The Intel Corporation of Santa Clara, CA, bills itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips by revenue, and has been at the forefront of computer processor development for two decades. Intel has long been involved in developing computer technologies catering to various industrial and consumer sectors, including education. For example, the corporation recently announced a line of tablet and notebook computers tailored to educators that would include many classroom tools and associated digital applications, including a magnifying camera, math and science data analysis programs as well as a thermal probe for measuring temperatures. Although the company had been making progress in developing Internet television technologies, the company recently announced that it had agreed to sell its Intel Media and OnCue TV assets to Verizon Communications for somewhere between $200 million and $500 million.
We’ve visited the research and development produced by this California-based digital technology manufacturer, but as January reaches a close we’ve decided to return this company to focus in our Companies We Follow series. Once again, we’ve collected a great lineup of interesting technologies laid out in patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As always, we’ve done our best to break these particular inventions down and show you just how they might impact your world in the future.
Live music performance broadcast across Internet channels is the focus of today’s featured patent application here at IPWatchdog. Intel is hoping to protect a system that builds off of previous systems of networked music performances to better incorporate audience reactions and build a more inclusive entertainment experience. We’ve also picked up on a couple of user recognition systems, one for improving gesture-based user interfaces and another that enhances facial recognition software for computer security by registering genuine human facial reactions.
Today’s issued patents protect some novel innovations related to the way a computer system can interact with an individual, instead of the other way around. One patent protects a system that can provide advertising content to device users who are offline, while another protects a second facial recognition for computer security technology, this one capable of identifying unknown faces by accessing an image database. We also have some interesting Internet TV technologies that are assigned to Intel today, but may quickly be moving to Verizon.
Performance Analysis for Combining Remote Audience Responses
U.S. Patent Application No. 20140007147
Many people have focused on how the Internet and digital recording technologies have created a huge impact on the music industry in recent years in terms of production and record sales. However, we are in the very early days of another technology that may create an entirely new channel for live music: network-centric music performance.
Also known as networked music performance, these systems allow for musicians or other entertainers to perform for a live audience through an online interface. Although the performer isn’t physically present with the crowd, there have been methods attempting to provide feedback based on audience reaction, even when multiple viewers are watching the playback on different devices. Unfortunately, current methods use rudimentary avatars that don’t provide much genuine reaction. Also, latency times may differ among various devices or computers accessing the live music video or audio stream.
Intel has filed this patent application with the USPTO to protect a system that would be able to provide useful feedback that better incorporates actual audience reactions. Viewer devices are able to record audience reactions through camera and microphone components. Immediate feedback can be provided for vocal responses, such as laughter or cheering, directly to the performer. This feedback can also be forwarded to audience members, who may respond to the social cues from other viewers and further connect with the music performance.
In essence, this could be used to create a system that provides an approximation of a live studio audience for the performance. When the system records audience reaction, it analyzes certain aspects of the reaction to create an average representation of audience feedback using actual visual and audio responses. Digital latency caused by online communications between devices is also reduced by this innovation, which focuses on live streaming for large audiences in a central space. However, audience members experiencing high latency on a single device can still interact with others as the system can still analyze that viewer’s reaction and create a generalized representation of that reaction.
Claim 1 of this Intel Corporation patent application would protect the rights to:
“A method comprising: presenting a performance to a plurality of viewer devices through a remote network connection; receiving an audience response from each of the plurality of viewer devices through the remote network connection during the presentation of the performance; combining audience responses from fast connections into a single stream; abstracting audience responses from slow connections into generalized responses; combining the combined fast connection high and abstracted slow connection audience responses to a single media stream; and sending the combined media stream to each of the plurality of viewer devices during the performance.”
Other Patent Applications
Although they haven’t been officially protected yet by the USPTO, patent applications tend to highlight the future of the research and development goals for a corporation, even if those technologies aren’t yet on the market. Today at IPWatchdog, we’re intrigued by the novelty of not only the above patent application, but a couple of others that feature some innovations that seem far from Intel’s typical semiconductor chip offerings. For example, U.S. Patent Application No. 2014000978, entitled Pool Cleaner with Laser Range Finder System and Method. This application describes methods of improving laser-guided pool cleaners in environments where ambient or natural light can affect laser guide performance. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140011548, which is titled Mobile Device to Operate in Tablet Mode and Phone Mode, also describes a unique form of electronic device with hinges that can be stacked into a phone or folded out into a larger tablet.
Another interesting development is the usage of cameras and other sensors to better detect the presence of a human user. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140009378, titled User Profile Based Gesture Recognition, describes improvements to computer user interfaces that respond to user gesture input. This system can analyze camera images to recognize a user’s identity. These user profiles allow the computer system to log user gestural inputs and respond better to situations where users try to access a command but don’t perform the gesture perfectly. We also noticed U.S. Patent Application No. 20140007224, filed under the title Real Human Detection and Confirmation in Personal Credential Verification. This patent application was filed to protect a system of secure account logins that incorporate facial recognition technologies that determines whether a user is a genuine human through facial response and other means.
Issued Patents of Note
The Intel Corporation is a major developer of semiconductor technologies, and many of its patent holdings from the USPTO reflect this. Recently issued patents assigned to Intel showcase many innovations for the corporation’s line of network interfacing and computer processor technologies.
A few of the issued patents that intrigued us here at IPWatchdog involve new ways of experiencing digital content and sharing files with others. U.S. Patent No. 8635651, entitled Identifying Ancillary Information Associated with an Audio/Video Program, protects a system that provides additional information about television content through a user interface that users can access, such as a foreign language presentation of a current program. U.S. Patent No. 8635638, issued under the title Method of Determining Profiles for Widget Channel Users, protects systems of better incorporating viewer feedback for interactive TV systems. This feedback for a viewer’s interests could be tied to a user profile for better demographic identification. It’s unclear as of this writing whether these technologies will be involved in the sale of Intel’s Internet television technologies to Verizon, although it seems likely. Sharing digital files with others in close physical proximity is a main goal of the system described in U.S. Patent No. 8629850, titled Device, System, and Method of Wireless Transfer of Files. With this innovation, an owner of a touchscreen device can share a stored file with a method that involves swiping the screen with a finger in the direction of the receiving device.
We also took the time to look at a couple of patents that describe novel online and offline digital communications. Facial recognition technologies have been a major focus for many computing and technology developers in recent months, especially among smartphone and mobile device manufacturers, and Intel has beefed up its own intellectual property holdings in that sector with U.S. Patent No. 8625860, titled Adaptive Face Recognition Using Online Learning. This system is capable of analyzing a camera image of an unknown user’s face and determining identity based on image data stored within a computing device. Finally, we took a look at U.S. Patent No. 8621046, which is titled Offline Advertising Services. This system involves a method of downloading advertisement content to a device as part of an application. When a user accesses the application offline, ad content that corresponds to a user’s interest profile.