Patents by Inventor William Thomas Weatherford

William Thomas Weatherford 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: 9979953
    Abstract: The depth of one or more objects within a scene may be determined utilizing system that includes a single light source, a reflector (e.g., an ellipsoidal reflector), a shutter mechanism associated with the light source, and a camera. More particularly, the light source may output light that is directed towards the scene (a first set of light beams) and towards the reflector (a second set of light beams) utilizing the shutter mechanism. The reflector may reflect the second set of light beams towards the scene. The camera may then capture a first image that corresponds to the first set of light beams and a second image that corresponds to the second set of light beams. The depth of a particular one of the objects within the scene may be determined based at least in part on the first image and the second image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric G. Marason, Christopher D. Coley, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9762862
    Abstract: A device includes a projection and camera system to create an augmented reality environment in which images are projected onto a scene and user movement within the scene is captured. The projection and camera system have a camera to image scattered light from the environment and determine depth of objects in the environment. The system also has a projector to project the images onto the scene. The projection images and captured environment images share a common optical path through the same lens. The system includes an image noise cancelation system to cancel, remove, or otherwise reduce unwanted image noise caused by internal reflection of the projection images from the environment images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, Christopher D. Coley, Eric G. Marason, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9726967
    Abstract: Display media configured to receive projected content are described herein. In some instances, a display medium may be a non-powered object that a user may hold and move in different ways through a room or other environment. The display medium may be formed to fit into the user's hand and include elements that provide information to accurately project an image onto the display medium or to perform other actions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Beverly L. Harrison, Edward Dietz Crump, William Thomas Weatherford, Juli A. Satoh, Navid Poulad, Robert A. Yuan, Jon L. Lindskog, Christopher D. Coley
  • Patent number: 9478067
    Abstract: An architecture includes a system to create an augmented reality environment in which images are projected onto a scene and user movement within the scene is captured. In addition to primary visual stimuli, the architecture further includes introduction of a secondary form of sensory feedback into the environment to enhance user experience. The secondary sensory feedback may be tactile feedback and/or olfactory feedback. The secondary sensory feedback is provided to the user in coordination with the visual based activity occurring within the scene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, Christopher Coley, Edwin Joseph Selker, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9472005
    Abstract: A device includes a projection and camera system to create an augmented reality environment in which images are projected onto a scene and user movement within the scene is captured. The projection and camera system have a camera to image scattered IR light from the scene and compute time of flight values used in depth mapping of objects in the room. The system also has a projector to project the images onto the scene. The projected images and scattered IR light use a common optical path through the same lens. Additionally, an illumination system used to illuminate the scene with the IR light may also use the common optical path through the same lens. In one implementation, the projection and camera system are mounted in a movable head of a table lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric G. Marason, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher D. Coley, Robert A. Yuan, Miguel Virgen
  • Patent number: 9462262
    Abstract: An architecture includes a system to create an augmented reality environment in which images are projected onto a scene and user movement within the scene is captured. The augmented reality environment is hosted within a surrounding area in which various ambient conditions, external to the augmented reality environment, persist. The architecture monitors the external conditions and controls secondary devices that selectively modify the conditions as desired in cooperation with operation of the augmented reality environment to effectively enhance user experience. Alternatively or additionally, the architecture may inform the user of what changes to make, and the user manually makes the adjustments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, Edward Dietz Crump, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher Coley
  • Patent number: 9462255
    Abstract: A device includes a projection and camera system to create an augmented reality environment in which images are projected onto a scene and user movement within the scene is captured. The projection and camera system have a camera to image scattered IR light from the scene and compute time of flight values used in depth mapping of objects in the room. The system also has a projector to project the images onto the scene. The projected images and scattered IR light use a common optical path through the same lens. Additionally, an illumination system used to illuminate the scene with the IR light may also use the common optical path through the same lens. In one implementation, the projection and camera system are mounted in a movable head of a table lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric G. Marason, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher D. Coley, Robert A. Yuan, Miguel Virgen
  • Patent number: 9349217
    Abstract: An architecture is provided to integrate multiple augmented reality environments to expand user experiences that might otherwise be limited in a single augmented reality environment. The architecture includes multiple augmented reality functional nodes located in separate locations to generate augmented reality environments within respective locations. The nodes are communicatively coupled together through a peer network, via cloud services, or other arrangements. The community of environments allows data, such as captured images, to be ported from one location to another, thereby allowing users to share in common experiences. Examples of such experiences might include team software coding, playing software games, virtually extending line-of-sight beyond physical boundaries, and controlling remote locations by virtually placing oneself in those locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, Edward Dietz Crump, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher Coley
  • Patent number: 9281727
    Abstract: A user device may include one or more features on a surface of the user device, where a user may interact with the one or more features. In response to a user action with respect to one of the features, a particular sound, frequency, or change in frequency may be output. An augmented reality functional node (ARFN) may detect the sound or frequency and identify a particular operation that corresponds to the sound or frequency. The ARFN may then cause that operation to be performed within an environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Coley, Menashe Haskin, Robert A. Yuan, Juli A. Satoh, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9277137
    Abstract: Two or more imagers having associated frame rates are each configured with a global shutter having an exposure interval less than a frame interval. The exposure interval for a first imager is offset from the exposure interval of a second imager such that the first imager is exposed while the second imager is not exposed. When interleaved, an effective frame rate exceeds the individual frame rates provided by the individual imagers. This interleaved imaging system may be used to recover, at high frame rates, images that are projected from spatial light modulators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher David Coley, William Thomas Weatherford, Robert Allan Yuan, Eric Gifford Marason
