US 20090319178 A1
With the addition of directional information in the environment, a variety of service(s) can be provided on top of user identification or interaction with specific object(s) of interest by pointing at the objects. Image data representing a subset of real space near a portable computing device can be displayed including a set of points of interest (POIs) for direction based service(s) within scope and automatically overlaying POI content on the image data relating to the POIs. In one embodiment, the display is included in an electronic device worn such that the display is substantially in front of an eye, e.g., a heads up display.
1. A method, comprising:
displaying image data representing a subset of real space in a pre-defined vicinity of a portable computing device;
determining a set of points of interest (POIs) of one or more location based services supported by the portable computing device within scope of the subset of real space represented by the image data; and
automatically overlaying content relating to at least one POI of the set of POIs on the image data displayed according to the displaying.
2. The method of
3. The method of
automatically receiving the content relating to the at least one POI from the one or more location based services.
4. The method of
5. The method of
6. The method of
7. The method of
8. The method of
9. The method of
10. The method of
determining a planar orientation of a display of the portable computing device employed for the displaying.
11. The method of
12. The method of
13. The method of
if the planar orientation is substantially horizontal, determining whether the display is facing substantially up or substantially down.
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. The method of
17. An electronic device adapted to be worn with a display of the electronic device substantially in front of at least one eye of a user of the electronic device, comprising:
a positional component that outputs position information as a function of a location of the electronic device;
a directional component that outputs direction information as a function of an orientation of the electronic device; and
at least one processor configured to process at least the position information and the direction information to determine at least one point of interest relating to the position information, configured to display, within the display of the electronic device, the at least one point of interest representing geographical space nearby the electronic device, and configured to overlay interactive user interface elements corresponding to the at least one point of interest nearby, overlapping or over the at least one point of interest in the user interface.
18. The electronic device of
19. The electronic device of
20. The electronic device of
a motion component that outputs motion information as a function of at least one movement of the electronic device.
21. The electronic device of
22. A method for displaying point of interest information on a mobile device, comprising:
determining direction information as a function of a direction of the mobile device;
determining position information as a function of a position of the mobile device;
determining a set of points of interest within interactive scope of the mobile device based on the direction information and the position information;
displaying an image based representation of at least the subset of points of interest; and
receiving point of interest advertisement information for at least a subset of the points of interest of the set and automatically overlaying the point of interest advertisement information at pertinent one or more locations of the image based representation associated with at least the subset of points of interest.
23. The method of
modifying the image based representation prior to the displaying.
24. The method of
wherein the modifying includes modifying the image based representation based on whether the mobile device is experiencing substantially nighttime or substantially daytime.
25. The method of
wherein the modifying includes modifying the image based representation based on a planar orientation of a display of the mobile device.
26. The method of
wherein the modifying includes modifying the image based representation based on the direction information.
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/074,415, filed on Jun. 20, 2008, entitled “MOBILE COMPUTING SERVICES BASED ON DEVICES WITH DYNAMIC DIRECTION INFORMATION,” U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/074,590, filed on Jun. 20,2008, entitled “MOBILE COMPUTING SERVICES BASED ON DEVICES WITH DYNAMIC DIRECTION INFORMATION,” and to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/073,849, filed on Jun. 19, 2008, entitled “MOBILE COMPUTING DEVICES, ARCHITECTURE AND USER INTERFACES BASED ON DYNAMIC DIRECTION INFORMATION,” the entirety of each of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The subject disclosure relates to the provision of direction-based services for a device based on direction information and/or other information, such as location information, and to overlaying information in an image based view of a set of points of interest associated with one or more direction-based services.
By way of background concerning some conventional systems, mobile devices, such as portable laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, navigation devices, and the like have been equipped with location based services, such as global positioning system (GPS) systems, WiFi, cell tower triangulation, etc. that can determine and record a position of mobile devices. For instance, GPS systems use triangulation of signals received from various satellites placed in orbit around Earth to determine device position. A variety of map-based services have emerged from the inclusion of such location based systems that help users of these devices to be found on a map and to facilitate point to point navigation in real-time and search for locations near a point on a map.
However, such navigation and search scenarios are currently limited to displaying relatively static information about endpoints and navigation routes. While some of these devices with location based navigation or search capabilities allow update of the bulk data representing endpoint information via a network, e.g., when connected to a networked portable computer (PC) or laptop, such data again becomes fixed in time. Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a set of richer experiences for users than conventional experiences predicated on location and conventional processing of static bulk data representing potential endpoints of interest.
Moreover, with conventional navigation systems, a user may wish to request information about a particular point of interest (POI), but if it is not clear what additional information might be available about various POIs represented on display, other than that it is possible to navigate to the particular POI. The user experience suffers as a result since opportunities to interact with POIs are lost with conventional navigation systems.
The above-described deficiencies of today's location based systems and devices are merely intended to provide an overview of some of the problems of conventional systems, and are not intended to be exhaustive. Other problems with the state of the art and corresponding benefits of some of the various non-limiting embodiments may become further apparent upon review of the following detailed description.
A simplified summary is provided herein to help enable a basic or general understanding of various aspects of exemplary, non-limiting embodiments that follow in the more detailed description and the accompanying drawings. This summary is not intended, however, as an extensive or exhaustive overview. Instead, the sole purpose of this summary is to present some concepts related to some exemplary non-limiting embodiments in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description of the various embodiments that follow.
Direction based pointing services are provided for portable devices or mobile endpoints. Mobile endpoints can include a positional component for receiving positional information as a function of a location of the portable electronic device, a directional component that outputs direction information as a function of an orientation of the portable electronic device and a processing engine that processes the positional information and the direction information to determine a subset of points of interest relative to the portable electronic device as a function of the positional information and/or the direction information.
