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System and method for smart rewind of media streams Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235668D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 58K

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The Prior Art Database


This article describes a method whereby a media consumer may divert their attention from the media stream to an alternative task and upon returning to view the media stream, be given the option to return to the point in the media stream where they stopped viewing. This is extended to cover multiple consumers of the media stream.

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System and method for smart rewind of media streams

Certain well-known mobile devices implement a patented technology designed to enhance user interaction with their device using eye-tracking software. In one of the technology applications based around "smart film watching", the device can detect

when someone's eyes are not observing the screen, and pause the current film being watched. The film will resume when the device detects that the user's gaze has returned to the screen area.

    However, the application has some significant drawbacks that can be enhanced. Fundamentally, a user may desire to focus on another task and have the film running in the background to return to when the user desires. In such cases, pausing the film is undesired, but the ability to discern between intentional task refocussing and distraction based refocussing should not be lost.

    Using a forward facing camera on an enabled device, it is possible to detect the number of people observing a screen and the area of the screen that is being observed. Based on the same technology it is possible to detect when the gaze/attention of a user is lost. Additional technology exists to enable identification of a specific individual through simple facial recognition algorithms. Consequently

we may assume that the following information is available:

Knowledge of a specific person (though facial recognition)

Knowledge of who is observing the device display, tied to individuals

Knowledge of who is no longer observing the device display
It is feasible that when the device detects the loss of attention from a user, a

time stamp is recorded against the specific user who has lost interest. When the person returns to observing the device display, they can interact with the device by an interface that enables them to jump back to the recorded time in the media stream. In the case of a TiVo-like box which records live TV (and assuming a Smart TV with integrated front camera), the time marker can also start recording live TV, so this functionality is applicable beyond the remit of portable devices. This may be extended to cover the ability of multiple concurrent users to view the same media and have set-points defined for each individual user. This could all be driven using existing hardware and so the only modification would be that involving software enabled functionality.

The functionality of the system can be broken down simply into the following stages:

Device identifies individual users observing display screen, based on gaze and facial recognition

If a user is detected to look away from the device, the device

Records a time stamp within the media stream that is being played

Records the time stamp against the specific user

Continues to play the media stream

If an individual is detected observing the device display, who has an existing

time stamp allocated to them for the media stream then the device: