Sony Patent | Information Processing Apparatus, Information Processing Method, And Computer-Readable Recording Medium

Patent: Information Processing Apparatus, Information Processing Method, And Computer-Readable Recording Medium

Publication Number: 20200097074

Publication Date: 20200326

Applicants: Sony

Abstract

There is provided an information processing apparatus that controls display of a virtual object displayed in an extended work space in which a real object and the virtual object are operable, the information processing apparatus including an operation deciding unit configured to decide an operation process to the virtual object displayed in the extended work space on the basis of a result of analysis of input information to the extended work space, the analysis being based on position information of an information terminal detected in the extended work space and display control trigger information for changing display of the virtual object, and a display control unit configured to execute a display control process of the virtual object on the basis of the decided operation process.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/238,701, filed Jan. 3, 2019, which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/890,717, filed Feb. 7, 2018, which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/612,487, filed Jun. 2, 2017, which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/440,383, filed May 4, 2015, which is a National Stage of PCT/JP2013/078100, filed on Oct. 16, 2013, which claims the benefit of priority from Japanese Patent Application No. JP 2012-247940, filed in the Japan Patent Office on Nov. 9, 2012. Each of the above-referenced applications is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to an information processing apparatus, an information processing method, and a computer-readable recording medium.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Action with an actually touchable real object, such as writing characters on a paper with a pen, cutting a cooking ingredient in a kitchen, and playing a card game, is unable to be performed in the same space as action using digital information with a personal computer or a smartphone, for example. However, it is anticipated that, in future, digital information is superimposed on a real world using a projector for example, to enable a work in a space which integrates a real world and a digital information world. Some examples are writing a formula on a paper to automatically generate a graph and projecting a cut line on a cooking ingredient to cut it appropriately according to a recipe. AR application for realizing such processes is, for example, the technology disclosed in Patent Literature 1 and others.

[0004] A preceding technology that presents digital information of a virtual object on a real world is, for example, a technology using a projector, a head mount display (HMD) of a see-through type, a camera-equipped display such as a smartphone, or the like. In the following, such work space that integrates a real world and digital information is referred to as “extended work space”.

CITATION LIST

Patent Literature

[0005] Patent Literature 1: JP 2010-238098A

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

[0006] A work performed in an extended work space is, for example, handling digital information, such as weather, news, clock, and photograph, in an extended work space by projecting them on a desk or a wall. In this case, an application is selected and activated from a home screen image of a smartphone, a tablet terminal, and a personal computer, or the like, and intended digital information is projected to enable handling of digital information in an extended work space. However, to handle intended digital information in an extended work space, one has to switch to the home screen image and select the application every time. Another method is, for example, to activate a specific application from a smartphone and forward digital information to another device. However, one has to select a device to which to digital information is forwarded, from a complicated hierarchical menu structure.

[0007] Thus, the present disclosure proposes a novel and improved information processing apparatus, an information processing method, and a computer-readable recording medium, which enables handling of digital information in an extended work space that integrates a real world and digital information by a simple and intuitive method.

Solution to Problem

[0008] According to the present disclosure, there is provided an information processing apparatus that controls display of a virtual object displayed in an extended work space in which a real object and the virtual object are operable, the information processing apparatus including an operation deciding unit configured to decide an operation process to the virtual object displayed in the extended work space on the basis of a result of analysis of input information to the extended work space, the analysis being based on position information of an information terminal detected in the extended work space and display control trigger information for changing display of the virtual object, and a display control unit configured to execute a display control process of the virtual object on the basis of the decided operation process.

[0009] According to the present disclosure, when a predetermined action is performed using an information terminal in an extended work space, display control of a virtual object of a control target is executed between an information processing apparatus and the information terminal. This provides a user interface that enables a user to operate by a simple and intuitive method.

[0010] According to the present disclosure, there is provided an information processing method of controlling display of a virtual object displayed in an extended work space in which a real object and the virtual object are operable, the information processing method including deciding an operation process to the virtual object displayed in the extended work space, on the basis of a result of analysis of input information to the extended work space, the analysis being based on position information of an information terminal detected in the extended work space and display control trigger information for changing display of the virtual object, and executing a display control process of the virtual object on the basis of the decided operation process.

[0011] Further, the present disclosure provides a computer-readable storage medium having a program stored therein, the program causing a computer to function as the above information processing apparatus.

