Comcast Mobile Innovation Uses Head-Mounted Displays

Comcast won a U.S. patent on Tuesday for an invention that could allow subscribers wearing head-mounted displays to record every waking moment of their lives.

While devices like smart eye-glasses would be capable of identifying people and objects, the top cable MSO says consumers could be given the option to opt out of a real-time imaging product.

“More and more attention is being paid to mobile imaging and audio devices being worn like eyeglasses by users. The ability to take images at any instant and record audio at any time will provide the public unrestricted means to intrude in the lifestyles of individuals. This creates a host of privacy concerns. For example, a person could walk around and collect images and audio of other people without their knowledge. Thus, there is an ever-present need to protect personal privacy, while maximizing the potential use of mobile imaging device,” Comcast states in thed patent, titled, “Real-time image and audio replacement for visual acquistion devies.”

Colorado-based Comcast engineers Edward Monnerat, David Leach, Jonathan Leech, Mehul Patel, Nicholas Pinckernell and Nicholas Cotner are named as inventors on the patent, which Comcast submitted to the USPTO for review in May 2014.

Abstract: According to some aspects, disclosed systems and methods include obtaining an image displaying an object; and performing pattern recognition on the image to determine a characteristic of the object. The systems and methods also include searching a central repository based on the characteristic to determine a candidate match associated with the object, the candidate match being associated with a preference, the preference comprising display instructions for the image; and modifying the image based on the display instructions for the image.

Patent 

Claims

1. A method comprising: obtaining, by a computing device, an image comprising an object; performing pattern recognition on the image to determine a characteristic associated with the object; searching a central repository based on the characteristic to determine a candidate match associated with the object, the candidate match being associated with a preference, the preference comprising display instructions for the image that are based at least on a permission associated with the computing device and on a geographic location of the computing device; and modifying the image based on the display instructions for the image.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein: the obtaining the image comprising the object comprises obtaining an image comprising a face; the performing the pattern recognition comprises performing facial recognition on the image to determine a facial characteristic of the face; the searching the central repository comprises searching a facial recognition database based on the facial characteristic to determine a candidate facial match associated with the face, the candidate facial match being associated with the preference; and the modifying the image comprises modifying the image based on the preference associated with the candidate facial match.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the modifying the image comprises modifying a display of the face in the image.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the obtaining the image comprises obtaining the image via an imaging device, the method further comprising: determining whether a list of one or more approved devices comprises the imaging device, the list of one or more approved devices comprising devices located in a predetermined geographic location; and modifying the image based on whether the list of one or more approved devices comprises the imaging device.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising collecting statistical data based on a display of the modified image.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the modifying the image comprises augmenting a display of the object with at least one of a logo, a product, an advertisement, and combinations thereof.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the modifying the image comprises performing at least one of: distorting at least a portion of the image corresponding to the object, augmenting a display of the object based on a location associated with the object, or modifying a display of at least a portion of the object with an avatar associated with the object.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein: the performing the pattern recognition further comprises determining at least one characteristic of a logo displayed in the image; the searching the central repository further comprises searching the central repository based on the at least one characteristic of the logo to determine at least one candidate logo associated with the logo displayed in the image, the at least one candidate logo being associated with the preference, the preference comprising display instructions for the logo; and the modifying the image further comprises modifying the image based on the display instructions for the logo.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the modifying the image based on the display instructions for the logo further comprises performing at least one of: distorting the logo, modifying the logo to substantially resemble the at least one candidate logo, adding at least one object associated with the at least one candidate logo, or overlaying the logo with at least one object.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the modifying the image based on the display instructions for the logo further comprises modifying a display of the object with the at least one candidate logo.

11. A method comprising: obtaining, by a computing device, an image comprising at least one logo; performing pattern recognition on the image to determine at least one characteristic associated with the at least one logo; searching a database based on the at least one characteristic to determine at least one entry associated with the at least one logo, the at least one entry being associated with at least one preference, the at least one preference comprising display instructions for the image; and modifying the image based on the display instructions for the image by performing at least one of: distorting a display of the at least one logo, modifying a display of the at least one logo to substantially resemble the at least one logo, adding at least one object associated with the at least one logo, or overlaying the at least one logo with at least one object.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the display instructions are based on at least one of a permission associated with the computing device or a geographic location of the computing device.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the at least one logo comprises a trademark or a product identifier.

14. The method of claim 11, further comprising: determining that the image comprises a different object, wherein the at least one preference comprises display instructions specific to the different object; and modifying the different object based on the display instructions specific to the different object.

15. A method comprising: obtaining, by a computing device, an image comprising an object; determining that a transmitter is associated with the object; determining a first preference associated with the object based on the transmitter; retrieving a second preference associated with the object from a database, wherein the second preference is different from the first preference and at least one of the first preference or the second preference is based on a geographic location of the object; determining whether the first preference conflicts with the second preference; and modifying the image based on one of the first preference or the second preference.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: in response to determining that the first preference conflicts with the second preference, determining which of the first preference and the second preference has a higher priority; if it is determined that the first preference has the higher priority, modifying the image based on the first preference; and if it is determined that the second preference has the higher priority, modifying the image based on the second preference.

17. The method of claim 15, further comprising: determining that the image comprises a different object; determining a third preference that is specific to the different object; and modifying the different object in the image based on the third preference.

18. The method of claim 15, further comprising: performing pattern recognition on the image to determine a characteristic of the object, wherein the retrieving the second preference from the database comprises searching the database based on the characteristic to determine a candidate match associated with the object, wherein the candidate match is associated with the second preference.

19. The method of claim 15, further comprising: modifying the image based on a permission associated with the computing device.