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Publication numberUS20150205566 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 14/185,979
Publication date23 Jul 2015
Filing date21 Feb 2014
Priority date17 Jan 2014
Also published asUS20150205373, US20150205378, US20150205384, US20150205385, US20150205387, US20150205401, US20150205402
Publication number14185979, 185979, US 2015/0205566 A1, US 2015/205566 A1, US 20150205566 A1, US 20150205566A1, US 2015205566 A1, US 2015205566A1, US-A1-20150205566, US-A1-2015205566, US2015/0205566A1, US2015/205566A1, US20150205566 A1, US20150205566A1, US2015205566 A1, US2015205566A1
InventorsRalph F. Osterhout
Original AssigneeOsterhout Group, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
External user interface for head worn computing
US 20150205566 A1
Abstract
Aspects of the present disclosure relate to external user interfaces used in connection with head worn computers (HWC). Embodiments relate to an external user interface that has a physical form intended to be hand held. The hand held user interface may be in the form similar to that of a writing instrument, such as a pen. In embodiments, the hand held user interface includes technologies relating to writing surface tip pressure monitoring, lens configurations setting a predetermined imaging distance, user interface software mode selection, quick software application launching, and other interface technologies.
Images(9)
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Claims(6)
We claim:
1. A device, comprising:
a housing supporting a visual display wherein the visual display communicates with a head-worn computer and the visual display provides an indication of a current application executing on the head-worn computer; and
the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises an IMU to monitor movement of the device, and wherein the movement of the device is used to generate gesture control for a software application operating on the head-worn computer.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises a fitness monitor wherein fitness information is collected and communicated to the head-worn computer for display to the user.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises a quick launch interface adapted to launch, when activated, a predetermined software application on the head-worn computer.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the capacitive touch interface is adapted to communicate control signals to a software application operating on the head-worn computer.
6. A device, comprising:
a strap supporting a visual display wherein the visual display communicates with a head-worn computer and the visual display provides an indication of a current application executing on the head-worn computer; and
the strap being mechanically configured to attach to a watch body and function as a watchband.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of priority to and is a continuation of the following U.S. patent applications, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety:
  • [0002]
    U.S. non-provisional application Ser. No. 14/158,198, entitled External User Interface for Head Worn Computing, filed Jan. 17, 2014.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0004]
    This invention relates to head worn computing. More particularly, this invention relates to external user interfaces related to head worn computing.
  • [0005]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0006]
    Wearable computing systems have been developed and are beginning to be commercialized. Many problems persist in the wearable computing field that need to be resolved to make them meet the demands of the market.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    This Summary introduces certain concepts of head worn computing, and the concepts are further described below in the Detailed Description and/or shown in the Figures. This Summary should not be considered to describe essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor used to determine or limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
  • [0008]
    Aspects of the present invention relate to external user interfaces used in connection with head worn computers (HWC). Embodiments relate to an external user interface that has a physical form intended to be hand held. The hand held user interface may be in the form similar to that of a writing instrument, such as a pen. In embodiments, the hand held user interface includes technologies relating to writing surface tip pressure monitoring, lens configurations setting a predetermined imaging distance, user interface software mode selection, quick software application launching, and other interface technologies.
  • [0009]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise monitoring forces exerted on a writing surface end of a hand-held device over a period of time; identifying a discrete force event during the period of time based on the monitored forces, the discrete force event including a sudden and substantial increase in force; and causing a user interface process to be executed in the event the discrete force event exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  • [0010]
    In embodiments, the hand-held device includes an IMU to determine motion of the hand-held device. The motion may be used to in coordination with an image of a writing surface to determine a stroke pattern. The motion is used to predict a gesture, wherein the gesture is used to control an aspect of a graphical user interface. The motion may cause a selection of a user interface mode.
  • [0011]
    In embodiments, the force is identified using a piezo-electric device. The hand-held device may be in communication with a HWC. The user interface process may include a selection of an item. The user interface process may produces a menu associated with a right-side click. The user interface process may produces a result associated with a double click.
  • [0012]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise monitoring forces exerted on a writing surface end of a hand-held device over a period of time; identifying a discrete force event during the period of time based on the monitored pressures, the discrete pressure event including a sudden and substantial increase in force; and causing a user interface process to be executed in the event the discrete force event substantially matches a predetermined force signature.
  • [0013]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise monitoring forces exerted on a writing surface end of a hand-held device over a period of time; identifying a change in a force trend during the period of time based on the monitored forces; and causing an instrument stroke parameter to be changed in the event the change in the force trend exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  • [0014]
    The instrument stroke parameter may be a line width. The instrument stroke parameter may be a graphical user interface tip type. The event change may occur in the event that the force trend exceeds the predetermined threshold for a predetermined period of time. The event change may occur in the event that the force trend exceeds the predetermined threshold and remains within a predetermined range of the predetermined threshold for a period of time.
  • [0015]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise monitoring forces exerted on a writing surface end of a hand-held device over a period of time; identifying a change in a force trend during the period of time based on the monitored forces; and causing an instrument stroke parameter to be changed in the event the change in the force trend substantially matches a predetermined force trend signature.
  • [0016]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise an outer housing adapted to be hand-held in a writing position, wherein the outer housing includes a writing surface end; the writing surface end including a camera, a ball lens and a positioning system adapted to maintain a predetermined distance between the ball lens and a writing surface substantially independent of a writing angle of the outer housing, wherein the camera images the writing surface through the ball lens; an integrated IMU adapted to monitor the outer housing's motion and to predict, from the outer housing's motion, a movement of the ball lens across the writing surface; and a microprocessor adapted to intake data from the camera and the IMU and determine a written pattern.