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS OF INVENTION

[0012] As described above, according to the present disclosure, an information processing apparatus, an information processing method, and a computer-readable recording medium, which enables handling of digital information in an extended work space that integrates a real world and digital information by a simple and intuitive method, is provided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an exemplary configuration of an extended work space system according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a function and configuration of an information recognition display device according to the same embodiment.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating an incorporation process of digital information from an information terminal to an extended work space.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a removal process of digital information displayed on a work surface from an extended work space to an information terminal.

[0017] FIG. 5 is an explanatory diagram for describing a photograph transferring process performed between a work surface in an extended work space and an information terminal.

[0018] FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which a door of a refrigerator is utilized as a work surface of an extended work space.

[0019] FIG. 7 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example of synchronization, when synchronizing digital information displayed in an extended work space and digital information of an information terminal.

[0020] FIG. 8 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an exemplary operation for recognizing a real object in an extended work space and displaying digital information associated with recognized information on a work surface of an extended work space.

[0021] FIG. 9 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an another exemplary operation for recognizing a real object in an extended work space and displaying digital information associated with recognized information on a work surface of an extended work space.

[0022] FIG. 10 is an explanatory diagram for describing an operation for preventing an incorrect operation of transfer of digital information.

[0023] FIG. 11 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an activation process of a remote collaboration function in an extended work space system according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0024] FIG. 12 is an explanatory diagram illustrating another example of an activation process of a remote collaboration function in an extended work space system according to the same embodiment.

[0025] FIG. 13 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example of an authentication method according to the same embodiment.

[0026] FIG. 14 is an explanatory diagram illustrating another example of an authentication method according to the same embodiment.

[0027] FIG. 15 is an explanatory diagram illustrating another example of an authentication method according to the same embodiment.

[0028] FIG. 16 is an explanatory diagram illustrating another example of an authentication method according to the same embodiment.

[0029] FIG. 17 is an explanatory diagram illustrating another example of an authentication method according to the same embodiment.

[0030] FIG. 18 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an example in which operable processes are listed when an authentication successes.

[0031] FIG. 19 is an explanatory diagram for describing an exclusion process to digital information.

[0032] FIG. 20 is a block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of an information processing unit.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0033] Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the appended drawings. Note that, in this specification and the drawings, elements that have substantially the same function and structure are denoted with the same reference signs, and repeated explanation is omitted.

[0034] Note that description will be made in the following order. [0035] 1. First Embodiment (Transfer of Digital Information) [0036] 1.1. Exemplary Configuration of Extended Work Space System [0037] 1.2. Function and Configuration of Information Recognition Display Device [0038] 1.3. Work in Extended Work Space [0039] 2. Second Embodiment (Remote Collaboration Function) [0040] 2.1. Remote Collaboration Function [0041] 2.2. Interactive authentication Method [0042] 3.* Hardware Configuration Example*

1.* First Embodiment*

1.1.* Exemplary Configuration of Extended Work Space System*

[0043] First, with reference to FIG. 1, an exemplary configuration of an extended work space system according to the first embodiment of the present disclosure will be described. FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram illustrating an exemplary configuration of the extended work space system according to the present embodiment.

[0044] The extended work space system according to the present embodiment is a system that recognizes a real object that is present in the real world, and superimposes digital information of a virtual object in the real world, and constructs an extended work space in which the real world and digital information are integrated. The extended work space system includes for example, a projector that projects digital information in the extended work space, a camera that takes an image of the extended work space, a sensing device that recognizes a gesture such as touch, pinch in, and pinch out, performed in the extended work space, and a wireless communication device.

[0045] For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, a tabletop is used as a work surface 2, and an information recognition display device 100 including the projector, the camera, the wireless communication device, and the sensing device is installed on the tabletop to project digital information on the work surface 2, for the purpose of constructing an extended work space. The work surface 2 is an information operation surface on which operation and display of information are performed in the extended work space, and is a region on which the projector can project an image and of which the camera can capture an image. The information recognition display device 100 takes an image of a space including the work surface 2 with the camera, and recognizes a user’s gesture performed on the work surface 2 by the sensing device. Also, the projector projects digital information on the work surface 2 to superimpose digital information on an object that is present in the real world.

[0046] Although in the extended work space system, the information recognition display device 100 including the projector is installed on the tabletop to project digital information on the work surface 2 in an example of FIG. 1, the projector may be installed on a desk light stand on a tabletop, a ceiling light, a wall, or the like. Also, instead of projecting digital information by the projector, a device of a glasses type such as a camera-equipped head mount display (HMD) and a HMD of a see-through type may be used, for example. In this case, the digital information superimposed in the extended work space is superimposed on the display of the glasses type which is worn by a user. Also, as an alternative of the projector, a device such as a smartphone including a camera and a display may be used to superimpose and display digital information on a through-the-lens image that is captured by the camera and displayed on the display.

