US20130005443A1 - Automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments - Google Patents

Automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments Download PDF

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US20130005443A1
US20130005443A1 US13/535,061 US201213535061A US2013005443A1 US 20130005443 A1 US20130005443 A1 US 20130005443A1 US 201213535061 A US201213535061 A US 201213535061A US 2013005443 A1 US2013005443 A1 US 2013005443A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
user
facial
display
gaming
gaming device
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Abandoned
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US13/535,061
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James Peter Kosta
Dean E. Wolf
Dylan S. Petty
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3G STUDIOS Inc
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3G STUDIOS Inc
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Priority to US13/535,061 priority patent/US20130005443A1/en
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Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/25Output arrangements for video game devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/85Providing additional services to players
    • A63F13/87Communicating with other players during game play, e.g. by e-mail or chat
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3206Player sensing means, e.g. presence detection, biometrics
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F9/00Details other than those peculiar to special kinds or types of apparatus
    • G07F9/02Devices for alarm or indication, e.g. when empty; Advertising arrangements in coin-freed apparatus
    • G07F9/023Devices for alarm or indication, e.g. when empty; Advertising arrangements in coin-freed apparatus for display, data presentation or advertising arrangements in payment activated and coin-freed apparatus

Abstract

Various aspects described or referenced herein are directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for facilitating and/or implementing automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments. Various types of commercial devices may be configured or designed to include facial detection & eye tracking component(s) which may be operable to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof): facial feature detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device; facial expression recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device; eye tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION DATA
  • The present application claims benefit, pursuant to the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §119, of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/504,141 (Attorney Docket No. 3GSTP001P), titled “USER BEHAVIOR, SIMULATION AND GAMING TECHNIQUES”, naming Kosta et al. as inventors, and filed 1 Jul. 2011, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • COPYRIGHT NOTICE/PERMISSION
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever. The following notice applies to the software and data as described below and in the drawings hereto: Copyright© 2010-2012, Dean E. Wolf, All Rights Reserved.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The present disclosure relates to facial detection and eye tracking. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a simplified block diagram of a specific example embodiment of a portion of a Computer Network 100.
  • FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of an exemplary gaming machine 200 in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 shows a diagrammatic representation of machine in the exemplary form of a client (or end user) computer system 300.
  • FIG. 4 is a simplified block diagram of an exemplary Facial/Eye-Enabled Commercial Device 400 in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an example embodiment of a Server System 580 which may be used for implementing various aspects/features described herein.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates an example of a functional block diagram of a Server System 600 in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 shows an illustrative example of a gaming machine 710 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 shows an illustrative example of an F/E Commercial Device 810 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 shows an illustrative example of an F/E Commercial Device 910 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS Overview
  • Various aspects described or referenced herein are directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for facilitating and/or implementing automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments.
  • According to different embodiments, various types of commercial devices may be configured or designed to include facial detection & eye tracking component(s) which may be operable to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof): facial feature detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device; facial expression recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device; eye tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the commercial device. According to different embodiments, examples of various types of commercial devices may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): gaming machines, vending machines, televisions, kiosks, consumer devices, smart phones, video game consoles, personal computer systems, electronic display systems, etc.
  • A first aspect is directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for operating a gaming device which includes at least one facial detection component. According to different embodiments, the gaming device may be operable to facilitate, enable, initiate, and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s), action(s), and/or feature(s) (or combinations thereof): control a wager-based game played at the gaming device; recognize facial features associated with a first user that is interacting with the gaming device; initiate a first action in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user; recognize facial expressions associated with the first user; initiate a second action in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with the first user; enable the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device; influence an outcome of at least one event of the first gaming session in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user; monitor events of the first gaming session in which the first user is a participant; monitor the first user's facial expressions during participation of at least one event of the first gaming session; interpret a first facial expression made by the first user during participation in a first event of the first gaming session; create a first association between a first identified event of the first gaming session and a first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event; create a first association between the first identified event of the first gaming session and the interpretation of the user's first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event; track one or more eye movements associated with the first user; identify at least one object being observed by the first user in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with the user; identify a current position or location of the first user's eyes; determine an amount of adjustment to be made to content displayed on at least one display screen of the MLD for facilitating improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes; dynamically adjust display of content displayed on at least one display screen of a multi-layer display (MLD) in a manner which facilitates improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes; identify a current position or location of the first user's head; dynamically influence a behavior of a first virtual character displayed at the first display to thereby cause the first virtual character to appear to acknowledge a presence of the first user at the identified current position or location; automatically determine, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user; automatically determine, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user; automatically identify, using the user demographic information, a first portion of user targeted content specifically targeted toward a first portion of the user demographic information; dynamically cause the first portion of user targeted information to be displayed at the first display in response to determining the first user's demographic information using the first set of identified facial features.
  • A second aspect is directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for operating a product vending machine which includes a display of one or more products. According to different embodiments, the vending machine may include facial detection and eye tracking component(s), and may be configured or designed to facilitate, enable, initiate, and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s), action(s), and/or feature(s) (or combinations thereof): analyze captured image data for recognition of one or more facial features of a consumer; detect the presence of a person within a predefined proximity; record eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) where consumer has observed (or is currently observing); item(s)/product(s) which consumer has observed; length of time consumer has observed each particular item/product; analyze and process the received consumer viewing information; associate at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information with the profile of a selected/identified consumer; report at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information to 3rd party entities; automatically and/or dynamically generate one or more targeted advertisements or promotions based on at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information; dynamically adjust pricing information relating to one or more items viewed by the consumer; dynamically adjust inventory management information based on at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information; identify, recognize, and record the facial characteristics of one or more consumer(s) in a manner which enables the vending machine to automatically determine the identity of a subsequently returning consumer; automatically record the purchasing activity and/or viewing activity associated with an identified consumer, and may associate such activities with that consumer's profile; use the consumer's profile information (e.g., purchasing activity and/or viewing activity associated with the identified consumer) to automatically generate one or more dynamically generated, targeted promotions or purchase suggestions to be presented to the consumer.
