Leap Motion Patent | Drift Cancelation For Portable Object Detection And Tracking

Patent: Drift Cancelation For Portable Object Detection And Tracking

Publication Number: 20190064918

Publication Date: 20190228

Applicants: Leap Motion, Inc.

Abstract

The technology disclosed can provide capabilities such as using motion sensors and/or other types of sensors coupled to a motion-capture system to monitor motions within a real environment. A virtual object can be projected to a user of a portable device integrated into an augmented rendering of a real environment about the user. Motion information of a user body portion is determined based at least in part upon sensory information received from imaging or acoustic sensory devices. Control information is communicated to a system based in part on a combination of the motion of the portable device and the detected motion of the user. The virtual device experience can be augmented in some implementations by the addition of haptic, audio and/or other sensory information projectors.

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/620,093, entitled “DRIFT CANCELATION FOR PORTABLE OBJECT DETECTION AND TRACKING”, filed on 11 Feb. 2014 (Attorney Docket No. LEAP 1037-2/LPM-1037US1), which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/938,635, entitled, “DRIFT CANCELATION FOR PORTABLE OBJECT DETECTION AND TRACKING,” filed on 11 Feb. 2014 (Attorney Docket No. LEAP 1037-1/LPM-1037PR). The provisional and non-provisional applications are hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes.

[0002] This application is related to US Nonprovisional patent application entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF INTERACTING WITH VIRTUAL REALITY AND AUGMENTED REALITY ENVIRONMENTS USING FREE-FORM IN-AIR GESTURES,” (Attorney Docket No. LEAP 1037-3/LPM-1037US2) filed contemporaneously.

FIELD OF THE TECHNOLOGY DISCLOSED

[0003] The present disclosure relates generally to human machine interface and in particular to drift cancellation techniques enabling portable object detection and tracking.

BACKGROUND

[0004] The subject matter discussed in this section should not be assumed to be prior art merely as a result of its mention in this section. Similarly, a problem mentioned in this section or associated with the subject matter provided as background should not be assumed to have been previously recognized in the prior art. The subject matter in this section merely represents different approaches, which in and of themselves can also correspond to implementations of the claimed technology.

[0005] Conventional motion capture approaches rely on markers or sensors worn by the subject while executing activities and/or on the strategic placement of numerous bulky and/or complex equipment in specialized and rigid environments to capture subject movements. Unfortunately, such systems tend to be expensive to construct. In addition, markers or sensors worn by the subject can be cumbersome and interfere with the subject’s natural movement. Further, systems involving large numbers of cameras tend not to operate in real time, due to the volume of data that needs to be analyzed and correlated. Such considerations have limited the deployment and use of motion capture technology.

[0006] Consequently, there is a need for improved devices with greater portability and techniques for capturing the motion of objects in real time without fixed or difficult to configure sensors or markers.

SUMMARY

[0007] Implementations of the technology disclosed address these and other problems by providing methods and systems for capturing motion and/or determining the path of an object traveling in relation to a movable or moving frame of reference associated with one or more optical, acoustic or vibrational sensors. Implementations can enable use of portable devices, e.g., head mounted displays (HMDs), wearable goggles, watch computers, smartphones, and so forth, and/or mobile devices, e.g., autonomous and semi-autonomous robots, factory floor material handling systems, autonomous mass-transit vehicles, automobiles (human or machine driven), and so forth that comprise sensors and processors employing optical, audio or vibrational detection mechanisms suitable for providing gesture detection, personal virtual device experiences, autonomous vehicle control, and other machine control and/or machine communications applications.

[0008] In one implementation, motion sensors and/or other types of sensors are coupled to a motion-capture system to monitor motion of at least the sensor of the motion-capture system resulting from, for example, users’ touch. Information from the motion sensors can be used to determine first and second positional information of the sensor with respect to a fixed point at first and second times. Difference information between the first and second positional information is determined. Movement information for the sensor with respect to the fixed point is computed based upon the difference information. The movement information for the sensor is applied to apparent environment information sensed by the sensor to remove motion of the sensor therefrom to yield actual environment information; which can be communicated. Control information can be communicated to a system configured to provide a virtual reality or augmented reality experience via a portable device and/or to systems controlling machinery or the like based upon motion capture information for an object moving in space derived from the sensor and adjusted to remove motion of the sensor itself. In some applications, a virtual device experience can be augmented by the addition of haptic, audio and/or visual projectors.

[0009] In an implementation, apparent environmental information is captured from positional information of an object portion at the first time and the second time using a sensor of the motion-capture system. Object portion movement information relative to the fixed point at the first time and the second time is computed based upon the difference information and the movement information for the sensor.

[0010] In further implementations, a path of the object is calculated by repeatedly determining movement information for the sensor, using the motion sensors, and the object portion, using the sensor, at successive times and analyzing a sequence of movement information to determine a path of the object portion with respect to the fixed point. Paths can be compared to templates to identify trajectories. Trajectories of body parts can be identified as gestures. Gestures can indicate command information to be communicated to a system. Some gestures communicate commands to change operational modes of a system (e.g., zoom in, zoom out, pan, show more detail, next display page, and so forth).

