high posture, and two different distances between the test subjects 1.5T and 3T where T being the length of the torso (T=0.63m). A drag reduction was observed for all distances and configurations, from 39% to 11.4%, for the drafting test subject. The drag of the leading test subject was only influenced at -1.5T, with the biggest drag reduction of 5.6%. An increase in drag was seen for all side-by-side measurements, the biggest increase was observed to be 25.7%, at the closest distance between the test subjects, and the lowest at 2.7% with ∼ 0.7 m between the test subjects. A clear aerodynamic interaction between the test subjects and their postures was observed for most measurements during static measurements, with results corresponding well to recent studies. For the dynamic measurements, the leading test subject had a drag reduction of 3% even at -3T. The drafting showed a drag reduction of 15% when being in a synchronized (sync) motion with the leading test subject at 4.5T. The maximal drag reduction for both the leading and the drafting test subject were observed when being as close as possible in sync, with a drag reduction of 8.5% and 25.7% respectively. This study emphasize the importance of keeping a synchronized movement by showing that the maximal gain for the leading and drafting dropped to 3.2% and 3.3% respectively when the skaters are in opposite phase. Individual differences in technique also appear to influence the drag of the other test subject.

Keywords: Aerodynamic interaction, drag cycle, drag force, frontal area, speed skating.

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3 Determinants of Never Users of Contraception – Results from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13

Authors: Arsalan Jabbar, Wajiha Javed, Nelofer Mehboob, Zahid Memon

Abstract:

Introduction: There are multiple social, individual and cultural factors that influence an individual’s decision to adopt family planning methods especially among non-users in patriarchal societies like Pakistan. Non-users, if targeted efficiently, can contribute significantly to country’s CPR. A research study showed that nonusers if convinced to adopt lactational amenorrhea method can shift to long term methods in future. Research shows that if non users are targeted efficiently a 59% reduction in unintended pregnancies in Saharan Africa and South-Central and South-East Asia is anticipated. Methods: We did secondary data analysis on Pakistan Demographic Heath Survey (2012-13) dataset. Use of contraception (never-use/ever-use) was the outcome variable. At univariate level Chi-square/Fisher Exact test was used to assess relationship of baseline covariates with contraception use. Then variables to be incorporated in the model were checked for multicollinearity, confounding and interaction. Then binary logistic regression (with an urban-rural stratification) was done to find relationship between contraception use and baseline demographic and social variables. Results: The multivariate analyses of the study showed that younger women (≤ 29 years)were more prone to be never users as compared to those who were >30 years and this trend was seen in urban areas (AOR 1.92, CI 1.453-2.536) as well as rural areas (AOR 1.809, CI 1.421-2.303). While looking at regional variation, women from urban Sindh (AOR 1.548, CI 1.142-2.099) and urban Balochistan (AOR 2.403, CI 1.504-3.839) had more never users as compared to other urban regions. Women in the rich wealth quintile were more never users and this was seen both in urban and rural localities (urban (AOR 1.106 CI .753-1.624); rural areas (AOR 1.162, CI .887-1.524)) even though these were not statistically significant. Women idealizing more children (>4) are more never users as compared to those idealizing less children in both urban (AOR 1.854, CI 1.275-2.697) and rural areas (AOR 2.101, CI 1.514-2.916). Women who never lost a pregnancy were more inclined to be nonusers in rural areas (AOR 1.394, CI 1.127-1.723) .Women familiar with only traditional or no method had more never users in rural areas (AOR 1.717, CI 1.127-1.723) but in urban areas it wasn’t significant. Women unaware of Lady Health Worker’s presence in their area were more never users especially in rural areas (AOR 1.276, CI 1.014-1.607). Women who did not visit any care provider were more never users (urban (AOR 11.738, CI 9.112-15.121) rural areas (AOR 7.832, CI 6.243-9.826)). Discussion/Conclusion: This study concluded that government, policy makers and private sector family planning programs should focus on the untapped pool of never users (younger women from underserved provinces, in higher wealth quintiles, who desire more children.). We need to make sure to cover catchment areas where there are less LHWs and less providers as ignorance to modern methods and never been visited by an LHW are important determinants of never use. This all is in sync with previous literate from similar developing countries.

Keywords: Contraception, Demographic and Health Survey, Family Planning, Never users.

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2 Optimizing Usability Testing with Collaborative Method in an E-Commerce Ecosystem

Authors: Markandeya Kunchi

Abstract:

Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.

Keywords: Usability testing, collaborative method, e-commerce, product management method.

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1 Weaving Social Development: An Exploratory Study of Adapting Traditional Textiles Using Indigenous Organic Wool for the Modern Interior Textiles Market

Authors: Seema Singh, Puja Anand, Alok Bhasin

Abstract:

The interior design profession aims to create aesthetically pleasing design solutions for human habitats but of late, growing awareness about depleting environmental resources, both tangible and intangible, and damages to the eco-system led to the quest for creating healthy and sustainable interior environments. The paper proposes adapting traditionally produced organic wool textiles for the mainstream interior design industry. This can create sustainable livelihoods whereby eco-friendly bridges can be built between Interior designers and consumers and pastoral communities. This study focuses on traditional textiles produced by two pastoral communities from India that use organic wool from indigenous sheep varieties. The Gaddi communities of Himachal Pradesh use wool from the Gaddi sheep breed to create Pattu (a multi-purpose textile). The Kurumas of Telangana weave a blanket called the Gongadi, using wool from the Black Deccani variety of sheep. These communities have traditionally reared indigenous sheep breeds for their wool and produce hand-spun and hand-woven textiles for their own consumption, using traditional processes that are chemical free. Based on data collected personally from field visits and documentation of traditional crafts of these pastoral communities, and using traditionally produced indigenous organic wool, the authors have developed innovative textile samples by including design interventions and exploring dyeing and weaving techniques. As part of the secondary research, the role of pastoralism in sustaining the eco-systems of Himachal Pradesh and Telangana was studied, and also the role of organic wool in creating healthy interior environments. The authors found that natural wool from indigenous sheep breeds can be used to create interior textiles that have the potential to be marketed to an urban audience, and this will help create earnings for pastoral communities. Literature studies have shown that organic & sustainable wool can reduce indoor pollution & toxicity levels in interiors and further help in creating healthier interior environments. Revival of indigenous breeds of sheep can further help in rejuvenating dying crafts, and promotion of these indigenous textiles can help in sustaining traditional eco-systems and the pastoral communities whose way of life is endangered today. Based on research and findings, the authors propose that adapting traditional textiles can have potential for application in Interiors, creating eco-friendly spaces. Interior textiles produced through such sustainable processes can help reduce indoor pollution, give livelihood opportunities to traditional economies, and leave almost zero carbon foot-print while being in sync with available natural resources, hence ultimately benefiting the society. The win-win situation for all the stakeholders in this eco-friendly model makes it pertinent to re-think how we design lifestyle textiles for interiors. This study illustrates a specific example from the two pastoral communities and can be used as a model that can work equally well in any community, regardless of geography.

Keywords: Design Intervention, Eco-Friendly, Healthy Interiors, Indigenous, Organic Wool, Pastoralism, Sustainability.

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