Communication Aids For The Handicapped Patents (Class 434/112)
  • Patent number: 9702723
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and computer program product are provided in order to provide navigational instructions in a manner that does not require the user to view the navigational instructions. In the context of a method, user input is received that is representative of an estimation by the user of a navigational instruction. The method also determines whether the estimation by the user matches the navigational instruction. Further, the method causes feedback to be generated at least in an instance in which the estimation by the user fails to match the navigational instruction. A corresponding apparatus and computer program product are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Nokia Technologies Oy
    Inventors: Johan Kildal, Vuokko Tuulikki Lantz, Roope Raisamo
  • Patent number: 9689408
    Abstract: A method for bistably actuating an actuator includes applying positive pressure in an actuator fluid supply that is fluidly connected to an actuator chamber by means of an actuator fluid supply connection, wherein a working positive pressure is generated in the actuator chamber, whereby an actuator element fluidly connected to the actuator chamber is brought from a resting position to an actuation position, pressure-tight sealing of the actuator fluid supply connection, so that the working positive pressure in the actuator chamber is maintained and the actuator element remains in the actuation position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
    Inventors: Bastian Rapp, Christiane Neumann, Elisabeth Wilhelm, Achim Voigt
  • Patent number: 9675512
    Abstract: A leg locomotion device includes a frame having a leg coupler configured to mount the frame to a user's leg, the frame also includes two frame components movable relative to one another in response to movement of the user's leg, an energy harvesting device coupled to the frame and configured to harvest energy from the movement of the two frame components during a first portion of a stride, an energy storage device coupled to the energy harvesting device, the energy storage device configured to store harvested energy over more than one stride, and an assist device coupled to the frame, coupled to the energy storage device to receive energy therefrom, and configured to move the frame components relative to one another to selectively assist with movement of the user's leg during a second portion of the stride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Elwha LLC
    Inventors: Jordin T. Kare, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9665344
    Abstract: A system and method for providing voice prompts that identify task selections from a list of task selections in a vehicle, where the user employs an input device, such as a scroll wheel, to activate a particular task and where the speed of the voice prompt increases and decreases depending on how fast the user rotates the scroll wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Alfred C. Tom
  • Patent number: 9490993
    Abstract: Improvements in a method for creating an intelligent routing and criteria-based matching system, so that people may be matched for conferencing to each other by pre-determined matching of their characteristics and their requirements. The invention makes it possible to connect individuals who may or may not have been known to each other previously, and who may be routed to each other based on being good fits to collaborate in the stated business or social setting or other reason for dealing with another person in a video conference meeting. The invention makes it possible for suppliers of services over the video conference medium to be connected to individuals who want these services. The system takes into account the business rules and preferences of all individuals involved, so that intelligent business service collaboration may take place between parties based on pre-set criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Inventor: Lisa Marie Bennett Wrench
  • Patent number: 9380261
    Abstract: In one embodiment, multiple cameras are logically associated in a guest registry with a mobile device. One of the cameras may be internal to the mobile device, and one of the cameras may be external to the mobile device. A network device accesses the guest registry in response to a request from the mobile device. The request may be a request for a conference call, or the request may be a request for service. A conference call is initiated in response to the request. The network device receives video data from the multiple cameras associated with the mobile device and establishes a multiple party conference call including the multiple cameras and an external device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Cisco Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Philip F. Sherburne
  • Patent number: 9330681
    Abstract: Modulating a voice signal is provided. The voice signal corresponding to a voice communication is received from a sending voice communication device via a network. Voice signal features corresponding to the voice communication are extracted. A set of voice signal filters are selected to modulate the extracted voice signal features corresponding to the voice communication to an average voice signal associated with a geographic area where the voice communication is destined for. The voice signal features corresponding to the voice communication are modulated by applying the selected set of voice signal filters to generate the average voice signal associated with the geographic area where the voice communication is destined for.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Franck Barillaud, Insoo Cho, Dan Christiani, Mark R. Thill, David S. Zhang
  • Patent number: 9244947
    Abstract: The embodiments of the invention relate to method for image-based retrieval of an image or text, comprising capturing a digital image; matching the digital image against digitally-stored documents; and retrieving one or more of the digitally-stored documents that match the digital image. Other embodiments relate to a device for image-based retrieval and rendering, comprising an image capturing device for capturing digital image; a device for processing the digital image to match it against digitally-stored documents; a device for retrieving a digitally-stored document that matches the digital image; and a device for rendering the selected retrieved image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: INTEL CORPORATION
    Inventors: J M Van Thong, Rahul Sukthankar