[0011] Advantageously, some implementations can enable gesture recognition for use in wearable or other personal devices. This capability allows the user to execute intuitive gestures involving virtualized contact with a virtual object. For example, a device can be provided a capability to distinguish motion of objects from motions of the device itself in order to facilitate proper gesture recognition. Some implementations can provide improved interfacing with a variety of portable or wearable machines (e.g., smart telephones, portable computing systems, including laptop, tablet computing devices, personal data assistants, special purpose visualization computing machinery, including heads up displays (HUD) for use in aircraft or automobiles for example, wearable virtual and/or augmented reality systems, including Google Glass, and others, graphics processors, embedded microcontrollers, gaming consoles, or the like; wired or wirelessly coupled networks of one or more of the foregoing, and/or combinations thereof), obviating or reducing the need for contact-based input devices such as a mouse, joystick, touch pad, or touch screen. Some implementations can provide for improved interface with computing and/or other machinery than would be possible with heretofore known techniques. In some implementations, a richer human–machine interface experience can be provided.

[0012] Other aspects and advantages of the present technology can be seen on review of the drawings, the detailed description and the claims, which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] In the drawings, like reference characters generally refer to like parts throughout the different views. Also, the drawings are not necessarily to scale, with an emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles of the disclosed technology. In the following description, various implementations of the technology disclosed are described with reference to the following drawings, in which:

[0014] FIG. 1 illustrates a system for capturing image and other sensory data according to an implementation of the technology disclosed.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of a computer system implementing image analysis suitable for supporting a virtual environment enabled apparatus according to an implementation of the technology disclosed.

[0016] FIG. 3A is a perspective view from the top of a sensor in accordance with the technology disclosed, with motion sensors along an edge surface thereof.

[0017] FIG. 3B is a perspective view from the bottom of a sensor in accordance with the technology disclosed, with motion sensors along the bottom surface thereof.

[0018] FIG. 3C is a perspective view from the top of a sensor in accordance with the technology disclosed, with detachable motion sensors configured for placement on a surface.

[0019] FIG. 4 illustrates apparent movement of objects from the perspective of the user of a virtual environment enabled apparatus in accordance with the technology disclosed.

[0020] FIG. 5 illustrates apparent movement of objects from the perspective of the user of a virtual environment enabled apparatus in accordance with the technology disclosed.

[0021] FIG. 6 shows a flowchart of one implementation of determining motion information in a movable sensor apparatus.

[0022] FIG. 7 shows a flowchart of one implementation of applying movement information to apparent environment information sensed by the sensor to yield actual environment information in a movable sensor apparatus.

[0023] FIG. 8 illustrates one implementation of a system for providing a virtual device experience.

[0024] FIG. 9 shows a flowchart of one implementation of providing a virtual device experience.

[0025] FIG. 10 shows a flowchart of one implementation of cancelling drift in a head mounted device (HMD).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] Among other aspects, the technology described herein with reference to example implementations can provide for automatically (e.g., programmatically) cancelling out motions of a movable sensor configured to capture motion and/or determining the path of an object based on imaging, acoustic or vibrational waves. Implementations can enable gesture detection, virtual reality and augmented reality, and other machine control and/or machine communications applications using portable devices, e.g., head mounted displays (HMDs), wearable goggles, watch computers, smartphones, and so forth, or mobile devices, e.g., autonomous and semi-autonomous robots, factory floor material handling systems, autonomous mass-transit vehicles, automobiles (human or machine driven), and so forth, equipped with suitable sensors and processors employing optical, audio or vibrational detection. In some implementations, projection techniques can supplement the sensory based tracking with presentation of virtual (or virtualized real) objects (visual, audio, haptic, and so forth) created by applications loadable to, or in cooperative implementation with, the HMD or other device to provide a user of the device with a personal virtual experience (e.g., a functional equivalent to a real experience).

[0027] Some implementations include optical image sensing. For example, a sequence of images can be correlated to construct a 3-D model of the object, including its position and shape. A succession of images can be analyzed using the same technique to model motion of the object such as free-form gestures. In low-light or other situations not conducive to optical imaging, where free-form gestures cannot be recognized optically with a sufficient degree of reliability, audio signals or vibrational waves can be detected and used to supply the direction and location of the object as further described herein.

[0028] Refer first to FIG. 1, which illustrates a system 100 for capturing image data according to one implementation of the technology disclosed. System 100 is preferably coupled to a wearable device 101 that can be a personal head mounted display (HMD) having a goggle form factor such as shown in FIG. 1, a helmet form factor, or can be incorporated into or coupled with a watch, smartphone, or other type of portable device or any number of cameras 102, 104 coupled to sensory processing system 106. Cameras 102, 104 can be any type of camera, including cameras sensitive across the visible spectrum or with enhanced sensitivity to a confined wavelength band (e.g., the infrared (IR) or ultraviolet bands); more generally, the term “camera” herein refers to any device (or combination of devices) capable of capturing an image of an object and representing that image in the form of digital data. For example, line sensors or line cameras rather than conventional devices that capture a two-dimensional (2D) image can be employed. The term “light” is used generally to connote any electromagnetic radiation, which may or may not be within the visible spectrum, and may be broadband (e.g., white light) or narrowband (e.g., a single wavelength or narrow band of wavelengths).

[0029] Cameras 102, 104 are preferably capable of capturing video images (i.e., successive image frames at a constant rate of at least 15 frames per second), although no particular frame rate is required. The capabilities of cameras 102, 104 are not critical to the technology disclosed, and the cameras can vary as to frame rate, image resolution (e.g., pixels per image), color or intensity resolution (e.g., number of bits of intensity data per pixel), focal length of lenses, depth of field, etc. In general, for a particular application, any cameras capable of focusing on objects within a spatial volume of interest can be used. For instance, to capture motion of the hand of an otherwise stationary person, the volume of interest might be defined as a cube approximately one meter on a side.