  • A third aspect is directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for operating an intelligent TV which includes facial detection and eye tracking component(s), and may be configured or designed to facilitate, enable, initiate, and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s), action(s), and/or feature(s) (or combinations thereof): analyze captured image data for recognition of one or more facial features of a viewer; detect the presence of a person within a predefined proximity; record eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) of the Intelligent TV display where viewer has observed (or is currently observing); timestamp information; concurrent content and/or program information being presented at the Intelligent TV display (e.g., during times when a viewer's viewing activities are being recorded); length of time viewer has observed the Intelligent TV display (and/or specific regions therein); automatically and/or dynamically monitor and record information relating to: detection of one or more sets of eyes viewing Intelligent TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on Intelligent TV display at time(s) when viewer's eyes detected as viewing Intelligent TV display; automatically and/or dynamically monitor and record information relating to: detection of person(s) NOT viewing Intelligent TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on Intelligent TV display at time(s) when person(s) detected as NOT viewing Intelligent TV display; associate at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information with the profile of a selected/identified viewer; report at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information to 3rd party entities; automatically and/or dynamically generate one or more targeted advertisements or promotions based on at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information; identify, recognize, and record the facial characteristics of one or more viewer(s) in a manner which enables the Intelligent TV to automatically determine the identity of a subsequently returning viewer; automatically identify and recognize the facial features of the viewer, and may compare the recognize facial features to those stored in the viewer profile database(s) in order to automatically determine the identity of the viewer who is currently interacting with the Intelligent TV; use the viewer's profile information and/or demographic information to automatically generate one or more dynamically generated, targeted promotions or viewing suggestions to be presented to the viewer; automatically and/or dynamically lower its audio output volume if no persons are detected to be watching the Intelligent TV display; automatically and/or dynamically increase its audio output volume (or return it to its previous level) if at least one person is detected to be watching the Intelligent TV display. Various objects, features and advantages of the various aspects described or referenced herein will become apparent from the following descriptions of its example embodiments, which descriptions should be taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • Specific Example Embodiments
  • Various techniques will now be described in detail with reference to a few example embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of one or more aspects and/or features described or reference herein. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that one or more aspects and/or features described or reference herein may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known process steps and/or structures have not been described in detail in order to not obscure some of the aspects and/or features described or reference herein.
  • One or more different inventions may be described in the present application. Further, for one or more of the invention(s) described herein, numerous embodiments may be described in this patent application, and are presented for illustrative purposes only. The described embodiments are not intended to be limiting in any sense. One or more of the invention(s) may be widely applicable to numerous embodiments, as is readily apparent from the disclosure. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice one or more of the invention(s), and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural, logical, software, electrical and other changes may be made without departing from the scope of the one or more of the invention(s). Accordingly, those skilled in the art will recognize that the one or more of the invention(s) may be practiced with various modifications and alterations. Particular features of one or more of the invention(s) may be described with reference to one or more particular embodiments or figures that form a part of the present disclosure, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments of one or more of the invention(s). It should be understood, however, that such features are not limited to usage in the one or more particular embodiments or figures with reference to which they are described. The present disclosure is neither a literal description of all embodiments of one or more of the invention(s) nor a listing of features of one or more of the invention(s) that must be present in all embodiments.
  • Headings of sections provided in this patent application and the title of this patent application are for convenience only, and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure in any way.
  • Devices that are in communication with each other need not be in continuous communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise. In addition, devices that are in communication with each other may communicate directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.
  • A description of an embodiment with several components in communication with each other does not imply that all such components are required. To the contrary, a variety of optional components are described to illustrate the wide variety of possible embodiments of one or more of the invention(s).
  • Further, although process steps, method steps, algorithms or the like may be described in a sequential order, such processes, methods and algorithms may be configured to work in alternate orders. In other words, any sequence or order of steps that may be described in this patent application does not, in and of itself, indicate a requirement that the steps be performed in that order. The steps of described processes may be performed in any order practical. Further, some steps may be performed simultaneously despite being described or implied as occurring non-simultaneously (e.g., because one step is described after the other step). Moreover, the illustration of a process by its depiction in a drawing does not imply that the illustrated process is exclusive of other variations and modifications thereto, does not imply that the illustrated process or any of its steps are necessary to one or more of the invention(s), and does not imply that the illustrated process is preferred.
  • When a single device or article is described, it will be readily apparent that more than one device/article (whether or not they cooperate) may be used in place of a single device/article. Similarly, where more than one device or article is described (whether or not they cooperate), it will be readily apparent that a single device/article may be used in place of the more than one device or article.
  • The functionality and/or the features of a device may be alternatively embodied by one or more other devices that are not explicitly described as having such functionality/features. Thus, other embodiments of one or more of the invention(s) need not include the device itself.
  • Techniques and mechanisms described or reference herein will sometimes be described in singular form for clarity. However, it should be noted that particular embodiments include multiple iterations of a technique or multiple instantiations of a mechanism unless noted otherwise.
  • Various aspects described or referenced herein are directed to different methods, systems, and computer program products for automated facial detection and eye tracking techniques implemented in commercial and consumer environments. Examples of such commercial and/or consumer environments may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): retail commercial environments; business/office environments; gaming environments; consumer shopping environments; home environments; etc.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a simplified block diagram of a specific example embodiment of a portion of a Computer Network 100. As described in greater detail herein, different embodiments of computer networks may be configured, designed, and/or operable to provide various different types of operations, functionalities, and/or features generally relating to facial detection and/or eye tracking technology. Further, as described in greater detail herein, many of the various operations, functionalities, and/or features of the Computer Network(s) disclosed herein may provide may enable or provide different types of advantages and/or benefits to different entities interacting with the Computer Network(s).
  • According to different embodiments, the Computer Network 100 may include a plurality of different types of components, devices, modules, processes, systems, etc., which, for example, may be implemented and/or instantiated via the use of hardware and/or combinations of hardware and software. For example, as illustrated in the example embodiment of FIG. 1, the Computer Network 100 may include one or more of the following types of systems, components, devices, processes, etc. (or combinations thereof):
      • Server System(s) 120—In at least one embodiment, the Server System(s) may be operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such as those described or referenced herein (e.g., such as those illustrated and/or described with respect to FIG. 6).
      • Publisher/Content Provider System component(s) 140
      • Client Computer System (s) 130
      • 3rd Party System(s) 150
      • Internet & Cellular Network(s) 110
      • Remote Database System(s) 180
      • Remote Server System(s)/Service(s) 170, which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
        • Content provider servers/services
        • Media Streaming servers/services
        • Database storage/access/query servers/services
        • Financial transaction servers/services
        • Payment gateway servers/services
        • Electronic commerce servers/services
        • Event management/scheduling servers/services
        • Etc.
      • Commercial Device(s) 160, which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): gaming machines, vending machines, televisions, kiosks, consumer devices, smart phones, video game consoles, personal computer systems, electronic display systems, etc. In at least one embodiment, the Commercial Device(s) may be operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such as those described or referenced herein (e.g., such as those illustrated and/or described with respect to FIG. 4).
      • etc.
  • In at least one embodiment, a Commercial Device may be configured or designed to include Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 192 which may be operable to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • Facial Feature Detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Eye Tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
  • For reference purposes, a commercial device which has been configured or designed to provide Facial Feature Detection functionality, Facial Expression Recognition functionality, and/or Eye Tracking functionality may be referred to herein as a “Facial/Eye-Enabled Commercial Device” or “F/E Commercial Device”. Similarly, a computer network which includes components for providing Facial Feature Detection functionality, Facial Expression Recognition functionality, and/or Eye Tracking functionality may be referred to herein as a “Facial/Eye-Enabled Computer Network” or “F/E Computer Network”. The Computer Network 100 of FIG. 1 illustrates an example embodiment of an F/E Computer Network.