  • Patent number: 9183760
    Abstract: Provided are a method and apparatus for recognizing sign language using an electromyogram sensor and a gyro sensor. The method includes the steps of (a) receiving a gyro measurement signal and an electromyogram measurement signal from the gyro sensor and the electromyogram sensor which are attached to the body of a subject, (b) determining to which of groups clustered with similar fingerspelling motions the gyro measurement signal belongs, (c) acquiring a Gaussian model for the electromyogram measurement signal, and (d) comparing the acquired Gaussian model with Gaussian candidate models for candidate fingerspelling motions which belong to the group determined in step (b), and recognizing the candidate fingerspelling motion corresponding to the Gaussian candidate model that is most similar to the acquired Gaussian model as the fingerspelling motion of the subject.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Foundation of Soongsil University-Industry Cooperation
    Inventors: Hyun Chool Shin, Kyung Jin You, Ki Won Rhee, Hee Su Kang
  • Patent number: 9141345
    Abstract: A workflow design system provides user interface controls that allow a workflow author to focus on the steps of the workflow before deciding on how to control the flow of the workflow. With the system, an author can change the control flow of a workflow without re-ordering the sequence of steps within the workflow. The workflow design system allows the author to define a sequence of steps and then drag a control block over these steps to capture them within the control block. The author can also later remove the control block without affecting the sequence of steps if his needs change. In addition, the system presents error-handling workflows side-by-side with the main workflow, so that the author can modify the main workflow and notice the effects and any corresponding changes for error handling workflows at the same time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: David J. Armour, Evan M. Keibler, Sandy R. Wu
  • Patent number: 9120329
    Abstract: A printing apparatus includes an image data generating device to generate image data based on a touch detection signal supplied from a written character inputting area of a touch panel inputting device, a blank space detecting device to detect and identify line data and blank space data based on the image data, an alignment processing device to delete the blank space data from the image data and to align the remaining line data end to end in a tape conveying direction of a print receiving tape, a printing data generating device to generate printing data by executing a size conversion of the line data aligned end to end so as to match the line data to a tape width, and a printing processing device to execute a printing process on the print receiving tape based on the printing data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Satoshi Kimura
  • Patent number: 9079109
    Abstract: A system for examining intrusions of a physical environment into a reach envelope of a vehicle traveling along a length of track. The system includes a test skid including a chassis with front and rear wheel assemblies each adapted for rollably engaging the track. The test skid may further include a laser measuring scanner supported on an upper surface of the chassis and adapted for scanning a vertical plane orthogonal to a longitudinal axis of the chassis to measure a plurality of distances between the laser measuring scanner and surfaces of the physical environment when the test skid moved along the track. The system also includes a test controller executing an examination program to determine a real world envelope based on the measured distances from the laser measuring scanner and to determine intrusions by comparing a reach envelope for the vehicle with the determined real world envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventor: Peyton B. Buhler
  • Patent number: 8992225
    Abstract: An interactive cooking preparation device is presented. The user places ingredients that the user wishes to use in a recipe. The interactive cooking preparation device detects the ingredients placed by the user in the detection area of the interactive cooking preparation device using sensors. The detection results in a set of ingredient identifiers that correspond to the placed ingredients. A recipes database is then searched for the detected set of ingredient identifiers. The database search results in one or more suggested recipes. The suggested recipes are displayed to the user on a display device that is included in the interactive cooking preparation device. The user then selects one of the suggested recipes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Lydia Mai Do, Travis M. Grigsby, Pamela Ann Nesbitt, Lisa Anne Seacat
  • Patent number: 8944823
    Abstract: A method of facilitating the identification of portable consumer articles at a point of purchase display, the method including the steps of: providing a plurality of portable consumer articles each with tactilely sensible information thereon that identifies at least one of: a) a general nature of the article and/or its contents; and b) a provider of the article; and displaying the plurality of articles at the point of purchase display in a manner that allows potential consumers to lift and handle each of the plurality of articles so as to thereby readily determine through tactile sensing of the information at least one of: a) the general nature of the handled article and/or its contents; and b) the provider of the handled article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Inventor: George Kasboske
  • Publication number: 20150024348
    Abstract: A method to playback media of a feature of a hearing aid may include establishing a communication link between a computing device and a hearing assistance device; obtaining, over the communications link, a parameter of a feature of the hearing assistance device; querying from the computing device, using the obtained parameter as an input, a storage device external to the computing device for media associated with the feature; receiving the media associated with the feature from the storage device external to the computing device; and presenting the media received in response to the query to a user of the computing device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2013
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Applicant: Starkey Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Hanaa ElAzizi, Erin Seel, Lori Neff, Michelle Hotchkiss
  • Publication number: 20150017612