[0030] As shown, cameras 102, 104 can be oriented toward portions of a region of interest 112 by motion of the device 101, in order to view a virtually rendered or virtually augmented view of the region of interest 112 that can include a variety of virtual objects 116 as well as contain an object of interest 114 (in this example, one or more hands) that moves within the region of interest 112. One or more sensors 108, 110 capture motions of the device 101. In some implementations, one or more light sources 115, 117 are arranged to illuminate the region of interest 112. In some implementations, one or more of the cameras 102, 104 are disposed opposite the motion to be detected, e.g., where the hand 114 is expected to move. This is an optimal location because the amount of information recorded about the hand is proportional to the number of pixels it occupies in the camera images, and the hand will occupy more pixels when the camera’s angle with respect to the hand’s “pointing direction” is as close to perpendicular as possible. Sensory processing system 106, which can be, e.g., a computer system, can control the operation of cameras 102, 104 to capture images of the region of interest 112 and sensors 108, 110 to capture motions of the device 101. Information from sensors 108, 110 can be applied to models of images taken by cameras 102, 104 to cancel out the effects of motions of the device 101, providing greater accuracy to the virtual experience rendered by device 101. Based on the captured images and motions of the device 101, sensory processing system 106 determines the position and/or motion of object 114.

[0031] For example, as an action in determining the motion of object 114, sensory processing system 106 can determine which pixels of various images captured by cameras 102, 104 contain portions of object 114. In some implementations, any pixel in an image can be classified as an “object” pixel or a “background” pixel depending on whether that pixel contains a portion of object 114 or not. Object pixels can thus be readily distinguished from background pixels based on brightness. Further, edges of the object can also be readily detected based on differences in brightness between adjacent pixels, allowing the position of the object within each image to be determined. In some implementations, the silhouettes of an object are extracted from one or more images of the object that reveal information about the object as seen from different vantage points. While silhouettes can be obtained using a number of different techniques, in some implementations, the silhouettes are obtained by using cameras to capture images of the object and analyzing the images to detect object edges. Correlating object positions between images from cameras 102, 104 and cancelling out captured motions of the device 101 from sensors 108, 110 allows sensory processing system 106 to determine the location in 3D space of object 114, and analyzing sequences of images allows sensory processing system 106 to reconstruct 3D motion of object 114 using conventional motion algorithms or other techniques. See, e.g., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/414,485 (filed on Mar. 7, 2012) and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 61/724,091 (filed on Nov. 8, 2012) and 61/587,554 (filed on Jan. 7, 2012), the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

[0032] Presentation interface 120 employs projection techniques in conjunction with the sensory based tracking in order to present virtual (or virtualized real) objects (visual, audio, haptic, and so forth) created by applications loadable to, or in cooperative implementation with, the device 101 to provide a user of the device with a personal virtual experience. Projection can include an image or other visual representation of an object.

[0033] One implementation uses motion sensors and/or other types of sensors coupled to a motion-capture system to monitor motions within a real environment. A virtual object integrated into an augmented rendering of a real environment can be projected to a user of a portable device 101. Motion information of a user body portion can be determined based at least in part upon sensory information received from cameras 102, 104 or acoustic or other sensory devices. Control information is communicated to a system based in part on a combination of the motion of the portable device 101 and the detected motion of the user determined from the sensory information received from cameras 102, 104 or acoustic or other sensory devices. The virtual device experience can be augmented in some implementations by the addition of haptic, audio and/or other sensory information projectors. For example, with reference to FIG. 8, optional video projection mechanism 804 can project an image of a page (e.g., virtual device 801) from a virtual book object superimposed upon a desk (e.g., surface portion 116) of a user; thereby creating a virtual device experience of reading an actual book, or an electronic book on a physical e-reader, even though no book or e-reader is present. Optional haptic projector 806 can project the feeling of the texture of the “virtual paper” of the book to the reader’s finger. Optional audio projector 802 can project the sound of a page turning in response to detecting the reader making a swipe to turn the page.

[0034] A plurality of sensors 108, 110 can coupled to the sensory processing system 106 to capture motions of the device 101. Sensors 108, 110 can be any type of sensor useful for obtaining signals from various parameters of motion (acceleration, velocity, angular acceleration, angular velocity, position/locations); more generally, the term “motion detector” herein refers to any device (or combination of devices) capable of converting mechanical motion into an electrical signal. Such devices can include, alone or in various combinations, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, and are designed to sense motions through changes in orientation, magnetism or gravity. Many types of motion sensors exist and implementation alternatives vary widely.

[0035] The illustrated system 100 can include any of various other sensors not shown in FIG. 1 for clarity, alone or in various combinations, to enhance the virtual experience provided to the user of device 101. For example, in low-light situations where free-form gestures cannot be recognized optically with a sufficient degree of reliability, system 106 may switch to a touch mode in which touch gestures are recognized based on acoustic or vibrational sensors. Alternatively, system 106 may switch to the touch mode, or supplement image capture and processing with touch sensing, when signals from acoustic or vibrational sensors are sensed. In still another operational mode, a tap or touch gesture may act as a “wake up” signal to bring the image and audio analysis system 106 from a standby mode to an operational mode. For example, the system 106 may enter the standby mode if optical signals from the cameras 102, 104 are absent for longer than a threshold interval.

[0036] It will be appreciated that the figures shown in FIG. 1 are illustrative. In some implementations, it may be desirable to house the system 100 in a differently shaped enclosure or integrated within a larger component or assembly. Furthermore, the number and type of image sensors, motion detectors, illumination sources, and so forth are shown schematically for the clarity, but neither the size nor the number is the same in all implementations.

