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714 results about "Pre-existing" patented technology

Having been present before a specific date or event.

3D imaging system

The present invention provides a system (method and apparatus) for creating photorealistic 3D models of environments and/or objects from a plurality of stereo images obtained from a mobile stereo camera and optional monocular cameras. The cameras may be handheld, mounted on a mobile platform, manipulator or a positioning device. The system automatically detects and tracks features in image sequences and self-references the stereo camera in 6 degrees of freedom by matching the features to a database to track the camera motion, while building the database simultaneously. A motion estimate may be also provided from external sensors and fused with the motion computed from the images. Individual stereo pairs are processed to compute dense 3D data representing the scene and are transformed, using the estimated camera motion, into a common reference and fused together. The resulting 3D data is represented as point clouds, surfaces, or volumes. The present invention also provides a system (method and apparatus) for enhancing 3D models of environments or objects by registering information from additional sensors to improve model fidelity or to augment it with supplementary information by using a light pattern projector. The present invention also provides a system (method and apparatus) for generating photo-realistic 3D models of underground environments such as tunnels, mines, voids and caves, including automatic registration of the 3D models with pre-existing underground maps.

Targeted advertising method and system

A method of targeted advertising includes generating a targeted advertising and/or promotional campaign material corresponding to a client's selections, fulfilling the targeted advertising and/or promotional campaign material, and providing a response tracking analysis to the client. The targeted advertising and/or promotional campaign material includes a response tracking capability. Access for the client to contact a central facility having public and/or private client databases with list management capabilities can be provided on-line via a client web site. The client can choose from a selection of templates to design of the targeted advertising and/or promotional campaign material. Also, the client can choose from a selection of intended recipients by using and/or modifying a new or pre-existing customer list. The targeted advertising and/or promotional campaign material can be manufactured and distributed to the intended recipients. Preferably, the advertising and/or promotional campaign material includes a coupon having a machine readable mark, symbol, or barcode that incorporates information relating to the client, the customer, and the advertising and/or promotional campaign. The scanned coupon can be communicated back to the central facility and the client can be notified by the central facility as to the response characteristics of the advertising and/or promotional campaign. A closed-loop system is also provided that can implement the above targeted advertising method.

Method and system for issuing, aggregating and redeeming points based on merchant transactions

A loyalty or reward point system that utilizes the pre-existing infrastructure of a typical credit card network. In one embodiment, a user makes a purchase at a merchant of a product using a credit card. The merchant contacts the acquiring bank (which may be any type of financial institution but is referred to generically herein as a bank) with which it has contracted for credit card network services, and as known in the art, will get an approval or decline message after the acquiring bank contacts the issuing bank of the credit card used by the purchaser. Assuming that the purchase transaction is approved, the user is awarded loyalty points from the merchant based on the amount of the purchase (e.g. 100 points for a $100 purchase). A central server resides on the credit card network and tracks the transaction between the merchant, the acquiring bank, and the issuing bank. A reward account is maintained on the central server on behalf of the merchant and the user, and the number of reward points in the user's account for that merchant is increased accordingly. In an alternative embodiment, the user's reward points are logged in an account maintained by the acquiring bank on behalf of the merchant (with which it has a contractual relationship) and the user. The user may redeem the reward points earned from the transaction with the merchant at a later time, or may redeem the points with another merchant on the credit card network, or may aggregate those reward points with those of other merchants into a central exchange account, and then redeem the aggregated points for goods or services from any approved merchant on the network, depending on the configuration of the system.

Bed exit and patient detection system

A bed exit and patient detection system especially adapted for use in the general medical or surgical floor area of a hospital or other healthcare facility as part of a vital signs monitoring and remote warning system includes a plurality of pressure sensors disposed in the patient's bed in a series of rectangular strips or zones that run laterally across the bed in the area of the patient's mid-back, hips and mid-legs, respectively. Each zone contains a plurality of sensors, arranged symmetrically about the centerline of the bed, with the corresponding sensors on opposite sides of the centerline in each zone being connected in parallel. The sensors are connected to a processor with multiple input channels that continuously monitors the sensor states to determine, from the pattern of sensor states observed, whether the patient is in bed, out of bed or is actively attempting to ext the bed at the sides or foot of the bed. At least three different sets of bed exit logic rules are available for user selection to configure the system for high, medium or low sensitivity, or bed exit privileges, for any particular patient. In some embodiments, the system also is capable of detecting when a patient is attempting to assume certain prohibited in-bed positions, such as sitting positions or slumping positions. An alarm in the form of a pre-recorded voice announcement or an alarm over a pre-existing nurse call system is provided when the sensor states are indicative of an out-of-bed or an exiting bed condition, or other prohibited in-bed positions, for a predetermined minimum period of time.

