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Publication numberUS20070005651 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/195,346
Publication dateJan 4, 2007
Filing dateAug 2, 2005
Priority dateJul 1, 2005
Also published asUS7860342, US20070002360, US20120093355
Publication number11195346, 195346, US 2007/0005651 A1, US 2007/005651 A1, US 20070005651 A1, US 20070005651A1, US 2007005651 A1, US 2007005651A1, US-A1-20070005651, US-A1-2007005651, US2007/0005651A1, US2007/005651A1, US20070005651 A1, US20070005651A1, US2007005651 A1, US2007005651A1
InventorsRoyce Levien, Robert Lord, Mark Malamud, John Rinaldo
Original AssigneeSearete Llc, A Limited Liability Corporation Of The State Of Delaware
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Restoring modified assets
US 20070005651 A1
Abstract
An apparatus, device, methods, computer program product, and system are described that determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
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Claims(56)
1. A method comprising:
determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion; and
altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
receiving a request from a user for the restored media asset.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
receiving payment from a user for obtaining the restored media asset.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining metadata associated with the modified media asset that identifies the modified media asset as containing the modified portion.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
associating at least an attribute of the modified media asset with a capture device used to obtain at least a part of the modified media asset.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
associating at least an attribute of the modified media asset with a user known to have captured at least a part of the modified media asset.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
analyzing at least the modified portion of the media asset to recognize the modified portion.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein analyzing at least the modified portion of the media asset to recognize the modified portion comprises:
performing image analysis of the modified media asset.
9. (canceled)
10. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining an attribute of an included subject within the modified media asset.
11. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining one or more of a symbol or a word within the modified media asset.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
associating at least a portion of the modified media asset with a setting content of the modified media asset.
13. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
evaluating an attribute of at least the modified portion against recognition criteria specifying media asset attributes associated with identifying modified media assets.
14. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining a user preference associated with the modified portion.
15. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining a preference associated with a subject of the former portion.
16. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining a preference of a user who captured at least a part of the modified media asset.
17. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining a preference of a producer of the restored media asset.
18. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining identity information associated with the modified media asset.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein determining identity information associated with the modified media asset comprises:
matching audio information within the modified media asset with a person.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein determining identity information associated with the modified media asset comprises:
determining that the identity information is associated with an obscuring identity.
21. The method of claim 18 wherein determining identity information associated with the modified media asset comprises:
associating image information within the modified portion with an image subject.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein associating image information within the modified portion with an image subject comprises:
matching the subject with at least one of a plurality of subjects that have been designated for inclusion in the modified media asset.
23. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
determining the modified media asset to include one or more of a still image, an imaged element within a video stream, a word within an audio stream, or a sound within an audio stream.
24. (canceled)
25. The method of claim 1 wherein determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
receiving the modified media asset at a central collection facility for collecting media assets.
26. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
altering the modified media asset based on access information associated with one or more of a former media asset, the modified media asset, or the restored media asset.
27. (canceled)
28. The method of claim 26 wherein altering the media asset based on access information associated with one or more of a former media asset, the modified media asset, or the restored media asset comprises:
determining an attribute of the former portion to include within the restored media asset, based on the access information.
29. (canceled)
30. (canceled)
31. The method of claim 28 wherein determining an attribute of the former portion to include within the restored media asset, based on the access information comprises:
evaluating a request of a requestor of the restored media asset against a permission level associated with the requestor.
32. The method of claim 28 wherein determining an attribute of the former portion to include within the restored media asset, based on the access information comprises:
evaluating a recipient of the restored media asset against a permission level associated with the recipient.
33. The method of claim 28 wherein determining an attribute of the former portion to include within the restored media asset, based on the access information comprises:
evaluating a context display of the restored media asset against a permission level associated with the context display.
34. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
replacing a modified image within the modified portion with at least an attribute of a former image within the former portion.
35. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
replacing a modified image within the modified portion with replacement image that includes a former image within the former portion as well as enhancements to the former image.
36. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
obtaining the part of the former portion from a substitutions database that is operable to store an inventory of substituted asset portions.
37. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
revealing identity information related to a subject of the former portion by restoring at least a part of an image of the subject from the former portion within the restored media asset.
38. (canceled)
39. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
accessing encryption information regarding the modified portion.
40. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
providing the encryption information to a user to enable the user to obtain the restored media asset.
41. The method of claim 1 wherein altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored comprises:
producing the restored media asset as a digital restored media asset.
42. A computer program product comprising:
a signal-bearing medium bearing at least one of
one or more instructions for determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and
one or more instructions for altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
43. (canceled)
44. (canceled)
45. (canceled)
46. A system comprising:
a computing device; and
instructions that when executed on the computing device cause the computing device to
determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and
alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
47. (canceled)
48. The system of claim 46 wherein the computing device is operable to communicate with a user device to receive the modified media asset from the consumer and to produce the restored media asset to the user.
49. A device comprising:
a processing system, the processing system comprising
recognition logic that is operable to determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and
restoration logic that is operable to alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
50. The device of claim 49 wherein the recognition logic is operable to communicate with a memory storing recognition criteria.
51. The device of claim 49 wherein the restoration logic is operable to access a former asset for inclusion in the restored media asset.
52. (canceled)
53. A method comprising:
providing a modified media asset to a processing system for recognition of a modified portion within the modified media asset that has been modified from a former portion; and
receiving a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.
54. The method of claim 53 wherein providing a modified media asset to a processing system for recognition of a modified portion within the modified media asset that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
specifying recognition parameters by which the modified portion may be determined, by way of a user interface.
55. The method of claim 53 wherein providing a modified media asset to a processing system for recognition of a modified portion within the modified media asset that has been modified from a former portion comprises:
specifying restoration parameters by which the former portion may be restored, by way of a user interface.
56. (canceled)
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

1. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled TECHNIQES FOR IMAGE GENERATION, naming Royce A. Levien; Robert W. Lord; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, USAN: Ser. No. 11/173,990, filed Jul. 1, 2005.

2. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled PROVIDING PROMOTIONAL CONTENT, naming Royce A. Levien; Robert W. Lord; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, USAN: Ser. No. 11/174,432, filed Jul. 1, 2005.

3. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled MODIFYING RESTRICTED IMAGES, naming Royce A. Levien; Robert W. Lord; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, USAN: To be Assigned, filed Aug. 2, 2005.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to, claims the earliest available effective filing date(s) from (e.g., claims earliest available priority dates for other than provisional patent applications; claims benefits under 35 USC § 119(e) for provisional patent applications), and incorporates by reference in its entirety all subject matter of the following listed application(s) (the “Related Applications”) to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith; the present application also claims the earliest available effective filing date(s) from, and also incorporates by reference in its entirety all subject matter of any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of the Related Application(s) to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) has published a notice to the effect that the USPTO's computer programs require that patent applicants reference both a serial number and indicate whether an application is a continuation or continuation in part. Kunin, Benefit of Prior-Filed Application, USPTO Electronic Official Gazette, Mar. 18, 2003 at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/og/2003/week11/patbene.htm. The present applicant entity has provided below a specific reference to the application(s)from which priority is being claimed as recited by statute. Applicant entity understands that the statute is unambiguous in its specific reference language and does not require either a serial number or any characterization such as “continuation” or “continuation-in-part.” Notwithstanding the foregoing, applicant entity understands that the USPTO's computer programs have certain data entry requirements, and hence applicant entity is designating the present application as a continuation in part of its parent applications, but expressly points out that such designations are not to be construed in any way as any type of commentary and/or admission as to whether or not the present application contains any new matter in addition to the matter of its parent application(s).