  • According to different embodiments, Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) (e.g., 192, FIG. 1; 292, FIG. 2; 492, FIG. 4) and/or Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) (e.g., 190, FIG. 1; 294, FIG. 2; 494, FIG. 4; 692, FIG. 6) may be configured or designed to facilitate, initiate and/or perform one or more of the following types of operation(s)/action(s)/function(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • Detect the presence of a user within a predefined proximity of the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Detect the presence of a user observing or interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Facial Feature Detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Eye Tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Map an identified facial expression (e.g., performed by a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device) to one or more function(s).
      • Initiate and/or perform one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Initiate and/or perform one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Influence game-related activities and/or outcomes in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Initiate and/or perform one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
      • Identify one or more items being observed by a user (interacting with the F/E Commercial Device) in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with the user;
      • Create an association between an identified facial expression (e.g., performed by a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device) and the user who performed that facial expression.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically adjust the display of content being displayed on a multi-layer display (MLD) device in response to detecting a location of a user's eyes (e.g., wherein the user is interacting with a F/E Commercial Device which includes the MLD display).
      • Track a user's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically adjust (e.g., in real-time) output display of MLD content on each MLD screen in a manner which results in improved alignment and display of MLD content from the perspective of the user's current eyes/head position.
      • Track a user's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically improve alignment of front and/or rear (e.g., mask) displayed content (e.g., in real time) in a manner which results in improved visibility/presentation of the displayed content as viewed by the user (e.g., as viewed from the perspective of the user's current eyes/head position).
      • Automatically and/or dynamically align on screen objects to a viewer's perspective, creating a virtual window effect. For example, in one embodiment, objects displayed in the background will pan and move differently than objects displayed in the foreground, based on user's detected head movements.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically adjust display of characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) to reference a user's detected position or location (e.g., in real-time). For example, a character may be automatically and/or dynamically adjusted (e.g., in real-time) to look in the direction of a user viewing the display screen, and to wave at the user.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically adjust display of characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) based on the detected number of live (e.g., in-person) viewers looking at (or observing) the screen.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically adjust the size of displayed characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) based on detected location and/or detected distance of a user interacting with the device. For example, in one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device may be configured or designed to determine how far a user's head (or body) is from the display screen, and may respond by automatically and/or dynamically resizing (e.g., in real-time) displayed characters and/or objects so that they are more easily readable/recognizable by the user.
      • Capture image data using F/E Commercial Device camera component(s), and analyze captured image data for recognition of facial features such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): eyes; nostrils; nose; mouth region; chin region; etc.
      • Enable independent/individual facial/eye tracking activities to be simultaneously performed for multiple different users (e.g., who are standing in front of a multiple display array)
      • Coordinate identification and tracking of movements of a given user across different displays of a multiple display array (e.g., as the user walks past the different displays of the multiple display array).
      • Automatically and dynamically modify content displayed on selected displays of a multiple display array in response to tracked movements and/or recognized facial expressions of a given user.
      • Detect and analyze facial features of a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device in order to identify and/or determine user demographic information relating to the user. For example, in one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device (working in conjunction with a server system) may be configured or designed to detect and analyze facial features of a user and automatically and/or dynamically (e.g., in real-time) determine that the user is a Caucasian female whose age is estimated to be between 21-29 years old.
      • Automatically and dynamically generate, alter, and/or or supplement advertising or displayed content based on the demographics of the audience deemed to be viewing the selected display. For example, in at least one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device (working in conjunction with a server system) may be configured or designed to detect and analyze facial features of a user and automatically and/or dynamically determine that the user is a Caucasian female whose age is estimated to be between 21-29 years old. Using this identified user demographic information, the F/E Commercial Device may automatically and/or dynamically display (e.g., in real-time) updated content (e.g., game-related content, marketing/promotional content, advertising content, etc.) which is specifically targeted towards one or more demographic groups associated with the identified user, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): Caucasian females; Persons between the ages of 21-29 years old; Caucasian females between the ages of 21-29 years old; etc.
      • Automatically and dynamically alter or supplement advertising or displayed content based on the demographics of the audience deemed to be viewing the selected display.
      • Displaying an avatar or character which interacts with the viewing audience based on relative location, movement and demographics of the audience deemed to be viewing the selected display.
      • Record eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) where user has observed; item(s)/product(s) which user has observed; length of time user has observed a particular item/product.
      • Determine, using user eye tracking data, identity of object(s) which user is observing or viewing.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically lower TV audio output volume if no persons are detected to be watching a TV display.
      • Automatically and/or dynamically increase TV audio output volume if at least one person is detected to be watching a TV display.
      • Monitor and record information relating to: detection of one or more sets of eyes viewing TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on TV display at time(s) when viewer's eyes detected as viewing TV display.
      • Monitor and record information relating to: detection of person(s) NOT viewing TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on TV display at time(s) when person(s) detected as NOT viewing TV display.
  • In at least one embodiment, a F/E Commercial Device may be operable to detect gross motion or gross movement of a user. For example, in one embodiment, a F/E Commercial Device may include motion detection component(s) which may be operable to detect gross motion or gross movement of a user's body and/or appendages such as, for example, hands, fingers, arms, head, etc.
  • According to different embodiments, at least some F/E Computer Network(s) may be configured, designed, and/or operable to provide a number of different advantages and/or benefits and/or may be operable to initiate, and/or enable various different types of operations, functionalities, and/or features, such as, for example, one or more of those described or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, at least a portion of the various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features provided by the F/E Computer Network 100 may be implemented at one or more client systems(s), at one or more server systems (s), and/or combinations thereof.
  • According to different embodiments, the F/E Computer Network may be operable to utilize and/or generate various different types of data and/or other types of information when performing specific tasks and/or operations. This may include, for example, input data/information and/or output data/information. For example, in at least one embodiment, the F/E Computer Network may be operable to access, process, and/or otherwise utilize information from one or more different types of sources, such as, for example, one or more local and/or remote memories, devices and/or systems. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the F/E Computer Network may be operable to generate one or more different types of output data/information, which, for example, may be stored in memory of one or more local and/or remote devices and/or systems. Examples of different types of input data/information and/or output data/information which may be accessed and/or utilized by the F/E Computer Network may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to specific embodiments, multiple instances or threads of the F/E Computer Network may be concurrently implemented and/or initiated via the use of one or more processors and/or other combinations of hardware and/or hardware and software. For example, in at least some embodiments, various aspects, features, and/or functionalities of the F/E Computer Network may be performed, implemented and/or initiated by one or more of the various systems, components, systems, devices, procedures, processes, etc., described and/or referenced herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, a given instance of the F/E Computer Network may access and/or utilize information from one or more associated databases. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the database information may be accessed via communication with one or more local and/or remote memory devices. Examples of different types of data which may be accessed by the F/E Computer Network may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, one or more different threads or instances of the F/E Computer Network may be initiated in response to detection of one or more conditions or events satisfying one or more different types of minimum threshold criteria for triggering initiation of at least one instance of the F/E Computer Network. Various examples of conditions or events which may trigger initiation and/or implementation of one or more different threads or instances of the F/E Computer Network may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • It will be appreciated that the F/E Computer Network of FIG. 1 is but one example from a wide range of Computer Network embodiments which may be implemented. Other embodiments of the F/E Computer Network (not shown) may include additional, fewer and/or different components/features that those illustrated in the example Computer Network embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • Generally, the facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein may be implemented in hardware and/or hardware+software. For example, they can be implemented in an operating system kernel, in a separate user process, in a library package bound into network applications, on a specially constructed machine, or on a network interface card. In a specific embodiment, various aspects described herein may be implemented in software such as an operating system or in an application running on an operating system.