    Abstract: There are provided methods and systems of communicating colors to and from colorblind people using a colorblind spectrum based on the light reflections of the colors and a coding system to indicate the colors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Joseph Uduehi
  • Patent number: 8932061
    Abstract: The illustrative embodiments described herein provide an apparatus and method for facilitating tactile identification of a document attribute. In one embodiment, the apparatus includes a document. The document has a set of document attributes. The apparatus also includes a fluid incorporated within the document at a designated location associated with a document attribute in the set of document attributes. The fluid changes rigidity in the presence of an electric field to facilitate tactile identification of the document attribute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Negley Abernethy, Jr., Bryan Eric Aupperle, Travis M. Grigsby
  • Patent number: 8926330
    Abstract: A device comprised of a plurality of evenly spaced tactile actuators arranged in the form of a generally C-shaped structure and worn snug around the neck by a subject to apply tactile stimuli to the subject's neck skin. An electronic controller operated by a computer program controls the actuators of the device based on signals received from an external source. The device impresses sequences of tactile stimuli around the subject's neck to provide intelligible information, cues and warnings or certain game-related sensations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Inventor: Reza Taghavi
  • Patent number: 8926329
    Abstract: A sign language action generating device includes: a word string input unit; a trace creation unit that extracts a sign language action data for each word of a pair of words inputted as a word string and creates a trace between an end point position of a sign language action having the same meaning as a prior word of the pair of words and a start point position thereof having the same meaning as a posterior word; an interference determination unit that determines whether or not interference is generated between parts of a robot on each trace; an action connection unit that connects sign language actions; and an action adjustment unit that adjusts a position coordinate or a velocity of the pair of words within a prescribed threshold of a shift amount or an evaluation function within which meanings of the prior word and the posterior word can be maintained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Asuka Shiina, Yuji Nagashima
  • Publication number: 20140272814
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods for notifying a group of communication devices about a missed call are disclosed. Each communication device is associated with a group identifier that is shared with all the communication devices in a group. Each communication device is also associated with an individual identifier that is unique to that communication device. An unanswered communication to the group identifier is received on all the communication devices in the group. A first communication device transmits to a remote server an acknowledgement notification that the unanswered communication related to the group identifier has been acknowledged by the user. A clear indicator indicating that the unanswered communication has been acknowledged is transmitted from the remote server to all the devices in the group except the first communication device. Each of the communication devices receiving the clear indicator can then clear its indicator that notifies the user of a missed call.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Sorenson Communications, Inc.
    Inventors: Jesse Parent, Merle L. Walker, Richard Shields
  • Publication number: 20140255880
    Abstract: A tactile graphic display for providing a display representation of a graph or image generated by a graphic device for visually impaired users or other users who wish to access tactile information. The tactile graphic display includes a control and interface module in communication with a dot matrix, which is associated with pin nut assemblies including caps that serve as dots in the dot matrix. The control and interface module provides motor drive signals that raise selected dots above the top surface of a top panel to form the dot matrix display. Proximity sensors in or associated with the top panel sense touching of one or more dots and/or proximate presence of a finger or hand near the top surface of the top panel. The proximity sensors provide dot matrix engagement signals to the control and interface module for processing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Inventor: Venkatesh R. Chari
  • Patent number: 8803699
    Abstract: When the sight impaired become mobile, they often bump their heads on unseen objects and/or hazards that could result in injury. The object detection device uses signal emitting proximity sensors that alert the user to unseen objects. The object detection device notifies the user of detected objects. Stimulators contact the user to warn the user that an object has been detected and the distance between the object and the user. Each stimulator contacts the user at a specific contact point. The stimulator finger contacting the user at a specific contact point informs the user of the distance between the user and the detected object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Inventors: George Brandon Foshee, Timothy Allen Zigler
  • Patent number: 8786555
    Abstract: Computer-readable media, computerized methods, and a touchscreen device manipulating user-input elements are provided. Generally, manipulation includes identifying a predefined configuration associated with a request received from a user and/or application, deriving configuration settings from the predefined configuration, and transmitting the configuration settings to an electromechanical device that adjusts a portion of user-input elements to an extended orientation and activates a portion of user-input elements. In embodiments, the extended user-input elements positioned in the extended orientation are activated, while the remainder are set to an idle condition. Typically, the extended user-input elements produce outwardly-extending protrusions expressed at a flexible touchpad incorporated in the touchscreen device. These outwardly-extending protrusions may replicate keys of a standard keyboard and correspond with the presently-running application implemented on the touchscreen device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: Sprint Communications Company L.P.