[0037] Refer now to FIG. 2, which shows a simplified block diagram of a computer system 200 for implementing sensory processing system 106. Computer system 200 includes a processor 202, a memory 204, a motion detector and camera interface 206, a presentation interface 120, speaker(s) 209, a microphone(s) 210, and a wireless interface 211. Memory 204 can be used to store instructions to be executed by processor 202 as well as input and/or output data associated with execution of the instructions. In particular, memory 204 contains instructions, conceptually illustrated as a group of modules described in greater detail below, that control the operation of processor 202 and its interaction with the other hardware components. An operating system directs the execution of low-level, basic system functions such as memory allocation, file management and operation of mass storage devices. The operating system may include a variety of operating systems such as Microsoft WINDOWS operating system, the Unix operating system, the Linux operating system, the Xenix operating system, the IBM AIX operating system, the Hewlett Packard UX operating system, the Novell NETWARE operating system, the Sun Microsystems SOLARIS operating system, the OS/2 operating system, the BeOS operating system, the MACINTOSH operating system, the APACHE operating system, an OPENACTION operating system, iOS, Android or other mobile operating systems, or another operating system of platform.

[0038] The computing environment may also include other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. For example, a hard disk drive may read or write to non-removable, nonvolatile magnetic media. A magnetic disk drive may read from or writes to a removable, nonvolatile magnetic disk, and an optical disk drive may read from or write to a removable, nonvolatile optical disk such as a CD-ROM or other optical media. Other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media that can be used in the exemplary operating environment include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape cassettes, flash memory cards, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM, and the like. The storage media are typically connected to the system bus through a removable or non-removable memory interface.

[0039] Processor 202 may be a general-purpose microprocessor, but depending on implementation can alternatively be a microcontroller, peripheral integrated circuit element, a CSIC (customer-specific integrated circuit), an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), a logic circuit, a digital signal processor, a programmable logic device such as an FPGA (field-programmable gate array), a PLD (programmable logic device), a PLA (programmable logic array), an RFID processor, smart chip, or any other device or arrangement of devices that is capable of implementing the actions of the processes of the technology disclosed.

[0040] Motion detector and camera interface 206 can include hardware and/or software that enables communication between computer system 200 and cameras 102, 104, as well as sensors 108, 110 (see FIG. 1). Thus, for example, motion detector and camera interface 206 can include one or more camera data ports 216, 218 and motion detector ports 217, 219 to which the cameras and motion detectors can be connected (via conventional plugs and jacks), as well as hardware and/or software signal processors to modify data signals received from the cameras and motion detectors (e.g., to reduce noise or reformat data) prior to providing the signals as inputs to a motion-capture (“mocap”) program 214 executing on processor 202. In some implementations, motion detector and camera interface 206 can also transmit signals to the cameras and sensors, e.g., to activate or deactivate them, to control camera settings (frame rate, image quality, sensitivity, etc.), to control sensor settings (calibration, sensitivity levels, etc.), or the like. Such signals can be transmitted, e.g., in response to control signals from processor 202, which may in turn be generated in response to user input or other detected events.

[0041] Instructions defining mocap program 214 are stored in memory 204, and these instructions, when executed, perform motion-capture analysis on images supplied from cameras and audio signals from sensors connected to motion detector and camera interface 206. In one implementation, mocap program 214 includes various modules, such as an object analysis module 222 and a path analysis module 224. Object analysis module 222 can analyze images (e.g., images captured via interface 206) to detect edges of an object therein and/or other information about the object’s location. In some implementations, object analysis module 222 can also analyze audio signals (e.g., audio signals captured via interface 206) to localize the object by, for example, time distance of arrival, multilateration or the like. (“Multilateration is a navigation technique based on the measurement of the difference in distance to two or more stations at known locations that broadcast signals at known times. See Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Multilateration&oldid=523281858- , on Nov. 16, 2012, 06:07 UTC). Path analysis module 224 can track and predict object movements in 3D based on information obtained via the cameras. Some implementations will include a Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality environment manager 226 that provides integration of virtual objects reflecting real objects (e.g., hand 114) as well as synthesized objects 116 for presentation to user of device 101 via presentation interface 120 to provide a personal virtual experience. One or more applications 228 can be loaded into memory 204 (or otherwise made available to processor 202) to augment or customize functioning of device 101 thereby enabling the system 200 to function as a platform. Successive camera images are analyzed at the pixel level to extract object movements and velocities. Audio signals place the object on a known surface, and the strength and variation of the signals can be used to detect object’s presence. If both audio and image information is simultaneously available, both types of information can be analyzed and reconciled to produce a more detailed and/or accurate path analysis.

[0042] Presentation interface 120, speakers 209, microphones 210, and wireless network interface 211 can be used to facilitate user interaction via device 101 with computer system 200. These components can be of generally conventional design or modified as desired to provide any type of user interaction. In some implementations, results of motion capture using motion detector and camera interface 206 and mocap program 214 can be interpreted as user input. For example, a user can perform hand gestures or motions across a surface that are analyzed using mocap program 214, and the results of this analysis can be interpreted as an instruction to some other program executing on processor 200 (e.g., a web browser, word processor, or other application). Thus, by way of illustration, a user might use upward or downward swiping gestures to “scroll” a webpage currently displayed to the user of device 101 via presentation interface 120, to use rotating gestures to increase or decrease the volume of audio output from speakers 209, and so on. Path analysis module 224 may represent the detected path as a vector and extrapolate to predict the path, e.g., to improve rendering of action on device 101 by presentation interface 120 by anticipating movement.

