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System and Method to Assist Smart Phones/Cameras to Interactively Focus/Zoom Lens View using Eye Gaze Direction

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250130D
Publication Date: 2017-Jun-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 654K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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System and Method to Assist Smart Phones/Cameras to Interactively Focus/Zoom Lens View using Eye Gaze Direction Abstract

Disclosed is a system with associated methods for a zoom assistant for smart devices. The system analyzes the user’s eye gaze tracking through a camera, in explicit interactive mode or implicit passive mode, as a means of enabling good camera focus based upon the user’s subject of fixation. Description

Several camera focus zooming techniques exist in the literature; however, these techniques are agnostic of the camera owner’s intent. If a camera owner does not manage to focus the view of the camera lens on a target, there is no other way that the owner can instruct the camera to focus “there”. A method or system is needed that applies the camera user’s eye gaze information to optimize the focus. This would be helpful when an object is a significant distance away, making focus difficult. Such a solution can also be helpful to users learning photography, those with nerve issues, those with disabilities, children etc. The novel contribution is a system and associated methods that analyze the user’s eye gaze tracking through a camera, in explicit interactive mode or implicit passive mode, as a means of enabling camera focus based upon the user’s subject of fixation. This includes independent cameras or those that are part of a mobile device or smart phone. The novel system optionally augments the confidence of the point of focus detected by the eye-tracking component with the user’s attempted zones of focus, thereby enabling the camera to:

• Auto-focus at the point at which the user had mostly looked/gazed, and/or

• Instruct the user to move the camera in a direction such that said point eventually comes into focus, and/or

• Zoom the focus in on said point in an explicit/implicit session, etc. As well as capturing images, this system might simply assist the user with viewing distant points. The system assumes the following technical components/assets/capabilities to exist as necessary background:

• Hardware such as a smart phone/smart camera, capable of running via software instructions and zooming in/out in terms of focus

• Network connection between the smart phone (or camera) to the backend Internet

• Software modules, and a front-camera fitted on the traditional camera (or the front-camera of a smartphone), that are capable of eye gaze tracking and computing fixations, regressions, and an overall gaze scanpath graph

The user explicitly instructs the smart camera/smartphone to, “focus at the point of gaze in this session”, which activates an eye gaze tracking module on the front view camera

of the smart camera/smartphone. Alternatively, the smart camera/smart phone, when sensing an attempt to capture an image by an externally defined sequence of actions (outside the scope of the current disclosure), can implicitly start a module to track the user’s eye gaze for further use. Subsequently, the camera trigonometrically intersec...