  • [0017]
    In embodiments the outer housing is in the shape of a pen. In embodiments, the microprocessor communicates the data to a HWC. In embodiments, the microprocessor communicates the written pattern to a HWC. In embodiments, the microprocessor is further adapted to, following a determination that the outer housing is not in a writing position, capture outer housing motions as gesture control motions for a software application operating on a HWC. In embodiments, the outer housing further containing a positioning system force monitor and wherein the force monitor sends to the microprocessor data indicative of the force being applied on the positioning system. In embodiments, the microprocessor further determines a UI mode of operation for the user interface. In embodiments, the outer housing further comprises a quick launch interface, wherein the quick launch interface, when activated, launches a predetermined software application in a HWC.
  • [0018]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise an outer housing adapted to be hand-held in a writing position, wherein the outer housing includes a writing surface end; the writing surface end including a positioning system adapted to maintain a predetermined distance between an internal lens adapted to view a writing surface and a writing surface, substantially independent of a writing angle of the outer housing; and an IMU adapted to monitor motion of the outer housing, wherein the motion is interpreted as a gesture control for a software application operating on a HWC.
  • [0019]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise an outer housing adapted to be hand-held in a writing position, wherein the outer housing includes a writing surface end; the writing surface end including a positioning system adapted to maintain a predetermined distance between an internal lens adapted to view a writing surface and a writing surface, substantially independent of a writing angle of the outer housing; and a force monitoring system adapted to monitor a force applied at the writing surface end, wherein the monitored force applied will cause a graphical user interface operation change.
  • [0020]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a hand-held housing including a surface-interaction end and an IMU, wherein the IMU monitors a position of the hand-held housing; and causing the user interface to change its interface mode based on a comparison of the position with a predetermined position threshold.
  • [0021]
    In embodiments, the surface-interaction end includes an optical system adapted to capture images from a writing surface. In embodiments, the images are processed to determine a writing pattern. In embodiments, the surface-interaction end includes a force monitor adapted to monitor force applied to the surface-interaction end. In embodiments, the change in interface mode is from a mouse to a wand. In embodiments, the change in interface mode is from a pen to a wand. In embodiments, the predetermined position threshold is one of a plurality of predetermined position thresholds. In embodiments, the comparison predicts that the hand-held housing is in a writing position. In embodiments, the comparison predicts that the hand-held housing is in a wand position.
  • [0022]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise automatically collecting contextual information relating to a pen position; comparing the contextual information to a predetermined indication of user intent; and in response to a substantial match between the contextual information and the predetermined indication, changing a user interface function associated with the pen.
  • [0023]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a hand-held housing including a surface-interaction end including and an optical system adapted to image a writing surface; and causing the optical pen to change its interface mode to a writing interface mode when the optical system detects a writing surface within close proximity to the surface-interaction end.
  • [0024]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a hand-held housing including a user interface mode selection interface; and causing the system, upon activation of the user interface mode selection interface, to cause a HWC to launch a software application and to select a user interface mode for the optical pen that is adapted to interoperate with the software application. The systems, methods and computer processes may be embodied as an optical pen.
  • [0025]
    In embodiments, the software application is a communication application and the selected user interface mode is a writing mode. In embodiments, the communication application is an email application. In embodiments, the communication application is a messaging application. In embodiments, the communication application is a texting application. In embodiments, the software application is a note application and the selected user interface mode is a writing mode. In embodiments, the software application is a social networking application and the selected user interface mode is a writing mode. In embodiments, the software application is a social networking application and the selected user interface mode is a wand mode.
  • [0026]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise receiving, at a hand-held user interface, an indication that a quick application launch button has been activated; launching a predetermined application that correlates with the launch button settings; and causing the hand-held user interface to activate a predetermined user interface mode in accordance with the predetermined application.
  • [0027]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise receiving, at a hand-held user interface, an indication that a quick application launch button has been activated; presenting, in a display of a head-worn computer, a plurality of applications; and causing, upon receipt of a selection command at the hand-held user interface, the head-worn computer to launch an application from the plurality of applications.
  • [0028]
    In embodiments, the selection command is based on a force monitor at a writing surface end of the hand-held user interface. In embodiments, the hand-held user interface operates in a wand mode following the activation of the application launch button. In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise the hand-held user interface operates in a mouse mode following the activation of the application launch button, wherein the hand-held user interface images a writing surface to provide an indication of desired cursor movement.
  • [0029]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting a quick application launch interface and a capacitive touch interface, wherein both the quick application launch interface and the capacitive touch interface are in communication with a head-worn computer; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
  • [0030]
    In embodiments, the device further comprises an IMU to monitor movement of the device, and wherein the movement of the device is used to generate gesture control for a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the device further comprises a display, wherein the display provides information relating to a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the device further comprises a display, wherein the display provides information relating to the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the device further comprises a fitness monitor wherein fitness information is collected and communicated to the head-worn computer for display to the user. In embodiments, the capacitive touch interface is adapted to communicate control signals to a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the device further comprises a quick launch interface adapted to launch, when activated, a predetermined software application on the head-worn computer.
  • [0031]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting a quick application launch interface and a capacitive touch interface, wherein both the quick application launch interface and the capacitive touch interface are in communication with a head-worn computer; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband, the watchband clip being further adapted to rotate with respect to the watchband.