Devices or endpoints can include compass(es), e.g., magnetic or gyroscopic, to determine a direction and location based systems for determining location, e.g., GPS. To supplement the positional information and/or the direction information, devices or endpoints can also include component(s) for determining speed and/or acceleration information for processing by the engine, e.g., to aid in the determination of gestures made with the device.
With the addition of directional information in the environment, a variety of service(s) can be provided on top of identification of specific object(s) of interest. For instance, content for POIs can be overlaid on top of an image based representation of real space to provide entry points to viewing information about the POIs or interacting with the POIs.
Various embodiments include displaying image data representing a subset of real space near a portable computing device; determining a set of points of interest (POIs) for direction based service(s) supported by the portable computing device within scope of the real space represented by the image data and automatically overlaying POI content on the image data. In one embodiment, the display is included in an electronic device worn such that the display is substantially in front of a user's eyes, e.g., as part of a heads up display, helmet, headgear, helmet, shoulder supported device, neck supported device, etc.
These and other embodiments are described in more detail below.
Various non-limiting embodiments are further described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Among other things, current location services systems and services, e.g., GPS, cell triangulation, P2P location service, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, etc., tend to be based on the location of the device only, and tend to provide static experiences that are not tailored to a user because the data about endpoints of interest is relatively static, or fixed in time. Another problem is that a user may wish to do other things than navigate to a particular point of interest (POI).
At least partly in consideration of these and other deficiencies of conventional location based services, in various non-limiting embodiments, in addition to displaying image based representations of real space including representations of direction based services objects determined for the real space, e.g., points of interest, the image based representations are overlaid with additional POI information pertaining to the POIs. In this regard, the user experience is substantially improved since users can view or interact with POI information in conceptual proximity to the objects as represented in the image based representation of real space, e.g., in real time.
For instance, various embodiments of a portable device are provided that use direction information, position information and/or motion information to determine a set of POIs within scope. Then, when displaying an image based view (e.g., video data or satellite images) of the set of POIs and corresponding real space, POI information is overlaid, next to, nearby or over the POIs. A way to interact with POIs is thus provided via a device having access to direction information about a direction of the device, position information about a position of the device and optional motion information, wherein based on the information, the device intelligently fetches content regarding POIs and overlays the content in association with the POIs as represented in the image data.
A non-limiting device provisioned for direction based services can include an engine for analyzing location information (e.g., GPS, cell phone triangulation, etc.), direction information such as compass information (e.g., North, West, South, East, up, down, etc.), and optionally movement information (e.g., accelerometer information) to allow a platform for pointing to and thereby finding objects of interest in a user's environment. A variety of scenarios are contemplated based on a user finding information of interest about objects of interests, such as restaurants, or other items around an individual, or persons, places or events of interest nearby a user and tailoring information to that user (e.g., coupons, advertisements), and then overlaying that content on a display representing real space in proximity to the device. Any of the embodiments described herein can be provided in the context of a heads up display of POIs, or portable electronic device, i.e., any computing device wherein the act of pointing directionally with the device can be used in connection with one or more direction based services
In various non-limiting embodiments, a process includes displaying image data representing a subset of real space in a pre-defined vicinity of a portable computing device, determining a set of POIs of direction based service(s) supported by the portable computing device within scope and automatically overlaying content relating to the POIs of the set on the image data. The overlaying can include indicating an interactive capability with respect to the POI(s) via the direction based service(s). The overlaying of content can overlap or be presented near the POI content and the underlying POI as represented in the image data. The content relating to the POIs can be automatically received from the direction based service(s).
The image data can be any one or more of: video data input from an image capture device of the portable computing device, image data received from a network service based on a location of the portable computing device, satellite image data received from a network service based on a location of the portable computing device, or image data received from a network service based on a direction and the location of the portable computing device.
The process can also include determining a planar orientation of a display of the portable computing device. In such embodiments, if the planar orientation is substantially vertical, two dimensional image data representing a subset of three dimensional real space in front of, or alternatively behind, the user is displayed. The determining can also ascertain whether the display is facing substantially up or substantially down. If the display is facing substantially up, the image data is a topographical map of the area in the vicinity of the device. If the display is facing substantially down, the image data is a celestial body map of the sky in the vicinity of the device.
In other embodiments, a portable electronic device includes a positional component that outputs position information as a function of a location of the portable electronic device and a directional component, e.g., a digital compass, that outputs direction information as a function of an orientation of the portable electronic device. The position information and the direction information are processed to determine POIs relating to the position information. Then, the POIs are displayed within a user interface representing geographical space nearby the portable electronic device along with overlaid interactive user interface elements overlapping or over the at least one point of interest in the user interface. Automatic action can thus be taken by inputting one or more of the interactive user interface elements.
The device can also include a motion component that outputs motion information as a function of at least one movement of the portable device. Using the motion information, gestures can be determined with respect to the POIs, and the gestures can initiate automatic action with respect to at least one POI.
In other embodiments, a method for displaying POI information on a mobile device is provided including determining a set of POIs within interactive scope of the device based on direction information and the position information of the device, displaying an image based representation of some POIs, receiving POI advertisement information for the POIs and automatically overlaying the POI advertisement information at pertinent locations of the image based representation.
This can include modifying the image based representation prior to the displaying of the POIs. This might, for example, include switching between nighttime and daytime views, modifying the image based representation based on a planar orientation of the device, or modifying the image based representation as a function of the direction information of the device.
Accordingly, in various non-limiting embodiments, a way to interact with POIs is provided by a pointing device having imaging means, such as a camera for still or video imaging of by the device. In a variety of embodiments, visual indications of POIs are overlaid on an image or map or graphic of a location, so that a user can easily distinguish among their actual surroundings and POIs in their actual surroundings. In addition to being implemented on a pointing device, a heads up display embodiment is provided that is worn on the head. A variety of scenarios are explored showing the benefits of POI overlay content.
