Daily Business Report-April 10, 2014
Emotient Getting Ready to Take Expression
Recognition to the Commercial Market
San Diego-based Emotient is on the path to taking expression recognition to the commercial market. The company\ has already had an advance in advertising.
During the last Superbowl, it was able to use a focus group to see how people reacted to certain advertisements. “We put a camera up on the wall. And we were able to measure their facial responses to the Super Bowl ads,” Emotient lead scientist Marian Bartlett said about the focus group with a few dozen Super Bowl viewers.
“And (we) have aggregate information about how they responded to the ads, how they responded over time, and what was their emotional journey as they watched some of the different advertisements,” she added. Expressions of joy peaked a lot during an ad for Cheerios. Less so for Denver fans, but still, people liked it.
Bartlett is a professor at the Institute for Neural Computation at the UC San Diego.
This new kind of expression recognition gives advertisers an opportunity to take advantage of people’s unfiltered reactions, making it easier for them to craft custom commercials.
Emotient researchers are also exploring the Google Glass field. Adding its expression recognition technology to the Google Glass would allow Glass-wearers to detect how others are feeling.
Emotient’s biggest potential market is retail. Department stores could use cameras to manipulate customers’ emotions. The company realizes consumers don’t appreciate being manipulated and is therefore taking necessary precautions. Especially if expression recognition became tied with personally identifying information, which would make the ability to target individuals on how they’re feeling easy to abuse.
Anonymous $6.5 Million Gift Will Create
Vision Lab at UC San Diego Shiley Eye Center
A $6.5 million gift from a grateful patient will create the Richard C. Atkinson Laboratory for Regenerative Ophthalmology in the department of ophthalmology at the UC San Diego Shiley Eye Center, the school announced. The new lab will investigate cell replacement therapies, tissue engineering and other biomedical advances to reverse vision loss and blindness.
The lab will employ novel stem cell approaches that are consistent with the vision of the newly created Sanford Clinical Stem Cell Center at UC San Diego.
The unnamed donor chose to name the laboratory in honor of Atkinson, former University of California president and UC San Diego chancellor, for his lasting impact not only on the university but also on the entire UC system.
The UC San Diego department of ophthalmology at the Shiley Eye Center is the only academic eye center in the region offering the most advanced treatments across all areas of eye care.
Goals for the new Richard C. Atkinson Laboratory for Regenerative Ophthalmology include:
• Restoring vision and regenerating diseased tissue in glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
• Storing and archiving surgical and other specimens including adult stem cells.
• Integrating biomedical engineering approaches into vision therapies.
The Rosie Network Promotes Military Entrepreneurs
The Rosie Network is a San Diego-based nonprofit group that promotes businesses run by veterans and active-duty service members’ families.
Navy Seal wife Stephanie Brown started the company last year, which uses word-of-mouth marketing through a vast circle of military spouses across the country and through military programs.
Rosie Network’s website (therosienetwork.org) has more than 800 confirmed military-affiliated businesses listed nationwide. The organization’s primary mission is to give qualifying businesses free presence and marketing online, as well as offer shoppers a simple way to find these entrepreneurs. An additional feature for Rosie Network members is peer-to-peer online support groups and business advice.
Salk Institute Open This Weekend for Look at Research
On Saturday the Salk Institute in La Jolla will open some of its labs to the public for the second annual “Step Into Discovery Day.” The public will be able to tour science labs, talk with researchers and participate in science projects. The day kicks off with a 5K walk to support educational outreach programs.
The date of this year’s “Step Into Discovery Day” is significant — it was on April 12, 1955, that Jonas Salk announced the discovery of his polio vaccine. “Back in the ’50s, the mayor of San Diego was a polio survivor. So when he heard that Jonas Salk was about to found an institute, he actually invited him to come over to San Diego,” said Isabelle Guimont, a researcher at the Salk Institute.
Salk is one of five scientists trained at the institute to win a Nobel Prize.
Scientists at Salk come from all over the world, and are researching a wide variety of medical issues including aging, diabetes and cancer.
Amy Rommel, a brain cancer researcher at Salk, said “Step Into Discovery Day” attendees will be able to learn about topics that affect them.
“Because of the science starting here and going on right now at the Salk Institute, there’s hope for cures to many of the ailments that either themselves, or their family, or their friend, are undergoing,” Rommel said.
Faulconer Gives Sneak Peak at Budget Priorities
In front of construction crews and a blocked off street, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria on Wednesday unveiled the 25th Street Renaissance Project, KPBS reports.