SUMMARY

An embodiment provides a method. In one implementation, the method includes but is not limited to determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. In addition to the foregoing, other method aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present disclosure.

An embodiment provides a computer program product. In one implementation, the computer program product includes but is not limited to a signal bearing medium bearing at least one of one or more instructions for determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and one or more instructions for altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. In addition to the foregoing, other computer program product aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present disclosure.

An embodiment provides a system. In one implementation, the system includes but is not limited to a computing device and instructions. The instructions when executed on the computing device cause the computing device to determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. In addition to the foregoing, other system aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present disclosure.

An embodiment provides a device. In one implementation, the device includes but is not limited to a processing system, the processing system comprising recognition logic that is operable to determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and restoration logic that is operable to alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. In addition to the foregoing, other device aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present disclosure.

An embodiment provides another method. In one implementation, the method includes but is not limited to providing a modified media asset to a processing system for recognition of a modified portion within the modified media asset that has been modified from a former portion, and receiving a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. In addition to the foregoing, other method aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present disclosure.

In one or more various aspects, related systems include but are not limited to circuitry and/or programming for effecting the herein-referenced method aspects; the circuitry and/or programming can be virtually any combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware configured to effect the herein-referenced method aspects depending upon the design choices of the system designer.

In addition to the foregoing, various other embodiments are set forth and described in the text (e.g., claims and/or detailed description) and/or drawings of the present description.

The foregoing is a summary and thus contains, by necessity, simplifications, generalizations and omissions of detail; consequently, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other aspects, features, and advantages of the devices and/or processes described herein, as defined by the claims, will become apparent in the detailed description set forth herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an example system in which embodiments may be implemented, perhaps in a device.

FIGS. 2A-2C illustrate certain alternative embodiments of the device and/or processing system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates an operational flow representing example operations that produce a restored media asset.

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 10 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 11 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the example operational flow of FIG. 3.

FIG. 12 illustrates a partial view of an example computer program product that includes a computer program for executing a computer process on a computing device.

FIG. 13 illustrates an example device in which embodiments may be implemented.

FIG. 14 illustrates an operational flow representing example operations by which a user receives a restored media asset.

The use of the same symbols in different drawings typically indicates similar or identical items.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an example system 100 in which embodiments may be implemented, perhaps in the context of a device. In FIG. 1, a former media asset 101 is assumed to have been modified, converted, manipulated, or otherwise transformed into a modified media asset 102. Although full discussion and details as to how or why such modification may take place are not provided herein, it should be understood that various possibilities and techniques exist for obtaining the modified media asset 102 from the former media asset 101. By way of example and not limitation, a user may modify the former media asset 101 using conventional audio or image editing tools. As another example, a system may input the former media asset 101 and perform certain operations thereon to obtain the modified media asset 102, such as, for example, obscuring, enhancing, processing, or replacing portions of the former media asset 101. Further examples of such operations include rotating, scaling, coloring, or substituting portions of the former media asset 101, or altering a contrast, brightness, or other attribute of the former media asset 101. Such operations may be performed, for example, in order to improve the former media asset 101 or otherwise to match a user preference, to block out certain portions of the former media asset 101, or to anonymize or otherwise obscure an identity of a person or other subject of the former media asset 101.

At some time after being modified, the modified media asset 102 is received at a processing system 104 and thereafter output by the processing system 104 as a restored media asset 106. More specifically, the modified media asset 102 includes a modified portion 108, and the processing system 104 is operable to determine that the modified portion 108 is, in fact, modified from some former state.

The processing system 104 is further operable to restore the modified media asset 102, and in particular, to restore at least a portion of the modified portion 108, and thereafter output the restored media asset 106 having a restored portion 110. In this way, for example, the modified media asset 102 may be viewed in its original form (or in some version of some previous form).

Of course, the example just mentioned does not imply a limitation that the restored portion 110 is identical to the former portion 107. For example, only a part of the former portion 107 may be included in the restored portion 110, and even this part may be modified (e.g., clarified or enhanced) with respect to its counterpart in the actual former portion 107.

Also, although the example of FIG. 1 illustrates an image of a human figure as the former portion 107, modified portion 108, and the restored portion 110, it is apparent that any other subject or element of a modified media asset may be restored in the manner described, including images of places and things, and including a non-image subject (e.g., a spoken word or other sound). Additionally, the modified portion 108 need not include a single, or any, discernable element of the modified media asset 102, and may represent, for example, a background or blank space in the modified media asset 102 that has obscured the former portion 107, but that is nonetheless determined by the processing system 104 and restored within the restored media asset 106. Thus, the terms subject, element, item, discernable element, or similar terms should be read accordingly, unless context dictates otherwise.

The processing system 104 includes recognition logic 112 that is operable to recognize the modified nature of the modified portion 108. The processing system 104 also includes restoration logic 114 that is operable to restore the modified media asset 102 (including the modified portion 108) to obtain the restored media asset 106 and the restored portion 110.

As described in more detail herein, the recognition logic 112 may determine the modified portion 108 within the modified media asset 102 using recognition criteria 116. As also described in more detail herein, the restoration logic 114 may obtain the restored portion 110 by accessing restoration criteria 118, and/or by accessing substitute information 119. Specific examples of operations involving these elements of the processing system 104 are provided below in the context of various operational flows.

Generally speaking, however, the recognition logic 112 may operate to analyze various attributes of the modified media asset 102, including, for example, attributes of the modified portion 108, in order to determine a modified nature of the modified portion 108. One example of attributes of the modified media asset 102 that is illustrated in FIG. 1 includes concurrent image(s) 120, i.e., the recognition logic 112 may make a determination that the modified portion 108 is modified based on a presence or absence of the concurrent image(s) 120, or based on the presence or absence of certain attributes of the concurrent image(s) 120. Of course, attributes of the modified media asset 102 are not necessarily limited to characteristics of the modified media asset 102, and also may include, for example, metadata associated with the modified media asset 102, an identity of a person, place, or thing within or in association with the modified portion 108, or information related to a person and/or device involved in capturing the modified media asset 102. Meanwhile, the restoration logic 114 may operate to restore the restored portion 110, by, for example, selecting the former portion 107 from the substitution information 119, for inclusion in whole or in part in the restored portion 110.