While each of the various embodiments herein are presented independently, e.g., as part of the sequence of respective Figures, one can appreciate that a portable device and/or associated network services, as described, can incorporate or combine two or more of any of the embodiments. Given that each of the various embodiments improve the overall services ecosystem in which users wish to operate, together a synergy results from combining different benefits. Accordingly, the combination of different embodiments described below shall be considered herein to represent a host of further alternate embodiments.
Details of various other exemplary, non-limiting embodiments are provided below.
Overlay of Information Associated with Points of Interest of Direction Based Data Services
As mentioned, with the addition of directional information in the environment, a variety of service(s) can be provided on top of identification of specific object(s) or point(s) of interest. For instance, content for POIs can be overlaid on top of an image based representation of real space to provide entry points to viewing information about the POIs or interacting with the POIs. The techniques can be embodied in any device provisioned for direction based services, such as a portable electronic device, or an electronic device worn such that the display is substantially in front of a user's eyes, e.g., as part of a heads up display, helmet, headgear, helmet, shoulder supported device, neck supported device, etc.
Thus, in the present non-limiting embodiment, the device UI can be implemented consistent with a camera, or a virtual camera, view for intuitive use of such devices. The pointer mechanism of the device could also switch based on whether the user was currently in live view mode for the camera or not. Moreover, assuming sufficient processing power and storage, real time image processing could discern an object of interest and based on image signatures, overlay POI information over such image in a similar manner to the above embodiments. In this regard, with the device provided herein with a camera, a user can perform such actions as zoom in zoom out, perform tilt detection for looking down or up, or pan across a field of view to obtain a range of POIs associated with a panning scope, etc.
With respect to a representative set of user settings, a number or maximum number of desired endpoints delivered as results can be configured. How to filter can also be configured, e.g., 5 most likely, 5 closest, 5 closest to 100 feet away, 5 within category or sub-category, alphabetical order, etc. In each case, based on a pointing direction, implicitly a cone or other cross section across physical space is defined as a scope of possible points of interest. In all cases, some set of POIs is defined according to a proximity to the device. In this regard, the width or deepness of this cone or cross section can be configurable by the user to control the accuracy of the pointing, e.g., narrow or wide radius of points and how far out to search. The images of
At 420, information about a selected point of interest is displayed as overlay over the image. At 430, an action is requested with respect to the selected place or item, e.g., show information, directions, etc. For example, a user may wish to review the item or add to wikipedia knowledge about point of interest, e.g., upload information, images, etc. In this regard, because it is intuitive to give a 3-D perspective view when the viewing plane is orthogonal to the ground plane, in the present embodiment, a 3-D perspective view with POI information overlay is implemented when the device is held substantially in the vertical plane. In effect, the camera shows the real space behind the device, and indications of points of interest in that space as if the user was performing a scan of his or her surroundings with the device. Direction information of the device 2600 enables data and network services to know what the scope of objects for interaction with the device is.
In addition, since POIs 822, 824 and 826 may be moving along a path recorded or tracked by one or more direction based services, direction indicators 832, 834 and 836, respectively, can be provided to give a user a real-time view of the movement of the POIs 822, 824 and 826 and their current direction. In this way, based on algorithms that either help the user to collide (or otherwise come into contact) with other POIs, or help the user to avoid other POIs, a variety of applications and scenarios are contemplated from social networking scenarios to restaurant finding to games, such as hide and seek.
In addition, a gesture subsystem 1870 can optionally be included, which can be predicated on any one or more of the motion information 1812, location information 1822 or direction information 1832. In this regard, not only can direction information 1832 and location information 1822 be used to define a set of unique gestures, but also motion information 1812 can be used to define an even more complicated set of gestures. The gesture monitor 1870 produces gesture information 1872, which can be input as appropriate in connection with delivering services 1860.
As mentioned, in another aspect, a device 1800 can include a client side memory 1880, such as a cache, of potentially relevant points of interest, which, based on the user's movement history can be dynamically updated. The context, such as geography, speed, etc. of the user can be factored in when updating. For instance, if a user's velocity is 2 miles an hour, the user may be walking and interested in updates at a city block by city block level, or at a lower level granularity if they are walking in the countryside. Similarly, if a user is moving on a highway at 60 miles per hour, the block-by-block updates of information are no longer desirable, but rather a granularity can be provided and predictively cached on the device 1800 that makes sense for the speed of the vehicle.
In one non-limiting embodiment, point structure 2090 is included, e.g., a triangular or other polygonal piece that points along an orientation line 2095 upon which directional calculations are based. Similarly, the orientation line 2095 can be indicated by graphics subsystem display/UI 2050 with or without point structure 2090. In this regard, various embodiments herein enable POI ID information 2080 to be received from services 2070 so that the content can be viewed or interactions can occur with services 2070 with respect to the POIs.
Due to the enhanced interactive skills of a device provisioned for direction based location services,
In this regard, users can interact with the endpoints in a host of context sensitive ways to provide or update information associated with endpoints of interest, or to receive beneficial information or instruments (e.g., coupons, offers, etc.) from entities associated with the endpoints of interest, and any of such actions can be facilitated by information, content, advertising, etc. that can relate to POIs and overlaid with the POIs in connection with an image based representation of the POIs.
The following description contains supplemental context regarding potential non-limiting pointing devices, architectures and associated services to further aid in understanding one or more of the above embodiments. Any one or more of any additional features described in this section can be accommodated in any one or more of the embodiments described above with respect to predictive direction based services at a particular location for given POI(s). While such combinations of embodiments or features are possible, for the avoidance of doubt, no embodiments set forth in the subject disclosure should be considered limiting on any other embodiments described herein.
