Building on Ryerson’s successful model of entrepreneurship, innovation, and experiential learning, the Ryerson Centre for Cloud and Context-Aware Computing (RC4) brings together mobile technologies, predictive software, and internet connectivity to match services with our individual needs and preferences. For example, location and time are basic attributes that can be used to allow e-commerce applications to notify a shopper of sales as they enter a mall, directing them to where the item is located. Going one step further, by adding the information from your calendar, the retailer may offer a reduced price on formalwear if you have a formal event scheduled.
Cloud-based applications are reshaping every sector. For example, software-as-a-service companies such as Salesforce offer CRM software that can be accessed anywhere and scaled without any additional hardware required by the user. These types of cloud services can create greater efficiencies by improving user accessibility and streamlining processes.
Located in downtown Toronto, RC4 provides the infrastructure and experts necessary to create new collaborations, knowledge, and jobs, with the support of Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev). The Centre’s Chief Scientist is RTA School of Media Professor Hossein Rahnama, who founded the start-up Flybits and was selected as one of MITs 35 Innovators Under 35. RC4 will connect researchers across disciplines with industry partners to support research-driven start-up companies. “RC4 is excited to be open and accepting applications to join our community,” says Rahnama. “We believe building strong ties between industry and academia is critical for the future productivity and prosperity of the Canadian economy.” Exciting projects are already at various phases of development at RC4 including several context-aware software applications that respond to situational factors and personal information, such as “Go Mobile,” “CAVALIS,” and healthcare systems that respond to body signals and biometrics.
RC4 also operates two additional nodes. The Ryerson Transmedia Centre, led by Richard Lachman, Associate Professor in Digital Media, combines communications and electronic media to create content for multiple platforms. A new node focused on 3D printing and advanced manufacturing partners emerging companies with researchers such as Ali Mazalek, Canada Research Chair in Digital Media. These two nodes add to RC4’s state-of-the art facilities, offering services to researchers and industry partners across many vertical markets.
Bringing the right private and government partners to the table is vital for the Centre’s success. Wendy Cukier, Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Ryerson believes that collaborative communities like RC4 “will help create market-driven projects that build companies, create jobs, and make our innovation economy a truly world-class ecosystem. This is especially true for new and emerging technologies such as cloud and context-aware computing, 3D printing, and big data analytics, which are transforming virtually every sector — transportation, health, retail, entertainment, manufacturing and more.”
Matthew Kyan, Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering, has begun several projects at RC4. Along with colleagues he is developing innovative mixed-reality frameworks for Canada’s cultural heritage sector. Working with AWE Company Ltd. and the City of Toronto, virtual re-enactments from the Battle of 1812 can now be experienced through tablet devices, embedded into their natural environments. “The cloud is used to establish visual context and ultimately to deploy such experiences, creating the next generation of immersive entertainment,” says Kyan. He is also working with Toronto-based startup Synaptop, a cloud-based operating system that unlocks a host of sharing and collaborative possibilities for traditional desktop-style workflows. The goal is to build intelligence into cloud-based services supporting audio-visual content creation. Kyan says,”For industries generating massive amounts of data, intelligent processing is key.”
Poised to be a multi-trillion dollar industry, the possibilities for enhanced digital communications, entertainment, and service delivery are endless for cloud and context-aware computing technologies. RC4 is at the forefront of the digital revolution, positioning Southern Ontario as a global leader in this emerging sector.
For more information about RC4 and how your company can benefit from its services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.