Further in FIG. 1, a user 122 accesses the processing system 104 by way of a user interface 124. In this way, the user 122 may, for example, submit the modified media asset 102 to the processing system 104, or receive the restored media asset 106 from the processing system 104, or may become involved in operations of the processing system 104. The user interface 124 also may be used, for example, to define or modify the recognition criteria 116, or to select the restoration criteria 118. The user interface 124 also may be used to control a type and/or extent of the recognition performed by the recognition logic 112, or to control a type and/or extent of the restorations performed by the restoration logic 114.

Also in FIG. 1, a device 126 is shown in which the processing system 104 may operate. As described in more detail with respect to FIG. 2 and following figures, the device 126 may include in some examples, an image capture device, a print device, a display device, an audio capture device, a general-purpose computing device, or virtually any other device or combination of devices that may be used to store, transmit, display, or render a media asset.

The processing system 104 also may be operable to perform other processing of the modified media asset 102, such as, for example, enhancing, editing, displaying, or otherwise improving the modified media asset 102, or, in other example embodiments, such additional processing may be performed by other external systems (not shown), if needed.

FIG. 1 also illustrates the possibility that the modified media asset 102 may be associated with metadata 128. For example, a video stream may have an associated closed-captioning stream, or a web page may have metadata associated with content of the page. Typically, such metadata 128 may not be viewable to the user 122, or may only be viewable if some specific action is taken by the user 122. The metadata 128 may be intended by a designer or producer of the modified media asset 102, or by an intervening user of the modified media asset 102, to provide additional information or level of enjoyment to the user 122, and may be used by the processing system 104 to assist in, for example, determining the modified portion 108, as described in more detail, below. The metadata 128 may or may not be included within, or otherwise associated with, the former media asset 101, or the restored media asset 106.

A symbol or text 130, on the other hand, generally represents information that is included within the modified media asset 102 for normal viewing, listening, or other reception by the user 122 or another user. For example, a web page may include a news article that names a person who is pictured in the article. By using the name text, the recognition logic 112 may be able to determine identity or other information regarding the modified portion 108, or the concurrent image(s) 120, and may therefore take associated restorative action to obtain the restored media asset 106.

In FIG. 1, it should be understood that any and/or all of the illustrated elements, and other elements, not illustrated, may be in communication with one another according to any known methods, including but not limited to the various communication techniques discussed herein. As such, it should be understood that the various elements need not be located or co-located as illustrated in the example of FIG. 1. For example, in some embodiments, the recognition logic 112 and/or the recognition criteria 116 may be remote from the processing system 104. Similarly, the user interface 124 may be implemented at a local computing device of the user 122, remote from the processing system 104, or may be a part of the device 126 that may house the processing system 104, as well.

FIGS. 2A-2C illustrate certain alternative embodiments of the device 126 and/or processing system 104 of FIG. 1. In FIG. 2A, the device 126 is illustrated as a printer 126 a, which includes the processing system 104 and a display 202. The display 202 may be used to display a preview of a media asset to be printed with the printer 126 a, such as, for example, the former media asset 101, the modified media asset 102 and/or the restored media asset 106, and, of course, the printer 126 a may be used to print the modified media asset 102 and/or the restored media asset 106 on paper 204, as well.

The display 202 also should be understood to function, in some example embodiments, as the user interface 124. For example, the display 202 may include touch-screen control for operating the printer 126 a and/or the processing system 104, or various buttons, keys, or other selection/input devices (not shown) may be used. In additional or alternative embodiments, an external computing device may be connected to the printer 126 a for control thereof, including control of the processing system 104.

In FIG. 2B, the device 126 is illustrated as a camera 126 b, which, similarly to the printer 126 a, includes some or all of the processing system 104, as well as a display 206. As with the printer 126 a, the camera 126 b (and/or the processing system 104) may be controlled by the user 122, either using the display 206 (and possibly associated controls), or using an external computing device.

In FIG. 2C, the processing system 104 is illustrated as part of a processing service 208, which may be remote from the user 122 at a display device 210, and in communication therewith by way of a network 212. In such example embodiments, the user 122 may use the display device 210 to transmit and receive the modified media asset 102 and/or the restored media asset 106, respectively, in order to obtain the various advantages described herein. Of course, the display device 210 may include any computing device that may include a display, including, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a laptop computer, a desktop computer, or any other of the examples provided herein and/or that are generally known. Also, as shown, the processing system 104 may be included in the display device 210 (or any other computing device), as well. In one example, discussed in more detail below, the processing service 208 may operate as a clearinghouse at which media assets of various types and captured by a number of users may be processed, so that any modified images therein may be restored appropriately.

In FIG. 3 and in following figures that include various examples of operational flows, discussion and explanation may be provided with respect to the above-described examples of FIGS. 1, 2A, 2B, and 2C, and/or with respect to other examples and contexts. However, it should be understood that the operational flows may be executed in a number of other environment and contexts, and/or in modified versions of FIGS. 1, 2A, 2B, and 2C. Also, although the various operational flows are presented in the sequence(s) illustrated, it should be understood that the various operations may be performed in other orders than those which are illustrated, or may be performed concurrently.

FIG. 3 illustrates an operational flow 300 representing example operations that produce the restored media asset 106. After a start operation, the operational flow 300 moves to a determining operation 310 where it is determined that the modified media asset 102 includes the modified portion 108 that has been modified from the former portion 107. For example, the recognition logic 112 of the processing system 104 may determine that the modified portion 108 includes a person, place, or thing that is known to be used as a replacement image or other subject, and that, for example, therefore may be subject to restoration to a former image or other subject, within the restored media asset 106. Various other examples of the determining operation 310 are provided in detail, below.

At an altering operation 320, the modified media asset 102 is altered to produce the restored media asset 106 in which at least a part of the former portion 107 is restored. For example, as in FIG. 1, the restoration logic 114 may operate to replace a modified image of a person or a part of a person with a former image of an originally-imaged person (or part thereof). In this case, the restored or revealed part or portion may include, for example, one or more of a body (part) shape, a shared facial feature or skin tone, a shared gender or race, a shared hair color or body physique, or numerous other examples, and combinations thereof. Of course, the modified image need not be of a person, but also may include virtually any object that may be imaged, including places, objects, or landmarks, to name just a few. Further, the modified image need not be of a single one of these possibilities, but could include multiple people, places, or things, or combinations thereof. Further, the media asset(s) 101, 102, and 106 need not include images, and may include audio media assets, text media assets, and other media assets (some examples of which are given below), as well as combinations thereof. Further examples are provided below.

In some embodiments, the user 122 may include a person, an entity, and/or a government. Although a user may be shown herein as a single illustrated figure, and/or be described in the singular, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the term user may be representative of one or more human user(s), robotic user(s) (e.g., computational entity), and/or substantially any combination thereof (e.g., a user may be assisted by one or more robotic agents). Further, the user, as set forth herein, even if shown as a single entity, may in fact be composed of two or more entities. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that, in general, the same may be said of “sender” and/or other entity-oriented terms as such terms may be used herein.