  • [0032]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a strap supporting a quick application launch interface and a capacitive touch interface, wherein both the quick application launch interface and the capacitive touch interface are in communication with a head-worn computer; and the strap being mechanically configured to attach to a watch body and function as a watchband.
  • [0033]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting an IMU wherein motion measurements from the IMU are communicated to a head-worn computer and interpreted for gesture control of a GUI of the head-worn computer; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
  • [0034]
    In embodiments, the system further comprises a display, wherein the display provides information relating to a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the system further comprises a display, wherein the display provides information relating to the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the system further comprises a fitness monitor wherein fitness information is collected and communicated to the head-worn computer for display to the user. In embodiments, the system further comprise a capacitive touch interface, wherein the capacitive touch interface is adapted to communicate control signals to a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the system further comprises a quick launch interface adapted to launch, when activated, a predetermined software application on the head-worn computer.
  • [0035]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a strap supporting an IMU wherein rotational measurements from the IMU are communicated to a head-worn computer and interpreted for gesture control of a graphical user interface operating on the head-worn computer; and the strap being mechanically configured to attach to a watch body and function as a watchband.
  • [0036]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting visual display wherein the visual display communicates with a head-worn computer and the visual display provides an indication of a current application executing on the head-worn computer; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
  • [0037]
    In embodiments, the system further comprises an IMU to monitor movement of the device, and wherein the movement of the device is used to generate gesture control for a software application operating on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the system further comprises a fitness monitor wherein fitness information is collected and communicated to the head-worn computer for display to the user. In embodiments, the system further comprises a quick launch interface adapted to launch, when activated, a predetermined software application on the head-worn computer. In embodiments, the capacitive touch interface is adapted to communicate control signals to a software application operating on the head-worn computer.
  • [0038]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a strap supporting visual display wherein the visual display communicates with a head-worn computer and the visual display provides an indication of a current application executing on the head-worn computer; and the strap being mechanically configured to attach to a watch body and function as a watchband.
  • [0039]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting a personal performance monitoring sensor the sensor adapted to communicate performance data to an HWC; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
  • [0040]
    In embodiments, the system further comprises a HWC user interface for controlling an aspect of a software application operating on the HWC. In embodiments, the system further comprises an IMU for monitoring motion of the device, wherein the motion is interpreted a gesture control command for controlling an aspect of a software application operating on a HWC. In embodiments, the system further comprises a display that displays information relating to a software application operating on a HWC. In embodiments, the system further comprises a display that displays information relating to the performance data. In embodiments, the system further comprises a quick launch interface adapted to launch a predetermined software application on the HWC.
  • [0041]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a strap supporting a personal performance monitoring sensor the sensor adapted to communicate performance data to a head-worn computer; and the strap being mechanically configured to attach to a watch body and function as a watchband.
  • [0042]
    In embodiments, systems, methods and computer processes comprise a housing supporting a personal performance monitoring sensor the sensor adapted to monitor a human performance condition of a wearer of the device; and the housing being mechanically connected to a watchband clip, the watchband clip adapted to be removably and replaceably attached to a watchband.
  • [0043]
    These and other systems, methods, objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment and the drawings. All documents mentioned herein are hereby incorporated in their entirety by reference.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0044]
    Embodiments are described with reference to the following Figures. The same numbers may be used throughout to reference like features and components that are shown in the Figures:
  • [0045]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a head worn computing system in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 2 illustrates an external user interface in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0047]
    FIGS. 3 a to 3 c illustrate distance control systems in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0048]
    FIGS. 4 a to 4 c illustrate force interpretation systems in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0049]
    FIGS. 5 a to 5 c illustrate user interface mode selection systems in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 6 illustrates interaction systems in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 7 illustrates external user interfaces in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • [0052]
    While the invention has been described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art and are encompassed herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • [0053]
    Aspects of the present invention relate to head-worn computing (“HWC”) systems. HWC involves, in some instances, a system that mimics the appearance of head-worn glasses or sunglasses. The glasses may be a fully developed computing platform, such as including computer displays presented in each of the lenses of the glasses to the eyes of the user. In embodiments, the lenses and displays may be configured to allow a person wearing the glasses to see the environment through the lenses while also seeing, simultaneously, digital imagery, which forms an overlaid image that is perceived by the person as a digitally augmented image of the environment, or augmented reality (“AR”).
  • [0054]
    HWC involves more than just placing a computing system on a person's head. The system may need to be designed as a lightweight, compact and fully functional computer display, such as wherein the computer display includes a high resolution digital display that provides a high level of emersion comprised of the displayed digital content and the see-through view of the environmental surroundings. User interfaces and control systems suited to the HWC device may be required that are unlike those used for a more conventional computer such as a laptop. For the HWC and associated systems to be most effective, the glasses may be equipped with sensors to determine environmental conditions, geographic location, relative positioning to other points of interest, objects identified by imaging and movement by the user or other users in a connected group, and the like. The HWC may then change the mode of operation to match the conditions, location, positioning, movements, and the like, in a method generally referred to as a contextually aware HWC. The glasses also may need to be connected, wirelessly or otherwise, to other systems either locally or through a network. Controlling the glasses may be achieved through the use of an external device, automatically through contextually gathered information, through user gestures captured by the glasses sensors, and the like. Each technique may be further refined depending on the software application being used in the glasses. The glasses may further be used to control or coordinate with external devices that are associated with the glasses.