[0043] It will be appreciated that computer system 200 is illustrative and that variations and modifications are possible. Computer systems can be implemented in a variety of form factors, including server systems, desktop systems, laptop systems, tablets, smart phones or personal digital assistants, and so on. A particular implementation may include other functionality not described herein, e.g., wired and/or wireless network interfaces, media playing and/or recording capability, etc. In some implementations, one or more cameras and two or more microphones may be built into the computer rather than being supplied as separate components. Further, an image or audio analyzer can be implemented using only a subset of computer system components (e.g., as a processor executing program code, an ASIC, or a fixed-function digital signal processor, with suitable I/O interfaces to receive image data and output analysis results).

[0044] While computer system 200 is described herein with reference to particular blocks, it is to be understood that the blocks are defined for convenience of description and are not intended to imply a particular physical arrangement of component parts. Further, the blocks need not correspond to physically distinct components. To the extent that physically distinct components are used, connections between components (e.g., for data communication) can be wired and/or wireless as desired. Thus, for example, execution of object analysis module 222 by processor 202 can cause processor 202 to operate motion detector and camera interface 206 to capture images and/or audio signals of an object traveling across and in contact with a surface to detect its entrance by analyzing the image and/or audio data.

[0045] FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate three different configurations of a movable sensor system 300A-C, with reference to example implementations packaged within a single housing as an integrated sensor. In all cases, sensor 300A, 300B, 300C includes a top surface 305, a bottom surface 307, and a side wall 310 spanning the top and bottom surfaces 305, 307. With reference also to FIG. 3A, the top surface 305 of sensor 300A contains a pair of windows 315 for admitting light to the cameras 102, 104, one of which is optically aligned with each of the windows 315. If the system includes light sources 115, 117, surface 305 may contain additional windows for passing light to the object(s) being tracked. In sensor 300A, motion sensors 108, 110 are located on the side wall 310. Desirably, the motion sensors are flush with the surface of side wall 310 so that, the motion sensors are disposed to sense motions about a longitudinal axis of sensor 300A. Of course, the motion sensors can be recessed from side wall 310 internal to the device in order to accommodate sensor operation and placement within available packaging space so long as coupling with the external housing of sensor 300A remains adequate. In sensor 300B, motion sensors 108, 110 are located proximate to the bottom surface 307, once again in a flush or recessed configuration. The top surface of the sensor 300B (not shown in the figure for clarity sake) contains camera windows 315 as shown in FIG. 3A. In FIG. 3C, motion sensors 108, 110 are external contact transducers that connect to sensor 300C via jacks 320. This configuration permits the motion sensors to be located away from the sensor 300C, e.g., if the motion sensors are desirably spaced further apart than the packaging of sensor 300C allows. In other implementations, movable sensor components of FIG. 2 can be imbedded in portable (e.g., head mounted displays (HMDs), wearable goggles, watch computers, smartphones, and so forth) or movable (e.g., autonomous robots, material transports, automobiles (human or machine driven)) devices.

[0046] FIG. 4 illustrates apparent movement of objects from the perspective of the user of a virtual environment enabled apparatus 400 in accordance with the technology. FIG. 4 shows two views of a user of a device 101 viewing a field of view 113 at two different times. As shown in block 401, at an initial time t.sub.0, user is viewing field of view 113a using device 101 in a particular initial position to view an area 113a. As shown in block 402, device 101 presents to user a display of the device field of view 113a that includes objects 114 (hands) in a particular pose. As shown in block 403, subsequently at time t.sub.1, the user has repositioned device 101. Accordingly, the apparent position of objects 114 in the field of view 113b shown in block 404 has changed from the apparent position of the objects 114 in field of view 113a. Even in the case where the hands 114 did not move in space, the user sees an apparent movement of the hands 114 due to the change in position of the device.

[0047] Now with reference to FIG. 5, an apparent movement of one or more moving objects from the perspective of the user of a virtual environment enabled apparatus 500 is illustrated. As shown by block 502, field of view 113a presented by device 101 at time t.sub.0 includes an object 114. At time t.sub.0, the position and orientation of tracked object 114 is known with respect to device reference frame 120a, again at time t.sub.0. As shown by block 404, at time t.sub.1, the position and orientation of both device reference frame 120b and tracked object 114 have changed. As shown by block 504, field of view 113b presented by device 101 at time t.sub.1 includes object 114 in a new apparent position. Because the device 101 has moved, the device reference frame 120 has moved from an original or starting device reference frame 120a to a current or final reference frame 120b as indicated by transformation T. It is noteworthy that the device 101 can rotate as well as translate. Implementations can provide sensing the position and rotation of reference frame 120b with respect to reference frame 120a and sensing the position and rotation of tracked object 114 with respect to 120b, at time t.sub.1. Implementations can determine the position and rotation of tracked object 114 with respect to 120a from the sensed position and rotation of reference frame 120b with respect to reference frame 120a and the sensed position and rotation of tracked object 114 with respect to 120b.