System and method for enabling content providers to identify advertising opportunities

A computer implemented method for enabling content providers to identify and customize placement opportunities is disclosed, comprising the steps of processing instructions to customize a pre-existing at least one of an audio and video datastream comprising at least one predefined time interval for content, identifying at least one time interval for a placement opportunity in the at least one of an audio and video datastream; altering at least one characteristic of the at least one time interval for a placement opportunity in accordance with tile instructions; assembling the altered at least one time interval for a placement opportunity and at least one time interval for content into a list that represents an altered at least one of an audio and video datastream; and delivering the list to a distribution system for playing the altered at least one of an audio and video datastream. The at least one time interval for a placement opportunity may distinct from or coincident with the at least one time interval for content. The placement opportunity may be at least one of content and an advertising placement opportunity. The content may be entertainment content comprising at least one of video, audio, and interactive overlays. The at least one characteristic may be the duration of or the number of the at least one time interval for a placement opportunity. The list may be one of a playlist and a schedule.

Method and apparatus for traffic shaping in a broadband fiber-based access system

The invention is a novel method and apparatus for controlling the flow of traffic between a host digital terminal (HDT) and a plurality of optical network units (ONUs). Each ONU is connected to the HDT by optical fiber and to a plurality of subscribers by a respective plurality of subscriber drops (typically pre-existing copper twisted pairs). The bandwidth on the fiber, although large, is usually inferior to the total bandwidth that can be transmitted across the subscriber drops. Therefore, both upstream and downstream traffic may become congested at various "choke points" under certain circumstances of usage. Ordinarily, the data is buffered at the choke points, leading to the installation of large queues within each ONU. This solution is not only expensive, but is inadequate since the required queue size is dependent on the maximum transaction size, which has no hard upper bound. In contrast, the present invention provides a traffic shaper located in the HDT, which gives centralized control of the traffic flowing to and from the ONUs. Consideration of the priority and destination of each traffic cell is taken into account by the traffic shaper to ensure that the capacity of the fiber and of the individual drops is never exceeded, irrespective of the transaction sizes, thereby eliminating the need for costly buffers in the outside plant. Any maintenance or repairs of the traffic shaper can be easily effected without field visits, due to its centralized location.

System and method that facilitates computer desktop use via scaling of displayed objects with shifts to the periphery

The present invention relates to a system that facilitates multi-tasking in a computing environment. A focus area component defines a focus area within a display space—the focus area occupying a subset area of the display space area. A scaling component scales display objects as a function of proximity to the focus area, and a behavior modification component modifies respective behavior of the display objects as a function their location of the display space. Thus, and more particularly the subject invention provides for interaction technique(s) and user interface(s) in connection with managing display objects on a display surface. One aspect of the invention defines a central focus area where the display objects are displayed and behave as usual, and a periphery outside the focus area where the display objects are reduced in size based on their location, getting smaller as they near an edge of the display surface so that many more objects can remain visible. In addition or alternatively, the objects can fade as they move toward an edge, fading increasing as a function of distance from the focus area and/or use of the object and/or priority of the object. Objects in the periphery can also be modified to have different interaction behavior (e.g., lower refresh rate, fading, reconfigured to display sub-objects based on relevance and/or visibility, static, etc.) as they may be too small for standard rendering. The methods can provide a flexible, scalable surface when coupled with automated policies for moving objects into the periphery, in response to the introduction of new objects or the resizing of pre-existing objects by a user or autonomous process.

Tracking merchant specific reward credits and balances in a multi merchant environment utilizing one card or account number

A loyalty program system and method includes of membership card that is distributed to customers. The membership card is associated with multiple merchants whose accounts are centrally managed but segregated from one another. In this manner a customer only needs to carry a single card while participating in promotions that are controlled and managed by separate merchants. A merchant can reward customers based on the nature of the transactions with the merchants, for example based on value, frequency and so forth. In addition, it is possible to add merchants to the loyalty program even if they already have their own pre-existing customer membership base that carries pre-existing membership cards. In that case, the automated loyalty program is configured to recognize and honor the pre-existing cards by establishing in the system account files for the added merchants, and configuring the system to recognize and honor identification information provided in the pre-existing membership cards. It is also possible to use the system to track multi-balance gift certificates. It is also possible to use the system in a business-to-business barter system, in which multiple merchants are associated with one card provided to a first merchant. The first merchant can redeem the card any of one or more other merchants with which an exchange has been made, either directly or by way of a barter broker.
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