In some embodiments, the modified media asset 102 may include a visual image, a picture, a website, an audio recording, a video stream, and/or an audio stream. In additional or alternative embodiments, the modified media asset 102 also may include text, such as may be included in an article or other writing, or in a website. The modified media asset 102 may be embodied in various forms, including but not limited to digital files or transmissions, analog recordings or transmissions, or may be embodied in physical form, such as, for example, on paper, plastic, canvas, wood, or any other physical medium in which text, image, or other representations may be embodied.

The modified media asset 102 may be received, stored and/or transmitted using typical elements of a computer environment. The modified media asset 102 (and the restored media asset 106) may be transmitted over a network such as the network 212 of FIG. 2, which may represent, for example, a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, or the modified media asset 102 may be broadcast over the air.

The former media asset 101, the modified media asset 102 (and the restored media asset 106) may be captured, received, displayed and/or transmitted, for example and without limitation, using one or more of the following: an electronic device; an appliance; a computing device, such as a personal computer and a server; a limited resource computing device; a pervasive computing device; a personal digital assistant (PDA); a cell phone; a Blackberry appliance; a vehicle, such as a car, boat, and/or aircraft; an X-Box; a home gateway; a set-top box; a television, a radio, a camera; a printer; a digital video disc (DVD) recorder or burner; and a TiVo or other digital video recorder (DVR).

FIG. 4 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 4 illustrates example embodiments where the determining operation 310 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 402, operation 404, operation 406, operation 408, and/or operation 410.

At the operation 402, a request from a user for the restored media asset is received. For example, the user 122 may request the restored media asset 106 from the processing system 104. Specifically, for example, the user 122 may know or suspect that the modified media asset 102 has, in fact, been modified (and may or may not know that the modified portion 108 is the specific portion that has been modified), and may submit or otherwise identity the modified media asset 102 to the processing system 104 to obtain the restored media asset 106.

At the operation 404, payment is received from a user for obtaining the restored media asset. For example, the user 122 may offer payment to the processing system 104, or an operator thereof, for the service of providing the restored media asset 106. Here, the user 122 may be the same user requesting the restored media asset 106 of the operation 402, or may be a different user.

Also, payment may refer generally to any type of monetary compensation, and/or non-monetary compensation, and/or economic value exchange. Such payment may, for example, occur between any pair of entities and/or other group of entities. By way of example and not limitation, a payment may include a non-monetary payment, such as a credit or coupon that may be exchanged for goods or services, a reduced or eliminated cost to a user or users for related or non-related goods or services. In another example, a payment may include granting a party certain rights or permissions as payment, such as information-related permissions. This may involve granting a party rights to certain information the party ordinarily would not have rights to access, or rights to use certain information in a particular manner. For example, one type of payment may include a party allowing another party to keep a user's personal information in a database for marketing or research purposes. In another example, as compensation or payment, a user or users may grant another party the right to monitor computer usage, or preferences or buying habits of the user in certain contexts, or the right to monitor a physical location or activity of the user. The user also may accept cash or cash-equivalents as payment from the provider for providing such entitlements, rights, or permissions. Thus, by providing and/or receiving monetary or non-monetary value, in an amount that may be designated as part of an agreement between the relevant parties, the parties may gain advantages and benefits that are mutually acceptable to both.

At the operation 406, metadata associated with the modified media asset that identifies the modified media asset as containing the modified portion is determined. For example, the recognition logic 112 may access the metadata 128, which may include, for example, a marker associated with the modified media asset 102 that was imposed by a camera of the user 122 when (or after) the former media asset 101 or the modified media asset 102 was obtained, or a marker that was associated with the former media asset 101 or the modified media asset 102 sometime after capture or receipt thereof.

For example, where the modified media asset 102 includes a web page, the recognition logic 112 may analyze portions of the web page, including source code associated with the web page, that may provide information about, for example, any of the factors mentioned herein, or other factors (e.g., a capturing user or device, the concurrently-imaged object(s) 120, or any other information about the modified media asset 102 that may be useful to the recognition logic 112 in determining the modified portion 108). For example, where the modified media asset 102 includes a video stream, a closed-captioning stream that is associated with the modified media asset 102 may be analyzed. For example, the modified media asset 102 may represent a television show or movie that has an associated closed-captioning stream, which may be analyzed by the recognition logic 112 to assist in making a determination regarding the modified portion 108.

At the operation 408, at least an attribute of the modified media asset is associated with a capture device used to obtain at least a part of the modified media asset. For example, the recognition logic 112 may analyze any one of a number of attributes of the modified media asset 102, for association with such a capture device (e.g., the camera 126 b of FIG. 2). To name a few such attributes by way of example and not limitation, the recognition logic 112 may determine an attribute of the concurrent image(s) 120 within the modified media asset 102, where the concurrent image(s) 120 may include virtually any item that may be imaged within the modified media asset 102. The concurrent image(s) 120 also may be used to determine a setting content of the modified media asset 102, such as, for example, a landmark, location, site, or venue at which the former media asset 101 or the modified media asset 102 (or portion thereof) was captured.

By associating these and possibly other attributes of the modified media asset 102 (some of which are provided below), the recognition logic may determine that the associated user capture device (e.g., the camera 126 b of FIG. 2B), may be known to capture certain content that will be, or is likely to be, modified. For example, a camera that is known to be in a certain location, or of a certain make, model, or brand, or belonging to a certain user, or subject to a particular user agreement, may be known to modify (e.g., obscure or replace) all images of a certain person, place or thing, and, further, may be known to perform a certain type of modification (e.g., use a particular substitution item). Similarly, cameras in a high-security facility, or cameras at an event with a public figure(s) (e.g., a movie star, politician, or professional athlete) may be modified from capturing images of certain people, places, or things. Thus, by knowing these facts, the recognition logic 112 may detect the certain type of modification in order to determine the associated camera, or conversely, may determine the associated camera and then search for the modification accordingly.

Somewhat analogously, at the operation 410, at least an attribute of the modified media asset 102 may be associated with a user known to have captured at least a part of the modified media asset. That is, similarly to the capture device examples above, a particular user may be associated with certain modifications or types of modifications. For example, the user 122 may be a newspaper photographer working for a newspaper that has agreed not to take any pictures of certain public figures (or spouses or families thereof), and has further agreed that any such pictures will be replaced with anonymous images, or otherwise obscured.

In the cases and examples above, any pictures known to have been captured by the user 122 (e.g., the modified media asset 102) and/or with the camera 126 b may be examined by the recognition logic 112 upon submission, for example, to the processing system 104. The modified media asset 102 may then be examined for the anonymous images, or other obscuring techniques, that are associated with the particular user or camera. In this way, for example, someone with appropriate permission who wishes to alter the modified media asset 102 and obtain the restored media asset 106 may have a starting point for identifying that the modified portion 108 has been modified, and may know or suspect that the modified portion 108 may therefore contain desired content when restored.

