Communication Aids For The Handicapped Patents (Class 434/112)
  • Patent number: 10303436
    Abstract: An assistive apparatus, and a method of providing an accessibility switch output by the assistive apparatus, is described. The assistive apparatus may include an accelerometer to be worn in an ear canal of a user, and a display having a graphical user interface. The accelerometer may generate an input signal representing an input command made by the user, and more particularly, the generated input command may represent one or more hums transmitted from vocal cords of the user to the accelerometer in the ear canal via bone conduction. The assistive apparatus may provide an accessibility switch output in response to the input signals representing the input command. For example, the accessibility switch output may cause a selection of a user interface element of the graphical user interface. Other embodiments are also described and claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sorin V. Dusan, Aram M. Lindahl
  • Patent number: 10235358
    Abstract: Structured web pages are accessed and parsed to obtain implicit annotation for natural language understanding tasks. Search queries that hit these structured web pages are automatically mined for information that is used to semantically annotate the queries. The automatically annotated queries may be used for automatically building statistical unsupervised slot filling models without using a semantic annotation guideline. For example, tags that are located on a structured web page that are associated with the search query may be used to annotate the query. The mined search queries may be filtered to create a set of queries that is in a form of a natural language query and/or remove queries that are difficult to parse. A natural language model may be trained using the resulting mined queries. Some queries may be set aside for testing and the model may be adapted using in-domain sentences that are not annotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gokhan Tur, Dilek Hakkani-Tur, Larry Heck, Minwoo Jeong, Ye-Yi Wang
  • Patent number: 10216932
    Abstract: A nonvolatile memory device includes a memory cell array, a voltage generator, and a control circuit. The voltage generator generates word-line voltages to be applied to the memory cell array. The control circuit generates control signals that control the voltage generator in response to a command and an address. The control circuit includes a hacking detection circuit. The hacking detection circuit disables an operation of the nonvolatile memory device when a hacking is detected, wherein the hacking is detected when an access sequence of the command and the address does not match a standard sequence of the nonvolatile memory device a consecutive number of times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jung-Soo Kim, Bong-Kil Jung
  • Patent number: 10210469
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method and system for supporting a person at a site, venue, or location where the person may have a requirement. The method and system include storing a requirement code in a handheld device, and storing the requirement code and at least one characteristic relating to the requirement code in a requirement certification database. The requirement code is transmitted from the handheld device to a sensor at the site, and action data is received by a facility of the site from the requirement certification database. The action data is indicative of an action to be performed by the facility, dependent on the requirement code and the at least one characteristic, such that the facility adapts its function to a requirement of the person having the requirement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ann K. Balchin, Susanna Baldi, Cristina Bonanni, Audrey D. Borden, Timothy I. Brown, Giuseppe Longobardi, Gabriella Santoro, Lisa Marie Towles
  • Patent number: 10098579
    Abstract: A system for improving brain function includes a brain-function-improving content storage unit that subdivides content for judging the degree of activation of human brain function into multiple classified regions and levels, and stores the subdivided content; a content selection unit that selects the content stored in the brain-function-improving content storage unit for each region according to a predetermined classification method; and an achievement determination unit that determines achievement of a user based on scores acquired through feedback provided by the user for the content selected by the content selection unit. The system may have the effect of protecting subdivided inherent functions of the brain, preventing disorders caused by accidents or diseases, recovering the inherent functions and disorders through analytic diagnosis and repeated study, and training and improving the cognitive ability of significantly impaired portions of brain function by subdividing the inherent functions of the brain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: GAVAPLUS. CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Young Jin Kang
  • Patent number: 10088924
    Abstract: A user can provide input to an electronic device by performing a specific motion or gesture that can be detected by the device. At least one imaging or detection element captures information including the motion or gesture, such that one or more dwell points can be determined in two or three dimensions of space. The dwell points can correspond to any point where the motion pauses for at least a minimum amount of time, such as at an endpoint or a point where the motion significantly changes or reverses direction. The set of dwell points, and the order in which those dwell points occur, can be compared against a set of gestures to attempt to match a gesture associated with a particular input. Such an approach is useful for devices with image capture elements or other components that are not able to accurately capture motion or determine movements, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Volodymyr V. Ivanchenko
