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A Japanese research team developed mobile phone application software called "Jitsu-kukan Toshi Keitai (Real Space See-through Mobile)," which enables users to grasp the spatial information of the surrounding environment through an intuitive user interface.

The team was led by KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc and the Asami Lab at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo.

By using a six-axis sensor composed of a three-axis geomagnetic sensor and a triaxial acceleration sensor, as well as the positioning function such as of GPS, the software obtains data on the posture and the position of a handset including the direction and the tilt angle. When the mobile phone display is pointed in a certain direction by the user, the spatial information in that direction is rendered at a high speed based on the collected data.

The software allows users to easily grasp the spatial information in the direction where the mobile phone is facing, even if the space cannot be actually seen due to walls or other obstacles blocking the sight, according to the research team. The software uses OpenGL ES to render information.

The Jitsu-kukan Toshi Keitai is also equipped with a function to automatically estimate the user's transportation state, ie, on foot, by car or train, as well as the calorie consumption. It is enabled by using multiple sensors incorporated in a mobile phone, such as the acceleration sensor, microphone and GPS, in a complex manner.

The function can detect seven transportation states, ie, running, walking, bicycle, at rest, car, bus and train. The calorie consumption is calculated based on the estimation result on the transportation state and the variance of acceleration. The system was enabled by integrating KDDI's estimation technology for user transportation state and the calorie consumption estimation technology developed by the University of Tokyo.

KDDI plans to exhibit the technology as a reference presentation at CEATEC JAPAN 2008, which runs from Sept 30 to Oct 4, 2008, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.