For example, the recognition logic 112 may associate the modified media asset 102 or a portion thereof with the user 122 and/or the camera 126 b by recognizing the metadata 128 associated with the modified media asset 102. In other examples, the user 122 may be required to identify himself or herself to the processing system 104 before processing begins, or the processing system 104 may recognize some identifier of the camera 126 b, so that the recognition logic 112 may react accordingly.

FIG. 5 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 5 illustrates example embodiments where the determining operation 310 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 502, operation 504, operation 506, operation 508, operation 510, operation 512, and/or operation 514.

At the operation 502, at least the modified portion of the media asset is analyzed to recognize the modified portion. For example, the recognition logic 112 may analyze the modified portion 108, or may examine the concurrent image(s) 120, or some combination thereof.

Implementations of the operation 502 may include additional operations. For example, at the operation 504, image analysis of the modified media asset may be performed. For example, the recognition logic 112 may perform image analysis to determine that the modified portion 108 includes an image of a person, or portion thereof, or any other object that may be visually imaged. The image recognition analysis may include, for example, color analysis, pattern-matching, pattern-recognition, facial recognition, or any other technique for recognizing a particular image or type of image.

Further, at the operation 506, audio analysis of the modified media asset may be performed. For example, the recognition logic 112 may perform a speech recognition analysis to determine certain words or sounds from the substitutions information 119 that are known to act as replacements for curse words or other spoken or audible restricted sounds. As should be apparent, the restoration logic 114 may then restore these words or sounds within the restored media asset 106.

At the operation 508, an attribute of an included subject within the modified media asset is determined. For example, if the modified media asset 102 includes an imaged subject, the recognition logic 112 may determine any image attribute mentioned herein, or other attributes, including size, shape, color, identity, race, gender, physique, an associated capture device or capturing user, or any other attribute that may be associated with the subject. If the modified media asset 108 includes audio, then the recognition logic 112 may recognize any attribute of a spoken word or other sound, such as a volume, an inflection or emphasis, an accent, or a context within other words or sounds. The subject may include a human subject, a place, a thing, or any other thing that may be captured in the modified media asset 108.

At the operation 510, one or more of a symbol or a word within the modified media asset may be determined. For example, the recognition logic 112 may determine the symbol or text 130, e.g., by way of text-recognition software, and thereby used to recognize, or otherwise determine information related to, the modified portion 108. For example, a name may appear within the symbol or text 130 that is relevant either to the modified portion 108 and/or the former portion 107.

At the operation 512, at least a portion of the modified media asset is associated with setting content of the modified media asset. For example, the recognition logic 112 may analyze the modified media asset 102 to determine that the setting content is such that many of the included subjects may have been modified. For example, if the recognition logic 112 recognizes that a setting content of the modified media asset 108 is associated with a crime scene photograph, then it may be likely that images of bystanders may have been anonymized, obscured, replaced, blurred, or otherwise modified. Thus, certain police officers may be visible, while the bystanders are not. At some point, the user 122 may suspect that one of the modified bystanders was, in fact, relevant to an investigation. Thus, the recognition logic 112 may recognize the setting content of the modified media asset as a crime scene, and the restoration logic may then restore the former images of the bystanders.

At the operation 514, an attribute of at least the modified portion is evaluated against recognition criteria specifying media asset attributes associated with identifying modified media assets. For example, the recognition logic 112 may evaluate the modified portion 108 against the recognition criteria 116, where the recognition criteria 116 may include, for example, virtually any of the attributes of the modified portion 108 that may include any attribute mentioned herein, or other attributes, including size, shape, color, identity, race, gender, physique, an associated capture device or capturing user, a sound, a word (spoken or printed), a symbol, and/or any other attribute. The recognition criteria 116 may involve, for example, any of the various criteria described herein, such as identity information, setting content, image or facial recognition analysis, metadata, and so on, as well as criteria not explicitly mentioned here. Moreover, the recognition criteria 116 and recognition logic 112 may interoperate to determine the modified portion 108 based on any combination of these criteria, as may be determined and configured, for example, by the user 122 by way of the user interface 124.

FIG. 6 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 6 illustrates example embodiments where the determining operation 310 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 602, operation 604, operation 606, and/or operation 608.

At the operation 602, a user preference associated with the modified portion is determined. For example, the user 122 may express a preference as to whether the modified portion 108 should be enabled to be restored, and in what circumstances and to what extent, and this preference(s) may be coded into the recognition criteria 116, e.g., again, using the interface 124. The user 122 may represent someone either capturing, transmitting, or reviewing the modified media asset 102, examples of which are described in more detail, herein.

At the operation 604, a preference of a subject of the modified portion is determined. For example, a public or private figure whose image in the former portion 107 has been obscured in the modified portion 108 may express a desire not to allow some or all users to restore his or her image in the restored media asset 106. As discussed above, the subject may be any other element or item within the modified portion 108, including, for example, a place or a thing. Moreover, the modified media asset 102 includes non-image subjects, such as, for example, spoken words and other sounds, or symbol/text 130.

At the operation 606, a preference of a user who captured at least a part of the modified media asset may be determined. For example, the user 122 may be a consumer who has captured several family photographs and wishes to distribute them to friends and relatives. For whatever reason and by whatever technique(s), the modified portion 108 may be obscured or otherwise modified. For example, the user 122 may have modified images of certain persons from the former media asset 101. Upon distribution, the user 122 may wish to reveal or restore the persons, and may specify such to the processing system 104. In particular, as discussed in more detail below, the user 122 may wish to reveal or restore (or allow to be revealed or restored) only certain portions or attributes of the former portion, in a manner that is dependent upon a recipient or potential recipient of the restored media asset 106. Such preferences may be provided to the recognition logic 112 for use in determining the modified portion 108.

At the operation 608, a preference of a producer of the restored media asset may be determined. For example, the user 122 may represent an editor of a newspaper who is reviewing a number of photographs taken by staff photographers, among which the modified media asset 102 may be included. In this case, although the editor may not have captured former media asset 101, and may not have been associated with modifying the former media asset 101 to obtain the modified media asset 102, he or she may be responsible for producing the restored media asset 106 for consumption by an audience of the newspaper. In this case, the editor may determine whether, which, and to what extent modified portion(s) 108 are allowed to be restored within the restored media asset 106. For example, the editor may determine that the modified portion 108 was modified incorrectly or improperly, and may wish to restore the modified portion to the former portion 107 as the restored portion 110, using the recognition logic 112 and/or the restoration logic 114.

FIG. 7 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 7 illustrates example embodiments where the determining operation 310 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 702, operation 704, operation 706, operation 708, and/or operation 710.

At the operation 702, identity information associated with the modified media asset is determined. For example, the recognition logic 112 may determine identity information of a person within the modified portion 108, which may include, for example, a name, an occupation, an association (e.g., as a spouse, relative, friend, or employer/employee), a race, a gender, a body physique, a height, a hair color or hair style, a style of dress, or any other distinguishing information that identifies the person, and, in some examples, that uniquely identifies the person. Again, such identity information is not limited to persons, and similar techniques may be applied to animals, items, objects, places, landmarks, words (spoken or written), sounds, symbols, and any other type of subject that may appear within the modified portion 108.

