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Method and system of identifying a user of a handheld device

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Title: Method and system of identifying a user of a handheld device.
Abstract: A system and method for identifying a user of a handheld device is herein disclosed. The device implementing the method and system may attempt to identify a user based on signals that are incidental to a user's handling of the device. The signals are generated by a variety of sensors dispersed along the periphery or within the housing. The sensors range may include touch sensors, inertial sensors, acoustic sensors, pulse oximiters, and a touchpad. Based on the sensors and corresponding signals, identification information is generated. The identification information is used to identify the user of the handheld device. The handheld device may implement various statistical learning and data mining techniques to increase the robustness of the system. The device may also authenticate the user based on the user drawing a circle, or other shape. ...


Browse recent Gregory A. Stobbs patents - Troy, MI, US
Inventors: Luca Rigazio, David Kryze, Jean-Claude Junqua
USPTO Applicaton #: #20110043475 - Class: 345173 (USPTO) - 02/24/11 - Class 345 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110043475, Method and system of identifying a user of a handheld device.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/046,578, filed on Apr. 21, 2008, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to method an system for identifying a user of a handheld device, e.g. remote control systems. Many systems would benefit from easy, non-intrusive user identifications. For reference only, many aspects of the invention and the background relating to the inventions are described in relation to a remote control system, suitable for control of consumer electronic products and home appliances, that includes a touch sensitive handheld remote control unit that detects holding and grabbing patterns of the user as well as other characteristics such as the trajectory at which the user raises the remote and first touches the remote to identify the user.

Handheld remote control units, typically featuring a large plurality of push buttons, are now quite commonplace on coffee tables throughout the world. With most consumer electronic products, it is customary for the manufacturer to furnish such a handheld remote control with each unit. Thus, most consumers own a collection of various different remote control units, each associated with a particular product or appliance.

In an effort to simplify matters, the Applicants\' assignee has developed several different embodiments of a touch-sensitive remote control unit that features a reduced number of push buttons and one or more touch-sensitive touchpads that may be manipulated by the user\'s fingers or thumb to interact with information on a display screen. The touch pads may be manipulated, for example, to move a selection indicator (such as a cursor or other graphical element) across a control region upon a display screen. In some applications, the display screen will be separate from the handheld remote control unit, and thus the user manipulates the selection indicator by watching the display screen while manipulating the keypad with a finger or thumb. Preferably, the touchpad or touchpads are disposed on the remote control unit so that they can be manipulated by the user\'s thumb while the user is holding the unit in one hand. Furthermore, the remote control has touch sensitive sensors on its outer casing sensitive to a user\'s touch.

As multiple users may use a single remote control and corresponding host device, there is a growing demand for a means of identifying which user is using the remote control. Methods such as logging in with a user name and password are time consuming and annoying to users. Thus, there is a need for a means to identify a user that requires minimal user interaction. Optimally, it would be beneficial to allow a user to be identified without the user having to enter or perform any identification tasks. Such a passive means of identification would result in virtually no user interaction on the part of the user.

We have therefore developed a remote control system that implements various passive and semi-passive user identification methods. The methods range from the grab/hold patterns by which the user holds a remote, to the trajectory that the remote follows when grabbed by the user.

SUMMARY

This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features.

In one sense, the present invention relates to a system and method for identifying a user of a handheld device. The handheld electronic device comprises a housing and a sensor system disposed along a periphery of the housing. The sensor system is responsive to a plurality of simultaneous points of contact between a user\'s hand and the device to generate observation signals indicative of the plurality of contact points between the user\'s hand and the device. The handheld electronic device further includes a user identification database storing data corresponding attributes of a plurality of known users, wherein the attributes of the plurality of known users are used to identify a user. The device further comprises a user identification module configured to receive the observation signals from the sensor system and identify the user from the observation signals and the attributes of the plurality of users.

In a second sense, the present relates to a handheld electronic device comprising a housing and a touchpad responsive to a finger movement of a user that generates a touchpad signal corresponding to the finger movement. The device further includes a touchpad processing module that receives the touchpad signal and generates finger movement data based on said touchpad signal. The handheld electronic device further includes a user identification database that stores user identification data corresponding to physical attributes of a plurality of known users, wherein physical attributes includes finger movement of a user drawing a predetermined object. The device is further comprised of a user identification module that receives finger movement data of the user and identifies the user based on the finger movement data and the user identification data, wherein the finger movement data is the user drawing the predefined shape.

In a third sense, a handheld electronic device is comprised of a housing and a touch sensor system disposed along a periphery of the housing. The touch sensor system is responsive to a plurality of simultaneous points of contact between a user\'s hand and the device to generate observation signals indicative of the plurality of contact points between the user\'s hand and the device. The device also includes a touch sensor processing module configured to receive the observation signals from the touch sensor system and determine a user\'s holding pattern. The device is further comprised of an inertial sensor embedded in the housing which is responsive to movement of the device by the user\'s hand to generate inertial signals and a trajectory module configured to receive the inertial signals from the inertial sensor and determine a trajectory for the movement of the device. The device also includes a touchpad located along an external surface of the housing that is responsive to the user\'s finger movement along the external surface of the touchpad to generate touchpad signals and a touchpad processing module that receives the touchpad signals and determines user finger movement data. The device further includes a user identification database storing data corresponding to attributes of a plurality of known users, wherein the attributes of the plurality of the known users are used to identify a user, and wherein the attributes include holding patterns of the plurality of known users, trajectories corresponding to movement of the device by each of the plurality of known users, and user finger movement data of the plurality of known users. The device is further comprised of a user identification module configured to receive identification information of the user and identify the user based on the identification information and the attributes of the plurality of known users, wherein the identification information includes the user\'s holding pattern, the user\'s trajectory for movement of the device, and the user\'s finger movement data.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary remote control system for an electronic product having a display screen and having a handheld remote control unit that includes at least one touchpad disposed for actuation by a user\'s thumb;

FIGS. 2A and 2B are exemplary views of a touchpad surface, useful in understanding how a user\'s hand size can affect usability of the touchpad surface;

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of a remote control unit having plural touchpads and an array of capacitive sensors about the periphery of the remote control unit;

FIG. 4 is a system level architecture of a user identification system;

FIG. 5 is a diagram of the architecture of the user identification module;

FIG. 6 is an exemplary view of the points of contact between the array of touch sensitive sensors on the device and a user\'s hand;

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram of an exemplary method for identifying a user based on the way the user grabs the handheld device;



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Method and apparatus for providing haptic effects to a touch panel
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Computer graphics processing, operator interface processing, and selective visual display systems
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110043475 A1
Publish Date
02/24/2011
Document #
12988745
File Date
04/21/2009
USPTO Class
345173
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/041
Drawings
18


Data Mining
Robustness


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