Facebook Patent | Sharing And Presentation Of Content Within Augmented-Reality Environments

Patent: Sharing And Presentation Of Content Within Augmented-Reality Environments

Publication Number: 20200066046

Publication Date: 20200227

Applicants: Facebook

Abstract

In one embodiment, a method includes rendering an augmented-reality environment on a display associated with a first computing device that is associated with a first user; determining that the first computing device is authorized to access an augmented-reality content item associated with a location within the augmented-reality environment based on social-networking information associated with the first user, wherein the augmented-reality content item is associated with a second user; receiving, by the first computing device, information configured to render the augmented-reality content item at the associated location within the augmented-reality environment; and rendering, on the display associated with the first computing device, the augmented-reality content item within the augmented-reality environment.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This disclosure generally relates to augmented or virtual reality environments.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Augmented Reality (AR) effects are computer-generated visual effects (e.g., images and animation) that are superimposed or integrated into a user’s view of a real-world scene. Certain AR effects may be configured to track objects in the real world. For example, a computer-generated unicorn may be placed on a real-world table as captured in a video. As the table moves in the captured video (e.g., due to the camera moving or the table being carried away), the generated unicorn may follow the table so that it continues to appear on top of the table. To achieve this effect, an AR application may use tracking algorithms to track the positions and/or orientations of objects appearing in the real-world scene and use the resulting tracking data to generate the appropriate AR effect. Since AR effects may augment the real-world scene in real-time or near real-time while the scene is being observed, tracking data may need to be generated in real-time or near real-time so that the AR effect appears as desired.

[0003] A social-networking system, which may include a social-networking website, may enable its users (such as persons or organizations) to interact with it and with each other through it. The social-networking system may, with input from a user, create and store in the social-networking system a user profile associated with the user. The user profile may include demographic information, communication-channel information, and information on personal interests of the user. The social-networking system may also, with input from a user, create and store a record of relationships of the user with other users of the social-networking system, as well as provide services (e.g., wall posts, photo-sharing, event organization, messaging, games, or advertisements) to facilitate social interaction between or among users.

SUMMARY OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS

[0004] In particular embodiments, a processor of a first computing device may receive first information from one or more sensors associated with the first computing device. This may include information about images captured at the sensors. For example, the sensors may include a camera that captures photo images. In particular embodiments, a computing system (e.g., the first computing device, a server) may receive second information from a second computing device. The second information may include information about images captured at one or more sensors associated with the second computing device. In particular embodiments, a computing system may identify one or more first points within the first images and one or more second points within the second images. These points may correspond to features of interest in the images. In particular embodiments, a computing system may “relocalize” the first computing device and the second computing device within a shared AR environment. This relocalization process may be an initialization or re-initialization process that may be used to orient an AR device within an AR environment.

[0005] The disclosed invention may provide several technological benefits. For example, the relocalization of multiple devices may allow for collaboration among multiple devices in mapping a real-world environment onto an AR environment and tracking objects within the real-world or AR environments. This collaboration among multiple devices may markedly improve the mapping process by reducing the time and effort it takes to map an environment. This improvement may be particularly pronounced and its benefits may compound significantly in cases where the real-world environment that is to be mapped is very large. As an example and not by way of limitation, the time and effort involved with mapping of a large football stadium may be significantly reduced if thirty users can relocalize and map the stadium separately to create a shared AR environment that includes all the points that they each mapped out separately.

[0006] In particular embodiments, a user may share or present an AR content item to other users within an AR environment. In particular embodiments, a first computing device associated with a first user may render an AR environment on a display associated with the first computing device. In particular embodiments, a computing system may determine that the first computing device is authorized to access a particular AR content item associated with a location within the AR environment based on social-networking information associated with the first user. The particular AR content item may be associated with a second user. In particular embodiments, the first computing device may receive information configured to render the AR content item at the associated location within the AR environment. In particular embodiments, the AR content item may be rendered on the display associated with the first computing device, such that it appears within the AR environment.

[0007] In particular embodiments, the AR content item may be integrated into the AR environment and tied to particular locations or objects identified in the environment. By so doing, a more immersive experience may be created for a user viewing an AR environment, such that the AR content may be perceived as being an integral part of the real-world environment being modeled by the AR environment. In particular embodiments, he first user may be able to view or interact with the AR content item in intuitive ways (e.g., picking them up, moving them, modifying them, etc.).

[0008] In particular embodiments, an AR environment may be rendered. In particular embodiments, one or more objects (e.g., a face, an animal, a real-world inanimate object, a virtual object, etc.) may be identified within an AR environment rendered on a display associated with a first computing device associated with a first user. In particular embodiments, a computing system may determine one or more suggested AR content items for the first user. In particular embodiments, the determination as to what content to suggest may be based on social-networking information associated with the first user. In particular embodiments, the determination as to what content to suggest may be based on characteristics associated with the objects identified in the AR environment. In particular embodiments, the suggested AR content item may be presented as suggestions on a display associated with the first computing device. A user may then be able to select a suggested AR content item and interact with it (e.g., by placing it at a location within the AR environment).

[0009] By providing a suggestion tool that intelligently determines optimal AR content that is tailored to the user and the circumstances, users may be encouraged to place AR content within an AR environment or otherwise interact with objects in the AR environment. The suggestion tool may allow for discovery of content that may be particularly relevant to a user (e.g., content created by friends of the user, content tailored to the user’s interests, etc.) at any given time.

[0010] The embodiments disclosed herein are only examples, and the scope of this disclosure is not limited to them. Particular embodiments may include all, some, or none of the components, elements, features, functions, operations, or steps of the embodiments disclosed herein. Embodiments according to the invention are in particular disclosed in the attached claims directed to a method, a storage medium, a system and a computer program product, wherein any feature mentioned in one claim category, e.g. method, can be claimed in another claim category, e.g. system, as well. The dependencies or references back in the attached claims are chosen for formal reasons only. However any subject matter resulting from a deliberate reference back to any previous claims (in particular multiple dependencies) can be claimed as well, so that any combination of claims and the features thereof are disclosed and can be claimed regardless of the dependencies chosen in the attached claims. The subject-matter which can be claimed comprises not only the combinations of features as set out in the attached claims but also any other combination of features in the claims, wherein each feature mentioned in the claims can be combined with any other feature or combination of other features in the claims. Furthermore, any of the embodiments and features described or depicted herein can be claimed in a separate claim and/or in any combination with any embodiment or feature described or depicted herein or with any of the features of the attached claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 illustrates example embodiments of multiple devices configured to communicate information with each other.

[0012] FIG. 2 illustrates an example real-world scene captured within an image or video frame.

[0013] FIG. 3 illustrates an example of an image with identified points associated with certain objects of interest.

[0014] FIG. 4 illustrates another example of an image with identified points associated with an object of interest.

[0015] FIG. 5 illustrates an example abstraction of the concept of relocalizing multiple coordinate spaces.

[0016] FIG. 6 illustrates an example of placing AR content items within an AR environment.

[0017] FIGS. 7A-7B illustrate an example of placing a visual representation of a social-network post within an AR environment.

[0018] FIG. 8 illustrates an example method for mapping an environment with a first computing device and a second computing device.

[0019] FIG. 9 illustrates an example method for relocalizing a first computing device and a second computing device within a shared AR environment.

[0020] FIG. 10 illustrates an example of AR content items being rendered within a view of an AR environment.

[0021] FIG. 11 illustrates an example of a user post being rendered within a view of an AR environment.

[0022] FIG. 12 illustrates an example of an AR mustache being drawn on a face detected in an AR environment.

[0023] FIG. 13 illustrates an example method for rendering, on a computing device of a first user, an AR content item placed by a second user within an AR environment.

[0024] FIG. 14 illustrates an example of a view of AR environment that includes suggested AR content.

[0025] FIG. 15 illustrates an example method for suggesting an AR content item to a user.

[0026] FIG. 16 illustrates an example network environment associated with a social-networking system.

[0027] FIG. 17 illustrates an example social graph.

[0028] FIG. 18 illustrates an example computer system.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0029] In particular embodiments, an AR application may be configured to operate on any computing device, including mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, AR glasses) and other types of computing devices (e.g., desktop computers). In particular embodiments, an AR application may be configured to obtain images (e.g., video frames) of a real-world environment captured by a camera communicatively coupled to the device on which the AR application is running. By processing the images, the AR application may track real-world objects captured within the images.

[0030] In particular embodiments, the AR application may support one or more types of tracking algorithms, which may be used to create a map of a real-world environment to create an AR environment (e.g., an AR representation of the real-world environment). Users may view, interact, or otherwise engage with the AR environment on any AR compatible computing device. As an example and not by way of limitation, a user may be able to view AR content items (e.g., a doodle, a GIF, an avatar, a filter, a mask) within the AR environment. Although this disclosure focuses on AR devices and environments, it contemplates applying the same concepts in the context of virtual-reality (VR) devices and environments. For the purposes of this disclosure, the term “augmented reality” (or AR) also refers to what may sometimes be referred to as “mixed reality.”

[0031] In particular embodiments, a processor of a first computing device may receive first information from one or more sensors associated with the first computing device. This may include information about images captured at the sensors. For example, the sensors may include a camera that captures photo images. In particular embodiments, a computing system (e.g., the first computing device, a server) may receive second information from a second computing device. The second information may include information about images captured at one or more sensors associated with the second computing device. In particular embodiments, a computing system may identify one or more first points within the first images and one or more second points within the second images. These points may correspond to features of interest in the images. In particular embodiments, a computing system may “relocalize” the first computing device and the second computing device within a shared AR environment. This relocalization process may be an initialization or re-initialization process that may be used to orient an AR device within an AR environment.

[0032] The disclosed invention may provide several technological benefits. For example, the relocalization of multiple devices may allow for collaboration among multiple devices in mapping a real-world environment onto an AR environment and tracking objects within the real-world or AR environments. This collaboration among multiple devices may markedly improve the mapping process by reducing the time and effort it takes to map an environment. This improvement may be particularly pronounced and its benefits may compound significantly in cases where the real-world environment that is to be mapped is very large. As an example and not by way of limitation, the time and effort involved with mapping of a large football stadium may be significantly reduced if thirty users can relocalize and map the stadium separately to create a shared AR environment that includes all the points that they each mapped out separately.

[0033] In particular embodiments, a user may share or present an AR content item to other users within an AR environment. In particular embodiments, a first computing device associated with a first user may render an AR environment on a display associated with the first computing device. In particular embodiments, a computing system may determine that the first computing device is authorized to access a particular AR content item associated with a location within the AR environment based on social-networking information associated with the first user. The particular AR content item may be associated with a second user. In particular embodiments, the first computing device may receive information configured to render the AR content item at the associated location within the AR environment. In particular embodiments, the AR content item may be rendered on the display associated with the first computing device, such that it appears within the AR environment.

[0034] In particular embodiments, the AR content item may be integrated into the AR environment and tied to particular locations or objects identified in the environment. By so doing, a more immersive experience may be created for a user viewing an AR environment, such that the AR content may be perceived as being an integral part of the real-world environment being modeled by the AR environment. In particular embodiments, he first user may be able to view or interact with the AR content item in intuitive ways (e.g., picking them up, moving them, modifying them, etc.).

[0035] In particular embodiments, an AR environment may be rendered. In particular embodiments, one or more objects (e.g., a face, an animal, a real-world inanimate object, a virtual object, etc.) may be identified within an AR environment rendered on a display associated with a first computing device associated with a first user. In particular embodiments, a computing system may determine one or more suggested AR content items for the first user. In particular embodiments, the determination as to what content to suggest may be based on social-networking information associated with the first user. In particular embodiments, the determination as to what content to suggest may be based on characteristics associated with the objects identified in the AR environment. In particular embodiments, the suggested AR content item may be presented as suggestions on a display associated with the first computing device. A user may then be able to select a suggested AR content item and interact with it (e.g., by placing it at a location within the AR environment).

[0036] By providing a suggestion tool that intelligently determines optimal AR content that is tailored to the user and the circumstances, users may be encouraged to place AR content within an AR environment or otherwise interact with objects in the AR environment. The suggestion tool may allow for discovery of content that may be particularly relevant to a user (e.g., content created by friends of the user, content tailored to the user’s interests, etc.) at any given time.

[0037] One example of a tracking algorithm is Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). At a high-level, SLAM is a technique that may be used to generate a 3D map of an unknown environment (e.g., in real time). The SLAM technique may employ sensor data from a variety of sensors, including, for example, cameras, LiDAR sensors, radar, gyroscope, and any other suitable types of sensors. In particular embodiments, SLAM implemented on conventional mobile phones may use the phone’s camera(s), gyroscope, and/or accelerometer. Conceptually, given a video frame, SLAM may estimate the relative position and orientation of the camera and features of interest in the scene (e.g., often edges, corners, etc.) and iteratively update the estimates based on motion and the resulting feature observations. Based on positional deviations of those features due to movement, SLAM may use triangulation techniques to generate a 3D model of the recognizable objects in the captured scene. For example, when the camera moves, a landmark point associated with a feature of interest may move. Movement of that landmark (and other landmarks) may be used to estimate the 3D position and orientation of objects.

[0038] Another example of a tracking algorithm is face tracking. In particular embodiments, face-detection algorithms may use machine-learning models to detect facial features (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) and generate a facial mesh using points mapped to those features. In essence, a 3D model of the face may be generated to track a person’s face (and/or feature) movement and orientation. The facial mesh in particular embodiments may be an assembly of multiple (e.g., 32, 64, etc.) polygons (e.g., triangles, squares, etc.) that approximates the contours of a detected face. Using the facial mesh, the tracking algorithm may try to match the facial mesh with the face detected in each video frame. How well the facial mesh fits the face captured in a video frame may be represented as a confidence score (e.g., based on distance measurements and whether facial features corresponding to particular polygons are detectable). When the user’s face is occluded (e.g., due to another object or the face turning in a manner that hides the user’s face from view), the confidence score may drop. In particular embodiments, the confidence score may be 0 or 1, with 0 representing an undetectable face and 1 representing a detectable face (or vice versa). In particular embodiments, a simple face tracking algorithm may track a face based on estimated dimensions of a face or facial features. As an example and not by way of limitation, the simple face tracking algorithm may estimate that a face is nine inches based on a known average (which may be determined using machine-learning models that analyze images) and overlay a facial mesh that maps facial features based on average proportions of facial features.

[0039] Another example of a tracking algorithm is region tracking, which is an appearance-based tracker in accordance with particular embodiments. In particular embodiments, the region-tracking algorithm in particular embodiments mainly process 2D pixel or texture information (aside from possibly generating a plane to model the location of an object in a video frame and using gyroscope data to determine the plane’s orientation in 3D space). At a high-level, the region-tracking algorithm may seek to identify a region in a video frame that corresponds to an object and sees how it transforms in the next frame. In particular embodiments, the region-tracking algorithm may identify and track successive positions of the object in a series of video frames. Pixels of each video frame may be processed using a segmentation algorithm to identify segments that may correspond to real-world objects. The particular segmentation algorithm used may be, for example, motion-based or intensity-based, known to persons of ordinary skill in the art. Each identified segment may be labeled and represented using a polygon to approximate its shape and location within the scene. Each polygon’s motion between frames may be assumed to be a 2D affine transformation. Using the object’s polygon representation and the corresponding motion model (e.g., a machine-learning classifier) a prediction may be made as to where and how the polygon would appear in the next frame. The prediction may be compared to actual segments observed in that frame, and the object’s polygon and motion model may be updated accordingly. Over several iterations, the algorithm may be able to detect with a level of confidence that two polygons appearing in their respective frames are likely the same object and label them as such. The confidence level may drop, however, if an object is sufficiently occluded (e.g., hidden by another object), transformed beyond the predictive ability of the current model, and/or lighting conditions changed significantly to hamper image processing.

[0040] Another example tracking algorithm may simply use gyroscope data. As an example and not by way of limitation, a mobile device may have a built-in gyroscope, which may provide gyroscope data that describes the orientations of the associated mobile device. The orientation data may be purely based on the gyroscope sensor, and as such no image processing may be needed. More information on AR tracking or mapping algorithms may be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/803,428, filed 3 Nov. 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Mapping and Collaboration

[0041] In particular embodiments, a processor of a first computing device may receive first information from one or more sensors associated with the first computing device. The first information may include information associated with one or more images captured at the sensors. As described elsewhere herein, the term “sensor” may include any suitable sensor (e.g., a camera, a LiDAR sensor, a radar sensor) that is capable of capturing an image. The term “image,” when used herein to describe what is captured at a sensor, refers to a representation of an environment (e.g., a representation of an environment surrounding the sensor). As an example and not by way of limitation, the term may describe a visual representation (e.g., a photo) of an environment as captured by a camera. As another example and not by way of limitation, the term may describe a collection of data representing distances to tangible surfaces of an environment as captured by a LiDAR sensor. In particular embodiments, the first information may be information sufficient to reconstruct some or all of the image. As an example and not by way of limitation, in the case where the sensor is a smartphone camera, the first information may encode an image in a raw image format (e.g., an unprocessed pixel buffer directly sourced from the camera) or any other suitable image file format (e.g., JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG).