As mentioned, a broad range of scenarios can be enabled by a device that can take location and direction information about the device and build a service on top of that information. For example, by using an accelerometer in coordination with an on board digital compass, an application running on a mobile device updates what each endpoint is “looking at” or pointed towards, attempting hit detection on potential points of interest to either produce real-time information for the device or to allow the user to select a range, or using the GPS, a location on a map, and set information such as “Starbucks—10% off cappuccinos today” or “The Alamo—site of . . . ” for others to discover. One or more accelerometers can also be used to perform the function of determining direction information for each endpoint as well. As described herein, these techniques can become more granular to particular items within a Starbucks, such as “blueberry cheesecake” on display in the counter, enabling a new type of sale opportunity.
Accordingly, a general device for accomplishing this includes a processing engine to resolve a line of sight vector sent from a mobile endpoint and a system to aggregate that data as a platform, enabling a host of new scenarios predicated on the pointing information known for the device. The act of pointing with a device, such as the user's mobile phone, thus becomes a powerful vehicle for users to discover and interact with points of interest around the individual in a way that is tailored for the individual. Synchronization of data can also be performed to facilitate roaming and sharing of POV data and contacts among different users of the same service.
In a variety of embodiments described herein, 2-dimensional (2D), 3-dimensional (3D) or N-dimensional directional-based search, discovery, and interactivity services are enabled for endpoints in the system of potential interest to the user.
The pointing information and corresponding algorithms depend upon the assets available in a device for producing the pointing or directional information. The pointing information, however produced according to an underlying set of measurement components, and interpreted by a processing engine, can be one or more vectors. A vector or set of vectors can have a “width” or “arc” associated with the vector for any margin of error associated with the pointing of the device. A panning angle can be defined by a user with at least two pointing actions to encompass a set of points of interest, e.g., those that span a certain angle defined by a panning gesture by the user.
In one non-limiting embodiment, a portable electronic device includes a positional component for receiving positional information as a function of a location of the portable electronic device, a directional component that outputs direction information as a function of an orientation of the portable electronic device and a location based engine that processes the positional information and the direction information to determine a subset of points of interest relative to the portable electronic device as a function of at least the positional information and the direction information.
The positional component can be a positional GPS component for receiving GPS data as the positional information. The directional component can be a magnetic compass and/or a gyroscopic compass that outputs the direction information. The device can include acceleration component(s), such as accelerometer(s), that outputs acceleration information associated with movement of the portable electronic device. The use of a separate sensor can also be used to further compensate for tilt and altitude adjustment calculations.
In one embodiment, the device includes a cache memory for dynamically storing a subset of endpoints of interest that are relevant to the portable electronic device and at least one interface to a network service for transmitting the positional information and the direction information to the network service. In return, based on real-time changes to the positional information and direction/pointing information, the device dynamically receives in the cache memory an updated subset of endpoints that are potentially relevant to the portable electronic device.
For instance, the subset of endpoints can be updated as a function of endpoints of interest within a pre-defined distance substantially along a vector defined by the orientation of the portable electronic device. Alternatively or in addition, the subset of endpoints can be updated as a function of endpoints of interest relevant to a current context of the portable electronic device. In this regard, the device can include a set of Representational State Transfer (REST)-based application programming interfaces (APIs), or other stateless set of APIs, so that the device can communicate with the service over different networks, e.g., Wi-Fi, a GPRS network, etc. or communicate with other users of the service, e.g., Bluetooth. For the avoidance of doubt, the embodiments are in no way limited to a REST based implementation, but rather any other state or stateful protocol could be used to obtain information from the service to the devices.
The directional component outputs direction information including compass information based on calibrated and compensated heading/directionality information. The directional component can also include direction information indicating upward or downward tilt information associated with a current upward or downward tilt of the portable electronic device, so that the services can detect when a user is pointing upwards or downwards with the device in addition to a certain direction. The height of the vectors itself can also be taken into account to distinguish between an event of pointing with a device from the top of a building (likely pointing to other buildings, bridges, landmarks, etc.) and the same event from the bottom of the building (likely pointing to a shop at ground level), or towards a ceiling or floor to differentiate among shelves in a supermarket. A 3-axis magnetic field sensor can also be used to implement a compass to obtain tilt readings.
Secondary sensors, such as altimeters or pressure readers, can also be included in a mobile device and used to detect a height of the device, e.g., what floor a device is on in a parking lot or floor of a department store (changing the associated map/floorplan data). Where a device includes a compass with a planar view of the world (e.g., 2-axis compass), the inclusion of one or more accelerometers in the device can be used to supplement the motion vector measured for a device as a virtual third component of the motion vector, e.g., to provide measurements regarding a third degree of freedom. This option may be deployed where the provision of a 3-axis compass is too expensive, or otherwise unavailable.
In this respect, a gesturing component can also be included in the device to determine a current gesture of a user of the portable electronic device from a set of pre-defined gestures. For example, gestures can include zoom in, zoom out, panning to define an arc, all to help filter over potential subsets of points of interest for the user.
For instance, web services can effectively resolve vector coordinates sent from mobile endpoints into <x,y,z> or other coordinates using location data, such as GPS data, as well as configurable, synchronized POV information similar to that found in a GPS system in an automobile. In this regard, any of the embodiments can be applied similarly in any motor vehicle device. One non-limiting use is also facilitation of endpoint discovery for synchronization of data of interest to or from the user from or to the endpoint.