  • [0055]
    Referring to FIG. 1, an overview of the HWC system 100 is presented. As shown, the HWC system 100 comprises a HWC 102, which in this instance is configured as glasses to be worn on the head with sensors such that the HWC 102 is aware of the objects and conditions in the environment 114. In this instance, the HWC 102 also receives and interprets control inputs such as gestures and movements 116. The HWC 102 may communicate with external user interfaces 104. The external user interfaces 104 may provide a physical user interface to take control instructions from a user of the HWC 102 and the external user interfaces 104 and the HWC 102 may communicate bi-directionally to affect the user's command and provide feedback to the external device 108. The HWC 102 may also communicate bi-directionally with externally controlled or coordinated local devices 108. For example, an external user interface 104 may be used in connection with the HWC 102 to control an externally controlled or coordinated local device 108. The externally controlled or coordinated local device 108 may provide feedback to the HWC 102 and a customized GUI may be presented in the HWC 102 based on the type of device or specifically identified device 108. The HWC 102 may also interact with remote devices and information sources 112 through a network connection 110. Again, the external user interface 104 may be used in connection with the HWC 102 to control or otherwise interact with any of the remote devices 108 and information sources 112 in a similar way as when the external user interfaces 104 are used to control or otherwise interact with the externally controlled or coordinated local devices 108. Similarly, HWC 102 may interpret gestures 116 (e.g. captured from forward, downward, upward, rearward facing sensors such as camera(s), range finders, IR sensors, etc.) or environmental conditions sensed in the environment 114 to control either local or remote devices 108 or 112.
  • [0056]
    We will now describe each of the main elements depicted on FIG. 1 in more detail; however, these descriptions are intended to provide general guidance and should not be construed as limiting. Additional description of each element may also be further described herein.
  • [0057]
    The HWC 102 is a computing platform intended to be worn on a person's head. The HWC 102 may take many different forms to fit many different functional requirements. In some situations, the HWC 102 will be designed in the form of conventional glasses. The glasses may or may not have active computer graphics displays. In situations where the HWC 102 has integrated computer displays the displays may be configured as see-through displays such that the digital imagery can be overlaid with respect to the user's view of the environment 114. There are a number of see-through optical designs that may be used, including ones that have a reflective display (e.g. LCoS, DLP), emissive displays (e.g. OLED, LED), hologram, TIR waveguides, and the like. In addition, the optical configuration may be monocular or binocular. It may also include vision corrective optical components. In embodiments, the optics may be packaged as contact lenses. In other embodiments, the HWC 102 may be in the form of a helmet with a see-through shield, sunglasses, safety glasses, goggles, a mask, fire helmet with see-through shield, police helmet with see through shield, military helmet with see-through shield, utility form customized to a certain work task (e.g. inventory control, logistics, repair, maintenance, etc.), and the like.
  • [0058]
    The HWC 102 may also have a number of integrated computing facilities, such as an integrated processor, integrated power management, communication structures (e.g. cell net, WiFi, Bluetooth, local area connections, mesh connections, remote connections (e.g. client server, etc.)), and the like. The HWC 102 may also have a number of positional awareness sensors, such as GPS, electronic compass, altimeter, tilt sensor, IMU, and the like. It may also have other sensors such as a camera, rangefinder, hyper-spectral camera, Geiger counter, microphone, spectral illumination detector, temperature sensor, chemical sensor, biologic sensor, moisture sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and the like.
  • [0059]
    The HWC 102 may also have integrated control technologies. The integrated control technologies may be contextual based control, passive control, active control, user control, and the like. For example, the HWC 102 may have an integrated sensor (e.g. camera) that captures user hand or body gestures 116 such that the integrated processing system can interpret the gestures and generate control commands for the HWC 102. In another example, the HWC 102 may have sensors that detect movement (e.g. a nod, head shake, and the like) including accelerometers, gyros and other inertial measurements, where the integrated processor may interpret the movement and generate a control command in response. The HWC 102 may also automatically control itself based on measured or perceived environmental conditions. For example, if it is bright in the environment the HWC 102 may increase the brightness or contrast of the displayed image. In embodiments, the integrated control technologies may be mounted on the HWC 102 such that a user can interact with it directly. For example, the HWC 102 may have a button(s), touch capacitive interface, and the like.
  • [0060]
    As described herein, the HWC 102 may be in communication with external user interfaces 104. The external user interfaces may come in many different forms. For example, a cell phone screen may be adapted to take user input for control of an aspect of the HWC 102. The external user interface may be a dedicated UI, such as a keyboard, touch surface, button(s), joy stick, and the like. In embodiments, the external controller may be integrated into another device such as a ring, watch, bike, car, and the like. In each case, the external user interface 104 may include sensors (e.g. IMU, accelerometers, compass, altimeter, and the like) to provide additional input for controlling the HWD 104.
  • [0061]
    As described herein, the HWC 102 may control or coordinate with other local devices 108. The external devices 108 may be an audio device, visual device, vehicle, cell phone, computer, and the like. For instance, the local external device 108 may be another HWC 102, where information may then be exchanged between the separate HWCs 108.
  • [0062]
    Similar to the way the HWC 102 may control or coordinate with local devices 106, the HWC 102 may control or coordinate with remote devices 112, such as the HWC 102 communicating with the remote devices 112 through a network 110. Again, the form of the remote device 112 may have many forms. Included in these forms is another HWC 102. For example, each HWC 102 may communicate its GPS position such that all the HWCs 102 know where all of HWC 102 are located.
