The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 43 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover an Apple invention that they acquired from PrimeSense; An invention that we briefly introduced back in December 2013. The invention focuses on controlling a television, desktop or iDevice via 3D mapping and gaze controls. Whether Apple will ever be able to advance this technology to work with Apple TV where Microsoft failed with Kinect is a big unknown at this time. Apple could, in a toned down manner, introduce aspects of 3D gesturing for future Macs and/or iDevices, according to the invention.
Granted Patent: Gaze Detection in a 3D Mapping Environment
Apple's newly granted patent generally relates to human-machine interfaces, and interfaces that combine multiple user interaction modalities. More specifically, Apple's invention covers a method including receiving a three-dimensional (3D) map of at least a part of a body of a user of a computerized system, receiving a two dimensional (2D) image of the user, the image including an eye of the user, extracting, from the 3D map and the 2D image, 3D coordinates of a head of the user, and identifying, based on the 3D coordinates of the head and the image of the eye, a direction of a gaze performed by the user.
The granted patent also covers a method including receiving an image including an eye of a user of a computerized system, identifying, based the image of the eye, a direction of a gaze performed by the user, identifying, based on the direction of the gaze, a region on a display coupled to the computerized system, and performing an operation on content presented in the region.
There is additionally provided, a computerized system, multiple interactive items on a display coupled to the computer, receiving, from a sensing device coupled to the computer, an input representing a gaze direction of a user, identifying a target point on the display based on the gaze direction, associating the target point with a first interactive item appearing on the display, and responsively to the target point, opening one or more second interactive items on the display.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below is a schematic, pictorial illustration of a computer system implementing a mixed-modality user interface.
Apple's patent FIGS. 6A-6C noted above are schematic representations illustrating a sequence of operations performed using the gaze operated user interface
Apple's granted patent 9,285,874 was originally filed in Q3 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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