    Inventors: Eric M. Bloomcamp, Shane R. Werner, Warren B. Cope
  • Patent number: 8770981
    Abstract: According to the present invention, there is provided an improved refreshable tactile display apparatus including a housing, bias compression springs, sliding blocks, pins, and a shape memory alloy wire. The sliding block is actuated by the interaction between the bias compression spring and the shape memory alloy wire. The shape memory alloy wire is then activated by current driven from a power supply in either a modulated or unmodulated fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University
    Inventors: David Schroeder, Graham Bogda, Brendan Vishoot
  • Patent number: 8740618
    Abstract: A refreshable tactile reader apparatus for Braille text and graphics, utilizing a plurality of compressible tactile pins that can absorb strong downward forces. Such strong forces transmitted through tactile pins can damage pin actuation mechanisms. The physical enclosure of the reader provides open channels that allow the apparatus to be more easily cleaned than prior art enablements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Inventor: Keith N. Shaw
  • Patent number: 8727777
    Abstract: A system for conceptualizing spatial concepts comprised of a plurality of elongated barriers having magnets imbedded therein for magnetically coupling the barriers to a planar member such as a magnetic white board and to one another for providing horizontally and vertically extending barriers for defining upper and lower partitioned work areas and left and right partitioned work areas such that a visual and/or tactile medium can be placed in each of the partitioned work areas and partially behind the horizontally extending barriers for locating one or more mediums above and below the horizontally extending barriers and to the left and right of the vertically extending barriers for conveying spatial concepts to students and for aiding students in the conceptualization of these spatial concepts and, in particular, wherein the students are blind, visually impaired, and/or kinesthetic learners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Killebrew, Scott A. Drake
  • Patent number: 8727778
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide tactile assistance to a consumer completing a transaction at a point of sale terminal. A tactile overlay, either permanent or removable, couples with a consumer interface such as a touch screen of the point of sale terminal. The tactile overlay includes one or more overlay inputs that provide a distinct tactile impression in comparison with the remainder of the overlay. For example, the overlay inputs can be depressions, apertures, protrusions, dimples, or the like, or provide a different texture such as a rougher or smoother texture than the surrounding overlay. The overlay inputs are configured to correspond with underlying touch screen inputs such that the consumer using the tactile overlay can discern the proper location on the touch screen for providing the desired input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Bank of America Corporation
    Inventors: Maile George, Jason Michael Ackiss, Robert Fleetwood Armstrong
  • Patent number: 8672682
    Abstract: A method of automatically converting alphabetic text written in a text based language into a non-text based language. The method can include parsing the text to identify at least one word. The method also can include via a processor, identifying within a lexicon database data corresponding to the word, wherein the data corresponding to the word identifies at least one pictograph or symbol selected from a group of pictographs or symbols consisting of between twenty seven and thirty three distinct pictographs or symbols that visually look different than the text, wherein each pictograph or symbol corresponds to a unique speech sound of the text based language. The pictograph or symbol can be rendered in a view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Inventor: Howard A. Engelsen
  • Publication number: 20140057230
    Abstract: A visually impaired person may be taught verbal communication skills using specimen display assemblies that present tactile specimens representing words that are to be learned. The specimens are attached to and project from a surface of a specimen display card. The specimen display card may be used in conjunction with a teaching device such as an easel or an electronic device having a touch sensitive surface and a speaker, whereby the electronic device broadcasts a programmed verbal message from the speaker when a force is imparted to the touch sensitive surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Inventor: MARY BUCHANAN PROPPER
  • Patent number: 8616887