The project, which will transform the entry from Golden Hill into Balboa Park into a European-style promenade, is one Gloria welcomes. Golden Hill is in the heart of his district.
“How many people love 25th Street?” As the small crowd cheered in response, Gloria talked about the importance of the street in the community, focusing on how an improved thoroughfare can bring big benefits to business.
Brick and mortar projects like these are part of the huge infrastructure push that Faulconer campaigned on. “Many of you may recall that I promised to direct 50 percent of major revenue growth toward street and infrastructure repair.”
Now, Faulconer said, he is making good on that promise. He said his new budget will focus in on projects like one on 25th Street.
“I’m pleased to announce today, there will be $35 million in new revenue for next year’s budget,” Faulconer said. “Nearly $22 million of that will be going towards the city’s infrastructure.”
This is not the only money pot the new mayor is tapping with an eye toward fixing streets, building libraries, and repairing fire stations. Faulconer has also suggested that Community Development Block Grants, known as CDBGs, be utilized for neighborhood infrastructure improvement. That has raised concern from nonprofits who have in the past applied for the grants to help augment social services, like helping the homeless.
Escondido Develops Recycled Water Project
ESCONDIDO — The city of Escondido has approved initial plans for new recycled water and potable water reuse systems with the intention of securing a local, drought-proof water source for future generations. The construction of the new systems was divided into 25 projects to be built in phases over 20 years. City utilities staff estimates that the project will cost just under $300 million, which will likely necessitate water rate increases for the city.
Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Honored
The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at San Diego State University has received an award for Best Overall Sustainable Design at the 10th annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards. The awards, hosted by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, highlight the achievements that California campuses have made through innovative and effective energy efficiency projects and sustainable operations.
“The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union definitely deserved the award,” said Robert Schulz, university architect and associate vice president of operations at SDSU. “This is a major accomplishment, and we are all deeply proud that the university could make it happen.”
Nearly 80 percent of the materials from the original student union, Aztec Center, have been recycled or reused in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.
Other “green” building highlights include: solar panels; radiant floor system; green roof; underground storage tank to collect rainwater; storm water control; natural daylighting.
Oceanside Business Expo
OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce will hold the Oceanside Business Expo/ Hispanic Business Showcase on April 16. The expo will provide an opportunity for local business owners to connect with other business owners from around the region and build business relationships and strategic partnerships. The event will feature local food, wine, and beer samplings. The event will be from 2 to 7 p.m. at the QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida Del Oro. Admission is free.
Airport is First in World to Get LEED Platinum Certification
San Diego International Airport was awarded LEED Platinum — the highest energy and environmental certification possible — for its recent Terminal 2 expansion. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification is considered the industry standard in defining and measuring green, sustainable construction.
The San Diego airport is the first LEED Platinum-certified commercial airport terminal in the world. The certification covers the terminal portion of The Green Build, including the 460,000-square-foot expansion of Terminal 2 West and 1.3 million square feet of new aircraft apron and taxiway areas. The design/build contractor for the project was Turner/PCL/Flatiron.
Sustainable elements of the terminal and airside improvements include solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping, energy-efficient or natural lighting, reflective roofs, special power for aircraft, special storm drainage and the use of low-volatile adhesives, sealants paints and coatings.
Steve Harrington Joins Torrey Pines Bank
CARLSBAD — Steve Harrington has joined Torrey Pines Bank as vice president, relationship manager in the Carlsbad office. Harrington has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry and was formerly senior vice president/commercial loan officer at a community bank in San Diego and held senior level roles at financial institutions in Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista and Escondido.
Harrington has served as commissioner of the Vista Planning Commission, 2003-2013, and a past chairman of Vista Chamber of Commerce and Vista Economic Development Association. He received a bachelor’s degree from the UC San Diego.
Optelec Appoints Director of Sales for Western U.S.
VISTA — Optelec, a company that provides magnifiers, vision aids and braille products for the blind, has appointed Joseph S. Chung as director of sales, Western U.S. Chung will work with the Authorized Optelec Dealer Network and industry partners to expand the referral channels for Optelec’s products, Prior to joining Optelec, Chung was the territory manager at Eschenbach Optik of America. During his 11 year tenure with the company, he provided specialized service to eye care professionals in Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas. He also held sales and management positions with ABC School Supply Inc., William Wrigley Jr. Company and Gallo/Vintage Wine Company.