[0048] In an implementation, a transformation R.sup.T is determined that moves dashed line reference frame 120a to dotted line reference frame 120b. Applying the reverse transformation -R.sup.T makes the dotted line reference frame 120b lie on top of dashed line reference frame 120a. Then the tracked object 114 will be in the right place from the point of view of dashed line reference frame 120a. In determining the motion of object 114, sensory processing system 106 can determine its location and direction by computationally analyzing images captured by cameras 102, 104 and motion information captured by sensors 108, 110. For example, an apparent position of any point on the object (in 3D space)* at time*

t = t 1 : [ x y z 1 ] , ##EQU00001##

* can be converted to a real position of the point on the object at time*

t = t 1 : [ x ’ y ’ z ’ 1 ] ##EQU00002##

* using an affine transform*

[ R ref T ref 0 1 ] . ##EQU00003##

The correct location at time t=t.sub.1 of a point on the tracked object with respect to device reference frame 120a is given by equation (1):

[ R ref T ( – R ref T ) * T ref 0 1 ] * [ x y z 1 ] = [ x ’ y ’ z ’ 1 ] ( 1 ) ##EQU00004##

[0049] Where: [0050] R.sub.ref–Represents an affine transform describing the transformation from the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b. [0051] T.sub.ref–Represents translation of the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b.

[0052] One conventional approach to obtaining the Affine transform R (from axis unit vector u=(u.sub.x, u.sub.y, u.sub.z), rotation angle .theta.) method. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_matrix, Rotation matrix from axis and angle, on Jan. 30, 2014, 20:12 UTC, upon which the computations equation (2) are at least in part inspired:

R = [ cos .theta. + u x 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) u x u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u z sin .theta. u x u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u y sin .theta. u y u x ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u z sin .theta. cos .theta. + u y 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) u y u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u x sin .theta. u z u x ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u y sin .theta. u z u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u x sin .theta. cos .theta. + u z 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ] R T = [ cos .theta. + u x 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) u x u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u z sin .theta. u x u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u y sin .theta. u x u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u z sin .theta. cos .theta. + u y 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) u z u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u x sin .theta. u x u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u y sin .theta. u y u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u x sin .theta. cos .theta. + u z 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ] – R T = [ – cos .theta. – u x 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u y u x ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u z sin .theta. – u z u x ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u y sin .theta. – u x u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u z sin .theta. – cos .theta. – u y 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u z u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u x sin .theta. – u x u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u y sin .theta. – u y u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u x sin .theta. – cos .theta. – u z 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ] T = [ a b c ] ( 2 ) ##EQU00005##

* is a vector representing a translation of the object with respect to origin of the coordinate system of the translated frame*

  • R T * T = [ ( – cos .theta. – u x 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ) ( a ) + ( – cos .theta. – u y 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ) ( b ) + ( – u z u x ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u y sin .theta. ) ( c ) ( – u x u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u z sin .theta. ) ( a ) + ( – cos .theta. – u y 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ) ( b ) + ( – u z u y ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u x sin .theta. ) ( c ) ( – u x u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) – u y sin .theta. ) ( a ) + ( – u y u z ( 1 – cos .theta. ) + u x sin .theta. ) ( b ) + ( – cos .theta. – u z 2 ( 1 – cos .theta. ) ) ( c ) ] ##EQU00006##

[0053] In another example, an apparent orientation and position of the object at time t=t.sub.1:* affine transform*

[ R obj T obj 0 1 ] , ##EQU00007##

* can be converted to a real orientation and position of the object at time*

t = t 1 : [ R obj ’ T obj ’ 0 1 ] ##EQU00008##

* using a affine transform*

[ R ref T ref 0 1 ] . ##EQU00009##

The correct orientation and position of the tracked object with respect to device reference frame at time t=t.sub.0 (120a) is given by equation (3):

[ R ref T ( – R ref T ) * T ref 0 1 ] * [ R obj T obj 0 1 ] = [ R obj ’ T obj ’ 0 1 ] ( 3 ) ##EQU00010##

[0054] Where: [0055] R.sub.ref–Represents an affine transform describing the transformation from the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b. [0056] R.sub.obj–Represents an affine transform describing the rotation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120b. [0057] R’.sub.obj–Represents an affine transform describing the rotation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120a. [0058] T.sub.ref–Represents translation of the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b. [0059] T.sub.obj–Represents translation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120b. [0060] T’.sub.obj–Represents translation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120a.

[0061] In a yet further example, an apparent orientation and position of the object at time t=t.sub.1:* affine transform*

[ R obj T obj 0 1 ] , ##EQU00011##

* can be converted to a real orientation and position of the object at time*

t = t 1 : [ R obj ’ T obj ’ 0 1 ] ##EQU00012##

* using an affine transform*

[ R ref T ref 0 1 ] . ##EQU00013##

Furthermore, the position and orientation of the initial reference frame with respect to a (typically)* fixed reference point in space can be determined using an affine transform*

[ R init T init 0 1 ] . ##EQU00014##

The correct orientation and position of the tracked object with respect to device reference frame at time t=t.sub.0 (120a) is given by equation (4):

[ R init T ( – R init T ) * T init 0 1 ] [ R ref T ( – R ref T ) * T ref 0 1 ] * [ R obj T obj 0 1 ] = [ R obj ’ T obj ’ 0 1 ] ( 4 ) ##EQU00015##

[0062] Where: [0063] R.sub.init–Represents an affine transform describing the transformation from the world reference frame 119 to the device reference frame 120a. [0064] R.sub.ref–Represents an affine transform describing the transformation from the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b. [0065] R.sub.obj–Represents an affine transform describing the rotation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120b. [0066] R’.sub.obj–Represents an affine transform describing the rotation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120a. [0067] T.sub.init–Represents translation of the world reference frame 119 to the device reference frame 120a. [0068] T.sub.ref–Represents translation of the device reference frame 120a to the device reference frame 120b. [0069] T.sub.obj–Represents translation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120b. [0070] T’.sub.obj–Represents translation of the object with respect to the device reference frame 120a.

