Microsoft Patent | Blink detection, tracking, and stimulation

Patent: Blink detection, tracking, and stimulation

Publication Number: 10198068

Publication Date: 2019-02-05

Applicants: Microsoft

Abstract:

Systems and methods are disclosed for blink detection, tracking, and stimulation. In one implementation, a device can include a sensor configured to receive an input, the input corresponding to perceiving one or more blinks of an eye of a user. The input can be processed to determine a blink rate or an elapsed time interval since a blink of the user. Based on the blink rate or the elapsed time interval, a blink stimulation action directed to the user can be initiated.

Background:

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) (also known as Digital Eye Strain) refers to eye and/or vision-related problems (e.g., dry eyes, blurry vision, fatigue, etc.) that can be experienced as a result of lengthy, ongoing exposure to devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Many of these problems occur as a result of users not blinking frequently enough while viewing such devices. With the increasing proliferation and usage of the referenced devices, incidence of CVS is also increasing across many populations.

Summary:

The following presents a shortened summary of various aspects of this disclosure in order to provide a basic understanding of such aspects. This summary is not an extensive overview of all contemplated aspects, and is intended to neither identify key or critical elements nor delineate the scope of such aspects. Its purpose is to present some concepts of this disclosure in a compact form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

In one aspect of the present disclosure, a device can include a sensor configured to receive an input, the input corresponding to perceiving one or more blinks of an eye of a user. The input can be processed to determine a blink rate of the user. Based on the blink rate, a blink stimulation action directed to the user can be initiated.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, a device can include a sensor configured to perceive one or more blinks of an eye of a user. An input can be received from the sensor. The input can be processed to determine an elapsed time interval since a blink of the user. Based on the elapsed time interval, a blink stimulation action can be initiated.

In another aspect of the present disclosure, a device can include a first sensor configured to receive an input, the input corresponding to perceiving one or more blinks of an eye of a user, and a second sensor configured to perceive an item towards which the eye of the user is directed. The device can also include one or more actuators. The input can be processed to determine a blink rate or an elapsed time interval since a blink of the user. Based on the blink rate or the elapsed time interval and the item towards which the eye of the user is directed, a first blink stimulation action directed to the user can be initiated. Such a first blink stimulation action can activate the actuator.

Description:

FIG. 1 illustrates an example system 100, in accordance with some implementations. As shown, the system 100 includes wearable device 110. Wearable device 110 can be a device that can attach to a pair of eyeglasses/eyeglass frames and/or can otherwise be integrated into a pair of eyeglasses/frames. Additionally, in certain implementations wearable device 110 can be a virtual reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR) headset. Such a headset can include any head-mounted, head-worn, etc. devices (as well as ski helmets, masks, etc.). In yet other implementations, wearable device 110 can be implemented in conjunction with a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a terminal, a mobile phone, a tablet computer, a smart watch, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a digital music player, a server, and the like.

Additionally, as noted above, in certain implementations wearable device 110 can be an AR/VR headset. In such a scenario, the referenced blink stimulation action(s) can include actions initiated within such an AR/VR environment (e.g., in conjunction with the technologies that present such AR/VR content). For example, commands, instructions, etc. can be generated to adjust various aspects of a virtual-reality environment. Such commands can be transmitted to and/or executed within the AR/VR device utilized by the user. By way of illustration, such command(s) can adjust various visual aspects of a VR environment in a manner that is likely to stimulate blinking, such as by causing sudden or rapid changes to the light/colors within the VR environment, sudden or abrupt changes to other visual aspects of the VR content being presented (e.g., the sudden introduction of a new character into a game), etc. By way of further example, in certain implementations such command(s) can adjust various audio aspects of a VR environment (e.g., causing a rapid or sudden noise, etc.). By way of further example, such commands can provide a notification or instruction that reminds the user to blink (e.g., flashing the text BLINK on a screen of the wearable device and/or on a connected peripheral device/display).

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