Multimedia Star Innovator Award Winners

Touradj Ebrahimi, Professor at EPFL, leading Quality of Experience Assessment Solutions and Multimedia Standardization

Rajan Patel, Senior Director at Google, and Aparna Chennapragada,
Google Executive, leading the invention and creation of Google Lens

were named Winners of the World's First Multimedia Star Innovator Award.

Congrats also to the following recipients of the Multimedia Star
Innovator Runner-Up Award:

Achin Bhowmik, Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Chief Technology Officer & Executive Vice President of Engineering, for leading the development and market launch of the world’s first multi-function hearing augmentation
device with embedded sensors and artificial intelligence

Henrique (Rico) Malvar, Chief Scientist at Microsoft, for leading the development of new multimedia interface technologies to
improve the lives of persons with disabilities

Multimedia Star Innovator Award Finalists

July 10, 2019. Voting for Multimedia Star Innovator Award (from 10:00 AM to 5:45PM)


1. Finalists' Innovation Keynote Highlights on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 10:00 to 11:00 (Multimedia Innovation Keynote Highlights)
2. Finalists' Innovation Keynote Presentations on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 15:30 to 17:30 (Multimedia Star Innovator Keynotes)
3. Final Voting at IEEE ICME 2019 on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by 17:45
4. Session Chair: Lina Karam, Arizona State University, USA


Innovation Award Finalists

Achin Bhowmik

Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP Engineering

Starkey Hearing Technologies
For leading the development and market launch of the world's first multi-function hearing augmentation device with embedded sensors and artificial intelligence
Touradj Ebrahimi


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
For Quality of Experience assessment solutions with application to multimedia standardization

Henrique "Rico" S. Malvar

Chief Scientist

Microsoft Research

For new multimedia interface technologies to improve the lives of persons with disabilities

Rajan Patel & Aparna Chennapragada
Senior Director & Vice President


For Google Lens: Search What You See

Innovation Forum Keynotes

Achin Bhowmik
Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP Engineering, Starkey Hearing Technologies

Bio: Dr. Achin Bhowmik is the chief technology officer and executive vice president of engineering at Starkey Hearing Technologies, a privately-held medical devices business with 6,000 employees and operations in over 100 countries worldwide. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company's technology strategy, product development and engineering departments, and is leading the drive to redefine medical wearable devices with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence technologies.

Prior to joining Starkey, Dr. Bhowmik was vice president and general manager of the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel Corporation. There, he was responsible for the R&D, engineering, operations, and businesses in the areas of 3D sensing and interactive computing, computer vision and artificial intelligence, autonomous robots and drones, and immersive virtual and merged reality devices. Previously, he served as the chief of staff of the Personal Computing Group, Intel's largest business unit with >$30B annual revenues in 2010.

As an adjunct professor and guest lecturer, Dr. Bhowmik advises graduate research and teaches courses on human-computer interactions and perceptual computing technologies at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Liquid Crystal Institute of the Kent State University, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

Dr. Bhowmik was elected a Fellow of the Society for Information Display (SID). He serves on the board of advisors for the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley, the executive board for SID, and the board of directors for OpenCV. He also serves on the board of directors and advisors for several technology startup companies. He received the Industrial Distinguished Leader Award from the Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association. He has over 200 publications, including two books and 34 issued patents.

Touradj Ebrahimi
Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Bio: Touradj Ebrahimi received his M.Sc. and Ph.D., both in Electrical Engineering, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1989 and 1992 respectively. In 1993, he was a research engineer at the Corporate Research Laboratories of Sony Corporation in Tokyo, where he conducted research on advanced video compression techniques for storage applications. In 1994, he served as a research consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories working on very low bitrate video coding. He is currently Professor at EPFL heading its Multimedia Signal Processing Group. He is also the Convenor of JPEG standardization Committee. He was also adjunct Professor with the Center of Quantifiable Quality of Service at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)between 2008 and 2012.