Among other algorithms for interpreting position/motion/direction information, as shown in
In addition, a device 2200 includes an algorithm for discerning items substantially along a direction at which the device is pointing, and those not substantially along a direction at which the device is pointing. In this respect, while motion vector 2204 might implicate POI 2212, without a specific panning gesture that encompassed more directions/vectors, POIs 2214 and 2216 would likely not be within the scope of points of interest defined by motion vector 2204. The distance or reach of a vector can also be tuned by a user, e.g., via a slider control or other control, to quickly expand or contract the scope of endpoints encompassed by a given “pointing” interaction with the device.
In one non-limiting embodiment, the determination of at what or whom the user is pointing is performed by calculating an absolute “Look” vector, within a suitable margin of error, by a reading from an accelerometer's tilt and a reading from the magnetic compass. Then, an intersection of endpoints determines an initial scope, which can be further refined depending on the particular service employed, i.e., any additional filter. For instance, for an apartment search service, endpoints falling within the look vector that are not apartments ready for lease, can be pre-filtered.
In addition to the look vector determination, the engine can also compensate for, or begin the look vector, where the user is by establish positioning (˜15 feet) through an A-GPS stack (or other location based or GPS subsystem including those with assistance strategies) and also compensate for any significant movement/acceleration of the device, where such information is available.
As mentioned, in another aspect, a device can include a client side cache of potentially relevant points of interest, which, based on the user's movement history can be dynamically updated. The context, such as geography, speed, etc. of the user can be factored in when updating. For instance, if a user's velocity is 2 miles an hour, the user may be walking and interested in updates at a city block by city block level, or at a lower level granularity if they are walking in the countryside. Similarly, if a user is moving on a highway at 60 miles per hour, the block-by-block updates of information are no longer desirable, but rather a granularity can be provided and predictively cached on the device that makes sense for the speed of the vehicle.
In an automobile context, the location becomes the road on which the automobile is travelling, and the particular items are the places and things that are passed on the roadside much like products in a particular retail store on a shelf or in a display. The pointing based services thus creates a virtual “billboard” opportunity for items of interest generally along a user's automobile path. Proximity to location can lead to an impulse buy, e.g., a user might stop by a museum they are passing and pointing at with their device, if offered a discount on admission.
In various alternative embodiments, gyroscopic or magnetic compasses can provide directional information. A REST based architecture enables data communications to occur over different networks, such as Wi-Fi and GPRS architectures. REST based APIs can be used, though any stateless messaging can be used that does not require a long keep alive for communicated data/messages. This way, since networks can go down with GPRS antennae, seamless switching can occur to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth networks to continue according to the pointing based services enabled by the embodiments described herein.
A device as provided herein according to one or more embodiments can include a file system to interact with a local cache, store updates for synchronization to the service, exchange information by Bluetooth with other users of the service, etc. Accordingly, operating from a local cache, at least the data in the local cache is still relevant at a time of disconnection, and thus, the user can still interact with the data. Finally, the device can synchronize according to any updates made at a time of re-connection to a network, or to another device that has more up to date GPS data, POI data, etc. In this regard, a switching architecture can be adopted for the device to perform a quick transition from connectivity from one networked system (e.g., cell phone towers) to another computer network (e.g., Wi-Fi) to a local network (e.g., mesh network of Bluetooth connected devices).
With respect to user input, a set of soft keys, touch keys, etc. can be provided to facilitate in the directional-based pointing services provided herein. A device can include a windowing stack in order to overlay different windows, or provide different windows of information regarding a point of interest (e.g., hours and phone number window versus interactive customer feedback window). Audio can be rendered or handled as input by the device. For instance, voice input can be handled by the service to explicitly point without the need for a physical movement of the device. For instance, a user could say into a device “what is this product right in front of me? No, not that one, the one above it” and have the device transmit current direction/movement information to a service, which in turn intelligently, or iteratively, determines what particular item of interest the user is pointing at, and returns a host of relevant information about the item.
One non-limiting way for determining a set of points of interest is illustrated in
Other gestures that can be of interest in for a gesturing subsystem include recognizing a user's gesture for zoom in or zoom out. Zoom in/zoom out can be done in terms of distance like
For another non-limiting example, with location information and direction information, a user can input a first direction via a click, and then a second direction after moving the device via a second click, which in effect defines an arc 2510 for objects of interest in the system as illustrated in
Also, instead of focusing on real distance, zooming in or out could also represent a change in terms of granularity, or size, or hierarchy of objects. For example, a first pointing gesture with the device may result in a shopping mall appearing, but with another gesture, a user could carry out a recognizable gesture to gain or lose a level of hierarchical granularity with the points of interest on display. For instance, after such gesture, the points of interest could be zoomed in to the level of the stores at the shopping mall and what they are currently offering.
In addition, a variety of even richer behaviors and gestures can be recognized when acceleration of the device in various axes can be discerned. Panning, arm extension/retraction, swirling of the device, backhand tennis swings, breaststroke arm action, golf swing motions could all signify something unique in terms of the behavior of the pointing device, and this is to just name a few motions that could be implemented in practice. Thus, any of the embodiments herein can define a set of gestures that serve to help the user interact with a set of services built on the pointing platform, to help users easily gain information about points of information in their environment.
Furthermore, with relatively accurate upward and downward tilt of the device, in addition to directional information such as calibrated and compensated heading/directional information, other services can be enabled. Typically, if a device is ground level, the user is outside, and the device is “pointed” up towards the top of buildings, the granularity of information about points of interest sought by the user (building level) is different than if the user was pointing at the first floor shops of the building (shops level), even where the same compass direction is implicated. Similarly, where a user is at the top of a landmark such as the Empire State building, a downward tilt at the street level (street level granularity) would implicate information about different points of interest that if the user of the device pointed with relatively no tilt at the Statue of Liberty (landmark/building level of granularity).
Also, when a device is moving in a car, it may appear that direction is changing as the user maintains a pointing action on a single location, but the user is still pointing at the same thing due to displacement. Thus, thus time varying location can be factored into the mathematics and engine of resolving at what the user is pointing with the device to compensate for the user experience based upon which all items are relative.