[0047] Also, the sensing device may be, for example, an IR camera that detects infrared light projected parallelly onto the work surface 2, a stereo camera, a special sensor capable of acquiring depth information, or the like. Also, the sensing device may be a touch sensor that detects a contact of a finger or the like to the work surface 2, and a device capable of acquiring coordinates of a writing trajectory by a digital pen using ultrasonic wave and infrared light. Note that the coordinates of the writing trajectory may be detected by detecting a writing trajectory of a normal pen with another sensor such as a camera, without using the digital pen.

[0048] The wireless communication device is, for example, a device capable of communicating with an external device such as Bluetooth (registered trademark), Wi-Fi (registered trademark), and NFC (Near Field Communication).

1.2.* Function and Configuration of Information Recognition Display Device*

[0049] Next, on the basis of FIG. 2, function and configuration of the information recognition display device 100 will be described. FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the function and configuration of the information recognition display device 100 according to the present embodiment. The information recognition display device 100 according to the present embodiment includes a projection unit 110, a detection unit 120, an imaging unit 130, an information processing unit 140, and a communication unit 150.

[0050] The projection unit 110 is a function unit that projects digital information in the extended work space, and is configured by the projector or the like described in FIG. 1. The projection unit 110 receives a display instruction from the information processing unit 140 described later, and displays digital information in the extended work space in which the projection unit 110 is installed.

[0051] The detection unit 120 detects motion information in the extended work space. The detection unit 120 is configured by the sensing device or the like described in FIG. 1, for example. The detection unit 120 outputs a detection result to the information processing unit 140 described later.

[0052] The imaging unit 130 is a function unit that takes an image of the extended work space, and is configured by the camera or the like described in FIG. 1. The imaging unit 130 outputs a shot image to the information processing unit 140 described later.

[0053] The information processing unit 140 analyzes position and motion of an object in the extended work space, and executes a display process of digital information in the extended work space in response to the analysis result. The information processing unit 140 includes a setting storing unit 148, a display control unit 146, an operation deciding unit 144, and an analysis unit 142, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

[0054] The analysis unit 142 analyzes position and motion of an object in the extended work space on the basis of information of at least one of a detection result of the detection unit 120 and a shot image by the imaging unit 130. For example, the analysis unit 142 calculates a change in the motion of a hand of a user from a detection result by the detection unit 120. Then, the analysis unit 142 identifies a gesture, such as touch and pinch in, and pinch out, which a user performs in the extended work space, from the identified change of the motion of a hand of a user with reference to the setting storing unit 148. The analysis result by the analysis unit 142 is operation input information that a user performs in the extended work space, and digital information is displayed in a virtual work space on the basis of the analysis result. The analysis unit 142 outputs an analysis result to the operation deciding unit 146.

[0055] The operation deciding unit 144 decides an operation method of digital information in the extended work space, on the basis of the analysis result of the analysis unit 142. For example, the operation deciding unit 144 decides the operation method of digital information corresponding to a user’s gesture identified by the analysis unit 142, with reference to the setting storing unit 148. The operation method of the digital information is, for example, copying digital information of an information terminal to the work surface 2, moving digital information of the work surface 2 to an information terminal, scale-up and scale-down of digital information displayed on the work surface 2, or the like. The operation deciding unit 144 outputs the decided operation method to the display control unit 146.

[0056] The display control unit 146 executes a display process of digital information in the extended work space, on the basis of the operation method decided by the operation deciding unit 144. For example, the display control unit 146 executes a display process for displaying a transfer of digital information between an information terminal and the work surface 2, a display change process of digital information displayed in the extended work space (scale-up, scale-down, moving etc.), and the like. The display control unit 146 outputs a display process method of digital information to the projection unit 110, to instruct display of digital information.

[0057] The setting storing unit 148 stores information for deciding analysis executed in the information processing unit 140, an operation method of digital information, or the like. For example, with reference to information stored in the setting storing unit 148, the analysis unit 142 identifies operation input information that a user performs in the extended work space, and the operation deciding unit 144 decides the operation method of digital information in the extended work space.

[0058] The communication unit 150 transmits information to and receives information from the information recognition display device 100 of another extended work space. The communication unit 150 enables information to be exchanged with the information recognition display device 100 of another extended work space, so that each extended work space mutually reflects the situation of another extended work space.