Further, the determination of identity information may be performed with respect to other attributes of the modified media asset than the modified portion 108 itself. For example, identity information may be determined with respect to concurrent content, e.g., the concurrent image(s) 120 or symbol/text 130 (spoken or written).

The operation 702 may optionally include additional operations. For example, at the operation 704, audio information within the modified media asset 102 may be associated with a person. For example, the recognition logic 112 may perform voice recognition on an audio stream included in the media asset 102.

At the operation 706, it may be determined that the identity information is associated with an obscuring identity. For example, the recognition logic 112 may determine that the determined identity information is associated with an identity that is known to be used for obscuring purposes. Examples of how such identity information may be used by the restoration logic 114 to produce the restored portion 110 are described in more detail below, although it may be mentioned here that, by determining identity information as described above, it follows that the restored portion 110 may include or be associated with different, e.g., original or former, identity information. For example, a person associated with the modified portion 108 may be determined to be someone associated with the substitution information 119, and the recognition logic 112 may thus determine that the modified portion 108 has, in fact, been modified.

At the operation 708, image information within the modified portion is associated with an image subject. For example, the recognition logic 112 may perform image analysis on the modified media asset 102 to determine an image subject, e.g., a person, place, or thing, within an image.

The operation 708 may include additional operations, such as, for example, the operation 710, at which the subject is matched with at least one of a plurality of subjects that have been designated for inclusion in the modified media asset. For example, where the subject includes a person, it may be the case that persons such as movie stars, politicians, professional athletes, or other public figures (or persons with associations thereto, such as spouses or relatives) may have their images and identities modified within the modified portion 108, perhaps in a predictable or recognizable way, e.g., by replacement with a particular selected image from the substitution information 119. Similar comments apply to persons with government high security or classified status, or other persons having safety measures associated with promulgation of their image(s). Then, as described in more detail below, persons with appropriate permissions may use the processing system 104 to restore some or all of the images, or at least attributes of the images, of the former identities/persons.

Again, similar comments apply not just to persons within the modified portion 108, but to virtually any object that may be imaged or otherwise captured and associated with identity information. For example, the modified media asset 102 may include a physical place, such as a public or private landmark, a building, or a sports arena, and the identity information associated therewith may be determined by the recognition logic 112. Similarly, any particular object having identity information, such as, for example, a car or type of car, a work of art, an animal, a computer or computing device, a piece of jewelry or clothing, or any other object, may have identity information associated therewith for determining that the associated image is modified.

FIG. 8 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 8 illustrates example embodiments where the determining operation 310 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 802, operation 804, and/or operation 806.

At the operation 802, the modified media asset is determined to include one or more of a still image, an imaged element within a video stream, a word within an audio stream, or a sound within an audio stream. For example, the recognition logic 112 may determine the modified portion 108 within the modified media asset 102 that includes an audio-video stream, such as a television program.

At the operation 804, the modified media asset is received at one or more of an image capture device, an image display device, a print device, an audio capture device, or an audio rendering device. For example, FIGS. 2A-2C illustrate the examples of the print device 126 a, the image capture device 126 b, and the display device 210. Of course, the display device 210, as referenced above, may include audio capture and/or playback functionality, such as, for example, a PDA or MP3 player. In the above examples, the image capture device 126 b may be any type of, for example, camera, digital camera, web camera (webcam) or video camera, where any of these and others may be disposed within or in association with one or more other devices, such as, for example, a cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA). In the example of the print device 126 a, the modified media asset 102 may be downloaded thereto by way of an external computer, and/or by way of a memory card inserted into (or otherwise connected to) the print device 126 a. In this way, for example, the print device 126 a, as with the camera 126 b, may be used to produce the restored media asset 106.

At the operation 806, the modified media asset is received at a central collection facility for collecting media assets. For example, the modified media asset 108 may be received at the processing service 208. As a more specific example, the processing service 208 may include a facility that receives a number of modified media assets, in which one or more portions may have been modified. The processing service 208 may then examine the modified media assets to determine whether any of the modifications were made in error or should otherwise be undone. In such cases, and in other cases, the processing service 208 of FIG. 2C may serve as a clearinghouse for a number of users, who may be employees of a single employer. In another example, the processing service 208 may be a commercial enterprise that received media assets from any number of disparate consumers.

FIG. 9 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 9 illustrates example embodiments where the altering operation 320 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 902, operation 904, operation 906, operation 908, operation 910, operation 912, operation 914, and/or operation 916.

At the operation 902, the modified media asset may be altered based on access information associated with one or more of a former media asset, the modified media asset, or the restored media asset. For example, the restoration logic 114 may access the restoration criteria 118 to determine that the former portion 107, or certain portions or attributes thereof, may only be included within the restored portion 110 when the restored media asset 106 is to be distributed to a certain user or class of users, or in response to a received payment, or based on some other criteria.

Embodiments of the operation 902 may include additional operations. For example, at the operation 904, an access preference is determined in association with one or more of a subject of the former media asset, a user responsible for capturing at least a part of the former media asset, or a user associated with distributing one or more of the modified media asset or the restored media asset. For example, the restoration logic 114 may access the restoration criteria 118 to determine that a human subject of the former portion 107 previously expressed an access preference such that his or her image would be obscured within the modified portion 108 for all recipients, but that this restriction was recently removed, in whole or in part, so that some or all recipients would be able to receive or obtain the restored media asset 106 having the restored portion 110 corresponding to one extent or another to the former portion 107. In another example, where the user 122 captured the former media asset 107 and subsequently modified the modified portion 108 to obtain the modified media asset 102, then the user 122 may define access information for allowing recipients of the modified media asset 102 to alter the modified portion 108. Similar comments apply when the user 122 represents a distributor of a plurality of (users') media assets, who may define access preferences for allowing recipients to alter the modified portion (or not).

At the operation 906, an attribute of the former portion to be included within the restored media asset is determined, based on the access information. For example, the restoration logic 114 may determine from the restoration criteria 118 that some attribute of the former portion 107, that may have been modified within the modified portion 108, should or should not be included within the restored portion 110. Further examples of such attributes are provided in more detail below.

Specifically, embodiments of the operation 906 may include additional operations. For example, at the operation 908, the attribute to include within the restored media asset may be determined from a group of attributes including one or more of a gender, a race, a hair color, a facial feature, or a body physique. For example, the restoration logic 114 may determine from the restoration criteria 118 that only one or more of the attributes just mentioned, or others, may be included within the restored portion 110. For example, a recipient that provides more or less payment may be entitled to receive more or less restoration of/access to the former portion 107.