[0042] In particular embodiments, the first computing device may be a client computing device (e.g., a mobile computing device, a desktop device, a stylus device). In particular embodiments, the first computing device may include a processor, a sensor, and functionality for determining its location, direction, or orientation (e.g., a GPS receiver, an inertial movement unit (IMU), a compass, a gyroscope, an accelerometer). The first computing device may also include functionality for wired communication, or wireless communication, such as BLUETOOTH communication, near-field communication (NFC), infrared (IR) communication, or communication with wireless local area networks (WLANs) or cellular-telephone networks.

[0043] In particular embodiments, the first computing device may include a display that is able to render an AR environment (e.g., on an AR application). In these embodiments, the first computing device may render an AR environment that is based on the images captured at one or more sensors associated with the first computing device. As an example and not by way of limitation, the first computing device may be a smartphone with a screen that displays an AR environment based on images captured with one or more associated local cameras.

[0044] In particular embodiments, the first computing device may not include a display that is able to render an AR environment. As an example and not by way of limitation, the first computing device may be a mobile computing device that may resemble a stylus or marker (referenced herein as a “stylus device”). In this example, the first computing device may still include a sensor that captures images. As another example and not by way of limitation, the computing device may be a smartphone with a camera. In this example, the camera of the smartphone may capture one or more images that may be sent to a processor of the smartphone for processing.

[0045] FIG. 1 illustrates example embodiments of multiple devices configured to communicate information with each other. In particular embodiments, a computing system may receive second information from a second computing device. The second information may include information associated with one or more second images captured at one or more sensors associated with the second computing device. In particular embodiments, the second computing device may be a client computing device (e.g., a mobile computing device, a desktop device, a stylus device). In particular embodiments, the computing system may be the first computing device. As an example and not by way of limitation, the second computing device may be in direct wired or wireless communication with the first computing device (e.g., via BLUETOOTH). In this example, referencing FIG. 1, the first computing device 110 may receive the second information from the second computing device 120 via the connection 140. In particular embodiments, referencing the example in FIG. 1, the second computing device 120 may receive information from the first computing device 110 via the connection 140 (e.g., first information associated with first images captured at the first sensor).

[0046] In particular embodiments, the computing system may be a server computing machine. In these embodiments, the server computing machine may act as an intermediary. As an example and not by way of limitation, referencing FIG. 1, the first computing device 110 may send the first information to the server computing machine 130 via the connection 115. Similarly, in this example, the second computing device 120 may send the second information to the server computing machine 130 via the connection 125. In particular embodiments, a hybrid communication system may be user, where not all of the computing devices may be communicating with the server computing machine. As an example and not by way of limitation, referencing FIG. 1, the first communication device 110 may send the first information to the second computing device 120 via the connection 140, and the second computing device 120 may send both the first information and the second information to the server computing machine 130 via the connection 125. In this example, the computing device 110 may not have established the connection 115 (e.g., because it may lack authorization to do so, or it may otherwise be incapable of doing so for hardware or software reasons).

[0047] In particular embodiments, the first computing device and the second computing device may both be operated by a single user. As an example and not by way of limitation, the first computing device may be a device with a display (e.g., a smartphone) and the second computing device may be a device without a display (e.g., a stylus device, a controller). In this example, a user may view an AR environment with the first computing device and interact with the AR environment (e.g., by placing an AR content item in the AR environment) with the second computing device. In particular embodiments, the first computing device may be operated by a first user and the second computing device may be operated by a second user. Although this disclosure focuses on examples with two computing devices, it contemplates that any number of such devices may be in communication with each other (e.g., receiving and transmitting image information among themselves).

[0048] In particular embodiments, a computing system may identify one or more first points within the first images. In particular embodiments, a computing system may identify one or more second points within the second images. In particular embodiments, the computing system may be the first computing device or the second computing device. As an example and not by way of limitation, the first computing device (or the second computing device) may locally process the images to identify points in the images. In particular embodiments, the computing system may be a server computing machine. As an example and not by way of limitation, the computing system may be a remote server associated with the social-networking system 1660 described herein. In particular embodiments, the computing system may be a combination of multiple devices. As an example and not by way of limitation, the processing tasks required to identify points within an image may be performed by both the first computing device and a server computing machine. As another example and not by way of limitation, the processing tasks may be performed by the first computing device, the second computing device and a server computing machine.

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