Patents by Inventor Eric J. Horvitz

Eric J. Horvitz has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 8725567
    Abstract: Architecture for presenting advertisements in realtime in retail establishments. A sensor component includes sensors for collecting information about a customer or group of customers as they move through the store. The sensors can include capability for image processing, audio processing, light sensing, velocity sensing, direction sensing, proximity sensing, face recognition, pose recognition, transaction recognition, and biometric sensing, for example. A customer component analyzes the information and generates a profile about the customer. Advertisements are selected for presentation that target the customers as they walk in proximity of a presentation system of the store. An advertisement component facilitates dynamic presentation of a targeted advertisement to the individual as a function of the profile. The customer component can infer information during analysis using machine learning and reasoning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Xuedong D. Huang, William H. Gates, III, Eric J. Horvitz, Joshua T. Goodman, Bradly A. Brunell, Susan T. Dumais, Gary W. Flake, Trenholme J. Griffin, Oliver Hurst-Hiller
  • Patent number: 8718925
    Abstract: A route-planning system is described that leverages a database of observations about routes taken by drivers in a region to generate context and/or preference sensitive routes. Contextual information such as time of day and day of week, along with such findings as the observed velocities on different roads and the efficiency of trips is noted from the database of trips to inform a route generation component. The route-generation component considers velocities, contextual information, and other findings to compute preferred routes for people requesting directions from a first geographical point to a second geographical point. In one usage, properties of a driver's own prior routes are used to generate personalized routes, including routes between previously unobserved starting and ending locations. In another application, sets of observed routes of other drivers are used in a collaborative manner to generate recommended routes for a specific driver based on inferred preferences of the driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Julia M. Letchner, John C. Krumm, Eric J. Horvitz
  • Publication number: 20140120954
    Abstract: An information delivery system comprises a receiver component that receives information about the movement, velocity, acceleration, and/or locations over time of a user. A computation component using a predictive model generates a probability distribution relating to one or more of when the user will next be stopped, how long the user will be stopped, how long a pattern of motion, such as walking, driving in stop and go traffic, and smooth highway motion will last, based at least in part upon signals about motion over time. The system can further comprise an alerting component that determines when to provide the user with information based at least in part upon the probability distribution over some aspect of motion or cessation of motion, and optionally the content, or tagged or inferred urgency or importance, of a message or communication.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2014
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Murugesan S. Subramani, Johnson T. Apacible
  • Publication number: 20140114563
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices are described for implementing map matching techniques relating to measured location data. Probabilistic models, including temporal Bayesian network models and Hidden Markov Models, may be used for combining multiple classes of evidence relating to potential locations of points traversed on routes over time. Multiple route segments and overall routes may be maintained under relative uncertainty as candidates. The candidate route segments and overall routes may then be reduced into a smaller number of candidates or a single most likely route as a trip progresses. As the trip progresses, route segments in proximity to each location point are identified and candidate matches are determined. A probability of an entity traversing a candidate match at a given time and a probability of an entity traversing between a first candidate match at a first time and a second candidate match at a second time are determined based on a plurality of factors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Paul E. Newson, John C. Krumm, Eric J. Horvitz
  • Patent number: 8707204
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and method to facilitate efficient and automated presentation of information to users. A decomposition component automatically decomposes an information item into sets of subcomponents in a two- or three-dimensional isometric space, and generates visualizations having interactive graphics that allow users to inspect respective subcomponents. Interface features are provided to enable hover, dwell, and clicking commands, for example, providing a variety of options to zoom in, or change configurations of the visualization in accordance with the users intentions or inferences about what they desire to see or inspect more closely. Beyond the use of decompositions into exploded views of the content of items typically viewed as singular documents, the methods can be applied to perform geometric transformations on visualizations of multiple windows and other resources based on content and activity to provide regularized visualizations of the multiple items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Lili Cheng, Jia-Chi Wu
  • Patent number: 8706651
    Abstract: Methods are described for identifying events that would be considered surprising by people and identifying how and when to transmit information to a user about situations that they would likely find surprising. Additionally, the methods of identifying surprising situations can be used to build a case library of surprising events, joined with a set of observations before the surprising events occurred. Statistical machine learning methods can be applied with data from the case library to build models that can predict when a user will likely be surprised at future times. One or more models of context-sensitive expectations of people, a view of the current world, and methods for recording streams or events before surprises occur, and for building predictive models from a case library of surprises and such historical observations can be employed. The models of current and future surprises can be coupled with display and alerting machinery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Eric J. Horvitz