[0071] FIG. 6 shows a flowchart 600 of one implementation of determining motion information in a movable sensor apparatus. Flowchart 600 can be implemented at least partially with a computer or other data processing system, e.g., by one or more processors configured to receive or retrieve information, process the information, store results, and transmit the results. Other implementations may perform the actions in different orders and/or with different, fewer or additional actions than those illustrated in FIG. 6. Multiple actions can be combined in some implementations. For convenience, this flowchart is described with reference to the system that carries out a method. The system is not necessarily part of the method.

[0072] At action 610, a first positional information of a portable or movable sensor is determined with respect to a fixed point at a first time. In one implementation, first positional information with respect to a fixed point at a first time t=t.sub.0 is determined from one or motion sensors integrated with, or coupled to, a device including the portable or movable sensor. For example, an accelerometer can be affixed to device 101 of FIG. 1 or sensor 300 of FIG. 3, to provide acceleration information over time for the portable or movable device or sensor. Acceleration as a function of time can be integrated with respect to time (e.g., by sensory processing system 106) to provide velocity information over time, which can be integrated again to provide positional information with respect to time. In another example, gyroscopes, magnetometers or the like can provide information at various times from which positional information can be derived. These items are well known in the art and their function can be readily implemented by those possessing ordinary skill. In another implementation, a second motion-capture sensor (e.g., such as sensor 300A-C of FIG. 3 for example) is disposed to capture position information of the first sensor (e.g., affixed to 101 of FIG. 1 or sensor 300 of FIG. 3) to provide positional information for the first sensor.

[0073] At action 620, a second positional information of the sensor is determined with respect to the fixed point at a second time t=t.sub.1.

[0074] At action 630, difference information between the first positional information and the second positional information is determined.

[0075] At action 640, movement information for the sensor with respect to the fixed point is computed based upon the difference information. Movement information for the sensor with respect to the fixed point is can be determined using techniques such as discussed above with reference to equations (2).

[0076] At action 650, movement information for the sensor is applied to apparent environment information sensed by the sensor to remove motion of the sensor therefrom to yield actual environment information. Motion of the sensor can be removed using techniques such as discussed above with reference to FIGS. 4-5.

[0077] At action 660, actual environment information is communicated.

[0078] FIG. 7 shows a flowchart 700 of one implementation of applying movement information for the sensor to apparent environment information (e.g., apparent motions of objects in the environment 112 as sensed by the sensor) to remove motion of the sensor therefrom to yield actual environment information (e.g., actual motions of objects in the environment 112 relative to the reference frame 120a). Flowchart 700 can be implemented at least partially with a computer or other data processing system, e.g., by one or more processors configured to receive or retrieve information, process the information, store results, and transmit the results. Other implementations may perform the actions in different orders and/or with different, fewer or additional actions than those illustrated in FIG. 7. Multiple actions can be combined in some implementations. For convenience, this flowchart is described with reference to the system that carries out a method. The system is not necessarily part of the method.

[0079] At action 710, positional information of an object portion at the first time and the second time are captured.

[0080] At action 720, object portion movement information relative to the fixed point at the first time and the second time is computed based upon the difference information and the movement information for the sensor.

[0081] At action 730, object portion movement information is communicated to a system.

[0082] Some implementations will be applied to virtual reality or augmented reality applications. For example, and with reference to FIG. 8, which illustrates a system 800 for projecting a virtual device experience 801 onto a surface medium 116 according to one implementation of the technology disclosed. System 800 includes a sensory processing system 106 controlling a variety of sensors and projectors, such as for example one or more cameras 102, 104 (or other image sensors) and optionally some illumination sources 115, 117 comprising an imaging system. Optionally, a plurality of vibrational (or acoustical) sensors 808, 810 positioned for sensing contacts with surface 116 can be included. Optionally projectors under control of system 106 can augment the virtual device experience 801, such as an optional audio projector 802 to provide for example audio feedback, optional video projector 804, an optional haptic projector 806 to provide for example haptic feedback to a user of virtual device experience 801. For further information on projectors, reference may be had to “Visio-Tactile Projector” YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb0hNMxxewg) (accessed Jan. 15, 2014). In operation, sensors and projectors are oriented toward a region of interest 112, that can include at least a portion of a surface 116, or free space 112 in which an object of interest 114 (in this example, a hand) moves along the indicated path 118.

[0083] FIG. 9 shows a flowchart 900 of one implementation of providing a virtual device experience. Flowchart 900 can be implemented at least partially with a computer or other data processing system, e.g., by one or more processors configured to receive or retrieve information, process the information, store results, and transmit the results. Other implementations may perform the actions in different orders and/or with different, fewer or additional actions than those illustrated in FIG. 9. Multiple actions can be combined in some implementations. For convenience, this flowchart is described with reference to the system that carries out a method. The system is not necessarily part of the method.

[0084] At action 910, a virtual device is projected to a user. Projection can include an image or other visual representation of an object. For example, visual projection mechanism 804 of FIG. 8 can project a page (e.g., virtual device 801) from a book into a virtual environment 801 (e.g., surface portion 116 or in space 112) of a reader; thereby creating a virtual device experience of reading an actual book, or an electronic book on a physical e-reader, even though no book nor e-reader is present. In some implementations, optional haptic projector 806 can project the feeling of the texture of the “virtual paper” of the book to the reader’s finger. In some implementations, optional audio projector 802 can project the sound of a page turning in response to detecting the reader making a swipe to turn the page.

