Research and innovation at Architech

Foteini Agrafioti | January 20, 2015

Innovation is ingrained in our DNA. We’re convinced that innovation is integral to our clients’ success, and have created a culture that embraces creativity. So much so, we recently established a Research & Innovation practice to accelerate innovation for our customers.

New scientific discoveries and knowledge created via research and development are admittedly the holy grail of the innovation process. While many companies aspire to do R&D, it’s an expensive and a particularly risky investment (especially if you’re not a Fortune 500 company). Despite these risks, we embarked on this new adventure because we view R&D as the only tangible way to create knowledge that can lead to disruptive innovation, which is exactly what we aspire to for our clients.

How do you set up an effective Research & Innovation practice within a professional services organization? This was one of our early dilemmas. Historically, companies that focus on their customers’ existing needs fail to adopt new technologies and innovate. As a professional services organization, our emphasis is on solving our customers’ current problems and, on the surface, this conflicts with the goals of R&D.

To ensure our ability to innovate we set the following mission for our Research & Innovation practice: “Identify big problems and solve them in radically new ways that expand the state-of-the-art.” Our research is inspired by our customers’ insights, but then moves along on an autonomous path where it can become disruptive. This allows us to pioneer science while creating intellectual property that increases our customers’ competitive advantage.

One of the industries that we foresee disruption by new technology is Retail. We have a bold vision for the future of this industry, and we identified human-computer interaction as a platform for exciting innovation within this space. Our team of scientists and developers are working to develop innovative technologies that recognize human patterns and behaviours as well as interact with people in an intelligent fashion. Our research is focused on the areas of computer vision, biometrics, and affective and persuasive computing.

Imagine a world where computers accurately interpret how you feel. Imagine systems that sense your state of mind, your interest-levels, your attentiveness or discomfort. Imagine systems with the emotional intelligence to interact with you in an ultra-personalized way. Humans are at the centre of these systems and in full control of every event. Face recognition, mood detection, gesture control, body language and behavioural analytics come together in technologies previously though impossible. This is what we’re working towards. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?

Contact us to find out more about our Research & Innovation practice, or any of our innovative solutions. We’d love to hear from you!

As the leader of Architech’s Research & Innovation team, Foteini is committed to pushing the limits of science through research that can affect the world in a meaningful way. Feel free to get in touch with her directly via Twitter or LinkedIn.

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