  • Hardware and/or software+hardware hybrid embodiments of the facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein may be implemented on a general-purpose programmable machine selectively activated or reconfigured by a computer program stored in memory. Such programmable machine may include, for example, mobile or handheld computing systems, PDA, smart phones, notebook computers, tablets, netbooks, desktop computing systems, server systems, cloud computing systems, network devices, etc.
  • FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of an exemplary gaming machine 200 in accordance with a specific embodiment. As illustrated in the embodiment of FIG. 2, gaming machine 200 includes at least one processor 210, at least one interface 206, and memory 216.
  • In one implementation, processor 210 and master game controller 212 are included in a logic device 213 enclosed in a logic device housing. The processor 210 may include any conventional processor or logic device configured to execute software allowing various configuration and reconfiguration tasks such as, for example: a) communicating with a remote source via communication interface 206, such as a server that stores authentication information or games; b) converting signals read by an interface to a format corresponding to that used by software or memory in the gaming machine; c) accessing memory to configure or reconfigure game parameters in the memory according to indicia read from the device; d) communicating with interfaces, various peripheral devices 222 and/or I/O devices; e) operating peripheral devices 222 such as, for example, card readers, paper ticket readers, etc.; f) operating various I/O devices such as, for example, displays 235, input devices 230; etc. For instance, the processor 210 may send messages including game play information to the displays 235 to inform players of cards dealt, wagering information, and/or other desired information.
  • The gaming machine 200 also includes memory 216 which may include, for example, volatile memory (e.g., RAM 209), non-volatile memory 219 (e.g., disk memory, FLASH memory, EPROMs, etc.), unalterable memory (e.g., EPROMs 208), etc. The memory may be configured or designed to store, for example: 1) configuration software 214 such as all the parameters and settings for a game playable on the gaming machine; 2) associations 218 between configuration indicia read from a device with one or more parameters and settings; 3) communication protocols allowing the processor 210 to communicate with peripheral devices 222 and I/O devices 211; 4) a secondary memory storage device 215 such as a non-volatile memory device, configured to store gaming software related information (the gaming software related information and memory may be used to store various audio files and games not currently being used and invoked in a configuration or reconfiguration); 5) communication transport protocols (such as, for example, TCP/IP, USB, Firewire, IEEE1394, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11x (IEEE 802.11 standards), hiperlan/2, HomeRF, etc.) for allowing the gaming machine to communicate with local and non-local devices using such protocols; etc. In one implementation, the master game controller 212 communicates using a serial communication protocol. A few examples of serial communication protocols that may be used to communicate with the master game controller include but are not limited to USB, RS-232 and Netplex (a proprietary protocol developed by IGT, Reno, Nev.).
  • A plurality of device drivers 242 may be stored in memory 216. Example of different types of device drivers may include device drivers for gaming machine components, device drivers for peripheral components 222, etc. Typically, the device drivers 242 utilize a communication protocol of some type that enables communication with a particular physical device. The device driver abstracts the hardware implementation of a device. For example, a device drive may be written for each type of card reader that may be potentially connected to the gaming machine. Examples of communication protocols used to implement the device drivers include Netplex, USB, Serial, Ethernet 275, Firewire, I/O debouncer, direct memory map, serial, PCI, parallel, RF, Bluetooth™, near-field communications (e.g., using near-field magnetics), 802.11 (WiFi), etc. Netplex is a proprietary IGT standard while the others are open standards. According to a specific embodiment, when one type of a particular device is exchanged for another type of the particular device, a new device driver may be loaded from the memory 216 by the processor 210 to allow communication with the device. For instance, one type of card reader in gaming machine 200 may be replaced with a second type of card reader where device drivers for both card readers are stored in the memory 216.
  • In some embodiments, the software units stored in the memory 216 may be upgraded as needed. For instance, when the memory 216 is a hard drive, new games, game options, various new parameters, new settings for existing parameters, new settings for new parameters, device drivers, and new communication protocols may be uploaded to the memory from the master game controller 212 or from some other external device. As another example, when the memory 216 includes a CD/DVD drive including a CD/DVD designed or configured to store game options, parameters, and settings, the software stored in the memory may be upgraded by replacing a first CD/DVD with a second CD/DVD. In yet another example, when the memory 216 uses one or more flash memory 219 or EPROM 208 units designed or configured to store games, game options, parameters, settings, the software stored in the flash and/or EPROM memory units may be upgraded by replacing one or more memory units with new memory units which include the upgraded software. In another embodiment, one or more of the memory devices, such as the hard-drive, may be employed in a game software download process from a remote software server.
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine 200 may also include various authentication and/or validation components 244 which may be used for authenticating/validating specified gaming machine components such as, for example, hardware components, software components, firmware components, information stored in the gaming machine memory 216, etc. Examples of various authentication and/or validation components are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,620,047, titled, “ELECTRONIC GAMING APPARATUS HAVING AUTHENTICATION DATA SETS,” incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
  • Peripheral devices 222 may include several device interfaces such as, for example: transponders 254, wire/wireless power distribution components 258, input device(s) 230, sensors 260, audio and/or video devices 262 (e.g., cameras, speakers, etc.), transponders 254, wireless communication components 256, wireless power components 258, mobile device function control components 262, side wagering management components 264, etc.
  • Sensors 260 may include, for example, optical sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, Infrared sensors, image sensors, thermal sensors, biometric sensors, etc. Such sensors may be used for a variety of functions such as, for example detecting the presence and/or identity of various persons (e.g., players, casino employees, etc.), devices (e.g., mobile devices), and/or systems within a predetermined proximity to the gaming machine. In one implementation, at least a portion of the sensors 260 and/or input devices 230 may be implemented in the form of touch keys selected from a wide variety of commercially available touch keys used to provide electrical control signals. Alternatively, some of the touch keys may be implemented in another form which are touch sensors such as those provided by a touchscreen display. For example, in at least one implementation, the gaming machine player displays and/or mobile device displays may include input functionality for allowing players to provide desired information (e.g., game play instructions and/or other input) to the gaming machine, game table and/or other gaming system components using the touch keys and/or other player control sensors/buttons. Additionally, such input functionality may also be used for allowing players to provide input to other devices in the casino gaming network (such as, for example, player tracking systems, side wagering systems, etc.)
