[Into the Future With Samsung Research ①] Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine: Innovating Within the Visual Intelligence Field for New User Experiences

on September 23, 2021
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Amid the fourth industrial revolution, next-generation technologies such Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, 6G and robotics have been accelerating the changes technology is making to our daily lives, within the areas of transportation, banking and even fitness.


Samsung Electronics has long recognized the significance of these advanced technologies, and has been actively pursuing innovation in these fields. Expert researchers are working hard at Samsung Research’s1 14 R&D centers and 7 global AI centers all over the world in order to prepare for the future, innovate for users and create the next generation of cutting-edge technologies and services that the Samsung Electronics’ legacy is built on.



In this relay series, Samsung Newsroom is introducing tech experts from Samsung’s R&D centers around the globe to hear more about the work they do and the ways in which it is directly improving the lives of consumers.


The first expert in the series to be introduced is Sergii Lytvynenko, Head of the Visual Intelligence Team at Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine (SRK). Sergii has been working for SRK for more than decade since he first joined as a SW Engineer. Read on to hear more about the groundbreaking work Lytvynenko and his team undertake at SRK.




Q: Can you please briefly introduce the Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine and the kind of work that goes on there?


Our R&D center is located in Kyiv, situated in the heart of Ukraine. Since its inception in 2009, SRK has been focused on and has deep expertise in the AI, Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) and Security domains. SRK is composed of prominent industry professionals and is currently working on the study of intelligence security, computer vision, context-aware intelligent services, and more. Also, as part of industrial-educational cooperation initiatives, SRK actively co-operates with local universities and schools.



Q: What are you and the Visual Intelligence Team working on at the moment?


Our team is currently conducting fundamental research into the AI, Computer Vision and Computer Graphics domains. The main mission of our team is to transform research advancements into holistic user experiences, thereby enhancing the quality of people’s lives, simplifying their daily routines and delivering positive emotions and immersive experiences.


To do so, we are collaborating closely with various teams in other countries by conducting advanced research in our focal domains and working with different business units by contributing our core technologies to Samsung products.



Q: Your team covers two major technological domains – Computer Vision and Computer Graphics. How do these technologies contribute to innovating new user experiences?


Last year, we undertook extensive work on the Smart Trainer solution, which enables a totally new level of home fitness experiences. Through the USB camera connected to the Samsung Smart TV, the system can track your activities, keep track of the exercises you do and even offer recommendations on your form accuracy, all thanks to AI. We are now very happy that Samsung TV users can enjoy this feature in their homes.



Q: How are you incorporating the key technologies from your focal domains into your current projects, such as AR Glasses?


These days we are performing advanced R&D to tackle major challenges in the computer vision and graphics areas for AR Glasses. On the vision side, we are working on the essential solutions required for AR, including Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Depth Estimation, Environment Understanding and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). On the graphics side, we are conducting research into low-latency rendering for AR and Game Performance optimization.


▲ Visual Intelligence Team at Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine



Q: As well as AR, your team contributes to S Pen technology development. Can you give us a bit of background into the development of this technology?


One of our focal R&D areas and core solutions is handwriting recognition technology for S Pen enabled devices, which is being deployed and spread to Galaxy line up. While working on our handwriting recognition solution, we also developed a rich patent portfolio, thus contributing to Samsung’s core technology development.



Q: In what ways do you think the optimized S Pen technologies your team created for the Galaxy Z Fold3 will complement users’ experience of the device?


Galaxy Z Fold3 is a really unique product. Its large, flexible display expands the boundaries and opens up new possibilities for users to serve as a true productivity companion for daily business and education. Within this context, S Pen and handwriting recognition and low latency become of crucial importance and we are taking the very best of the conventional pen and paper to deliver those same types of experiences to the digital screen.



Q: In what ways do the technologies your team contributed to Galaxy Z Fold3 set to enhance the quality of users’ lives and simplify their routines?


We deployed our AI Based Point Prediction solution to minimize the latency input of S Pen in order to make the writing and drawing experience feel more like that of pen and paper. Furthermore, handwriting recognition technologies make digital writing smarter, easier and more enjoyable. Users can transform their notes to printed documents, recognize tables, diagrams, embed links, undertake math problems and more, simpler than ever before. Experiences like this are what make a real difference in our daily lives.



Q: What do you see as the main technology trends right now?


These days, we recognize Visual Modality as the next big thing: how to transform a note into a smart note, how to make a video into a smart video, and how much useful context information we can extract from these processes. For this technology, AR opens up tons of possibilities, as well as challenges to be resolved. For example, “Digital Eyes” that would fully explore an environment for a user and provide well-organized contextual information could totally change our lives.


Another big trend right now is HCI. Here we think multi-modal interaction, which is a crucial part of HCI, would be essential. Multi-modal interactions are user-machine interactions that encapsulate vision, language and knowledge, and this technology can help a Samsung device understand the world in which it’s situated.



Q: What has been your most memorable achievement at SRK so far?


June 2021 was a really special month for us as we won the CVPR (Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition) 2021 Chart Question Answering Challenge. CVPR is the world’s biggest conference on computer vision and AI. We are really proud of what we achieved.



Q: Visual intelligence technologies are crucial when it comes to innovating new mobile experiences for users. In what ways do language-related technologies also contribute to these experiences?


Natural Language Processing (NLP) is one of the most challenging research areas. We really wish that every single person around the world were able to use and experience our solutions, and to achieve this, language expansion and support are of crucial importance. In S Pen Handwriting recognition, we are continuously working to extend the language coverage. Our solution now supports more than 80 languages, and more are on the way.



An interview with Lukasz, a natural language processing expert from Samsung Research Institute Poland can be found in the following episode.



1 Samsung Research is the advanced research and development (R&D) hub of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics (CE) Division and IT & Mobile Communications (IM) Division.

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