  • Patent number: 8707214
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and method to facilitate efficient and automated presentation of information to users. A decomposition component automatically decomposes an information item into sets of subcomponents in a two- or three-dimensional isometric space, and generates visualizations having interactive graphics that allow users to inspect respective subcomponents. Interface features are provided to enable hover, dwell, and clicking commands, for example, providing a variety of options to zoom in, or change configurations of the visualization in accordance with the users intentions or inferences about what they desire to see or inspect more closely. Beyond the use of decompositions into exploded views of the content of items typically viewed as singular documents, the methods can be applied to perform geometric transformations on visualizations of multiple windows and other resources based on content and activity to provide regularized visualizations of the multiple items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Lili Cheng, Jia-Chi Wu
  • Patent number: 8701027
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and methodology to provide a glanceable, interactive user interface associated with one or more prioritized informational items or notifications. Such items can be received from external sources and/or from a notification system, wherein priorities can be assigned by the sources and/or automatically determined by a computer-based prioritization system. The notifications are then arranged and/or located in a graphical display according to the assigned priorities, thus enabling a user to quickly glance at the display and determine how many items are pending, where items have originated from, and what urgency level is associated with respective items. Various shapes, locations, colors, and sounds are utilized in a variety of ergonomic configurations, some controlled by the invocation of a variety of filters and informational lenses to enable users to easily manage a plurality of information sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Maarten R. van Dantzich, Daniel C. Robbins, Eric J. Horvitz
  • Publication number: 20140100779
    Abstract: A system with the ability to dynamically compose a sequence of visual views or flows allowing a single object or region, or multiple objects or regions, to be viewed from different perspectives and visual distances is described. The sequence of views can provide smooth flyovers over positions and details on objects that are deemed to be of interest, with changes in zoom level and/or velocity that are functions of the estimated complexity and/or unfamiliarity with features of the object. In an example, a flyover displaying different views on a map of a city arterial system on a small-screened mobile device is composed based on current traffic conditions, swooping up and down with parabolic trajectories, based on distances being traversed, and pausing at times over key traffic jams and other findings of interest based on the estimated visual complexity and predicted atypicality of situations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Publication date: April 10, 2014
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Raman K. Sarin
  • Patent number: 8688208
    Abstract: The subject disclosure relates to a method and system for visual object categorization. The method and system include receiving human inputs including data corresponding to passive human-brain responses to visualization of images. Computer inputs are also received which include data corresponding to outputs from a computerized vision-based processing of the images. The human and computer inputs are processing so as to yield a categorization for the images as a function of the human and computer inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ashish Kapoor, Eric J. Horvitz, Desney S. Tan, Pradeep U. Shenoy
  • Patent number: 8645061
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices are described for implementing map matching techniques relating to measured location data. Probabilistic models, including temporal Bayesian network models and Hidden Markov Models, may be used for combining multiple classes of evidence relating to potential locations of points traversed on routes over time. Multiple route segments and overall routes may be maintained under relative uncertainty as candidates. The candidate route segments and overall routes may then be reduced into a smaller number of candidates or a single most likely route as a trip progresses. As the trip progresses, route segments in proximity to each location point are identified and candidate matches are determined. A probability of an entity traversing a candidate match at a given time and a probability of an entity traversing between a first candidate match at a first time and a second candidate match at a second time are determined based on a plurality of factors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Paul E. Newson, John C. Krumm, Eric J. Horvitz
  • Patent number: 8631419
    Abstract: A task disruption and recovery system and methods are described that detects shifts away from ongoing tasks, whether by self-interruption or by disruptive events from within or outside a computing system, based on signals detected. Among other functions, the system works to enhance the efficient recovery of suspended tasks or problem-solving sessions via storing and presenting representations of the suspended sessions in a manner that facilitates recovery and continuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Shamsi Tamara Iqbal, Murugesan S. Subramani
  • Publication number: 20140012874
    Abstract: Described are methods that utilize a geographic location technology (e.g., GPS) to determine user location data, and existing network-based websites (e.g., Internet websites) for searching and accessing data related to the location data such that the user context can be developed and stored. A location component is provided that determines location data of a wireless communications device of a user. A context component is provided that accesses context data based on the location data to define a context in which the device is located. Activities, goals, and overall context of a user can be inferred through statistical fusion of multiple sources of evidence. The context data is presented to the user via the wireless device such that the user can make decisions as to where to go, for example. User preferences can be accessed and applied to filter context data according to what the user desires to see and access.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2013
