ahec Featured member
Barnabás Takács, Ph.D.
Barnabás Takács, Ph.D.
Dr. Takács is an internationally recognized technology leader and businessman who has spent much of his carrier developing cutting-edge technologies and has a long history of bringing novel solutions to the market place. A graduate of the Technical University of Budapest in Electrical Engineering, he later received his M.S. from the Univ. of Houston, USA and a Ph.D. from computational Sciences from GMU, VA, USA.
During his carrier, Dr. Takacs worked as a Chief Technology Officer and Director for a number of high profile start-up companies in the technology and entertainment sectors. During those assignments he gained over ten years of R&D, marketing and PR experience as well as he developed a network of high profile contacts both in the U.S. Government and the European Union.
Currently, Dr. Takács is with Digital Elite Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) and Digital Custom Group Inc. (San Francisco, CA), and VerAnim (Budapest, Hungary) three companies he founded in 2000, focusing on Virtual Human Interfaces and ambient intelligence technology, digital production, and R&D on human interaction and modeling, respectively.
(1) Digital Elite Inc. (www.digitalElite.net) is a Los Angeles-based consulting & software company that develops a high performance virtual human modeling and animation platform for the new communication age. Dr. Takács serves as the company’s President & CEO. Digital Elite’s facial modeling and real-time animation/visualization technology has been used for many cutting edge projects. Examples include recent and ongoing SBIR projects with DARPA, U.S. Army, NASA, and Boeing as well as research projects with Harvard University and commercial partners such as Gulfstream Jets.
(2) Digital Custom Group Inc. (www.digitalcustom.com), based in San Francisco with a world-wide customer service in Cincinnati and affiliates on five continents. Dr. Takács serves as the company’s CTO and Director of International Operations. The company offers comprehensive digital image editing/manipulation of still images to approved clients in the advertising, marketing and media industries, including photo agencies, publication firms, professional photographers, and catalog companies. DigitalCustom Group is the leading developer of outsourced custom digital image editing service systems at all market levels.
(3) VerAnim is responsible for helping Digital Elite to develop its core human interaction technology based on interdisciplinary research. Topics include advanced computer vision techniques that help understand human emotions, cognitive user modeling, behavior analysis and control methodology for complex human interaction systems. On the commercial side VerAnim is involved with helping to create the first virtual reality rehabilitation clinique in Hungary. The clinique, which is now part of the Semmelweis Medical University at Budapest, started treating psychiatric patients and conducting research using VerAnim’s technology late 2004. VerAnim also receives research funds from the Hungarian government and is increasingly becoming involved in European research projects.
Before staring the above ventures Dr. Takács was involved with many high tech ventures. In 1998 Dr. Takács became the Director of R&D for Virtual Celebrity Productions (Los Angeles, CA) where he was responsible for the design and implementation of the company’s Digital Cloning System (DCS). The DCS was created with the aim of producing photo-realistic human actors for television commercials and movies. This system used state-of-the art facial tracking off a live plate of an actor to drive the facial motion of a digital 3D head was used in producing VCP’s critically acclaimed digital Marlene Dietrich that brought the “Blue Angel” back to life for a brief 30 seconds in August, 1999.
Apart from working in Hollywood and digital entertainment Dr. Takács also spent many years in consulting and high-tech development helping companies to enter the marketplace. In 1999 he helped developing a “smart” running shoe for the consumer market that measures all physical characteristics of a runner (speed, calories burnt, heart beat, etc.) and transmits this information via a wireless communication link to a personal computer for real-time analysis. Previously, in 1996, while working with WaveBand Corporation (Torrance, CA), he developed a number of proprietary technologies used by the U.S. Airforce and Navy. Examples include 3D object recognition and advanced tracking solutions for automatic target recognition (ATR), millimeter-wave radar landing systems and collision avoidance radars. He also worked on developing novel concealed weapon detection systems for increased airport security. In 1995 he designed an innovative image compression algorithm that is capable of encoding a complete face photograph in a single barcode. The system was demonstrated to INS and the U.S. Armed forces. In 1994 he was part of the team who contracted the U.S government to create a large and standardized facial data set (FERET project) for testing face recognition systems, the resulting database was the first of its kind and helped develop the testing standards in use today. In 1990 he was co-founder of Telemedia LLC. (Hungary) and designed the first speaker-independent voice recognition solution for interactive voice response (IVR) applications.
As a consultant he is/was involved with many prestigious firms including projects for McKinsey&Co Consulting group, FOX-Interactive, WaveBand/Boeing-Gulfstream, IdeaSpa. During the past ten years he has managed to develop excellent relationships with officers in the U.S. government research offices in Washington D.C. where he visits regularly as part of his SBIR projects. Most recently he started working with the European Union in a team that is responsible for creating the main directives of future European IST research.
Dr. Takács is also internationally recognized computer scientist in the fields of human animation, virtual reality, computer vision, tracking, real-time image processing, face recognition and security systems. He published over 60 technical papers and currently finishing up his book on Virtual Humans for Elsevier / Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. He has been invited to speak on prestigious scientific conferences, and regularly delivers lectures on various scientific, institutional and professional forums. A partial list of his publications and lectures as well as related press is English and German is further available on Digital Elite’s website as listed above.