|Publication number||USRE40116 E1|
|Application number||US 11/108,153|
|Publication date||Feb 26, 2008|
|Filing date||Apr 15, 2005|
|Priority date||Oct 16, 2000|
|Also published as||US6549756, WO2002033846A1|
|Publication number||108153, 11108153, US RE40116 E1, US RE40116E1, US-E1-RE40116, USRE40116 E1, USRE40116E1|
|Inventors||G. Eric Engstrom|
|Original Assignee||Engstrom G Eric|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (16), Classifications (24), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the fields of mobile communication and/or computing devices. More specifically, the present invention relates to the incorporation of bio-metric sensors/monitors in these devices.
2. Background Information
Advances in computer and telecommunication technology have led to wide spread adoption of mobile client devices, from the basic wireless telephones to function rich notebook sized computers that pack the power of a desktop computer. In between are web enabled wireless telephones, palmed sized personal digital assistants (PDA) and so forth. As a result, professionals are virtually always only a few clicks or buttons away from their home offices.
While these capabilities have increased the mobility of modern professionals, they also have contributed to longer work hours and increased stress for the professionals. However, as society in general becomes more health conscious, notwithstanding their busy work schedules, more and more professionals are allocating time to exercise or participate in physical activities. This trend has not gone unnoticed to the application developers, which as a result have become increasingly interested in incorporating bio-metric data in their applications.
Among the modern mobile client devices, unquestionably, wireless mobiles and palm sized PDAs have emerged as the two most popular mobile client devices for modern professionals. Thus, increasingly, artesian are interested in being able to collect bio-metric data using these devices.
A mobile client device, such as a wireless mobile phone or a palm sized personal digital assistant, is provided with a number of sensors and companion programming instructions/circuitry to generate a heart rate reading for a user holding the device. The sensors are used to sense blood flow rate of the user. The sensors are advantageously disposed in a distributed manner, in a number of locations of the mobile client device, to allow collection of multiple blood flow rate readings of the user. The programming instructions/circuitry are used to infer a holding pattern of the device, and generate the heart rate reading using a subset of the sensed data, based at least in part on the inferred holding pattern.
In one embodiment, the sensors are distributively disposed along two edges of the mobile client device, to facilitate collection of blood flow rate data for at least a left hand holding pattern and a right hand holding pattern. In one embodiment, the holding pattern is inferred by comparing the sensed data with one or more reference characteristic profiles. In one embodiment, a set of weights is also selected to normalize the employed sensed data.
The present invention will be described by way of exemplary embodiments, but not limitations, illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like references denote similar elements, and in which:
In the following description, various aspects of the present invention will be described. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced with only some or all aspects of the present invention. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. In other instances, well known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the present invention.
Parts of the description will be presented using terms such as end-users interfaces, buttons, and so forth, commonly employed by those skilled in the art to convey the substance of their work to others skilled in the art. Parts of the description will be presented in terms of operations performed by a computing device, using terms such as sensing, converting, comparing, storing, generating and so forth. As well understood by those skilled in the art, these quantities and operations take the form of electrical, magnetic, or optical signals capable of being stored, transferred, combined, and otherwise manipulated through mechanical and electrical components of a digital system. The term digital system includes general purpose as well as special purpose computing machines, systems, and the like, that are standalone, adjunct or embedded.
Various operations will be described in turn in a manner that is most helpful in understanding the present invention, however, the order of description should not be construed as to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. Furthermore, the phrase “in one embodiment” will be used repeatedly, however the phrase does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although it may.
Referring now to
In accordance with the present invention, sensors 114aa-114ae and 114ba—114be are advantageously disposed in a distributed manner, at a number of locations of wireless mobile phone 100. For the illustrated embodiments, sensors 114aa-114ae and 114ba-114be are distributively disposed along the two side edges of wireless mobile phone 100. As a result, the blood flow rate of the user may be sensed at multiple points, more importantly, at different combinations of these points, depending one how mobile phone 100 is held by the user.
For example, if mobile phone 100 is held in a left hand position, the user's thumb and the lower left region of the user's palm are more likely to be in contact with sensors 114aa, 114ad and 114ae, giving three reasonably accurate readings of the user's blood flow rate, while sensors 114ab and 114ac most likely will not make very good contact with the user's palm or fingers, yielding unreliable readings of the user's blood flow rate. At the same time, the user's remaining four fingers are more likely to be in contact with sensors 114ba-114bd, yielding reliable readings, with sensor 114be most likely not making very good contact with the user's palm or fingers, yielding unreliable readings. On the other hand, if mobile phone 100 is held in a right hand position, the user's thumb and the lower right region of the user's palm are more likely to be in contact with sensors 114ba, 114bd and 114be, yielding more reliable readings, with sensors 114bb and 114bc most likely not making very good contact with the user's palm or fingers, yielding unreliable readings. At the same time, the user's remaining four fingers are more likely to be in contact with sensors 114aa-114ad, yielding reliable readings, with sensor 114ae most likely not making very good contact with the user's palm or fingers, yielding unreliable readings.