[0085] At action 920, using an accelerometer, moving reference frame information of a head mounted display (or hand-held mobile device) relative to a fixed point on a human body is determined.

[0086] At action 930, body portion movement information is captured. Motion of the body portion can be detected via sensors 108, 110 using techniques such as discussed above with reference to FIG. 6.

[0087] At action 940, control information is extracted based partly on the body portion movement information with respect to the moving reference frame information. For example, repeatedly determining movement information for the sensor and the object portion at successive times and analyzing a sequence of movement information can be used to determine a path of the object portion with respect to the fixed point. For example, a 3D model of the object portion can be constructed from image sensor output and used to track movement of the object over a region of space. The path can be compared to a plurality of path templates and identifying a template that best matches the path. The template that best matches the path control information to a system can be used to provide the control information to the system. For example, paths recognized from an image sequence (or audio signal, or both) can indicate a trajectory of the object portion such as a gesture of a body portion.

[0088] At action 950, control information can be communicated to a system. For example, a control information such as a command to turn the page of a virtual book can be sent based upon detecting a swipe along the desk surface of the reader’s finger. Many other physical or electronic objects, impressions, feelings, sensations and so forth can be projected onto surface 116 (or in proximity thereto) to augment the virtual device experience and applications are limited only by the imagination of the user.

[0089] FIG. 10 shows a flowchart 1000 of one implementation of cancelling drift in a head mounted device (HMD). Flowchart 1000 can be implemented at least partially with a computer or other data processing system, e.g., by one or more processors configured to receive or retrieve information, process the information, store results, and transmit the results. Other implementations may perform the actions in different orders and/or with different, fewer or additional actions than those illustrated in FIG. 10. Multiple actions can be combined in some implementations. For convenience, this flowchart is described with reference to the system that carries out a method. The system is not necessarily part of the method.

[0090] At action 1010, using an accelerometer, moving reference frame information of a head mounted display (or hand-held mobile device) relative to a fixed point on a human body is determined.

[0091] At action 1020, body portion movement information is captured.

[0092] At action 1030, control information is extracted based partly on the body portion movement information with respect to the moving reference frame information.

[0093] At action 1040, the control information is communicated to a system.

[0094] In some implementations, motion capture is achieved using an optical motion-capture system. In some implementations, object position tracking is supplemented by measuring a time difference of arrival (TDOA) of audio signals at the contact vibrational sensors and mapping surface locations that satisfy the TDOA, analyzing at least one image, captured by a camera of the optical motion-capture system, of the object in contact with the surface, and using the image analysis to select among the mapped TDOA surface locations as a surface location of the contact.

[0095] Reference may be had to the following sources, incorporated herein by reference, for further information regarding computational techniques:

[0096] 1. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_group, on Nov. 4, 2013, 04:08 UTC;

[0097] 2. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affine_transformation, on Nov. 25, 2013, 11:01 UTC;

[0098] 3. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_matrix, Rotation matrix from axis and angle, on Jan. 30, 2014, 20:12 UTC;

[0099] 4. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_group_SO(3), Axis of rotation, on Jan. 21, 2014, 21:21 UTC;

[0100] 5. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformation_matrix, Affine Transformations, on Jan. 28, 2014, 13:51 UTC;* and*

[0101] 6. Wikipedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis%E2%80%93angle_representation, on Jan. 25, 2014, 03:26 UTC.

[0102] While the disclosed technology has been described with respect to specific implementations, one skilled in the art will recognize that numerous modifications are possible. The number, types and arrangement of cameras and sensors can be varied. The cameras’ capabilities, including frame rate, spatial resolution, and intensity resolution, can also be varied as desired. The sensors’ capabilities, including sensitively levels and calibration, can also be varied as desired. Light sources are optional and can be operated in continuous or pulsed mode. The systems described herein provide images and audio signals to facilitate tracking movement of an object, and this information can be used for numerous purposes, of which position and/or motion detection is just one among many possibilities.

[0103] Threshold cutoffs and other specific criteria for distinguishing object from background can be adapted for particular hardware and particular environments. Frequency filters and other specific criteria for distinguishing visual or audio signals from background noise can be adapted for particular cameras or sensors and particular devices. In some implementations, the system can be calibrated for a particular environment or application, e.g., by adjusting frequency filters, threshold criteria, and so on.

[0104] Any type of object can be the subject of motion capture using these techniques, and various aspects of the implementation can be optimized for a particular object. For example, the type and positions of cameras and/or other sensors can be selected based on the size of the object whose motion is to be captured, the space in which motion is to be captured, and/or the medium of the surface through which audio signals propagate. Analysis techniques in accordance with implementations of the technology disclosed can be implemented as algorithms in any suitable computer language and executed on programmable processors. Alternatively, some or all of the algorithms can be implemented in fixed-function logic circuits, and such circuits can be designed and fabricated using conventional or other tools.

[0105] Computer programs incorporating various features of the technology disclosed may be encoded on various computer readable storage media; suitable media include magnetic disk or tape, optical storage media such as compact disk (CD) or DVD (digital versatile disk), flash memory, and any other non-transitory medium capable of holding data in a computer-readable form. Computer-readable storage media encoded with the program code may be packaged with a compatible device or provided separately from other devices. In addition program code may be encoded and transmitted via wired optical, and/or wireless networks conforming to a variety of protocols, including the Internet, thereby allowing distribution, e.g., via Internet download.

[0106] Thus, although the disclosed technology has been described with respect to specific implementations, it will be appreciated that the disclosed technology is intended to cover all modifications and equivalents within the scope of the following claims.

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