Intel Patent Apps Show Security Focus with Real-Time Facial Detection and Radio Frequency Tracking

By Steve Brachmann
December 29, 2014

The Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) of Santa Clara, CA, is a world leader in the development of semiconductor chips and microprocessors for a wide variety of computing devices. After building a commanding industry lead in computers and laptops, and then losing much of the smartphone sector to Qualcomm, Intel has recently been trying to create a line of semiconductor products optimized for wearables; the company has also announced a multiyear partnership with Luxxotica, a corporation owning many successful eyewear brands, to develop smart eyewear. The company has also announced the creation of a new developer’s platform for the Internet of Things, a sector of Internet-based technologies which is closely related to wearable tech. Intel did recently unveil its first chipset used to power a smartphone sold in the U.S., the Asus PadFone X.

Intel is a regular feature on the Companies We Follow series and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has lately published an assortment of intriguing patent applications assigned to the company. It’s no wonder that a developer and manufacturer of semiconductor chipsets, especially an industry leading one such as Intel, would be responsible for a diverse array of innovation. The company supports an inventive nature in its employees as well as students and outside developers through events like the Intel Maker Expo, which offers participants from all of these groups the chance to showcase inventions which utilize Intel development boards and other products. Intel is also currently sponsoring the Make It Wearable Challenge, a contest offering $500,000 to the winning wearable idea; no winner is announced on Intel’s page yet, although the site says that an announcement should have been made in early November. The corporation also supports educational projects to promote innovation, such as the Intel Education Initiative Pakistan, which helps to develop technology programs in Pakistani schools as well as recognize and reward innovative educational practices at those schools.

In our recent review of Intel patent applications we were intrigued by a couple of newly published patent applications that discuss tools for marketing campaigns, including one technology for scoring the interestingness of advertising content to viewers. One recurring theme was security, as evidenced by a real-time facial recognition system. Another security related patent application discloses an invention relating to a method of monitoring individuals in a building based on radio frequency signals. Still another security related innovation can be found in a patent applications that seeks to protect a persona manager system for storing private information while browsing the Internet anonymously. We were also intrigued by a patent application that discloses enabling a media center to display video game content on a variety of display devices.

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Many of Intel’s semiconductor products include an array of technologies for mobile devices, and we were piqued by a couple of patent applications filed to protect innovations in this area. Real-time facial detection of subjects captured in an image or video recorded by a mobile device is supported by the technology described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140341430, titled Method and Device for Detecting Face, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Recording Medium for Executing the Method. The patent application would protect a face detection method that involves dividing an input image into a predetermined number of regions, resizing those image regions and performing both a face detection operation and a face tracking operation on the divided and resized regions. This partitioning of the input images is intended to reduce the time required for real-time processing of face detection utilized by portable terminals.

Intel has also developed methods of connecting devices wirelessly in a way that creates less drain on network resources, outlined by U.S. Patent Application No. 20140328287, which is titled Opportunistic Device-to-Device Communication. The wireless wide area network (WWAN) node claimed by this patent application utilizes a control module to monitor mobile devices in wireless communication with each other and facilitate one or more service flows occurring between devices from an indirect WWAN connection to a direct connection over unlicensed wireless spectrum. This allows devices to make efficient use of BlueTooth, near field communications or other short-range networking techniques for sharing data between devices when they move into close proximity.

Intel has been developing monitoring systems of other kinds in recent months which we felt may catch the interest of our readers. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140335796, which is titled Monitoring Activities of Daily Living Using Radio Frequency Emissions, would protect a system developed to aid in the monitoring of daily living activities among certain patients in health care environments. It claims a method of scanning a radio frequency (RF) spectrum within the ambient environment of a building, detecting an RF signal transmitted by a device within the building, comparing that RF signal to others logged in a database and storing a log of activities associated with an identified RF signal. This system could be utilized to effectively monitor subjects in a building without requiring the cumbersome nature of monitoring devices to be placed on a subject, reducing system complexity.

Intel has also been able to develop systems that glean a lot of information from the body language given off by our eyes, as can be seen in U.S. Patent No. 20140344012, which is titled Interestingness Scoring of Areas of Interest Included in a Display Element. The method claimed by this patent application involves the determination of an area of interest included in a display element, tracking an observer’s eyes and/or gaze while viewing the display element and using that data to determine an interestingness score for the content within the area of interest. This system for determining a user’s level of interest in a specific content could be used by advertisers for a better measure on how well consumers are responding to marketing content.

From U.S. Patent Application No. 20140344584, titled “Systems and Methods for Controlling Access to Supplemental Content Integrated into Existing Content.”

Advertisers should also have some additional marketing tools thanks to the innovation disclosed by U.S. Patent Application No. 20140344584, titled Systems and Methods for Controlling Access to Supplemental Content Integrated into Existing Content. This patent application claims a method of encrypting supplemental content and using that content to replace a subset of bits in an original content to make an aggregated content available to a user. This system enables marketing campaigns to be more selective when offering coupon codes to consumers; for example, by offering coupon codes in advertisements to users who are identified as existing long-term customers.

With all of the monitoring and marketing innovations developed by Intel in recent months, an invention regarding individual privacy while browsing the Internet may come as a breath of fresh air to some readers. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140337466, filed under the title Persona Manager for Network Communications, describes a technology for personal privacy that would enable a user to store some private data which would help them connect to Internet resources which they regularly access. The patent application would protect a device for communicating via a network which includes a memory containing persona instructions which instructs the processor to obtain a persona profile, which controls access to personal information, for use while communicating through the network. This system provides some ability to use network resources anonymously while preventing the deletion of some data, such as cache or cookies, that is used when accessing frequently visited sites.

Intel is also focused on developing better networking systems to benefit video gamers, as we saw featured in U.S. Patent Application No. 20140329599, which is titled Gaming Interface Techniques for Media Centers. This patent application claims a method of receiving video information from a remote program over a communication link, determining tags that are associated with the video information and selectively directing portions of the video information to different displays based on those tags. This system supports the use of media centers for routing desired media information to peripheral devices; in this instance, the system enables a video game console to connect to a media center which then routes the game content to one of many displays instead of connecting the console directly to an individual display.

The Author

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun, USAToday.com, Chron.com, Motley Fool and OpenLettersMonthly.com. Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients and is available for research projects and freelance work.

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