How Charter Could Help Subscribers Ditch Eyeglasses

Charter Communications Inc. has designed a program that could allow subscribers to enjoy TV without relying on prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Charter’s approach, contained in a patent application published Thursday, would adjust video based on the input of a subscriber’s eye glasses prescription. The cable MSO also details methods for modifying video without requiring a subscriber to provide a prescription.

Justin Ballard
Charter inventor Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard, a Charter senior analyst, is named as inventor on the patent application, titled, “Compensation for viewing with common vision abnormalities.”

Abstract:  The specification and drawings present a new method, apparatus and software related product (e.g., a computer readable memory or a storage device) for compensation of viewing quality in display/imaging devices for users with common vision abnormalities. In case a user not wearing compensation lenses (such as prescription eye glasses or contact lenses) it can be possible to compensate for user’s vision abnormalities by applying an identified pre-programmed/stored compensation algorithm, corresponding to one of a plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, to the original content/image (e.g., video, multi-media content, digital pictures and the like), for displaying the resulting content on the display/imaging device for viewing with an acceptable level of quality by the user without wearing the compensation lenses.

Patent Application

Claims:

  1. A method, comprising: receiving, by the electronic device, an input user signal to activate image compensation mode for pre-compensating visual abnormalities of a user; and identifying, in the electronic device, one out of a plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms corresponding to one of a plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, each of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms being mapped to a respectful common setting out of the plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, to provide a content generated using the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm applied to an original content for displaying on an imaging device, so that the displayed content being viewed by the user not wearing compensation lenses with an acceptable level of quality.

    2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: providing the content, after applying the identified pre-programmed compensation algorithm to the original content, for displaying on the imaging device for viewing with the acceptable level of quality by the user not wearing the compensation lenses.

    3. The method of claim 1, wherein said identifying include being viewed by the user, not wearing the compensation lenses and being at a predefined distance or within a range of distances from the imaging device, pre-stored images provided by the electronic device, each image being produced using a corresponding pre-programmed compensation algorithm applied to a predefined reference content, and being arbitrarily selected by the user one image produced using the one out of a plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms as providing said acceptable level of quality.

    4. The method of claim 1, wherein said input user signal comprises a corrective eye glasses prescription of the user, and the one of the plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses being identified by comparing said corrective eye glasses prescription with each of the plurality of common settings, and by selecting at least one of the plurality of common settings being closest or coinciding with the corrective eye glasses prescription of the user, so that the one out of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms is identified using said mapping.

    5. The method of claim 4, wherein, when said visual abnormalities in the left and right eyes are different, the method further comprises: modifying said corrective eye glasses prescription of the user by averaging spherical aberration and astigmatism parameters for the left and right eyes, and using said modified corrective eye glasses prescription of the user for said comparing and matching.

    6. The method of claim 4, wherein said compensation lenses are user’s compensation glasses or contact lenses designed using said corrective eye glasses prescription.

    7. The method of claim 1, wherein said electronic device is configured to store said plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms.

    8. The method of claim 7, wherein said electronic device is configured to further store said plurality of common settings.

    9. The method of claim 7, wherein said electronic device is further configured to store a pre-recorded video comprising a plurality of segments, each segment being generated by applying a corresponding compensation algorithm out of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms to a reference segment, so that at least one segment having said acceptable level of quality is selected by the user while viewing the pre-recorded video without wearing compensation lenses, so that the selected at least one segment identifies said one pre-programmed compensation algorithm.

    10. The method of claim 1, wherein the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm is applied to the original content in the electronic device to generate the content.

    11. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprising: sending, by the electronic device, a command to a further electronic device to apply the identified pre-programmed compensation algorithm to the original content and to provide the generated content for displaying on the imaging device for viewing by the user without wearing the compensation lenses.

    12. The method of claim 11, wherein the further electronic device is a headend in a cable system or the imaging device.

    13. The method of claim 1, wherein said applying the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm to the original content comprises using an algebraic transform including an inverse of a Lensmaker’s Equation applied to the original content, said Lensmaker’s Equation having parameters being determined by the corresponding one of the plurality of common settings.

    14. The method of claim 13, wherein the parameters in said Lensmaker’s Equation include a distance from the user to the imaging device, said distance being provided by a distance sensor.

    15. The method of claim 1, wherein the content is a video content, a movie, a multi-media content, or a data-content.

    16. The method of claim 1, wherein the electronic device is a mobile phone, a smart phone, a tablet, a set top box (STB).

    17. The method of claim 1, wherein the imaging device is a phone, a TV set, or a digital display.

    18. The method of claim 1, wherein said electronic device comprises said imaging device.

    19. An apparatus comprising: a processor; a storage medium for tangibly storing thereon program logic for execution by the processor, the program logic comprising: logic receiving, by the electronic device, an input user signal to activate image compensation mode for pre-compensating visual abnormalities of a user; and logic for identifying, in the electronic device, one out of a plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms corresponding to one of a plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, each of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms being mapped to a respectful common setting out of the plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, to provide a content generated using the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm applied to an original content for displaying on an imaging device, so that the displayed content being viewed by the user not wearing compensation lenses with an acceptable level of quality.

    20. A non-transitory computer readable storage medium tangibly storing computer program instructions capable of being executed by a computer processor, the computer program instructions defining code for: receiving, by the electronic device, an input user signal to activate image compensation mode for pre-compensating visual abnormalities of a user; and identifying, in the electronic device, one out of a plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms corresponding to one of a plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, each of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms being mapped to a respectful common setting out of the plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, to provide a content generated using the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm applied to an original content for displaying on an imaging device, so that the displayed content being viewed by the user not wearing compensation lenses with an acceptable level of quality.

    21. A user interface device, comprising: a processor; a storage medium for tangibly storing thereon program logic for execution by the processor, the program logic comprising: logic for providing an input user signal to activate image compensation mode for pre-compensating visual abnormalities of a user; and logic for identifying, one out of a plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms corresponding to one of a plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, each of the plurality of pre-programmed compensation algorithms being mapped to a respectful common setting out of the plurality of common settings for corrective eye glasses, to provide a content generated using the identified one pre-programmed compensation algorithm applied to an original content for displaying on an imaging device, so that the displayed content being viewed by the user not wearing compensation lenses with an acceptable level of quality.