Last month the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Facebook that relates to a wearable fingertip camera that could be controlled via hand gestures. The cameras could be used to record video or broadcast video live to a user’s Facebook page.
Facebook notes in their patent background that a social-networking system, which may include a social-networking website, may enable its users (such as persons or organizations) to interact with it and with each other through it. The social-networking system may also, with input from a user, create and store a record of relationships of the user with other users of the social-networking system, as well as provide services (e.g., wall posts, photo-sharing, event organization, messaging, games, or advertisements) to facilitate social interaction between or among users.
The social-networking system may send over one or more networks content or messages related to its services to a mobile or other computing device of a user. The social-networking system may generate a personalized set of content objects to display to a user, such as a newsfeed of aggregated stories of other users connected to the user.
Facebook’s invention relates to a hand-worn video camera that is integrated into a network environment and its video-capture contents may be stitched together with other videos on the network environment for creating stitched together videos that may be shared across an online social network.
In the network environment, one or more video stream(s) from respective camera(s) may be synchronized and collected, or otherwise accessed, by a computing device or computing system (such as a social-networking system).
The camera(s) may be operated by a user and may be wireless and worn on the user’s fingers or hands. More specifically, the wireless camera(s) may be worn on the user’s fingertip(s) or worn as a ring (or rings) on the user’s finger(s).
The video streams may be stitched together by a mobile phone or other suitable device of the user. Other cameras operated by the user may be integrated into the mobile phone or other suitable device of the user.
The stitched together video streams may be broadcast live to the users or made accessible to users in any suitable manner. For example, the users may be members of an online social network, such as FACEBOOK, and they may be connected to each other within the online social network. Users may then access the stitched together video streams through the online social network.
The user may wear a camera on a finger or other part of the user’s right hand and another camera on a finger or other part of the user’s left hand. The cameras may, but need not necessarily, be pointed in different directions or otherwise capture different, possibly non-overlapping, fields of view (FOVs ) while they are recording.
A camera worn on the user’s hand may, but need not necessarily, be configured to be controlled by movement of the camera resulting from a hand gesture or other hand movement of the user.
For example, a particular hand gesture (e.g. a waving motion) may turn the camera on or off. Another hand gesture (e.g. a flicking motion of the camera) may cause the camera to start recording. Another hand gesture (e.g. a sudden upward or downward motion of the hand centered at the wrist) may cause the camera to stop recording. Another hand gesture (e.g. a twirling motion) may cause a live broadcast to start. Another hand gesture may cause a live broadcast from the camera to stop. Other movement patterns of the camera resulting from hand gestures may indicate operational control inputs, such as a camera zoom function or for controlling a presentation of advertisements.
Facebook’s patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an example hand-worn camera.
The camera (#103) illustrated above may be worn on a fingertip or worn as a ring on a finger of the hand of a user. In particular embodiments, the user may also wear another camera on another hand. One or more other cameras (#105) may be hand-held cameras, integrated into multi-function devices such as mobile phones, under direct or remote control of the user.
The camera may include a warning light (such as for example a flashing, blinking, or circling light) other suitable indicator to notify the user that filming has begun. In particular embodiments, the camera may be used to read Quick Response (QR) or similar codes.
The Cameras (#103 or #105) may capture video while pointed in different directions and have different Field of Views.
After collecting or otherwise accessing the temporally synchronized video streams, block #111 of FIG. 1 stitches together the video streams, which may include application of various image-processing techniques. The block may define video-display attributes that define a stitched-together video for presentation.
Facebook patent FIGS. 2A and 2B below illustrate examples of hand gestures to control an example camera worn on a fingertip; FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate example hand gestures to control an example camera worn on a ring on a finger; FIG. 4 illustrates an example response of a hand-worn camera to an example hand gesture.
Of course this is Facebook and so a portion of the invention is dedicated to how the live feeds could be set to work with advertisements.
Facebook’s invention, according to their filing, was filed with the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) this past January. USPTO published it in July.