  • Patent number: 9961026
    Abstract: Technologies for generating a text message from user-selectable icons include a wearable computing device that determines a context associated with the wearable computing device. The wearable computing device determines user-selectable icons from predetermined user-selectable icons based on the context associated with the wearable computing device. Each of the user-selectable icons may have one or more textual meanings associated therewith for text message generation. The determined user-selectable icons may be displayed on a display of the wearable computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Glen J. Anderson, Ryan S. Brotman, Wen-Ling M. Huang, Francisco Javier Fernandez, Jamie Sherman, Deepak S. Vembar, Philip Muse, Lenitra M. Durham, Pete A. Denman, Giuseppe Beppe Raffa, Ramune Nagisetty
  • Patent number: 9852649
    Abstract: A method using a spatial-temporal software game for both teaching math concepts to a child and for scoring the child's proficiency in these math concepts. These scores are compared with the child's performance on a language-based test of the math concepts. If the child's score on the language-based test is lower than what is reflected by the child's game scores, instruction is given the child using stories and flashcards related to the spatial-temporal software games so that the child will relate vocabulary terms with the math concepts and characters in the temporal-spatial software game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Mind Research Institute
    Inventors: Gordon L. Shaw, Mark Bodner, Linda M. Rodgers
  • Patent number: 9842168
    Abstract: Identification of user intents may be provided. A plurality of network applications may be identified, and an ontology associated with each of the plurality of applications may be defined. If a phrase received from a user is associated with at least one of the defined ontologies, an action associated with the network application may be executed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Larry Paul Heck, Madhusudan Chinthakunta, David Mitby, Lisa Stifelman
  • Patent number: 9833150
    Abstract: Support structures for positioning sensors on a physiologic tunnel for measuring physical, chemical and biological parameters of the body and to produce an action according to the measured value of the parameters. The support structure includes a sensor fitted on the support structures using a special geometry for acquiring continuous and undisturbed data on the physiology of the body. Signals are transmitted to a remote station by wireless transmission such as by electromagnetic waves, radio waves, infrared, sound and the like or by being reported locally by audio or visual transmission. The physical and chemical parameters include brain function, metabolic function, hydrodynamic function, hydration status, levels of chemical compounds in the blood, and the like. The support structure includes patches, clips, eyeglasses, head mounted gear and the like, containing passive or active sensors positioned at the end of the tunnel with sensing systems positioned on and accessing a physiologic tunnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: GEELUX HOLDINGS, LTD.
    Inventor: Marcio Marc Abreu
  • Patent number: 9826906
    Abstract: Support structures for positioning sensors on a physiologic tunnel for measuring physical, chemical and biological parameters of the body and to produce an action according to the measured value of the parameters. The support structure includes a sensor fitted on the support structures using a special geometry for acquiring continuous and undisturbed data on the physiology of the body. Signals are transmitted to a remote station by wireless transmission such as by electromagnetic waves, radio waves, infrared, sound and the like or by being reported locally by audio or visual transmission. The physical and chemical parameters include brain function, metabolic function, hydrodynamic function, hydration status, levels of chemical compounds in the blood, and the like. The support structure includes patches, clips, eyeglasses, head mounted gear and the like, containing passive or active sensors positioned at the end of the tunnel with sensing systems positioned on and accessing a physiologic tunnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: GEELUX HOLDINGS, LTD.
    Inventor: Marcio Marc Abreu
  • Patent number: 9775662
    Abstract: An orthopedic device includes a brace support having at least one strap for providing corrective orientation of a joint and unloading of the joint, and an electrical stimulation system for providing an electrical signal to a user's musculature at or proximate to the joint. The electrical stimulation system provides at least one electrical pulse to the musculature in supplement to the corrective orientation of the joint to induce contraction of the musculature. The electrical stimulation system may include at least one electrode for generating the electrical pulse, and a sensor module for determining movement and orientation of a user's limb for selectively activating the at least one electrode according to predefined criteria and feedback from the sensor module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: OSSUR HF
    Inventors: Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, Arni Thor Ingimundarson
  • 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: 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: 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: 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