1.3.* Work in Extended Work Space*

[0059] The information recognition display device 100 according to the present embodiment is a device that controls operation of a real object in the extended work space and digital information in an information terminal in response to operation input information input in the extended work space. The information recognition display device 100 executes a control to enable simple and intuitive handling of digital information, for the purpose of removing complicated operations and efforts that has occurred when handling digital information in the extended work space in the past.

[0060] First, on the basis of FIGS. 3 to 5, a transfer process of digital information performed between the work surface in the extended work space 2 and the information terminal, which is a basic process by the information recognition display device 100, will be described. FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating an incorporation process of digital information from the information terminal 200 to the extended work space. FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a removal process of digital information displayed on the work surface from the extended work space to the information terminal 200. FIG. 5 is an explanatory diagram for describing a photograph transferring process performed between the work surface in the extended work space 2 and the information terminal 200.

[0061] When digital information is able to be transferred between the work surface in the extended work space 2 and the information terminal 200, work such as editing can be performed at a site where operation of digital information is easy, and digital information can be incorporated into the portable information terminal 200 after completion of the work. Note that, the information terminal 200 is, for example, a device such as a smartphone, a tablet terminal, and a digital camera.

[0062] The information terminal 200 has a limited operation region, while being capable of creating a spacious work surface 2 in the extended work space. Accordingly, for example, when editing a plurality of images stored in the information terminal 200, only an editing target image is displayed and edited one by one in the information terminal 200, due to the limitation of the operation region. Thus, images stored in the information terminal 200 are incorporated on the work surface 2, and the incorporated images are spread on the work surface 2, in order to enable a person to simultaneously edit images while looking at different images. In addition, work of digital information utilizing the extended work space is particularly effective, when a large work space is to be provided, such as when a plurality of persons browse and share photographs, or when a message is written on a screen image.

[0063] Note that, in the following, digital information can be various information including content such as moving image and sound, an information posting service such as twitter (registered trademark), an application such as clock, news, game, and the like. Also, the digital information selected in the information terminal 200 may be stored in the main body of the information terminal 200, or may be stored in a server connected to the information terminal 200 via a network in a communicable manner, like cloud computing. The information recognition display device 100 of the extended work space and the information terminal 200 are in advance connected to each other by wireless communication. Pairing of these devices may be conducted by a past setting method using the setting screen image of the operation terminal, or may be conducted by touch pairing in which pairing is automatically conducted by contacting the information terminal 200 that is to be paired on the information recognition display device 100. [0064] (1)* Digital Information Incorporation Process*

[0065] First, a process for incorporating digital information selected in the information terminal 200 from the information terminal 200 into the work surface in the extended work space 2 will be described. As illustrated in FIG. 3, first, a user operates the information terminal 200 to select digital information that is to be incorporated into the work surface 2 (S100). One or a plurality of pieces of digital information may be incorporated. In the left side of FIG. 5, a photograph is taken as an example of digital information, to illustrate an exemplary operation for incorporating a photograph of the information terminal 200 into the work surface 2 of the extended work space. In this example, the photograph 300 of the incorporation target is displayed on the screen of the information terminal 200, to enable the incorporation target to be selected. Note that, when incorporating a plurality of photographs, a user performs an operation for deciding incorporation targets (for example, pressing a screen image for a long period to display an incorporation target decision button and pressing the button, etc.) with the information terminal 200.

[0066] After selecting digital information of the incorporation target, a user puts the information terminal 200 on the work surface in the extended work space 2, as the operation for instructing incorporation of digital information (S102). In the example of the left side of FIG. 5, a user puts the information terminal 200 on the tabletop of the work surface 2. When the information recognition display device 100 recognizes that a user puts the information terminal 200 on the work surface 2, the digital information of the incorporation target is incorporated in the work surface 2 in response to display control triggering information created by putting the information terminal 200 on the work surface 2 (S104). A method for determining that an incorporation action of digital information is performed can be, for example, a method using an image recognition technology, a method using a time stamp, or the like.

[0067] In the method using an image recognition technology, first, the imaging unit 130 of the information recognition display device 100 takes an image of digital information displayed on the information terminal 200, and the analysis unit 142 recognizes the captured image of digital information. For example, the image recognition is performed by registering in advance, in the information recognition display device 100, registered images corresponding to digital information displayed on the information terminal 200, and matching the image captured by the imaging unit 130 to the registered image. Besides, digital information of the incorporation target may be recognized, for example, by identifying a two-dimensional bar code such as a QR code (registered trademark) displayed on the information terminal 200, or identifying a time-series lighting pattern of the screen image of the information terminal 200. Information that is to be acquired in advance for image recognition is recorded in the setting storing unit 148 of the image recognition display device 100.