    Abstract: A device for communicating, preferably between two people who could not normally orally communicate, by at least one user pointing to pictograms on the device. The device can be a static medium having a plurality of icons thereon or can be part of a computer generated program having a graphic display that is either moving or stationary so that a user can select at least one icon to communicate an idea. When two or more people use the device to communicate, the device enables a dialogue to develop between the people. A first responder to an emergency situation could use the device in any country to gather information to quickly respond to the situation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Inventor: Alan Stillman
  • Patent number: 8602786
    Abstract: A dot unit includes an opening formed in a housing and a protruding member disposed in the opening. The protruding member is rotatably supported by a support shaft. The protruding member is rotated by a polymer actuator in a direction that follows a reading direction in which a unit of information is read, and the protruding member is stabilized in a protruding position by contacting a restricting portion. When a finger is moved in the reading direction and contacts the protruding member, the protruding member is likely to be stabilized in the protruding position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Isao Takahashi, Nobuaki Haga
  • Patent number: 8589067
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for mapping a moving direction by using sounds for people with visual impairments, in which a moving direction can be expressed multi-dimensionally by using sound information and can effectively assist people with visual impairments and the like in navigation tasks. A moving direction of a person carrying a device configured to output sounds is mapped by using a combination of sounds outputted from the device. A plurality of different sound information pieces are stored in association with three or more predetermined directions, respectively, a current position of the moving target device is identified, and then a moving direction of the device is identified. A sound obtained by combining two sounds in a ratio according to the identified moving direction is outputted on the basis of sound information pieces associated respectively with two adjacent directions sandwiching the identified moving direction among the predetermined directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Chieko Asakawa, Susumu Harada
  • Publication number: 20130295529
    Abstract: Provided are a method and apparatus for recognizing sign language using an electromyogram sensor and a gyro sensor. The method includes the steps of (a) receiving a gyro measurement signal and an electromyogram measurement signal from the gyro sensor and the electromyogram sensor which are attached to the body of a subject, (b) determining to which of groups clustered with similar fingerspelling motions the gyro measurement signal belongs, (c) acquiring a Gaussian model for the electromyogram measurement signal, and (d) comparing the acquired Gaussian model with Gaussian candidate models for candidate fingerspelling motions which belong to the group determined in step (b), and recognizing the candidate fingerspelling motion corresponding to the Gaussian candidate model that is most similar to the acquired Gaussian model as the fingerspelling motion of the subject.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Publication date: November 7, 2013
    Applicant: FOUNDATION OF SOONGSIL UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION
    Inventors: Hyun Chool Shin, Kyung Jin You, Ki Won Rhee, Hee Su Kang
  • Patent number: 8573979
    Abstract: A tactile display may comprise an array of pins that may be raised in height relative to one another to represent contours of objects in a graphic image or picture when touched. Various physical attributes may be given to individual pins to represent color or brightness. For example, pins may be heated or cooled to represent cool or warm colors in the original image. Pins may also be vibrated or otherwise enhanced to represent color or brightness information in the original image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Intel-GE Care Innovations LLC
    Inventor: Michael Skinner
  • Patent number: 8562353
    Abstract: A method of representing information to a person comprising displaying an image viewable by a person, the image comprising visual markers representative of portions of a human body minimally necessary to communicate with the person, the visual markers, when viewed by the person, causing the person to extrapolate the human body, a remainder of the image being visually silent with respect to the person. The method is particularly applicable to represent information so as to be perceivable by a hearing-impaired person (e.g. deaf person) wherein a plurality of images, when displayed, one after another on a display device, represent information perceivable by the hearing-impaired person via sign language.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Societe de commercialisation des produits de la recherche appliquee—Socpra Sciences Sante et Humaines S.E.C.