Thus, it can be seen, a user holding pattern (of the mobile phone 100) can be inferred from the relative strength of the sensing signals generated by the distributively disposed sensors 114aa-114ae and 114ba-114be. The companion programming instructions/circuitry are designed to do just that, i.e. infer the holding pattern based on the relative strength of the sensing signals. In one embodiment, the companion programming instructions/circuitry make the inference using reference characteristic profiles, to be described more fully below. In turn, the companion programming instructions/circuitry generate the heart rate reading using a subset of the sensing data, based at least in part on the inferred holding pattern. In one embodiment, the employed sensed data are also “normalized” to reflect the different strength a user may employ in holding mobile phone 100.
For the illustrated embodiment, mobile phone 100 also includes a dedicated service request button 110 to allow the roving user to request for services from different locations or have location information of the user be selectively providing to various recipients. Requesting for service by a roving user is the subject of co-pending U.S. Patent Application, <number to be assigned>, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Roving Request for Service”, filed contemporaneously, and having at least partial common inventorship with the present application. Selective provision of location information of the user to various recipients is the subject matter of co-pending U.S. Patent Application, <number to be assigned>, entitled “Method and Apparatus for People to Simply Communicate Their Location and Activity, also filed contemporaneously, and having at least partial common inventorship with the present application. Except for the recursive incorporation, both of these applications are hereby fully incorporated by reference.
As wireless mobile phone 100, sensors 208aa-208ae and 208ba-208be are advantageously disposed in a distributed manner, at a number of locations of PDA 200. For the illustrated embodiments, sensors 208aa-208ae and 208ba-208be are distributively disposed along the two side edges of PDA 200. As a result, the blood flow rate of the user may also be sensed at multiple points, more importantly, at different combinations of these points, depending on how PDA 200 is held by the user. As described earlier, the companion programming instructions/circuitry are designed to infer the holding pattern based on the relative strength of the sensing signals. In turn, the companion programming instructions/circuitry generate the heart rate reading using a subset of the sensing data, based at least in part on the inferred holding pattern.
Similar to mobile phone 100, PDA 200 may be equipped with a roving request for service application or a location information distribution application. If so, a service request or location information distribution “home” page may be retrieved from a messaging service, and rendered on display screen 202. The service request/location information distribution “home” page may include a “drop down” menu of services available for request, request button, current location and status display. As a result, a user of PDA 200 may also request anyone of the services included in the “drop down” menu, such as calling a taxi, ordering a take out, buying some local wines, and the like, or request the user's current location information being provided to a number of selected recipients, such as the user's parent, friends, and so forth, as described in the co-pending incorporated by reference application.
Selected ones of sensors 318 (depending a user's holding pattern) make contact with the user's palm or fingers, and generate electrical signals proportional to the blood flow rate detected by the sensors. Anyone of a number of such known sensors may be employed. A/D converter 316 converts the analog electrical signals into digital data. Similarly, anyone of a number of such known A/D converters may be employed. Heart rate application 320 in turn infers the holding pattern, and generate the heart rate accordingly, to be described more fully below. In alternate embodiments, in lieu of heart rate application 320, mobile client device 300 may be provided with dedicated circuitry for performing the holding pattern inference and heart rate generation operations (also to be described in more details below, referencing FIG. 7).
Except for the distributive employment of the sensors, and heart rate generation application 320 (or its circuitry equivalent), the functions and constitution of the various enumerated elements of
Thereafter, in like manner, counter 702b successively generates a series of pointers to cause different weight sets to be successively output for different holding patterns for analysis. Latched identifier of the most “fitting” reference characteristic profile causes selector 712 to select the appropriate trial weight sets corresponding to the inferred holding pattern to be examined. The selected trial weight set is then latched and used to normalized the sensing data, and upon normalization, compute the heart rate.
The computed heart rate may then be presented to the user for confirmation. The process may be repeated if necessary. Eventually, upon confirmation, the calibrated weight set may then be used during normal mode of operation.
Accordingly, a mobile client device having integrated capabilities for also generating a heart rate reading for a user holding the mobile client device has been described. While the present invention has been described in terms of the above illustrated embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described. The present invention can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Thus, the description is to be regarded as illustrative instead of restrictive on the present invention.
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|U.S. Classification||455/66.1, 455/575.1, 455/100, 600/509, 600/519, 600/513, 455/351, 455/90.1, 455/128, 455/566|
|International Classification||A61B5/00, H04B7/00, A61B5/026, H04B1/38, A61B5/024|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B5/026, A61B5/02438, A61B2560/0462, A61B5/0002, A61B5/6887, H04B1/3805, A61B5/6898|
|European Classification||A61B5/68F, A61B5/024F|
|Sep 22, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Nov 12, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HALL ALUMINUM LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:XOUCIN INC.;REEL/FRAME:025356/0315
Effective date: 20040708
|Jun 18, 2013||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INTELLECTUAL VENTURES I LLC, DELAWARE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:HALL ALUMINUM LLC;REEL/FRAME:030638/0422
Effective date: 20130523
|Sep 24, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12