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Intuitive remote control of videophone cameras

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234836D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-10
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

When using video conferencing software such as Skype particularly on more mobile devices like phones, tablets and laptops, it is often the case that the camera is not always pointing at the person. The person may be accidentally moving the device about, or moving a little themselves. Particularly during longer calls, the person forgets to keep themselves within the frame of the camera. It may also not be a comfortable position to hold the camera in the place where it points at their face. What is described here is a solution to both of these problems, providing an intuitive way for a user to control the remote camera, while also ensuring their own camera continues to be directed to their own face.

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Intuitive remote control of videophone cameras

When using video conferencing software such as Skype particularly on more mobile devices like phones, tablets and laptops, it is often the case that the camera is not always pointing at the person. The person may be accidentally moving the device about, or moving a little themselves. Particularly during longer calls, the person forgets to keep themselves within the frame of the camera. It may also not be a comfortable position to hold the camera in the place where it points at their face.

    When using a mobile device as a camera, it is intuitive for the user to move the device around to change what the camera is pointing at. When using the device on a video call, the user may in fact find themselves moving the device to try to change what they see on the screen, but of course they are not able to, as this only changes what the camera on their phone sees, note the remote phone.

    What is described here is a solution to both of these problems, providing an intuitive way for a user to control the remote camera, while also ensuring their own

camera continues to be directed to their own face. (This second problem is in part a new problem, as the solution proposed encourages people to move their devices to control the remote camera, thus keeping their camera facing them is further complicated.)

Existing Art

Remote control web cams - there are of course many ways to remote control camera today, including tilt/rotate IP security cameras.


Face recognition - face recognition is a well known technique

face/object tracking - this too is a well known technique.


device tilt/rotate - gyroscopes in mobile devices is also a known technique, used

commonly in gaming on phones, tablets etc.

Invention
The invention is the combination of these various techniques to solve the problem of 2 way, remote camera control, where the cameras are embedded in the devices

being used to control them.

When person A and person B, both using mobile devices, start a video chat together, they will initially carefully hold the device to ensure that their face appears in the middle of the image being captured by their camera and sent to the other person. Current mobile devices tend to use standard fixed cameras. There are however cameras that can tilt and rotate, as well as wider angle cameras available that capture more of the field of view. It is possible that such cameras could be included in tablets and phones in the future, and are on occasion already included in some laptops. This submission works with these cameras, as well as with existing ones.

Part 1 - Face monitoring.

Face detection technology already exists. Once the call is started, this could be used to monitor the face of the caller in the cameras field of view. In the case that the face doesn't fill the full field (either using a wide angle camera or there is sufficient distance between the camera and the caller) the image sent to the other caller can be a cropped...