  • Patent number: 9262983
    Abstract: Described herein are systems and techniques for projecting content, periodically or continuously, onto a rear surface of a display medium from behind. The rear projected image is presented on an opposing or front surface of the display medium to a human audience for viewing. Additionally, non-visible light (e.g., IR light) is passed through the display medium to an area in front of the medium. The non-visible light is used to detect human gestures. In this manner, the rear projection arrangement avoids viewer obstruction during projection, yet detects and recognizes gestures made by the viewer in front of the display medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Coley, William Thomas Weatherford, Beverly L. Harrison
  • Patent number: 9204121
    Abstract: The depth of one or more objects within a scene may be determined utilizing system that includes a single light source, a reflector (e.g., an ellipsoidal reflector), a shutter mechanism associated with the light source, and a camera. More particularly, the light source may output light that is directed towards the scene (a first set of light beams) and towards the reflector (a second set of light beams) utilizing the shutter mechanism. The reflector may reflect the second set of light beams towards the scene. The camera may then capture a first image that corresponds to the first set of light beams and a second image that corresponds to the second set of light beams. The depth of a particular one of the objects within the scene may be determined based at least in part on the first image and the second image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric G. Marason, Christopher D. Coley, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9195127
    Abstract: Described herein are systems and techniques for projecting content, periodically or continuously, onto a rear surface of a display medium from behind. The rear projected image is presented on an opposing or front surface of the display medium to a human audience for viewing. Additionally, non-visible light (e.g., IR light) is passed through the display medium to an area in front of the medium. The non-visible light is used to detect human gestures. In this manner, the rear projection arrangement avoids viewer obstruction during projection, yet detects and recognizes gestures made by the viewer in front of the display medium. In one implementation, the display medium comprises a thin sheet of transparent plastic material with arrays of curved optical features to redirect light received on the rear surface out the front surface toward the human audience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric G. Marason, Christopher D. Coley, William Thomas Weatherford, Beverly L. Harrison
  • Patent number: 9134593
    Abstract: A display system having a modulated light source is configured to include one or more non-visible wavelengths as part of the display sequence. In one implementation a color wheel, configured to modulate the wavelengths emitted by a projector, includes an infrared (IR) segment, allowing for projection of an IR image. The wavelength modulated non-visible light may be spatially modulated to generate a structured light pattern, for signaling, to synchronization with other devices, and so forth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher Coley, Edward Dietz Crump
  • Patent number: 9124786
    Abstract: Described herein are systems and techniques for periodically projecting content onto a display medium that is configured to display images for a finite amount of time, during which time the images decay until the image substantially or entirely disappears from the display medium. That is, the systems and techniques may project light onto the display medium, with the light energizing particles of the display medium to display a predefined image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Coley, Beverly L. Harrison, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9111326
    Abstract: An augmented reality system is configured to identify and track user gestures, sounds, and interaction with physical objects to designate active zones. These active zones may be allocated additional processing and functional resources. Gestures may include particular hand or body motions, orientation of a user's head, and so forth. Sounds may include clapping, clicks, whistles, taps, footfalls, humming, singing, speech, and so forth. Active areas as well as inactive areas of lesser or no interest may be designated as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: Rawles LLC
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher Coley, Edward Dietz Crump, Jonathan Betts-LaCroix
  • Patent number: 9046756
    Abstract: Directive projection screens described herein are configured to selectively direct incident light depending upon an angle of incidence of the light. Such direction improves projection screen gain. Incident light within an acceptance cone is configured to be presented to a viewer. Light outside of the acceptance cone is directed away from the user or absorbed. As a result of this selectivity and the gain, presentation of images on the directive projection screen is improved in the presence of non-projector light sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignee: Rawles LLC
    Inventors: Eric Gifford Marason, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 9007473
    Abstract: An architecture has one or more systems for generating augmented reality environments configured to access cloud services over a network. A user is authenticated within the environments, and once authenticated is permitted to interact with the cloud services using the augmented reality environments as well as client resources provided within the environments. The client resources may include devices or things that are primary intended for use within the environments, and devices or things that are not typically associated with augmented reality environments. The architecture enables the client resources to function as thin client interfaces to the cloud services.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Rawles LLC
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, William Thomas Weatherford, Christopher Coley, Edward Dietz Crump
  • Patent number: 8988662
    Abstract: In some embodiments, distances associated with a surface may be calculated using time-of-flight (ToF) of a plurality of pulses of light occurring at a predetermined frequency. Reflected light from a light emitter may be captured by two or more light sensors. At least one light sensor may be located in a sensor pod that is separate from the light emitter, which may be housed in an emitter pod with or without a light sensor. The sensor pod may be synchronized with the emitter pod to enable ToF of light distance calculations. The calculated distance may be used to determine movement of a surface and/or one or more pixels of a surface. In some instances, the calculated distance may be used to identify a profile of a surface, which may then be used associate the profile with an object, a command, or another association.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Rawles LLC
    Inventors: Menashe Haskin, William Thomas Weatherford, Edward Dietz Crump
  • Patent number: 8964292
    Abstract: An anisotropic projection screen accepts light projected at non-normal angles and redirects the light as high quality images along a viewing path that is near normal to the screen. This allows side projection of images in a manner that avoids the potential viewer obstruction of the projection path. The images may be projected onto the screen from any angle (e.g., sides, top, bottom, etc.) relative to the screen surface, and then redirected to the viewer who is viewing the screen essentially normal to the screen surface. The screen has arrays of passive elements that are oriented to collect and redirect light from one direction, while rejecting or absorbing light received from another direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Rawles LLC
    Inventors: Eric Gifford Marason, William Thomas Weatherford