  • [0063]
    Referring to FIG. 2, we now turn to describe a particular external user interface 104, referred to generally as a pen 200. The pen 200 is a specially designed external user interface 104 and can operate as a user interface, such as to many different styles of HWC 102. The pen 200 generally follows the form of a conventional pen, which is a familiar user handled device and creates an intuitive physical interface for many of the operations to be carried out in the HWC system 100. The pen 200 may be one of several user interfaces 104 used in connection with controlling operations within the HWC system 100. For example, the HWC 102 may watch for and interpret hand gestures 116 as control signals, where the pen 200 may also be used as a user interface with the same HWC 102. Similarly, a remote keyboard may be used as an external user interface 104 in concert with the pen 200. The combination of user interfaces or the use of just one control system generally depends on the operation(s) being executed in the HWC's system 100.
  • [0064]
    While the pen 200 may follow the general form of a conventional pen, it contains numerous technologies that enable it to function as an external user interface 104. FIG. 2 illustrate technologies comprised in the pen 200. As can be seen, the pen 200 may include a camera 208, which is arranged to view through lens 202. The camera may then be focused, such as through lens 202, to image a surface upon which a user is writing or making other movements to interact with the HWC 102. There are situations where the pen 200 will also have an ink, graphite, or other system such that what is being written can be seen on the writing surface. There are other situations where the pen 200 does not have such a physical writing system so there is no deposit on the writing surface, where the pen would only be communicating data or commands to the HWC 102. The lens configuration is described in greater detail herein. The function of the camera is to capture information from an unstructured writing surface such that pen strokes can be interpreted as intended by the user. To assist in the predication of the intended stroke path, the pen 200 may include a sensor, such as an IMU 212. Of course, the IMU could be included in the pen 200 in its separate parts (e.g. gyro, accelerometer, etc.) or an IMU could be included as a single unit. In this instance, the IMU 212 is used to measure and predict the motion of the pen 200. In turn, the integrated microprocessor 210 would take the IMU information and camera information as inputs and process the information to form a prediction of the pen tip movement.
  • [0065]
    The pen 200 may also include a pressure monitoring system 204, such as to measure the pressure exerted on the lens 202. As will be described in greater herein, the pressure measurement can be used to predict the user's intention for changing the weight of a line, type of a line, type of brush, click, double click, and the like. In embodiments, the pressure sensor may be constructed using any force or pressure measurement sensor located behind the lens 202, including for example, a resistive sensor, a current sensor, a capacitive sensor, a voltage sensor such as a piezoelectric sensor, and the like.
  • [0066]
    The pen 200 may also include a communications module 218, such as for bi-directional communication with the HWC 102. In embodiments, the communications module 218 may be a short distance communication module (e.g. Bluetooth). The communications module 218 may be security matched to the HWC 102. The communications module 218 may be arranged to communicate data and commands to and from the microprocessor 210 of the pen 200. The microprocessor 210 may be programmed to interpret data generated from the camera 208, IMU 212, and pressure sensor 204, and the like, and then pass a command onto the HWC 102 through the communications module 218, for example. In another embodiment, the data collected from any of the input sources (e.g. camera 108, IMU 212, pressure sensor 104) by the microprocessor may be communicated by the communication module 218 to the HWC 102, and the HWC 102 may perform data processing and prediction of the user's intention when using the pen 200. In yet another embodiment, the data may be further passed on through a network 110 to a remote device 112, such as a server, for the data processing and prediction. The commands may then be communicated back to the HWC 102 for execution (e.g. display writing in the glasses display, make a selection within the UI of the glasses display, control a remote external device 112, control a local external device 108), and the like. The pen may also include memory 214 for long or short term uses.
  • [0067]
    The pen 200 may also include a number of physical user interfaces, such as quick launch buttons 222, a touch sensor 220, and the like. The quick launch buttons 222 may be adapted to provide the user with a fast way of jumping to a software application in the HWC system 100. For example, the user may be a frequent user of communication software packages (e.g. email, text, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and the like), and the user may program a quick launch button 222 to command the HWC 102 to launch an application. The pen 200 may be provided with several quick launch buttons 222, which may be user programmable or factory programmable. The quick launch button 222 may be programmed to perform an operation. For example, one of the buttons may be programmed to clear the digital display of the HWC 102. This would create a fast way for the user to clear the screens on the HWC 102 for any reason, such as for example to better view the environment. The quick launch button functionality will be discussed in further detail below. The touch sensor 220 may be used to take gesture style input from the user. For example, the user may be able to take a single finger and run it across the touch sensor 220 to affect a page scroll.
  • [0068]
    The pen 200 may also include a laser pointer 224. The laser pointer 224 may be coordinated with the IMU 212 to coordinate gestures and laser pointing. For example, a user may use the laser 224 in a presentation to help with guiding the audience with the interpretation of graphics and the IMU 212 may, either simultaneously or when the laser 224 is off, interpret the user's gestures as commands or data input.
  • [0069]
    FIGS. 3A-C illustrate several embodiments of lens and camera arrangements 300 for the pen 200. One aspect relates to maintaining a constant distance between the camera and the writing surface to enable the writing surface to be kept in focus for better tracking of movements of the pen 200 over the writing surface. Another aspect relates to maintaining an angled surface following the circumference of the writing tip of the pen 200 such that the pen 200 can be rolled or partially rolled in the user's hand to create the feel and freedom of a conventional writing instrument.