  • Wireless communication components 256 may include one or more communication interfaces having different architectures and utilizing a variety of protocols such as, for example, 802.11 (WiFi), 802.15 (including Bluetooth™), 802.16 (WiMax), 802.22, Cellular standards such as CDMA, CDMA2000, WCDMA, Radio Frequency (e.g., RFID), Infrared, Near Field Magnetic communication protocols, etc. The communication links may transmit electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals which carry digital data streams or analog signals representing various types of information.
  • Power distribution components 258 may include, for example, components or devices which are operable for providing wired or wireless power to other devices. For example, in one implementation, the power distribution components 258 may include a magnetic induction system which is adapted to provide wireless power to one or more mobile devices near the gaming machine. In one implementation, a mobile device docking region may be provided which includes a power distribution component that is able to recharge a mobile device without requiring metal-to-metal contact.
  • In at least one embodiment, mobile device function control components 262 may be operable to control operating mode selection functionality, features, and/or components associated with one or more mobile devices (e.g., 250). In at least one embodiment, mobile device function control components 262 may be operable to remotely control and/or configure components of one or more mobile devices 250 based on various parameters and/or upon detection of specific events or conditions such as, for example: time of day, player activity levels; location of the mobile device; identity of mobile device user; user input; system override (e.g., emergency condition detected); proximity to other devices belonging to same group or association; proximity to specific objects, regions, zones, etc.
  • In at least one embodiment, side wagering management components 264 may be operable to manage side wagering activities associated with one or more side wager participants. Side wagering management components 264 may also be operable to manage or control side wagering functionality associated with one or more mobile devices 250. In accordance with at least one embodiment, side wagers may be associated with specific events in a wager-based game that is uncertain at the time the side wager is made. The events may also be associated with particular players, gaming devices (e.g., EGMs), game themes, bonuses, denominations, and/or paytables. In embodiments where the wager-based game is being played by multiple players, in one embodiment the side wagers may be made by participants who are not players of the game, and who are thus at least one level removed from the actual play of the game.
  • In instances where side wagers are made on events that depend at least in part on the skill of a particular player, it may be beneficial to provide observers (e.g., side wager participants) with information which is useful for determining whether a particular side wager should be placed, and/or for helping to determine the amount of such side wager. In at least one embodiment, side wagering management components 264 may be operable to manage and/or facilitate data access to player ratings, historical game play data, historical payout data, etc. For example, in one embodiment, a player rating for a player of the wager-based game may be computed based on historical data associated with past play of the wager-based game by that player in accordance with a pre-determined algorithms. The player rating for a particular player may be displayed to other players and/or observers, possibly at the option (or permission) of the player. By using player ratings in the consideration of making side wagers, decisions by observers to make side wagers on certain events need not be made completely at random. Player ratings may also be employed by the players themselves to aid them in determining potential opponents, for example.
  • Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 292 may include one or more camera(s) and/or other types of image capturing component(s). In at least one embodiment, Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 292 and/or Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) 294 may be configured or designed to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • Facial Feature Detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the Gaming Machine.
      • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the Gaming Machine.
      • Eye Tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the Gaming Machine.
      • Other types of functions, features, operations, and/or procedures described herein.
  • In other embodiments (not shown) other peripheral devices include: player tracking devices, card readers, bill validator/paper ticket readers, etc. Such devices may each comprise resources for handling and processing configuration indicia such as a microcontroller that converts voltage levels for one or more scanning devices to signals provided to processor 210. In one embodiment, application software for interfacing with peripheral devices 222 may store instructions (such as, for example, how to read indicia from a portable device) in a memory device such as, for example, non-volatile memory, hard drive or a flash memory.
  • In at least one implementation, the gaming machine may include card readers such as used with credit cards, or other identification code reading devices to allow or require player identification in connection with play of the card game and associated recording of game action. Such a user identification interface can be implemented in the form of a variety of magnetic card readers commercially available for reading a user-specific identification information. The user-specific information can be provided on specially constructed magnetic cards issued by a casino, or magnetically coded credit cards or debit cards frequently used with national credit organizations such as VISA™, MASTERCARD™, banks and/or other institutions.
  • The gaming machine may include other types of participant identification mechanisms which may use a fingerprint image, eye blood vessel image reader, or other suitable biological information to confirm identity of the user. Still further it is possible to provide such participant identification information by having the dealer manually code in the information in response to the player indicating his or her code name or real name. Such additional identification could also be used to confirm credit use of a smart card, transponder, and/or player's mobile device.
  • It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other memory types, including various computer readable media, may be used for storing and executing program instructions pertaining to the operation EGMs described herein. Because such information and program instructions may be employed to implement the systems/methods described herein, example embodiments may relate to machine-readable media that include program instructions, state information, etc. for performing various operations described herein. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). Example embodiments may also be embodied in a carrier wave traveling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files including higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.
  • FIG. 3 shows a diagrammatic representation of machine in the exemplary form of a client (or end user) computer system 300 within which a set of instructions, for causing the machine to perform any one or more of the methodologies discussed herein, may be executed. In alternative embodiments, the machine operates as a standalone device or may be connected (e.g., networked) to other machines. In a networked deployment, the machine may operate in the capacity of a server or a client machine in server-client network environment, or as a peer machine in a peer-to-peer (or distributed) network environment. The machine may be a personal computer (PC), a tablet PC, a set-top box (STB), a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a cellular telephone, a web appliance, a network router, switch or bridge, or any machine capable of executing a set of instructions (sequential or otherwise) that specify actions to be taken by that machine. Further, while only a single machine is illustrated, the term “machine” shall also be taken to include any collection of machines that individually or jointly execute a set (or multiple sets) of instructions to perform any one or more of the methodologies discussed herein.
  • The exemplary computer system 300 includes a processor 302 (e.g., a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU) or both), a main memory 304 and a static memory 306, which communicate with each other via a bus 308. The computer system 300 may further include a video display unit 310 (e.g., a liquid crystal display (LCD) or a cathode ray tube (CRT)). The computer system 300 also includes an alphanumeric input device 312 (e.g., a keyboard), a user interface (UI) navigation device 314 (e.g., a mouse), a disk drive unit 316, a signal generation device 318 (e.g., a speaker) and a network interface device 320.
  • The disk drive unit 316 includes a machine-readable medium 322 on which is stored one or more sets of instructions and data structures (e.g., software 324) embodying or utilized by any one or more of the methodologies or functions described herein. The software 324 may also reside, completely or at least partially, within the main memory 304 and/or within the processor 302 during execution thereof by the computer system 300, the main memory 304 and the processor 302 also constituting machine-readable media.
  • The software 324 may further be transmitted or received over a network 326 via the network interface device 320 utilizing any one of a number of well-known transfer protocols (e.g., HTTP).
