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AUTOMATIC PEN RECOGNITION FOR WHITEBOARD-BASED COLLABORATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000229426D
Publication Date: 2013-Jul-29
Document File: 6 page(s) / 206K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Kai Chen: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

A pen recognition system is provided that is useful for intelligent whiteboard applications. Two conventional cameras are set on top of a touch screen. The touch screen and the cameras are connected to a personal computer or tablet. Whiteboard software runs on the personal computer or tablet. The user picks up a pen from the pen tray and writes on the screen with the color of the pen. The pen color selection is determined by detecting a particular color of the pen, or a specific arrangement of color bands on the pens.

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Page 01 of 6

AUTOMATIC PEN RECOGNITION FOR WHITEBOARD-BASED COLLABORATION

AUTHORS:

Kai Chen

Mingen Zheng
Yi Wang
Qibin Sun

Yi You

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

ABSTRACT

    A pen recognition system is provided that is useful for intelligent whiteboard applications. Two conventional cameras are set on top of a touch screen. The touch screen and the cameras are connected to a personal computer or tablet. Whiteboard software runs on the personal computer or tablet. The user picks up a pen from the pen tray and writes on the screen with the color of the pen. The pen color selection is determined by detecting a particular color of the pen, or a specific arrangement of color bands on the pens.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

    Today more and more touch-enabled screens are used as whiteboards for daily collaborations. Touch-based control makes everything easier. Write/erase/move objects, or control applications can be achieved by touching an interactive whiteboard with a user's finger or pen. Recent studies show that a human finger/hand is more suitable for control operation while a pen is still preferable for writing/drawing. The small space between finger and board surface makes finger writing very uncomfortable, especially when writing for a long period of time. The softness of a fingertip makes it difficult to draw/write on the screen as well as with a pen. Therefore, many companies still include pens as part of their whiteboard products.

Copyright 2013 Cisco Systems, Inc. 1


Page 02 of 6

    As background, typically a touch screen can be made by overlapping on an ordinary screen a special frame equipped with an arrayed infra-red beam and a receiver. When a pen/finger approaches the screen it will block some light rays, and the blocked (x,y) coordinates are calculated as the touch points. By embedding touch sensitive materials (resistive or capacitive) into the screen, when a pen/finger touches the screen, the touched (x,y) coordinates can then be obtained by detecting the change of electrical properties on the screen surface.

    As used herein, the term "Pen Recognition" refers to both pen detection and pen attribute identification. Pen detection means the system knows a user is going to use a pen to write/draw on the board so that the corresponding applications can respond to the user's actions promptly and accurately. Pen attribute identification means the system knows what kind of pen (typically referred to by its color and sometimes including its thickness) the user has selected to use.

Existing pen recognition techniques can be classified into two categories:

    1. Software-based. A single common pen is used to interact with the touch screen. The pen is detected by the screen when the pen touches or approaches the screen. The color of the pen is then manually selected by a program menu. Whenever a user wants to change the color of the pen, he or she has to invoke the menu again and then make the new selection. Such a manual operation brings extra complexity when designing the u...