At the operation 910, the attribute to include within the restored media asset is determined from a group of attributes including one or more of a clarity, a color, a contrast, a brightness, a shape, a sound, a sound quality, a size, a contour, an outline, a pattern, an anatomy, a figure, a frame, a form, a glyph, a symbol, or a word. For example, the restoration logic 114 may determine from the restoration criteria 118 that the former portion 107 includes one or more of the above-mentioned attributes, and may determine whether or to what extent to include any of these attributes within the restored portion 110, based on the access information.

At the operation 912, a request of a requestor of the restored media asset is evaluated against a permission level associated with the requestor. For example, if the user 122 requests the restored media asset 106, then the restoration logic 114 may determine a permission level associated with the user 122, and may produce the restored media asset 106 appropriately, e.g., may determine whether or to what extent to include the above mentioned attributes, or otherwise how to produce the restored media asset 106. It should be understood that the requestor may be any number of persons or types of persons, e.g., someone who captured the former media asset 101, someone who modified the former media asset 101 to obtain the modified media asset 102, someone who has received or otherwise has access to the modified media asset 102 and wishes to distribute the modified media asset 102 with various levels of restoration.

At the operation 914, a recipient of the restored media asset is evaluated against a permission level associated with the recipient. Here, for example, the recipient may be a user who has not necessarily requested the restored media asset 106, but who has nonetheless had the restored media asset 106 forwarded or otherwise provided to him or her. The restoration logic 114 may then distribute the restored media asset 106 to the various users, with various levels of restoration that depend on the receiving users.

At the operation 916, a context display of the restored media asset is evaluated against a permission level associated with the context display. For example, if the processing system is deployed and implemented at a public viewing area(s), then the restoration logic 114 may perform restorations based on characteristics of the area(s) that are used to determine the permission levels. For example, movies with adult content (e.g., the former media asset 101) that have been modified to remove or obscure the adult content (e.g., thereby to obtain the modified media asset 102) may be restored to their original form when the restored media asset 106 is to be shown to a group of adults, but may be only partially restored when shown to a group of teenagers, and may not be restored at all when children may be present.

FIG. 10 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 10 illustrates example embodiments where the altering operation 320 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 1002, operation 1004, operation 1006, and/or operation 1008.

At the operation 1002, a modified image within the modified portion may be replaced with at least an attribute of a former image within the former portion. For example, the restoration logic 114 may replace a modified image within the modified portion 108 with at least an attribute of a former image within the former portion 107, where such attribute(s) may include the various attributes mentioned herein, or other attributes.

At the operation 1004, the modified image within the modified portion may be replaced with a replacement image that includes a former image within the former portion as well as enhancements to the former image. For example, the restoration logic 114 may determine that the modified portion 108 includes a modified image of a human subject, in which, for example, an identity or other information about the human subject in the former portion 107 has been obscured (e.g., anonymized). In this case, perhaps based on access information as discussed above, the restoration logic 114 may determine that only certain attributes of the former portion 107 may be restored, and that, as part of the restoration process, the human subject imaged in the former portion 107 should be enhanced (e.g., modified to improve an appearance of the human subject by removing wrinkles or other objectionable aspects, or by replacing the image of the human subject with a younger image of the same human subject). Of course, anytime at least a part of the former portion 107 is restored, such enhancements, modifications, or transformations may be made to the part and/or the former portion, including, by way of further example, a desired scaling, rotating, coloring, or substituting.

At the operation 1006, the part of the former portion is obtained from a substitutions database that is operable to store an inventory of substituted asset portions. For example, the restoration logic 114 may obtain the former portion 107 (or part thereof) from the substitutions database 119.

At the operation 1008, identity information related to a subject of the former portion is revealed by restoring at least a part of an image of the subject from the former portion within the restored media asset. For example, as referenced above, a subject of the former portion 107 may be anonymized or otherwise obscured within the modified portion 108. For example, an identity of the subject may be undeterminable from the modified portion 108. Thus, the restoration logic 114 may act to restore at least enough information or attributes of the former portion 107 to reveal the identity information of the subject, without necessarily revealing the former portion 107 in its original form.

FIG. 11 illustrates alternative embodiments of the example operational flow 300 of FIG. 3. FIG. 11 illustrates example embodiments where the altering operation 320 may include at least one additional operation. Additional operations may include operation 1102, operation 1104, operation 1106, and/or operation 1108.

At the operation 1102, the modified media asset is altered at one or more of an image capture device, an image display device, a print device, an audio capture device, an audio rendering device, or a remote processing service. For example, the modified media asset 108 may be altered at one or more of the print device 126 a, the image capture device 126 b, the display device 210, or the processing service 208.

At the operation 1104, encryption information regarding the modified portion is accessed. For example, the restoration logic 114 may access encryption information stored with relation to the modified media asset 108, and make a determination as to whether to provide the encryption information to a particular user who is to receive the restored media asset 106 (or whether to otherwise use the encryption information as part of the restoration operation(s)). In another example, the encryption information, or a reference to the encryption information, may be included or referenced within the metadata 128, for access by the restoration logic 114.

At the operation 1106, the encryption information is provided to a user to enable the user to obtain the restored media asset. For example, the user 122 may obtain the encryption information remotely or separately from the operations of the processing system 104, and may then obtain the benefit of the operations of the processing system 104 by providing the encryption information (e.g., by providing a password and/or other identifier).

At the operation 1108, the restored media asset is produced as a digital restored media asset. For example, the restoration logic 114 may output the restored media asset 106 as a digital media asset, e.g., for digital use, storage, transmission, reproduction, or modification by the receiving user 122.

FIG. 12 illustrates a partial view of an exemplary computer program product 1200 that includes a computer program 1204 for executing a computer process on a computing device. An embodiment of the exemplary computer program product 1200 is provided using a signal bearing medium 1202, and may include at least one of one or more instructions for determining that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and one or more instructions for altering the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. The one or more instructions may be, for example, computer executable and/or logic-implemented instructions. In one implementation, the signal-bearing medium 1202 may include a computer-readable medium 1206. In one implementation, the signal bearing medium 1202 may include a recordable medium 1208. In one implementation, the signal bearing medium 1202 may include a communications medium 1210.

FIG. 13 illustrates an exemplary system 1300 in which embodiments may be implemented. The system 1300 includes a computing system environment. The system 1300 also illustrates the user 122 using a user device 1304, which is optionally shown as being in communication with a computing device 1302 by way of an optional coupling 1306. The optional coupling 1306 may represent a local, wide-area, or peer-to-peer network, or may represent a bus that is internal to a computing device (e.g., in example embodiments in which the computing device 1302 is contained in whole or in part within the user device 1304). A storage medium 1308 may be any computer storage media.

The computing device 1302 includes an operability to transmit and/or receive the modified media asset 102 and/or the restored media asset 106. The computing device 1302 also includes computer executable instructions 1310 that when executed on the computing device 1302 causes the computing device 1302 to determine that a modified media asset includes a modified portion that has been modified from a former portion, and alter the modified media asset to produce a restored media asset in which at least a part of the former portion is restored.