  • While the machine-readable medium 322 is shown in an exemplary embodiment to be a single medium, the term “machine-readable medium” should be taken to include a single medium or multiple media (e.g., a centralized or distributed database, and/or associated caches and servers) that store the one or more sets of instructions. The term “machine-readable medium” shall also be taken to include any medium that is capable of storing, encoding or carrying a set of instructions for execution by the machine and that cause the machine to perform any one or more of the methodologies of the present invention, or that is capable of storing, encoding or carrying data structures utilized by or associated with such a set of instructions. The term “machine-readable medium” shall accordingly be taken to include, but not be limited to, solid-state memories, optical and magnetic media, and carrier wave signals. Although an embodiment of the present invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments, it will be evident that various modifications and changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.
  • According to various embodiments, Client Computer System 300 may include a variety of components, modules and/or systems for providing various types of functionality. For example, in at least one embodiment, Client Computer System 300 may include a web browser application which is operable to process, execute, and/or support the use of scripts (e.g., JavaScript, AJAX, etc.), Plug-ins, executable code, virtual machines, vector-based web animation (e.g., Adobe Flash), etc.
  • In at least one embodiment, the web browser application may be configured or designed to instantiate components and/or objects at the Client Computer System in response to processing scripts, instructions, and/or other information received from a remote server such as a web server. Examples of such components and/or objects may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
      • UI Components such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Database Components such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Processing Components such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Other Components which, for example, may include components for facilitating and/or enabling the Client Computer System to perform and/or initiate various types of operations, activities, functions such as those described herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, Client Computer System 300 may be configured or designed to include Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) (not shown) which, for example, may include one or more camera(s) and/or other types of image capturing component(s). In some embodiments, Client Computer System may also be configured or designed to include Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) (not shown). According to different embodiments, the Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) and/or Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) may be configured or designed to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • Facial Feature Detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the Client Computer System.
      • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the Client Computer System.
      • Eye Tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the Client Computer System.
      • Other types of functions, features, operations, and/or procedures described herein.
  • FIG. 4 is a simplified block diagram of an exemplary Facial/Eye-Enabled Commercial Device 400 in accordance with a specific embodiment. In at least one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device may be configured or designed to include hardware components and/or hardware+software components for enabling or implementing at least a portion of the various facial detection and/or eye tracking techniques described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to specific embodiments, various aspects, features, and/or functionalities of the F/E Commercial Device may be performed, implemented and/or initiated by one or more of the following types of systems, components, systems, devices, procedures, processes, etc. (or combinations thereof): Processor(s) 410; Device Drivers 442; Memory 416; Interface(s) 406; Power Source(s)/Distribution 443; Geolocation module 446; Display(s) 435; I/O Devices 430; Audio/Video devices(s) 439; Peripheral Devices 431; Motion Detection module 440; User Identification/Authentication module 447; Client App Component(s) 460; Other Component(s) 468; UI Component(s) 462; Database Component(s) 464; Processing Component(s) 466; Software/Hardware Authentication/Validation 444; Wireless communication module(s) 445; Information Filtering module(s) 449; Operating mode selection component 448; Speech Processing module 454; Scanner/Camera 452; OCR Processing Engine 456; Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 492; etc.
  • As illustrated in the example of FIG. 4, F/E Commercial Device 400 may include a variety of components, modules and/or systems for providing various types of functionality. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 4, F/E Commercial Device 400 may include Commercial Device Application components (e.g., 460), which, for example, may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
      • UI Components 462 such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Database Components 464 such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Processing Components 466 such as those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
      • Other Components 468 which, for example, may include components for facilitating and/or enabling the F/E Commercial Device to perform and/or initiate various types of operations, activities, functions such as those described herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may be operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such as, for example, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to specific embodiments, multiple instances or threads of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may be concurrently implemented and/or initiated via the use of one or more processors and/or other combinations of hardware and/or hardware and software. For example, in at least some embodiments, various aspects, features, and/or functionalities of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may be performed, implemented and/or initiated by one or more of the various systems, components, systems, devices, procedures, processes, etc., described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, one or more different threads or instances of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may be initiated in response to detection of one or more conditions or events satisfying one or more different types of minimum threshold criteria for triggering initiation of at least one instance of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s). Various examples of conditions or events which may trigger initiation and/or implementation of one or more different threads or instances of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, a given instance of the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may access and/or utilize information from one or more associated databases. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the database information may be accessed via communication with one or more local and/or remote memory devices. Examples of different types of data which may be accessed by the F/E Commercial Device Application component(s) may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, F/E Commercial Device 400 may further include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following types of components, modules and/or systems (or combinations thereof):
      • At least one processor 410. In at least one embodiment, the processor(s) 410 may include one or more commonly known CPUs which are deployed in many of today's consumer electronic devices, such as, for example, CPUs or processors from the Motorola or Intel family of microprocessors, etc. In an alternative embodiment, at least one processor may be specially designed hardware for controlling the operations of the client system. In a specific embodiment, a memory (such as non-volatile RAM and/or ROM) also forms part of CPU. When acting under the control of appropriate software or firmware, the CPU may be responsible for implementing specific functions associated with the functions of a desired network device. The CPU preferably accomplishes all these functions under the control of software including an operating system, and any appropriate applications software.
      • Memory 416, which, for example, may include volatile memory (e.g., RAM), non-volatile memory (e.g., disk memory, FLASH memory, EPROMs, etc.), unalterable memory, and/or other types of memory. In at least one implementation, the memory 416 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more commonly known memory devices such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art. According to different embodiments, one or more memories or memory modules (e.g., memory blocks) may be configured or designed to store data, program instructions for the functional operations of the client system and/or other information relating to the functionality of the various facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein. The program instructions may control the operation of an operating system and/or one or more applications, for example. The memory or memories may also be configured to store data structures, metadata, timecode synchronization information, audio/visual media content, asset file information, keyword taxonomy information, advertisement information, and/or information/data relating to other features/functions described herein. Because such information and program instructions may be employed to implement at least a portion of the facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein, various aspects described herein may be implemented using machine readable media that include program instructions, state information, etc. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files containing higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.
      • Interface(s) 406 which, for example, may include wired interfaces and/or wireless interfaces. In at least one implementation, the interface(s) 406 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more computer system interfaces such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art. For example, in at least one implementation, the wireless communication interface(s) may be configured or designed to communicate with selected electronic game tables, computer systems, remote servers, other wireless devices (e.g., PDAs, cell phones, player tracking transponders, etc.), etc. Such wireless communication may be implemented using one or more wireless interfaces/protocols such as, for example, 802.11 (WiFi), 802.15 (including Bluetooth™), 802.16 (WiMax), 802.22, Cellular standards such as CDMA, CDMA2000, WCDMA, Radio Frequency (e.g., RFID), Infrared, Near Field Magnetics, etc.
      • Device driver(s) 442. In at least one implementation, the device driver(s) 442 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more computer system driver devices such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art.