  • [0070]
    FIG. 3A illustrates an embodiment of the writing lens end of the pen 200. The configuration includes a ball lens 304, a camera or image capture surface 302, and a domed cover lens 308. In this arrangement, the camera views the writing surface through the ball lens 304 and dome cover lens 308. The ball lens 304 causes the camera to focus such that the camera views the writing surface when the pen 200 is held in the hand in a natural writing position, such as with the pen 200 in contact with a writing surface. In embodiments, the ball lens 304 should be separated from the writing surface to obtain the highest resolution of the writing surface at the camera 302. In embodiments, the ball lens 304 is separated by approximately 1 to 3 mm. In this configuration, the domed cover lens 308 provides a surface that can keep the ball lens 304 separated from the writing surface at a constant distance, such as substantially independent of the angle used to write on the writing surface. For instance, in embodiments the field of view of the camera in this arrangement would be approximately 60 degrees.
  • [0071]
    The domed cover lens, or other lens 308 used to physically interact with the writing surface, will be transparent or transmissive within the active bandwidth of the camera 302. In embodiments, the domed cover lens 308 may be spherical or other shape and comprised of glass, plastic, sapphire, diamond, and the like. In other embodiments where low resolution imaging of the surface is acceptable. The pen 200 can omit the domed cover lens 308 and the ball lens 304 can be in direct contact with the surface.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 3B illustrates another structure where the construction is somewhat similar to that described in connection with FIG. 3A; however this embodiment does not use a dome cover lens 308, but instead uses a spacer 310 to maintain a predictable distance between the ball lens 304 and the writing surface, wherein the spacer may be spherical, cylindrical, tubular or other shape that provides spacing while allowing for an image to be obtained by the camera 302 through the lens 304. In a preferred embodiment, the spacer 310 is transparent. In addition, while the spacer 310 is shown as spherical, other shapes such a an oval, doughnut shape, half sphere, cone, cylinder or other form may be used.
  • [0073]
    FIG. 3C illustrates yet another embodiment, where the structure includes a post 314, such as running through the center of the lensed end of the pen 200. The post 314 may be an ink deposition system (e.g. ink cartridge), graphite deposition system (e.g. graphite holder), or a dummy post whose purpose is mainly only that of alignment. The selection of the post type is dependent on the pen's use. For instance, in the event the user wants to use the pen 200 as a conventional ink depositing pen as well as a fully functional external user interface 104, the ink system post would be the best selection. If there is no need for the ‘writing’ to be visible on the writing surface, the selection would be the dummy post. The embodiment of FIG. 3C includes camera(s) 302 and an associated lens 312, where the camera 302 and lens 312 are positioned to capture the writing surface without substantial interference from the post 314. In embodiments, the pen 200 may include multiple cameras 302 and lenses 312 such that more or all of the circumference of the tip 314 can be used as an input system. In an embodiment, the pen 200 includes a contoured grip that keeps the pen aligned in the user's hand so that the camera 302 and lens 312 remains pointed at the surface.
  • [0074]
    Another aspect of the pen 200 relates to sensing the force applied by the user to the writing surface with the pen 200. The force measurement may be used in a number of ways. For example, the force measurement may be used as a discrete value, or discontinuous event tracking, and compared against a threshold in a process to determine a user's intent. The user may want the force interpreted as a ‘click’ in the selection of an object, for instance. The user may intend multiple force exertions interpreted as multiple clicks. There may be times when the user holds the pen 200 in a certain position or holds a certain portion of the pen 200 (e.g. a button or touch pad) while clicking to affect a certain operation (e.g. a ‘right click’). In embodiments, the force measurement may be used to track force and force trends. The force trends may be tracked and compared to threshold limits, for example. There may be one such threshold limit, multiple limits, groups of related limits, and the like. For example, when the force measurement indicates a fairly constant force that generally falls within a range of related threshold values, the microprocessor 210 may interpret the force trend as an indication that the user desires to maintain the current writing style, writing tip type, line weight, brush type, and the like. In the event that the force trend appears to have gone outside of a set of threshold values intentionally, the microprocessor may interpret the action as an indication that the user wants to change the current writing style, writing tip type, line weight, brush type, and the like. Once the microprocessor has made a determination of the user's intent, a change in the current writing style, writing tip type, line weight, brush type, and the like, may be executed. In embodiments, the change may be noted to the user (e.g. in a display of the HWC 102), and the user may be presented with an opportunity to accept the change.
  • [0075]
    FIG. 4A illustrates an embodiment of a force sensing surface tip 400 of a pen 200. The force sensing surface tip 400 comprises a surface connection tip 402 (e.g. a lens as described herein elsewhere) in connection with a force or pressure monitoring system 204. As a user uses the pen 200 to write on a surface or simulate writing on a surface the force monitoring system 204 measures the force or pressure the user applies to the writing surface and the force monitoring system communicates data to the microprocessor 210 for processing. In this configuration, the microprocessor 210 receives force data from the force monitoring system 204 and processes the data to make predictions of the user's intent in applying the particular force that is currently being applied. In embodiments, the processing may be provided at a location other than on the pen (e.g. at a server in the HWC system 100, on the HWC 102). For clarity, when reference is made herein to processing information on the microprocessor 210, the processing of information contemplates processing the information at a location other than on the pen. The microprocessor 210 may be programmed with force threshold(s), force signature(s), force signature library and/or other characteristics intended to guide an inference program in determining the user's intentions based on the measured force or pressure. The microprocessor 210 may be further programmed to make inferences from the force measurements as to whether the user has attempted to initiate a discrete action (e.g. a user interface selection ‘click’) or is performing a constant action (e.g. writing within a particular writing style). The inferencing process is important as it causes the pen 200 to act as an intuitive external user interface 104.