As referenced above and as shown in FIG. 13, in some examples, the computing device 1302 may optionally be contained in whole or in part within the user device 1304, and may include the image-capture device (camera) 126 b or the printer 126 a. For example, the user device 1304 may include a cell phone, and the computing device 1302 may be included as part of a digital camera included within the cell phone. In another example embodiment, the computing device 1302 is operable to communicate with the user device 1304 associated with the user 122 to receive the modified media asset 102 from the user 122 and to provide the restored media asset 106 to the user 122.

FIG. 14 illustrates an operational flow 1400 representing example operations by which the user 122 (or another user) obtains the restored media asset 106 that includes the restored portion 110. At operation 1410, a user provides a modified media asset to a processing system for recognition of a modified portion within the modified media asset that has been modified from a former portion. For example, the user 122 may provide the modified media asset 102 to the processing system 104 for recognition of the modified portion 108 by the recognition logic 112. At operation 1420, a restored media asset is received in which at least a part of the former portion is restored. For example, the restored media asset 106 may be received in which the modified portion 108 has been modified to include the restored portion 110.

The operation 1410 may include one or more additional operations. For example, the operation 1410 may include an operation 1402 in which recognition parameters by which the modified portion may be determined are specified by way of a user interface. For example, the user 122 may set parameters of the recognition logic 112 using user interface 124.

Also, the operation 1410 may include an operation 1404, in which restoration parameters by which the former portion may be restored may be specified by way of a user interface. For example, the user 122 may specify parameters of the restoration logic 114, by way of the user interface 124 for restoration of at least a part of the former portion 107.

The operation 1420 may include one or more operations. For example, the operation 1420 may include an operation 1406, in which the modified media asset is received from one or more of an image capture device, an image display device, an audio capture device, an audio rendering device, a print device, or a remote processing service. For example, the user 122 may receive the restored media asset 106 by way of the print device 126 a, the camera 126 b, the remote processing system 208, or the display device 210.

Of course, the user 122 may receive the restored media asset 106 in other ways. For example, the restored media asset 106 may be received as stored on a memory device. For example, the user may capture an audio and/or visual file using an image capture device or by way of downloading from a website or other location. The user may store the resulting digital file on a memory card, memory stick, CD, DVD, or other storage media.

Those having skill in the art will recognize that the state of the art has progressed to the point where there is little distinction left between hardware and software implementations of aspects of systems; the use of hardware or software is generally (but not always, in that in certain contexts the choice between hardware and software can become significant) a design choice representing cost vs. efficiency tradeoffs. Those having skill in the art will appreciate that there are various vehicles by which processes and/or systems and/or other technologies described herein can be effected (e.g., hardware, software, and/or firmware), and that the preferred vehicle will vary with the context in which the processes and/or systems and/or other technologies are deployed. For example, if an implementer determines that speed and accuracy are paramount, the implementer may opt for a mainly hardware and/or firmware vehicle; alternatively, if flexibility is paramount, the implementer may opt for a mainly software implementation; or, yet again alternatively, the implementer may opt for some combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware. Hence, there are several possible vehicles by which the processes and/or devices and/or other technologies described herein may be effected, none of which is inherently superior to the other in that any vehicle to be utilized is a choice dependent upon the context in which the vehicle will be deployed and the specific concerns (e.g., speed, flexibility, or predictability) of the implementer, any of which may vary. Those skilled in the art will recognize that optical aspects of implementations will typically employ optically-oriented hardware, software, and or firmware.

The foregoing detailed description has set forth various embodiments of the devices and/or processes via the use of block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples. Insofar as such block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples contain one or more functions and/or operations, it will be understood by those within the art that each function and/or operation within such block diagrams, flowcharts, or examples can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or virtually any combination thereof. In one embodiment, several portions of the subject matter described herein may be implemented via Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), digital signal processors (DSPs), or other integrated formats. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that some aspects of the embodiments disclosed herein, in whole or in part, can be equivalently implemented in integrated circuits, as one or more computer programs running on one or more computers (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more computer systems), as one or more programs running on one or more processors (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more microprocessors), as firmware, or as virtually any combination thereof, and that designing the circuitry and/or writing the code for the software and or firmware would be well within the skill of one of skill in the art in light of this disclosure. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the mechanisms of the subject matter described herein are capable of being distributed as a program product in a variety of forms, and that an illustrative embodiment of the subject matter described herein applies regardless of the particular type of signal bearing medium used to actually carry out the distribution. Examples of a signal bearing medium include, but are not limited to, the following: a recordable type medium such as a floppy disk, a hard disk drive, a Compact Disc (CD), a Digital Video Disk (DVD), a digital tape, a computer memory, etc.; and a transmission type medium such as a digital and/or an analog communication medium (e.g., a fiber optic cable, a waveguide, a wired communications link, a wireless communication link, etc.).

While particular aspects of the present subject matter described herein have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from this subject matter described herein and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of this subject matter described herein. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention is solely defined by the appended claims. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as “open” terms (e.g., the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to,” the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least,” the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases “at least one” and “one or more” to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles “a” or “an” limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to inventions containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases “one or more” or “at least one” and indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” (e.g., “a” and/or “an” should typically be interpreted to mean “at least one” or “one or more”); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of “two recitations,” without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations). Furthermore, in those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, and C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, and C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). In those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, or C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, or C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that any disjunctive word and/or phrase presenting two or more alternative terms, whether in the description, claims, or drawings, should be understood to contemplate the possibilities of including one of the terms, either of the terms, or both terms. For example, the phrase “A or B” will be understood to include the possibilities of “A” or “B” or “A and B.”

The herein described aspects depict different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely exemplary, and that in fact many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively “associated” such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as “associated with” each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being “operably connected,” or “operably coupled,” to each other to achieve the desired functionality. Any two components capable of being so associated can also be viewed as being “operably couplable” to each other to achieve the desired functionality. Specific examples of operably couplable include but are not limited to physically mateable and/or physically interacting components and/or wirelessly interactable and/or wirelessly interacting components and/or logically interactable and/or logically interacting components.

While certain features of the described implementations have been illustrated as disclosed herein, many modifications, substitutions, changes and equivalents will now occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the embodiments of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8296808Apr 16, 2007Oct 23, 2012Sony CorporationMetadata from image recognition
US20080313233 *May 28, 2008Dec 18, 2008Searete LlcImplementing audio substitution options in media works
WO2013148724A1 *Mar 26, 2013Oct 3, 2013Audible, Inc.Content customization
Classifications
U.S. Classification1/1, 707/999.107
International ClassificationG06F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F2221/2135, G11B27/28, G06F21/10, G06F21/6254, G11B27/34, G11B27/036, G11B27/034
European ClassificationG06F21/10, G06F21/62B5A, G11B27/034, G11B27/34, G11B27/036, G11B27/28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 22, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SEARETE LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEVIEN, ROYCE A.;LORD, ROBERT W.;MALAMUD, MARK A.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017005/0855;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050818 TO 20050915