      • At least one power source (and/or power distribution source) 443. In at least one implementation, the power source may include at least one mobile power source (e.g., battery) for allowing the client system to operate in a wireless and/or mobile environment. For example, in one implementation, the power source 443 may be implemented using a rechargeable, thin-film type battery. Further, in embodiments where it is desirable for the device to be flexible, the power source 443 may be designed to be flexible.
      • Geolocation module 446 which, for example, may be configured or designed to acquire geolocation information from remote sources and use the acquired geolocation information to determine information relating to a relative and/or absolute position of the client system.
      • Motion detection component 440 for detecting motion or movement of the client system and/or for detecting motion, movement, gestures and/or other input data from user. In at least one embodiment, the motion detection component 440 may include one or more motion detection sensors such as, for example, MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) accelerometers, that can detect the acceleration and/or other movements of the client system as it is moved by a user.
      • User Identification/Authentication module 447. In one implementation, the User Identification module may be adapted to determine and/or authenticate the identity of the current user or owner of the client system. For example, in one embodiment, the current user may be required to perform a log in process at the client system in order to access one or more features. Alternatively, the client system may be adapted to automatically determine the identity of the current user based upon one or more external signals such as, for example, an RFID tag or badge worn by the current user which provides a wireless signal to the client system for determining the identity of the current user. In at least one implementation, various security features may be incorporated into the client system to prevent unauthorized users from accessing confidential or sensitive information.
      • One or more display(s) 435. According to various embodiments, such display(s) may be implemented using, for example, LCD display technology, OLED display technology, and/or other types of conventional display technology. In at least one implementation, display(s) 435 may be adapted to be flexible or bendable. Additionally, in at least one embodiment the information displayed on display(s) 435 may utilize e-ink technology (such as that available from E Ink Corporation, Cambridge, Mass., www.eink.com), or other suitable technology for reducing the power consumption of information displayed on the display(s) 435.
      • One or more user I/O Device(s) 430 such as, for example, keys, buttons, scroll wheels, cursors, touchscreen sensors, audio command interfaces, magnetic strip reader, optical scanner, etc.
      • Audio/Video device(s) 439 such as, for example, components for displaying audio/visual media which, for example, may include cameras, speakers, microphones, media presentation components, wireless transmitter/receiver devices for enabling wireless audio and/or visual communication between the client system 400 and remote devices (e.g., radios, telephones, computer systems, etc.). For example, in one implementation, the audio system may include componentry for enabling the client system to function as a cell phone or two-way radio device.
      • Other types of peripheral devices 431 which may be useful to the users of various client systems, such as, for example: PDA functionality; memory card reader(s); fingerprint reader(s); image projection device(s); social networking peripheral component(s); etc.
      • Information filtering module(s) 449 which, for example, may be adapted to automatically and dynamically generate, using one or more filter parameters, filtered information to be displayed on one or more displays of the mobile device. In one implementation, such filter parameters may be customizable by the player or user of the device. In some embodiments, information filtering module(s) 449 may also be adapted to display, in real-time, filtered information to the user based upon a variety of criteria such as, for example, geolocation information, casino data information, player tracking information, etc.
      • Wireless communication module(s) 445. In one implementation, the wireless communication module 445 may be configured or designed to communicate with external devices using one or more wireless interfaces/protocols such as, for example, 802.11 (WiFi), 802.15 (including Bluetooth™), 802.16 (WiMax), 802.22, Cellular standards such as CDMA, CDMA2000, WCDMA, Radio Frequency (e.g., RFID), Infrared, Near Field Magnetics, etc.
      • Software/Hardware Authentication/validation components 444 which, for example, may be used for authenticating and/or validating local hardware and/or software components, hardware/software components residing at a remote device, game play information, wager information, user information and/or identity, etc. Examples of various authentication and/or validation components are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,620,047, titled, “ELECTRONIC GAMING APPARATUS HAVING AUTHENTICATION DATA SETS,” incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
      • Operating mode selection component 448 which, for example, may be operable to automatically select an appropriate mode of operation based on various parameters and/or upon detection of specific events or conditions such as, for example: the mobile device's current location; identity of current user; user input; system override (e.g., emergency condition detected); proximity to other devices belonging to same group or association; proximity to specific objects, regions, zones, etc. Additionally, the mobile device may be operable to automatically update or switch its current operating mode to the selected mode of operation. The mobile device may also be adapted to automatically modify accessibility of user-accessible features and/or information in response to the updating of its current mode of operation.
      • Scanner/Camera Component(s) (e.g., 452) which may be configured or designed for use in scanning identifiers and/or other content from other devices and/or objects such as for example: mobile device displays, computer displays, static displays (e.g., printed on tangible mediums), etc.
      • OCR Processing Engine (e.g., 456) which, for example, may be operable to perform image processing and optical character recognition of images such as those captured by a mobile device camera, for example.
      • Speech Processing module (e.g., 454) which, for example, may be operable to perform speech recognition, and may be operable to perform speech-to-text conversion.
      • Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 492 (e.g., which may include, for example, one or more camera(s) and/or other types of image capturing components), and/or Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) 494. In at least one embodiment, Facial Detection & Eye Tracking Component(s) 492 and/or Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) 494 may be configured or designed to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s)/feature(s) (or combinations thereof):
        • Facial Feature Detection functionality for identifying facial features associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
        • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
        • Eye Tracking functionality detecting and tracking eye movements associated with a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
        • Other types of functions, features, operations, and/or procedures described herein.
      • Etc.
  • According to a specific embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device may be adapted to implement at least a portion of the features associated with the mobile game service system described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/115,164, which is now U.S. Pat. No. 6,800,029, issued Oct. 5, 2004, (previously incorporated by reference in its entirety). For example, in one embodiment, the F/E Commercial Device may be comprised of a hand-held game service user interface device (GSUID) and a number of input and output devices. The GSUID is generally comprised of a display screen which may display a number of game service interfaces. These game service interfaces are generated on the display screen by a microprocessor of some type within the GSUID. Examples of a hand-held GSUID which may accommodate the game service interfaces are manufactured by Symbol Technologies, Incorporated of Holtsville, N.Y.
  • The game service interfaces may be used to provide a variety of game service transactions and gaming operations services. The game service interfaces, including a login interface, an input/output interface, a transaction reconciliation interface, a ticket validation interface, a prize services interfaces, a food services interface, an accommodation services interfaces, a gaming operations interfaces, a multi-game/multi-denomination meter data transfer interface, etc. Each interface may be accessed via a main menu with a number of sub-menus that allow a game service representative to access the different display screens relating to the particular interface. Using the different display screens within a particular interface, the game service representative may perform various operations needed to provide a particular game service. For example, the login interface may allow the game service representative to enter a user identification of some type and verify the user identification with a password. When the display screen is a touch screen, the user may enter the user/operator identification information on a display screen comprising the login interface using the input stylus and/or using the input buttons. Using a menu on the display screen of the login interface, the user may select other display screens relating to the login and registration process. For example, another display screen obtained via a menu on a display screen in the login interface may allow the GSUID to scan a finger print of the game service representative for identification purposes or scan the finger print of a game player.