    Inventors: Denis Bélisle, Johanne Deschênes
  • Patent number: 8535236
    Abstract: An apparatus for analyzing a sound signal is based on an ear model for deriving, for a number of inner hair cells, an estimate for a time-varying concentration of transmitter substance inside a cleft between an inner hair cell and an associated auditory nerve from the sound signal so that an estimated inner hair cell cleft contents map over time is obtained. This map is analyzed by means of a pitch analyzer to obtain a pitch line over time, the pitch line indicating a pitch of the sound signal for respective time instants. A rhythm analyzer is operative for analyzing envelopes of estimates for selected inner hair cells, the inner hair cells being selected in accordance with the pitch line, so that segmentation instants are obtained, wherein a segmentation instant indicates an end of the preceding note or a start of a succeeding note. Thus, a human-related and reliable sound signal analysis can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V.
    Inventors: Thorsten Heinz, Andreas Brueckmann, Juergen Herre
  • Patent number: 8533621
    Abstract: This invention generally relates to a communication system founded on character recognition utilizing a graphical display and method of use thereof. The invention is primarily directed to enable communication with disabled individuals in conjunction with a communication partner or receiver who manipulates a graphical display. The primary focus of the present invention is to provide a communication system that enables expeditious discovery of the sender selected series of characters, thereby permitting time-effective communications. The present invention utilizes a graphical display where characters are grouped into quadrants, chunks, or the like. The characters comprising the quadrants are further organized based on a set of character guidelines. The set of character guidelines include, but not limited to character frequency of occurrence, consonant blend considerations, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Inventors: Katherine S. Meddaugh, Mary D. Seebach
  • Patent number: 8523572
    Abstract: A touch language to be used by handicapped persons, such as deaf people, blind people, and deafblind people, is provided by the present invention. A method for communicating visual images, such as those of a television program, to a handicapped person comprises the steps of providing at least one device for physically transmitting information about the visual images to the handicapped person and delivering a key word describing a portion of the visual images to the handicapped person using the at least one device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Inventor: Raanan Liebermann
  • Publication number: 20130216981
    Abstract: A 3D pin tactile device has a device housing, an imaging radar operatively installed in the device housing for detecting surface contours of the object, and an array of pins mounted in a pin mounting screen. An actuation system is adapted for moving each of the array of pins such that a head of the each of the array of pins collectively match the contours of the object. In this manner, the blind person can perceive the object by feeling the heads of the array of pins.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2012
    Publication date: August 22, 2013
    Inventors: Terry Campbell, Coy DeLynn Mason
  • Patent number: 8494507
    Abstract: A mobile terminal is used to assist individuals with disabilities. The mobile terminal (e.g., a “smartphone” or other commercially available wireless handheld device) may be loaded with software. The software may be configured to: (i) receive information about a sensory deficit associated with a user, (ii) receive information about a sensory proficiency associated with the user, (iii) determine whether an event associated with a sensory deficit satisfies a criterion, and if so (iv) provide an assistive output based on a sensory proficiency and the event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: HandHold Adaptive, LLC
    Inventors: Daniel E. Tedesco, Robert C. Tedesco, James A. Jorasch
  • Patent number: 8493188
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention include a device and a method for providing a haptic motion feedback to user interacting with a simulated three-dimensional (“3D”) environment. In one embodiment, the device includes a base and a belt assembly, coupled to the base. The belt assembly includes a housing having an opening and a belt adapted to rotate within the housing for conveying a motion of an object moving in the simulated 3D environment. To indicate a horizontal component of object's motion, in one embodiment, the base is rotated, thus causing the belt assembly to rotate around its central axis. To indicate a vertical component of the object's motion, in one embodiment, the belt assembly is tilted. Optionally, the belt may include a plurality of protrusions and/or indentations on its surface for indicating to the user distances covered by the object within the simulated 3D environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Brian J Cragun
  • Publication number: 20130157229
    Abstract: The present invention is a visual prosthesis which restores partial vision to patients blinded by outer retinal degeneration. While visual prosthesis users have achieved remarkable visual improvement to the point of reading letters and short sentences, the reading process is still fairly cumbersome. In the present invention the visual prosthesis is adapted to stimulate visual braille as a sensory substitution for reading written letters and words. The visual prosthesis system, used in the present invention, includes a 10×6 electrode array implanted epiretinally, a tiny video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, and a wearable computer that processes the video and determines the stimulation current of each electrode in real time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.
