IMAGE CAPTURE AND IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM AND PROCESS
This application is a 371 of PCT/US02/35407 filed on Nov. 5, 2002.
1. Technical Field
The invention relates an identification method and process for objects from digitally captured images thereof that uses image characteristics to identify an object from a plurality of objects in a database.
2. Background Art
There is a need to provide hyperlink functionality in known objects without modification to the objects, through reliably detecting and identifying the objects based only on the appearance of the object, and then locating and supplying information pertinent to the object or initiating communications pertinent to the object by supplying an infonnation address, such as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), pertinent to the object.
There is a need to detennine the position and orientation of known objects based only on imagery of the objects.
The detection, identification, determination of position and orientation, and subsequent information provision and communication must occur without modification or disfigurement of the obj ect, without the need for any marks, symbols, codes, barcodes, or characters on the object, without the need to touch or disturb the object, without the need for special lighting other than that required for normal human vision, without the need for any communication device (radio frequency, infrared, etc.) to be attached to or nearby the object, and without human assistance in the identification process. The objects to be detected and identified may be 3-dimensional objects, 2-dimensional images (e.g., on paper), or 2-dimensional images of 3-dimensional objects, or human beings.
There is a need to provide such identification and hyperlink services to persons using mobile computing devices, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and cellular telephones.
There is a need to provide such identification and hyperlink services to machines, such as factory robots and spacecraft.
Identifying pictures or other art in a museum, where it is desired to provide additional information about such art objects to museum visitors via mobile wireless devices;
provision of content (infonnation, text, grapl1ics, music, video, etc.), communications, and transaction mechanisms between companies and individuals, via networks (wireless or otherwise) initiated by the individuals “pointing and clicking” with carnera-equipped mobile devices on magazine advertisements, posters, billboards, consumer products, music or video disks or tapes, buildings, vehicles, etc.;
establishment of a communications link with a macl1ine, such a vending machine or information kiosk, by “pointing and clicking” on the machine with a carnera-equipped mobile wireless device and then execution of communications or transactions between the mobile wireless device and the machine;
identification of objects or parts in a factory, such as on an assembly line, by capturing an image of the objects or parts, and then providing ir1formation pertinent to the identified objects or parts;
identification of a part of a machine, such as an aircraft part, by a technician “pointing and clicking” on the part with a carnera-equipped mobile wireless device, and then supplying pertinent content to the technician, such maintenance instructions or history for the identified part;
identification or screening of individual(s) by a security officer “pointing and clicking” a camera-equipped mobile wireless device at the individual(s) and then receiving identification infonnation pertinent to the individuals after the individuals have been identified by face recognition software;
identification, screening, or validation of documents, such as passports, by a security officer “pointing and clicking” a carnera-equipped device at the document and receiving a response from a remote computer;
detennination of the position and orientation of an object in space by a spacecraft nearby the obj ect, based on imagery of the obj ect, so that the spacecraft can maneuver relative to the object or execute a rendezvous with the obj ect;
identification of objects from aircraft or spacecraft by capturing imagery of the objects and then identifying the objects via image recognition perfonned on a local or remote computer;
watcl1ing movie previews streamed to a camera-equipped wireless device by “pointing and clicking” with such a device on a movie theatre sign orposter, or on a digital video disc box or videotape box;
lister1ing to audio recording samples streamed to a cameraequipped wireless device by “pointing and clicking” with such a device on a compact disk (CD) box, videotape box, or print media advertisement;
purchasing movie, concert, or sporting event tickets by “pointing and clicking” on a theater, advertisement, or other object with a camera-equipped wireless device;
purchasing an item by “pointing and clicking” on the object with a camera-equipped wireless device and thus initiating a transaction;
interacting with television programming by “pointing and clicking” at the television screen with a camera-equipped device, thus capturing an image of the screen content and having that image sent to a remote computer and identified, thus initiating interaction based on the screen content received (an example is purchasing an item on the television screen by “pointing and clicking” at the screen when the item is on the screen);
interacting with a computer-system based game and with other players of the game by “pointing and clicking” on objects in the physical enviromnent that are considered to be part of the game;
paying a bus fare by “pointing and clicking” with a mobile wireless carnera-equipped device, on a fare machine in a bus, and thus establishing a communications link between the device and the fare machine and enabling the fare payment transaction;
establishment of a communication between a mobile wireless carnera-equipped device and a computer with an Intemet connection by “pointing and clicking” with the device on the computer and thus providing to the mobile device an Intemet address at wl1ich it can communicate with the computer, thus establishing communications with the computer despite the absence of a local network or any direct communication between the device and the computer;
use of a mobile wireless camera-equipped device as a point-of-sale terminal by, for example, “pointing and clicking” on an item to be purchased, thus identifying the item and initiating a transaction;
The present invention solves the above stated needs. Once an image is captured digitally, a search of the image determines whether symbolic content is included in the image. If so the symbol is decoded and communication is opened with