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Headphone Gesture Detection for Online Social Communications and Meetings

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243591D
Publication Date: 2015-Oct-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 98K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that integrates the earpieces of headphones with movement detection devices that are sensitive to a user's gestures (e.g., shaking, nodding, raising of the head, etc.), and then conveys these movements to other meeting/discussion participants or moderators.

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Headphone Gesture Detection for Online Social Communications and Meetings

It can be difficult to capture the sentiment of a large group of people involved in an online discussion, especially an audio conference, online chat, or "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) style question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions. Even in small groups, it can often be difficult to gather consensus, hear objections, or interject. Some tools have long ago added features to "raise a hand", and users may type a message, but these are rarely used and are ineffective. Such tools rely on an unnatural action from the user that provides limited information, and a further action to "cancel" when the message being

conveyed is no longer relevant (such as dropping a "raised hand").

Prior art exists for detecting facial expressions and gestures in front of a video camera, and using those to change iconography, emoticons, the display, or an avatar, or otherwise express sentiments online.

While video can add a lot to these discussions, it is not always appropriate. Some forums rely on anonymity, some users join from locations where video is not appropriate or may join while doing other things and not want to share video or be able to be in front of a camera. The overuse of video and devices that provide stronger gesture detection, but require more obviously detectable interactions styles, has generated some backlash. Users need more discrete ways of interacting online while in a public area.

The novel contribution is a system that enables a user to communicate gesture information using headphones rather than a camera.

Gesture recognition is prior art, especially in the space of video capture, so this system does not claim the mechanism to translate a gesture into an interpretation of that gesture.

The novel system integrates the earpieces of headphones with movement detection devices that are sensitive to a user's gestures (e.g., shaking, nodding, raising of the head, etc.), and then conveys these movements to other meeting/discussion participants or moderators.

A motion detector is embedded in a headphone to detect the motion of the user's head when the headphone is in use. The motion detector leverages existing technology (e.g., motion detection devices used in smartphones and game systems) to identify headphone movement. The use of two motion detectors can also identify relative movement to interpolate head rotation, turning, tilting, etc.

These gestures are analyzed and transmitted to a set of receivers. A receiver can be a

moderator or all participants in an online discussion or forum (which may include one on

a voice call or AMA). These gestures are represented in the user interface of the receiver(s), allowing the receivers to understand that the user/participant is in agreement (nodding head), disagreement (shaking head), or is showing interest (raising head). The system also provides summarization and trending analysis of these gestures. The system can be extended with addit...