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: John C. Krumm, Eric J. Horvitz, Ramaswamy Hariharan
  • Patent number: 8626433
    Abstract: An information delivery system comprises a receiver component that receives information about the movement, velocity, acceleration, and/or locations over time of a user. A computation component using a predictive model generates a probability distribution relating to one or more of when the user will next be stopped, how long the user will be stopped, how long a pattern of motion, such as walking, driving in stop and go traffic, and smooth highway motion will last, based at least in part upon signals about motion over time. The system can further comprise an alerting component that determines when to provide the user with information based at least in part upon the probability distribution over some aspect of motion or cessation of motion, and optionally the content, or tagged or inferred urgency or importance, of a message or communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Horvitz, Murugesan S. Subramani, Johnson T. Apacible
  • Patent number: 8626136
    Abstract: Content management architecture for a portable wireless device. Caching and fetching techniques are provided to improve content handling for portable devices such as cellular telephones and portable computers. A search component automatically performs searches as a background process, and potentially desired content is received and cached by a content storing component to be available in the future when and if needed, mitigating latency associated with slow download speeds, refresh rates, and other system and/or network impediments. Content from background search results can be trickled into the device as part of the background process so as not to burden system resources for other processes. As part of memory management, aged and/or low priority or low interest content can be selectively removed or archived to increase available cache or memory space, as well as to maintain relevant content within the device. A presentation component facilitates presentation of the pre-stored content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Raymond E. Ozzie, Eric J. Horvitz, William H. Gates, III, Joshua T. Goodman, Susan T. Dumais, Gary W. Flake, Trenholme J. Griffin, Xuedong D. Huang, Oliver Hurst-Hiller, Christopher A Meek
  • Publication number: 20130345966
    Abstract: A route planning system comprises a receiver component that receives a request for directions between a beginning point and a destination point. An analysis component analyzes a traffic system representation that varies as context varies and outputs expected amounts of travel time between the beginning point and the destination point for multiple contexts based at least in part upon the analysis. A method is described herein that includes techniques for searching over routes and trip start times simultaneously so as to identity start times and routes associated with maximal expected value, or equivalently minimum expected cost, given preferences encoded about one or more of the leaving time, the travel time, and the arrival time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Inventor: Eric J. Horvitz
  • Patent number: 8612363
    Abstract: An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Chris Demetrios Karkanias, Hubert Van Hoof, Kenneth D. Ray, Alexander G. Gounares, Eric J. Horvitz, Hong L. Choing
  • Publication number: 20130311305
    Abstract: The claimed subject matter relates to an architecture that can provide configurable entities in connection with electronic archival of print-based media. In accordance therewith, print-based media can be archived electronically (e.g., by imaging or scanning the print-based media) in a remastered form that provides for displaying the original work with readily modifiable entities, such as advertisements. Media or entities can be selected based upon the original advertiser, the original product, or another element or feature of the print-based media, and can also be selected based upon a profile associated with the media consumer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: GARY W. FLAKE, ERIC J. HORVITZ, LILI CHENG
  • Patent number: 8582127
    Abstract: The claimed subject matter relates to an architecture that can provide configurable entities in connection with electronic archival of print-based media. In accordance therewith, print-based media can be archived electronically (e.g., by imaging or scanning the print-based media) in a remastered form that provides for displaying the original work with readily modifiable entities, such as advertisements. Media or entities can be selected based upon the original advertiser, the original product, or another element or feature of the print-based media, and can also be selected based upon a profile associated with the media consumer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Gary W. Flake, Eric J. Horvitz, Lili Cheng
  • Patent number: 8566413
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and method to facilitate communications of important messages, communications, or interactions. Policies are introduced that consider a user's current situation, including the cost of interrupting the user, or directly sensed surrogates for such a cost, and decide on a suitable time, within a deadline for delivering the information or establishing a communication. Deadlines for delivery are determined based on the urgency of the information that is inferred or detected from the message sender, type, and content. If a suitable context is not detected within a deadline, the information is delivered at the deadline. If it is determined that a suitable context will not achieved within a deadline, the information is transmitted immediately. Suitable contexts for delivery can be determined via the use of one or more sensors on or near endpoint devices, including accelerometers, microphones, touch sensing, and gaze and head pose detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Eric J. Horvitz