  • Patent number: 8461986
    Abstract: An electronic device for analyzing signal content derived from audible events, the device aiding the hearing impaired by annunciating events of interest including dangerous events. The device detects the presence of an event of interest by comparing characteristics of detected acoustic events with pre-determined reference characteristics, provides non-audible annunciators to indicate the presence of an event of interest, the type of event, and the direction from which the event is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventor: Wayne Harvey Snyder
  • Publication number: 20130115578
    Abstract: A sign language action generating device includes: a word string input unit; a trace creation unit that extracts a sign language action data for each word of a pair of words inputted as a word string and creates a trace between an end point position of a sign language action having the same meaning as a prior word of the pair of words and a start point position thereof having the same meaning as a posterior word; an interference determination unit that determines whether or not interference is generated between parts of a robot on each trace; an action connection unit that connects sign language actions; and an action adjustment unit that adjusts a position coordinate or a velocity of the pair of words within a prescribed threshold of a shift amount or an evaluation function within which meanings of the prior word and the posterior word can be maintained.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventor: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
  • Patent number: 8412529
    Abstract: An approach is provided for enhancing verbal communication sessions. A verbal component of a communication session is converted into textual information. The converted textual information is scanned for a text string to trigger an application. The application is invoked to provide supplemental information about the textual information or to perform an action in response to the textual information for or on behalf of a party of the communication session. The supplemental information or a confirmation of the action is transmitted to the party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventors: Martin W. McKee, Paul T. Schultz, Robert A. Sartini
  • Patent number: 8388346
    Abstract: For providing a tactile feedback to a user of a device, textual or graphical information is converted into instructions for a sequence of pulses representing the information. An actuator is then caused to move at least a part of a display according to the obtained instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Nokia Corporation
    Inventors: Jussi Rantala, Roope Raisamo, Jani Lylykangas, Toni Pakkanen, Arto Hippula, Jukka Raisamo, Veikko Surakka, Katri Salminen, Roope Takala
  • Patent number: 8366447
    Abstract: A screen reader software product including a pattern store containing at least one user-definable array of keywords relating to a subject of interest and skim reading module adapted to apply the at least one array of keywords to a target document whereby only portions of the target document matching the at least one array of keywords are output by the screen reader software to an end user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Freedom Scientific, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen Gordon, Joseph K Stephen, Eric Damery, Ralph E Ocampo
  • Patent number: 8360778
    Abstract: An electromechanical Braille cell assembly includes a plurality of parallel bimorph reeds. A first plurality of bimorph reeds is mounted to a first side of a printed circuit board by a first plurality of clips and a second plurality of bimorph reeds is mounted to a second side of the printed circuit board by a second plurality of clips. A frame has a top wall, a bottom wall, a first side wall in the form of an angle wall and a second side wall in the form of a flat wall. Pinholes are formed in the angle wall to accommodate Braille pins and the flat wall is slotted to accommodate a plurality of printed circuit boards. A monolithic cap covers all of the Braille pins. Pinholes formed in the cap receive the respective tips of the Braille cells when actuated bimorph reeds cause displacement of the Braille pins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Freedom Scientific, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Murphy, Todd Conard, Waldemar H. Tunkis, Michael Goldenberg, Carlos M. Rodriguez
  • Patent number: 8344861
    Abstract: In one embodiment, the invention is a haptic motion feedback mechanism. One embodiment of an apparatus for communicating motion in a virtual space includes a base and a feedback mechanism coupled to the base, the feedback mechanism using forced air to convey motion in the virtual space. In another embodiment, a method for communicating motion in a virtual space using a feedback mechanism includes receiving a signal indicative of user motion from a computing device on which the virtual space is running and forcing air through the feedback mechanism in order to convey the user motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Brian J Cragun
  • Patent number: 8345013
    Abstract: A method and device for generating haptic feedback over a touch surface using plasma actuation are disclosed. A haptic device includes a touch surface, plasma, and a substrate. In one embodiment, the touch surface, which can be made of flexible and/or deformable materials, is capable of sensing one or more events. The substrate is situated adjacent to the touch surface with a separation gap, which physically separates the substrate from the touch surface. The substrate provides haptic feedback in response to the event(s). The plasma is capable of accumulating at one or more pockets located in the separation gap, and configured to facilitate the haptic feedback via energy transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Heubel, Muge Bakircioglu, Douglas King Swalen