Accordingly, armed with the device's position, one or more web or cloud services can analyze the vector information to determine at what or whom the user is looking/pointing. The service can then provide additional information such as ads, specials, updates, menus, happy hour choices, etc., depending on the endpoint selected, the context of the service, the location (urban or rural), the time (night or day), etc. As a result, instead of a blank contextless Internet search, a form of real-time visual search for users in real 3-D environments is provided.
In one non-limiting embodiment, the direction based pointing services are implemented in connection with a pair of glasses, headband, etc. having a corresponding display means that acts in concert with the user's looking to highlight or overlay features of interest around the user.
As shown in
For instance, a set of different choices are shown in
Once a single POI is implicated or selected, then a full screen view for the single POI can be displayed, such as the exemplary UI 2800. UI 2800 can have one or more of any of the following representative areas. UI 2800 can include a static POI image 2802 such as a trademark of a store, or a picture of a person. UI 2800 can also include other media, and a static POI information portion 2804 for information that tends not to change such as restaurant hours, menu, contact information, etc. In addition, UI 2800 can include an information section for dynamic information to be pushed to the user for the POI, e.g., coupons, advertisements, offers, sales, etc. In addition, a dynamic interactive information are 2808 can be included where the user can fill out a survey, provide feedback to the POI owner, request the POI to contact the user, make a reservation, buy tickets, etc. UI 2800 also can include a representation of the direction information output by the compass for reference purposes. Further, UI 2800 can include other third party static or dynamic content in area 2812.
When things change from the perspective of either the service or the client, a synchronization process can bring either the client or service, respectively, up to date. In this way, an ecosystem is enabled where a user can point at an object or point of interest, gain information about it that is likely to be relevant to the user, interact with the information concerning the point of interest, and add value to services ecosystem where the user interacts. The system thus advantageously supports both static and dynamic content.
Other user interfaces can be considered such as left-right, or up-down arrangements for navigating categories or a special set of soft-keys can be adaptively provided.
To support processing of vector information and aggregating POI databases from third parties, a variety of storage techniques, such as relational storage techniques can be used. For instance, Virtual Earth data can be used for mapping and aggregation of POI data can occur from third parties such as Tele Atlas, NavTeq, etc. In this regard, businesses not in the POI database will want to be discovered and thus, the service provides a similar, but far superior from a spatial relevance standpoint, Yellow Pages experiences where businesses will desire to have their additional information, such as menus, price sheets, coupons, pictures, virtual tours, etc. accessible via the system.
In addition, a synchronization platform or framework can keep the roaming caches in sync, thereby capturing what users are looking at and efficiently processing changes. Or, where a user goes offline, local changes can be recorded, and when the user goes back online, such local changes can be synchronized to the network or service store. Also, since the users are in effect pulling information they care about in the here and in the now through the act of pointing with the device, the system generates high cost per thousand impression (CPM) rates as compared to other forms of demographic targeting. Moreover, the system drives impulse buys, since the user may not be physically present in a store, but the user may be near the object, and by being nearby and pointing at the store, information about a sale concerning the object can be sent to the user.
As mentioned, different location subsystems, such as tower triangulation, GPS, A-GPS, E-GPS, etc. have different tolerances. For instance, with GPS, tolerances can be achieved to about 10 meters. With A-GPS, tolerances can be tightened to about 12 feet. In turn, with E-GPS, tolerance may be a different error margin still. Compensating for the different tolerances is part of the interpretation engine for determining intersection of a pointing vector and a set of points of interest. In addition, a distance to project out the pointing vector can be explicit, configurable, contextual, etc.
In this regard, the various embodiments described herein can employ any algorithm for distinguishing among boundaries of the endpoints, such as boundary boxes, or rectangles, triangles, circles, etc. As a default radius, e.g., 150 feet could be selected, and such value can be configured or be context sensitive to the service provided. On-line real estate sites can be leveraged for existing POI information. Since different POI databases may track different information at different granularities, a way of normalizing the POI data according to one convention or standard can also be implemented so that the residential real estate location data of Zillow can be integrated with GPS information from Starbucks of all the Starbucks by country.
In addition, similar techniques can be implemented in a moving vehicle client that includes GPS, compass, accelerometer, etc. By filtering based on scenarios (e.g., I need gas), different subsets of points of interest (e.g., gas stations) can be determined for the user based not only on distance, but actual time it may take to get to the point of interest. In this regard, while a gas station may be 100 yards to the right off the highway, the car may have already passed the corresponding exit, and thus more useful information to provide is what gas station will take the least amount of time to drive from a current location based on direction/location so as to provide predictive points of interest that are up ahead on the road, and not already aged points of interest that would require turning around from one's destination in order to get to them.
For existing motor vehicle navigation devices, or other conventional portable GPS navigation devices, where a device does not natively include directional means such as a compass, the device can have an extension slot that accommodates direction information from an external directional device, such as a compass. Similarly, for laptops or other portable electronic devices, such devices can be outfitted with a card or board with a slot for a compass. While any of the services described herein can make web service calls as part of the pointing and retrieval of endpoint process, as mentioned, one advantageous feature of a user's locality in real space is that it is inherently more limited than a general Internet search for information. As a result, a limited amount of data can be predictively maintained on a user's device in cache memory and properly aged out as data becomes stale.
In another aspect of any of the embodiments described herein, because stateless messaging is employed, if communications drop with one network, the device can begin further communicating via another network. For instance, a device has two channels, and a user gets on a bus, but no longer have GPRS or GPS activity. Nonetheless the user is able to get the information the device needs from some other channel. Just because a tower, or satellites are down, does not mean that the device cannot connect through an alternative channel, e.g., the bus's GPS location information via Bluetooth.
With respect to exemplary mobile client architectures, a representative device can include, as described variously herein, client Side Storage for housing and providing fast access to cached POI data in the current region including associated dynamically updated or static information, such as annotations, coupons from businesses, etc. This includes usage data tracking and storage. In addition, regional data can be a cached subset of the larger service data, always updated based on the region in which the client is roaming. For instance, POI data could include as a non-limiting example, the following information:
Support for different kinds of information (e.g., blob v structured information (blob for storage and media; structured for tags, annotations, etc.)
A device can also include usage data and preferences to hold settings as well as usage data such as coupons “activated,” waypoints, businesses encountered per day, other users encountered, etc. to be analyzed by the cloud services for business intelligence analysis and reporting.
A device can also include a continuous update mechanism, which is a service that maintains the client's cached copy of a current region updated with the latest. Among other ways, this can be achieved with a ping-to-pull model that pre-fetches and swaps out the client's cached region using travel direction and speed to facilitate roaming among different regions. This is effectively a paging mechanism for upcoming POIs. This also includes sending a new or modified POI for the region (with annotations+coupons), sending a new or modified annotation for the POIs (with coupons), or sending a new or modified coupon for the POI.
A device can also include a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) having components responsible for abstracting the way the client communicates with the measuring instruments, e.g., the GPS driver for positioning and LOS accuracy (e.g., open eGPS), magnetic compass for heading and rotational information (e.g., gyroscopic), one or more accelerometers for gestured input and tilt (achieves 3D positional algorithms, assuming gyroscopic compass).
As described earlier, a device can also include methods/interfaces to make REST calls via GPRS/Wi-Fi and a file system and storage for storing and retrieving the application data and settings.
A device can also include user input and methods to map input to the virtual keys. For instance, one non-limiting way to accomplish user input is to have softkeys as follows, though it is to be understood a great variety of user inputs can be used to achieve interaction with the user interfaces of the pointing based services.
In addition, a representative device can include a graphics and windowing stack to render the client side UI, as well as an audio stack to play sounds/alerts.
As mentioned, such a device may also include spatial and math computational components including a set of APIs to perform 3D collision testing between subdivided surfaces such as spherical shells (e.g., a simple hit testing model to adopt and boundary definitions for POIs), rotate points, and cull as appropriate from conic sections.
A representative interaction with a pointing device as provided in one or more embodiments herein is illustrated in
At 2920, based on the object(s) or POI(s) identified at 2910, predictive information is pre-fetched or otherwise pre-processed for use with the predicted services with respect to such object(s) or POI(s). Then, based on current vector information, or more informally, the act of pointing by the user, at 2930, an object or point of interest is selected based on any of a variety of “line of sight” algorithms that determine what POI(s) are currently within (or outside) of the vector path. It is noted that occlusion culling techniques can optionally be used to facilitate overlay techniques. In this regard, at 2940, based at least in part on the pre-fetched or pre-processed predictive information, services are performed with respect to the object(s) or POI(s).
Additionally, whether the point of interest at issue falls within the vector can factor in the error in precision of any of the measurements, e.g., different GPS subsystems have different error in precision. In this regard, one or more items or points of interest may be found along the vector path or arc, within a certain distance depending on context. As mentioned, at 2940, any of a great variety of services can be performed with respect to any point of interest selected by the user via a user interface. Where only one point of interest is concerned, the service can be automatically performed with respect to the point of interest.
For existing motor vehicle navigation devices, or other conventional portable GPS navigation devices, where a device does not natively include directional means such as a compass, the device can have an extension slot that accommodates direction information from an external directional device, such as a compass. Similarly, for laptops or other portable electronic devices, such devices can be outfitted with a card or board with a slot for a compass. While any of the services described herein can make web service calls as part of the pointing and retrieval of endpoint process, as mentioned, limited bandwidth may degrade the interactive experience. As a result, a limited amount of data can be predictively maintained on a user's device in cache memory and optionally aged out as data becomes stale, e.g., when relevance to the user falls below a threshold.
As described in various embodiments herein,
At 3120, upon selection of a POI, static content is determined and any dynamic content is acquired via synchronization. When new data becomes available, it is downloaded to stay up to date. At 3130, POI information is filtered further by user specific information (e.g., if it is the user's first time at the store, returning customer, loyalty program member, live baseball game offer for team clothing discounts, etc.). At 3140, static and dynamic content that is up to date is rendered for the POI. In addition, updates and/or interaction with POI information is allowed which can be synced back to the service.
One of ordinary skill in the art can appreciate that the various embodiments of methods and devices for pointing based services and related embodiments described herein can be implemented in connection with any computer or other client or server device, which can be deployed as part of a computer network or in a distributed computing environment, and can be connected to any kind of data store. In this regard, the various embodiments described herein can be implemented in any computer system or environment having any number of memory or storage units, and any number of applications and processes occurring across any number of storage units. This includes, but is not limited to, an environment with server computers and client computers deployed in a network environment or a distributed computing environment, having remote or local storage.
Each object 3210, 3212, etc. and computing objects or devices 3220, 3222, 3224, 3226, 3228, etc. can communicate with one or more other objects 3210, 3212, etc. and computing objects or devices 3220, 3222, 3224, 3226, 3228, etc. by way of the communications network 3240, either directly or indirectly. Even though illustrated as a single element in
There are a variety of systems, components, and network configurations that support distributed computing environments. For example, computing systems can be connected together by wired or wireless systems, by local networks or widely distributed networks. Currently, many networks are coupled to the Internet, which provides an infrastructure for widely distributed computing and encompasses many different networks, though any network infrastructure can be used for exemplary communications made incident to the techniques as described in various embodiments.
