The US Patent Office recently published a Microsoft invention that reveals a new method of executing real-time biometrics. Although the technology could be adapted to all kinds of computer systems such as tablets and smartphones, Microsoft's true focus is on real-time biometrics as it relates to multiplayer gaming. The new method will allow gamers to join a video game in progress quickly and easily using advanced biometrics. The invention's method includes capturing a temporal sequence of images of the face of a user at different locations within a three-dimensional interaction space. The method further includes extracting one or more face descriptors from the images and generating a biometric template compiling the face descriptors. Microsoft's patent figures indicate that the invention relates to their next generation gaming system that we covered back in September under the title "Microsoft Envisions Where Gaming is going, and it's Wild!" If you're a Multi-Player gamer, you may want to check out this invention for more details.
The 3D Interactive Space
Microsoft's patent FIG. 1 shown below illustrates an example three-dimensional (3D) interactive space in which a user (#10) is located. FIG. 1 also shows gaming system 12 which may enable a user to interact with a video game. The gaming system may be used to play a variety of different games, play one or more different media types, and/or control or manipulate non-game applications and/or operating systems. The gaming system may include gaming console 14 and a display which may be used to present game visuals to game players.
In patent FIG. 1, 3D interaction space 100 may also include a camera 18 coupled to the gaming system. The camera may be used to observe the 3D interaction space by capturing images. As such, the camera may be used to identify user 10 by detecting one or more particular biometric features of the user. For example, the camera (or Kinect device) may capture images of the user's face to identify one or more particular face descriptors. In this way, the user may be recognized by the gaming system, and as such, may be associated with a corresponding user account. Once a user is registered with the gaming system, joining a game in progress would be quick and easy with no sign in activities required.
Quickly Creating a Virtual Avatar for Gameplay
Microsoft's filing states that a pipeline for recognizing a human target, creating a depth map, creating a virtual skeleton, and then displaying a virtual avatar, is illustrated below in FIG. 12. It will be appreciated that the virtual skeleton created in this manner may be used to identify the poses and the location and orientation of a body and face of the user.
Detecting movement of the user may include generating a skeletal model of the user based on the captured temporal sequence of images. The skeletal model may track the movements of the user within the 3D interaction space. As such, the user character figure may be mapped to the skeletal model, thus tracking the movements of the user. Therefore, skeletal modeling may include adjusting the configuration and/or position of the skeletal model to match the detected movement of the user. Further, a location of the face of the user in each of the images may be determined by making reference to the skeletal model.
In Microsoft's patent FIG. 11 you're able to see a schematic view of a simplified computing system that may be used as the gaming system of FIG. 1. It is also to be understood that virtually any computer architecture may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. In different embodiments, computing system 1100 may take the form of a mainframe computer, server computer, desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet computer, home entertainment computer, network computing device, mobile computing device, mobile communication device, gaming device, etc.
Microsoft's patent application 20120257797 titled "Biometric Recognition" was filed in April 2011. Check it out here.
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