[0068] On the other hand, in the method using a time stamp, the incorporation action may be determined from a temporal difference between a time stamp of a time point when the information terminal 200, of which the motion is detected, stops its motion (“motion-stop determination time point”) and a time stamp of a motion-stop determination time point acquired by the detection unit 120. Note that the inside clocks of the information terminal 200 and the information recognition display device 100 are synchronized in advance. Alternatively, a temporal difference of the inside clocks are measured in advance, and one of the time stamps is corrected by the temporal difference. Also, in addition to the comparison of the time stamps, the analysis unit 142 may calculate a normalized cross-correlation between the motion information recognized by the information terminal 200 and the motion information of the information terminal 200 recognized by the information recognition display device 100, so that the execution of the incorporation action may be determined on the basis of the time difference at which the correlation value is highest.

[0069] In addition to such execution determination of the incorporation action of digital information, the analysis unit 142 determines whether or not the information terminal 200 has contacted the work surface 2 from the detection result of the detection unit 120. If it is determined that the information terminal 200 has contacted the work surface 2 on the basis of the analysis result of the analysis unit 142, and the digital information of the incorporation target is identified from image recognition, the operation deciding unit 144 starts the incorporation process of the digital information to the work surface 2 (S106).

[0070] Specifically, the digital information of the incorporation target is transmitted from the information terminal 200 via the communication unit, to the information recognition display device 100. When the main body of the information terminal 200 does not store the digital information of the incorporation target, the digital information may be transmitted from the server or the like that stores the digital information to the information recognition display device 100. Also, the information recognition display device 100 may be configured without the main body of the information recognition display device 100 that stores digital information, but digital information may be stored in a server connected via a network in a communicable manner, likewise the information terminal 200. In this case, the information terminal 200 transmits digital information of the incorporation target to a server that stores digital information of the information recognition display device 100.

[0071] In step S106, digital information of the incorporation target is displayed on the work surface 2 of the extended work space, to show that digital information is transferred from the information terminal 200 to the work surface 2. When the operation deciding unit 144 starts an incorporation process of digital information, the display control unit 146 acquires digital information from the device that stores digital information of the incorporation target in response to the start of the process. The digital information of the incorporation target is stored in the server or the like capable of communicating via the information terminal 200 or a network, and the operation deciding unit 144 is connected to the network via the communication unit 150 to acquire digital information of the incorporation target.

[0072] Then, the display control unit 146 causes the projection unit 110 to project the acquired digital information (S108). In this way, digital information of the information terminal 200 is incorporated in the extended work space. For example, in the example of the left side of FIG. 5, image recognition of the photograph 300 displayed on the screen of the information terminal 200 put on the tabletop is normally executed, and the information terminal 200 put on the tabletop is recognized. In this case, the photograph is transmitted from the information terminal 200 to the information recognition display device 100, so that the projection unit 110 projects the photograph on the tabletop. The photograph displayed on the information terminal 200 is displayed on the tabletop when a user lifts the information terminal 200 from the tabletop, a user can recognize that the photograph of the information terminal 200 is incorporated in the extended work space.

[0073] In the above, the incorporation process of digital information has been described. Note that incorporation of digital information from the information terminal 200 to the work surface 2 of the extended work space may be a copy of the information terminal 200 to the information recognition display device 100, or a move of digital information of the information terminal 200 to the information recognition display device 100. When digital information of the information terminal 200 is moved to the information recognition display device 100, only digital information may be displayed on the work surface 2, and the information terminal 200 does not display digital information. Also, when digital information of the information terminal 200 is moved to the information recognition display device 100, the information terminal 200 may display the display information that expresses digital information of the information terminal 200 that has moved to the information recognition display device 100. Thereby, a user can intuitively recognize that the digital information is moved from the information terminal 200. Such display control of the information terminal 200 is achieved by transmitting the information for changing the display of the information terminal 200 from the information recognition display device 100 to the information terminal 200, at a time in response to the incorporation process of digital information. When removing digital information displayed on the work surface 2 with the information terminal 200, the same or similar display process may be executed. As illustrated in the right side of FIG. 5, the display of digital information may be erased from the work surface 2 when the digital information is removed to the information terminal 200, and the digital information may be displayed on the work surface 2 when digital information is transferred to the information terminal 200. Further, the digital information incorporated from the information terminal 200 to the work surface 2 of the extended work space is freely operated (edited, moved, etc.) on the work surface 2. A specific example of the operation method performable on the work surface 2 of the extended work space will be described later. [0074] (2)* Digital Information Removal Process*