Thus, a host of network topologies and network infrastructures, such as client/server, peer-to-peer, or hybrid architectures, can be utilized. In a client/server architecture, particularly a networked system, a client is usually a computer that accesses shared network resources provided by another computer, e.g., a server. In the illustration of
A server is typically a remote computer system accessible over a remote or local network, such as the Internet or wireless network infrastructures. The client process may be active in a first computer system, and the server process may be active in a second computer system, communicating with one another over a communications medium, thus providing distributed functionality and allowing multiple clients to take advantage of the information-gathering capabilities of the server. Any software objects utilized pursuant to the direction based services can be provided standalone, or distributed across multiple computing devices or objects.
In a network environment in which the communications network/bus 3240 is the Internet, for example, the servers 3210, 3212, etc. can be Web servers with which the clients 3220, 3222, 3224, 3226, 3228, etc. communicate via any of a number of known protocols, such as the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). Servers 3210, 3212, etc. may also serve as clients 3220, 3222, 3224, 3226, 3228, etc., as may be characteristic of a distributed computing environment.
As mentioned, various embodiments described herein apply to any device wherein it may be desirable to perform pointing based services, and predict interactions with points of interest. It should be understood, therefore, that handheld, portable and other computing devices and computing objects of all kinds are contemplated for use in connection with the various embodiments described herein, i.e., anywhere that a device may request pointing based services. Accordingly, the below general purpose remote computer described below in
Although not required, any of the embodiments can partly be implemented via an operating system, for use by a developer of services for a device or object, and/or included within application software that operates in connection with the operable component(s). Software may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by one or more computers, such as client workstations, servers or other devices. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that network interactions may be practiced with a variety of computer system configurations and protocols.
With reference to
Computer 3310 typically includes a variety of computer readable media and can be any available media that can be accessed by computer 3310. The system memory 3330 may include computer storage media in the form of volatile and/or nonvolatile memory such as read only memory (ROM) and/or random access memory (RAM). By way of example, and not limitation, memory 3330 may also include an operating system, application programs, other program modules, and program data.
A user may enter commands and information into the computer 3310 through input devices 3340 A monitor or other type of display device is also connected to the system bus 3321 via an interface, such as output interface 3350. In addition to a monitor, computers may also include other peripheral output devices such as speakers and a printer, which may be connected through output interface 3350.
The computer 3310 may operate in a networked or distributed environment using logical connections to one or more other remote computers, such as remote computer 3370. The remote computer 3370 may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, or any other remote media consumption or transmission device, and may include any or all of the elements described above relative to the computer 3310. The logical connections depicted in
As mentioned above, while exemplary embodiments have been described in connection with various computing devices, networks and advertising architectures, the underlying concepts may be applied to any network system and any computing device or system in which it is desirable to derive information about surrounding points of interest.
There are multiple ways of implementing one or more of the embodiments described herein, e.g., an appropriate API, tool kit, driver code, operating system, control, standalone or downloadable software object, etc. which enables applications and services to use the pointing based services. Embodiments may be contemplated from the standpoint of an API (or other software object), as well as from a software or hardware object that provides pointing platform services in accordance with one or more of the described embodiments. Various implementations and embodiments described herein may have aspects that are wholly in hardware, partly in hardware and partly in software, as well as in software.
The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. For the avoidance of doubt, the subject matter disclosed herein is not limited by such examples. In addition, any aspect or design described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other aspects or designs, nor is it meant to preclude equivalent exemplary structures and techniques known to those of ordinary skill in the art. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms “includes,” “has,” “contains,” and other similar words are used in either the detailed description or the claims, for the avoidance of doubt, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising” as an open transition word without precluding any additional or other elements.
As mentioned, the various techniques described herein may be implemented in connection with hardware or software or, where appropriate, with a combination of both. As used herein, the terms “component,” “system” and the like are likewise intended to refer to a computer-related entity, either hardware, a combination of hardware and software, software, or software in execution. For example, a component may be, but is not limited to being, a process running on a processor, a processor, an object, an executable, a thread of execution, a program, and/or a computer. By way of illustration, both an application running on computer and the computer can be a component. One or more components may reside within a process and/or thread of execution and a component may be localized on one computer and/or distributed between two or more computers.
The aforementioned systems have been described with respect to interaction between several components. It can be appreciated that such systems and components can include those components or specified sub-components, some of the specified components or sub-components, and/or additional components, and according to various permutations and combinations of the foregoing. Sub-components can also be implemented as components communicatively coupled to other components rather than included within parent components (hierarchical). Additionally, it should be noted that one or more components may be combined into a single component providing aggregate functionality or divided into several separate sub-components, and any one or more middle layers, such as a management layer, may be provided to communicatively couple to such sub-components in order to provide integrated functionality. Any components described herein may also interact with one or more other components not specifically described herein but generally known by those of skill in the art.
In view of the exemplary systems described supra, methodologies that may be implemented in accordance with the disclosed subject matter will be better appreciated with reference to the flowcharts of the various figures. While for purposes of simplicity of explanation, the methodologies are shown and described as a series of blocks, it is to be understood and appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not limited by the order of the blocks, as some blocks may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other blocks from what is depicted and described herein. Where non-sequential, or branched, flow is illustrated via flowchart, it can be appreciated that various other branches, flow paths, and orders of the blocks, may be implemented which achieve the same or a similar result. Moreover, not all illustrated blocks may be required to implement the methodologies described hereinafter.
While the various embodiments have been described in connection with the preferred embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiment for performing the same function without deviating therefrom. Still further, one or more aspects of the above described embodiments may be implemented in or across a plurality of processing chips or devices, and storage may similarly be effected across a plurality of devices. Therefore, the present invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather should be construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the appended claims.