  • [0076]
    FIG. 4B illustrates a force 408 versus time 410 trend chart with a single threshold 418. The threshold 418 may be set at a level that indicates a discrete force exertion indicative of a user's desire to cause an action (e.g. select an object in a GUI). Event 412, for example, may be interpreted as a click or selection command because the force quickly increased from below the threshold 418 to above the threshold 418. The event 414 may be interpreted as a double click because the force quickly increased above the threshold 418, decreased below the threshold 418 and then essentially repeated quickly. The user may also cause the force to go above the threshold 418 and hold for a period indicating that the user is intending to select an object in the GUI (e.g. a GUI presented in the display of the HWC 102) and ‘hold’ for a further operation (e.g. moving the object).
  • [0077]
    While a threshold value may be used to assist in the interpretation of the user's intention, a signature force event trend may also be used. The threshold and signature may be used in combination or either method may be used alone. For example, a single-click signature may be represented by a certain force trend signature or set of signatures. The single-click signature(s) may require that the trend meet a criteria of a rise time between x any y values, a hold time of between a and b values and a fall time of between c and d values, for example. Signatures may be stored for a variety of functions such as click, double click, right click, hold, move, etc. The microprocessor 210 may compare the real-time force or pressure tracking against the signatures from a signature library to make a decision and issue a command to the software application executing in the GUI.
  • [0078]
    FIG. 4C illustrates a force 408 versus time 410 trend chart with multiple thresholds 418. By way of example, the force trend is plotted on the chart with several pen force or pressure events. As noted, there are both presumably intentional events 420 and presumably non-intentional events 422. The two thresholds 418 of FIG. 4C create three zones of force: a lower, middle and higher range. The beginning of the trend indicates that the user is placing a lower zone amount of force. This may mean that the user is writing with a given line weight and does not intend to change the weight, the user is writing. Then the trend shows a significant increase 420 in force into the middle force range. This force change appears, from the trend to have been sudden and thereafter it is sustained. The microprocessor 210 may interpret this as an intentional change and as a result change the operation in accordance with preset rules (e.g. change line width, increase line weight, etc.). The trend then continues with a second apparently intentional event 420 into the higher-force range. During the performance in the higher-force range, the force dips below the upper threshold 418. This may indicate an unintentional force change and the microprocessor may detect the change in range however not affect a change in the operations being coordinated by the pen 200. As indicated above, the trend analysis may be done with thresholds and/or signatures.
  • [0079]
    Generally, in the present disclosure, instrument stroke parameter changes may be referred to as a change in line type, line weight, tip type, brush type, brush width, brush pressure, color, and other forms of writing, coloring, painting, and the like.
  • [0080]
    Another aspect of the pen 200 relates to selecting an operating mode for the pen 200 dependent on contextual information and/or selection interface(s). The pen 200 may have several operating modes. For instance, the pen 200 may have a writing mode where the user interface(s) of the pen 200 (e.g. the writing surface end, quick launch buttons 222, touch sensor 220, motion based gesture, and the like) is optimized or selected for tasks associated with writing. As another example, the pen 200 may have a wand mode where the user interface(s) of the pen is optimized or selected for tasks associated with software or device control (e.g. the HWC 102, external local device, remote device 112, and the like). The pen 200, by way of another example, may have a presentation mode where the user interface(s) is optimized or selected to assist a user with giving a presentation (e.g. pointing with the laser pointer 224 while using the button(s) 222 and/or gestures to control the presentation or applications relating to the presentation). The pen may, for example, have a mode that is optimized or selected for a particular device that a user is attempting to control. The pen 200 may have a number of other modes and an aspect of the present invention relates to selecting such modes.
  • [0081]
    FIG. 5A illustrates an automatic user interface(s) mode selection based on contextual information. The microprocessor 210 may be programmed with IMU thresholds 514 and 512. The thresholds 514 and 512 may be used as indications of upper and lower bounds of an angle 504 and 502 of the pen 200 for certain expected positions during certain predicted modes. When the microprocessor 210 determines that the pen 200 is being held or otherwise positioned within angles 502 corresponding to writing thresholds 514, for example, the microprocessor 210 may then institute a writing mode for the pen's user interfaces. Similarly, if the microprocessor 210 determines (e.g. through the IMU 212) that the pen is being held at an angle 504 that falls between the predetermined wand thresholds 512, the microprocessor may institute a wand mode for the pen's user interface. Both of these examples may be referred to as context based user interface mode selection as the mode selection is based on contextual information (e.g. position) collected automatically and then used through an automatic evaluation process to automatically select the pen's user interface(s) mode.
  • [0082]
    As with other examples presented herein, the microprocessor 210 may monitor the contextual trend (e.g. the angle of the pen over time) in an effort to decide whether to stay in a mode or change modes. For example, through signatures, thresholds, trend analysis, and the like, the microprocessor may determine that a change is an unintentional change and therefore no user interface mode change is desired.