Prof. Ebrahimi has been the recipient of various distinctions and awards, such as the IEEE and Swiss national ASE award, the SNF-PROFILE grant for advanced researchers, Four ISO-Certificates for key contributions to MPEG-4 and JPEG 2000, and the best paper award of IEEE Trans. on Consumer Electronics . He became a Fellow of the international society for optical engineering (SPIE) in 2003. Prof. Ebrahimi has initiated more than two dozen National, European and International cooperation projects with leading companies and research institutes around the world. He is a co-founder of Genista SA, a high-tech start-up company in the field of multimedia quality metrics. In 2002, he founded Emitall SA, start-up active in the area of media security and surveillance. In 2005, he founded EMITALL Surveillance SA, a start-up active in the field of privacy and protection. He is or has been associate Editor with various IEEE, SPIE, and EURASIP journals, such as IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, IEEE Trans. on Image Processing, IEEE Trans. on Multimedia, EURASIP Image Communication Journal, EURASIP Journal of Applied Signal Processing, SPIE Optical Engineering Magazine. Prof. Ebrahimi is a member of Scientific Advisory Board of various start-up and established companies in the general field of Information Technology. He has served as Scientific Expert and Evaluator for Research Funding Agencies such as those of European Commission, The Greek Ministry of Development, The Austrian National Foundation for Scientific Research, The Portuguese Science Foundation, as well as a number of Venture Capital Companies active in the field of Information Technologies and Communication Systems. His research interests include still, moving, and 3D image processing and coding, visual information security (rights protection, watermarking, authentication, data integrity, steganography), new media, and human computer interfaces (smart vision, brain computer interface).

He is the author or the co-author of more than 200 research publications, and holds 14 patents. Prof. Ebrahimi is a member of IEEE, SPIE, ACM and IS&T.

Henrique "Rico" S. Malvar
Chief Scientist, Microsoft Research

Bio: Henrique (Rico) Malvar was born in Brazil. He got a PhD from MIT in signal processing in 1986. He joined Microsoft Research in 1997, where he currently is the Chief Scientist. Rico and his teams developed new technologies for multimedia compression used in Windows, Office, Xbox, Skype, and Azure. He contributed to standard formats such as G.722.1 and H.264, and was a main architect for the WMA and JPEG XR formats. He also worked on audio signal enhancement and beamforming technologies, used in Windows, Skype, Kinect, and HoloLens. He has authored or co-authored over 160 technical publications and over 120 issued US patents. He is a Fellow of the IEEEE, and received the Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2002. He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2012.

In 2015, Rico founded the Microsoft Research NExT Enable group, which leverages new multimedia interfaces to develop systems and applications to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The group co-developed, with the Microsoft Windows engineering team, new eye tracking software interfaces and the new Eye Control user interfaces, which allows a person to have full control of a device running Windows 10 using only their eye movements. The group also developed and shipped the Soundscape application, which uses 3D audio to help people with low or no vision to build a mental map of points of interest, as they walk about in the world, without the need to look at screens. The Enable group works closely with NGOs dedicated to accessibility, such as Tam Gleason, the ALS Association, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the Lighthouse for the Blind.

Rajan Patel                        Aparna Chennapragada
Rajan Patel, Senior Director, Google    Aparna C, Vice President, Google

Bio: Rajan Patel is a Senior Director leading Augmented Reality engineering teams. Prior to working on AR, he worked on Google's Search algorithm, leading teams working to improve topicality and freshness of search results.

He received a Ph.D. in from the Biostatistics department at Emory University, where he developed statistical methods to analyze the functional connectivity of the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data.

Aparna Chennapragada is the Vice President of Augmented Reality and Google Lens. She also serves on the board of Capital One.

Aparna previously worked as a Senior Director and Technical Assistant to the CEO of Google, helping drive company-wide product efforts. She also led Google Now, a proactive digital assistant effort, and worked on many areas in Google Search and YouTube over the years. With over 20 years of experience in the tech industry as a computer scientist and product leader, she is excited about the potential of AI and algorithms to build products that improve everyday life.