  • [0083]
    FIG. 5B illustrates an automatic user interface(s) mode selection based on contextual information. In this example, the pen 200 is monitoring (e.g. through its microprocessor) whether or not the camera at the writing surface end 208 is imaging a writing surface in close proximity to the writing surface end of the pen 200. If the pen 200 determines that a writing surface is within a predetermined relatively short distance, the pen 200 may decide that a writing surface is present 502 and the pen may go into a writing mode user inteface(s) mode. In the event that the pen 200 does not detect a relatively close writing surface 504, the pen may predict that the pen is not currently being used to as a writing instrument and the pen may go into a non-writing user interface(s) mode.
  • [0084]
    FIG. 5C illustrates a manual user interface(s) mode selection. The user interface(s) mode may be selected based on a twist of a section 508 of the pen 200 housing, clicking an end button 510, pressing a quick launch button 222, interacting with touch sensor 220, detecting a predetermined action at the pressure monitoring system (e.g. a click), detecting a gesture (e.g. detected by the IMU), etc. The manual mode selection may involve selecting an item in a GUI associated with the pen 200 (e.g. an image presented in the display of HWC 102).
  • [0085]
    In embodiments, a confirmation selection may be presented to the user in the event a mode is going to change. The presentation may be physical (e.g. a vibration in the pen 200), through a GUI, through a light indicator, etc.
  • [0086]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a couple pen use-scenarios 600 and 601. There are many use scenarios and we have presented a couple in connection with FIG. 6 as a way of illustrating use scenarios to further the understanding of the reader. As such, the use-scenarios should be considered illustrative and non-limiting.
  • [0087]
    Use scenario 600 is a writing scenario where the pen 200 is used as a writing instrument. In this example, quick launch button 122A is pressed to launch a note application 610 in the GUI 608 of the HWC 102 display 604. Once the quick launch button 122A is pressed, the HWC 102 launches the note program 610 and puts the pen into a writing mode. The user uses the pen 200 to scribe symbols 602 on a writing surface, the pen records the scribing and transmits the scribing to the HWC 102 where symbols representing the scribing are displayed 612 within the note application 610.
  • [0088]
    Use scenario 601 is a gesture scenario where the pen 200 is used as a gesture capture and command device. In this example, the quick launch button 122B is activated and the pen 200 activates a wand mode such that an application launched on the HWC 102 can be controlled. Here, the user sees an application chooser 618 in the display(s) of the HWC 102 where different software applications can be chosen by the user. The user gestures (e.g. swipes, spins, turns, etc.) with the pen to cause the application chooser 618 to move from application to application. Once the correct application is identified (e.g. highlighted) in the chooser 618, the user may gesture or click or otherwise interact with the pen 200 such that the identified application is selected and launched. Once an application is launched, the wand mode may be used to scroll, rotate, change applications, select items, initiate processes, and the like, for example.
  • [0089]
    In an embodiment, the quick launch button 122A may be activated and the HWC 102 may launch an application chooser presenting to the user a set of applications. For example, the quick launch button may launch a chooser to show all communication programs (e.g. SMS, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, etc.) available for selection such that the user can select the program the user wants and then go into a writing mode. By way of further example, the launcher may bring up selections for various other groups that are related or categorized as generally being selected at a given time (e.g. Microsoft Office products, communication products, productivity products, note products, organizational products, and the like)
  • [0090]
    FIG. 7 illustrates yet another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 700 illustrates a watchband clip on controller 700. The watchband clip on controller may be a controller used to control the HWC 102 or devices in the HWC system 100. The watchband clip on controller 700 has a fastener 718 (e.g. rotatable clip) that is mechanically adapted to attach to a watchband, as illustrated at 704.
  • [0091]
    The watchband controller 700 may have quick launch interfaces 708 (e.g. to launch applications and choosers as described herein), a touch pad 714 (e.g. to be used as a touch style mouse for GUI control in a HWC 102 display) and a display 712. The clip 718 may be adapted to fit a wide range of watchbands so it can be used in connection with a watch that is independently selected for its function. The clip, in embodiments, is rotatable such that a user can position it in a desirable manner. In embodiments the clip may be a flexible strap. In embodiments, the flexible strap may be adapted to be stretched to attach to a hand, wrist, finger, device, weapon, and the like.
  • [0092]
    In embodiments, the watchband controller may be configured as a removable and replacable watchband. For example, the controller may be incorporated into a band with a certain width, segment spacing's, etc. such that the watchband, with its incorporated controller, can be attached to a watch body. The attachment, in embodiments, may be mechanically adapted to attach with a pin upon which the watchband rotates. In embodiments, the watchband controller may be electrically connected to the watch and/or watch body such that the watch, watch body and/or the watchband controller can communicate data between them.
  • [0093]
    The watchband controller may have 3-axis motion monitoring (e.g. through an IMU, accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, etc.) to capture user motion. The user motion may then be interpreted for gesture control.
  • [0094]
    In embodiments, the watchband controller may comprise fitness sensors and a fitness computer. The sensors may track heart rate, calories burned, strides, distance covered, and the like. The data may then be compared against performance goals and/or standards for user feedback.
  • [0095]
    Although embodiments of HWC have been described in language specific to features, systems, computer processes and/or methods, the appended claims are not necessarily limited to the specific features, systems, computer processes and/or methods described. Rather, the specific features, systems, computer processes and/or and methods are disclosed as non-limited example implementations of HWC. All documents referenced herein are hereby incorporated by reference.
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Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
18 Jun 2014ASAssignment
Owner name: OSTERHOUT GROUP, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OSTERHOUT, RALPH F.;REEL/FRAME:033133/0638
Effective date: 20140617