  • The user identification information and user validation information may allow the game service representative to access all or some subset of the available game service interfaces available on the GSUID. For example, certain users, after logging into the GSUID (e.g., entering a user identification and a valid user identification information), may be able to access a variety of different interfaces, such as, for example, one or more of: input/output interface, communication interface, food services interface, accommodation services interface, prize service interface, gaming operation services interface, transaction reconciliation interface, voice communication interface, gaming device performance or metering data transfer interface, etc.; and perform a variety of services enabled by such interfaces. While other users may be only be able to access the award ticket validation interface and perform EZ pay ticket validations. The GSUID may also output game service transaction information to a number of different devices (e.g., card reader, printer, storage devices, gaming machines and remote transaction servers, etc.).
  • In addition to the features described above, various embodiments of mobile devices described herein may also include additional functionality for displaying, in real-time, filtered information to the user based upon a variety of criteria such as, for example, geolocation information, casino data information, player tracking information, etc.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an example embodiment of a Server System 580 which may be used for implementing various aspects/features described herein. In at least one embodiment, the Server System 580 includes at least one network device 560, and at least one storage device 570 (such as, for example, a direct attached storage device). In one embodiment, Server System 580 may be suitable for implementing at least some of the facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein.
  • In according to one embodiment, network device 560 may include a master central processing unit (CPU) 562, interfaces 568, and a bus 567 (e.g., a PCI bus). When acting under the control of appropriate software or firmware, the CPU 562 may be responsible for implementing specific functions associated with the functions of a desired network device. For example, when configured as a server, the CPU 562 may be responsible for analyzing packets; encapsulating packets; forwarding packets to appropriate network devices; instantiating various types of virtual machines, virtual interfaces, virtual storage volumes, virtual appliances; etc. The CPU 562 preferably accomplishes at least a portion of these functions under the control of software including an operating system (e.g. Linux), and any appropriate system software (such as, for example, AppLogic™ software).
  • CPU 562 may include one or more processors 563 such as, for example, one or more processors from the AMD, Motorola, Intel and/or MIPS families of microprocessors. In an alternative embodiment, processor 563 may be specially designed hardware for controlling the operations of Server System 580. In a specific embodiment, a memory 561 (such as non-volatile RAM and/or ROM) also forms part of CPU 562. However, there may be many different ways in which memory could be coupled to the system. Memory block 561 may be used for a variety of purposes such as, for example, caching and/or storing data, programming instructions, etc.
  • The interfaces 568 may be typically provided as interface cards (sometimes referred to as “line cards”). Alternatively, one or more of the interfaces 568 may be provided as on-board interface controllers built into the system motherboard. Generally, they control the sending and receiving of data packets over the network and sometimes support other peripherals used with the Server System 580. Among the interfaces that may be provided may be FC interfaces, Ethernet interfaces, frame relay interfaces, cable interfaces, DSL interfaces, token ring interfaces, Infiniband interfaces, and the like. In addition, various very high-speed interfaces may be provided, such as fast Ethernet interfaces, Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, ATM interfaces, HSSI interfaces, POS interfaces, FDDI interfaces, ASI interfaces, DHEI interfaces and the like. Other interfaces may include one or more wireless interfaces such as, for example, 802.11 (WiFi) interfaces, 802.15 interfaces (including Bluetooth™), 802.16 (WiMax) interfaces, 802.22 interfaces, Cellular standards such as CDMA interfaces, CDMA2000 interfaces, WCDMA interfaces, TDMA interfaces, Cellular 3G interfaces, etc.
  • Generally, one or more interfaces may include ports appropriate for communication with the appropriate media. In some cases, they may also include an independent processor and, in some instances, volatile RAM. The independent processors may control such communications intensive tasks as packet switching, media control and management. By providing separate processors for the communications intensive tasks, these interfaces allow the master microprocessor 562 to efficiently perform routing computations, network diagnostics, security functions, etc.
  • In at least one embodiment, some interfaces may be configured or designed to allow the Server System 580 to communicate with other network devices associated with various local area network (LANs) and/or wide area networks (WANs). Other interfaces may be configured or designed to allow network device 560 to communicate with one or more direct attached storage device(s) 570.
  • Although the system shown in FIG. 5 illustrates one specific network device described herein, it is by no means the only network device architecture on which one or more embodiments can be implemented. For example, an architecture having a single processor that handles communications as well as routing computations, etc. may be used. Further, other types of interfaces and media could also be used with the network device.
  • Regardless of network device's configuration, it may employ one or more memories or memory modules (such as, for example, memory block 565, which, for example, may include random access memory (RAM)) configured to store data, program instructions for the general-purpose network operations and/or other information relating to the functionality of the various facial detection and eye tracking techniques described herein. The program instructions may control the operation of an operating system and/or one or more applications, for example. The memory or memories may also be configured to store data structures, and/or other specific non-program information described herein.
  • Because such information and program instructions may be employed to implement the systems/methods described herein, one or more embodiments relates to machine readable media that include program instructions, state information, etc. for performing various operations described herein. Examples of machine-readable storage media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that may be specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). Some embodiments may also be embodied in transmission media such as, for example, a carrier wave travelling over an appropriate medium such as airwaves, optical lines, electric lines, etc. Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files containing higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates an example of a functional block diagram of a Server System 600 in accordance with a specific embodiment. In at least one embodiment, the Server System 600 may be operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such, for example, one or more of those illustrated, described, and/or referenced herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, the Server System may include a plurality of components operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
      • Context Interpreter (e.g., 602) which, for example, may be operable to automatically and/or dynamically analyze contextual criteria relating to one or more detected event(s) and/or condition(s), and automatically determine or identify one or more contextually appropriate response(s) based on the contextual interpretation of the detected event(s)/condition(s). According to different embodiments, examples of contextual criteria which may be analyzed may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): location-based criteria (e.g., geolocation of client device, geolocation of agent device, etc.); time-based criteria; identity of Client user; identity of Agent user; user profile information; transaction history information; recent user activities; proximate business-related criteria (e.g., criteria which may be used to determine whether the client device is currently located at or near a recognized business establishment such as a bank, gas station, restaurant, supermarket, etc.); etc.
      • Time Synchronization Engine (e.g., 604) which, for example, may be operable to manages universal time synchronization (e.g., via NTP and/or GPS)
      • Search Engine (e.g., 628) which, for example, may be operable to search for transactions, logs, items, accounts, options in the TIS databases
      • Configuration Engine (e.g., 632) which, for example, may be operable to determine and handle configuration of various customized configuration parameters for one or more devices, component(s), system(s), process(es), etc.
      • Time Interpreter (e.g., 618) which, for example, may be operable to automatically and/or dynamically modify or change identifier activation and expiration time(s) based on various criteria such as, for example, time, location, transaction status, etc.
      • Authentication/Validation Component(s) (e.g., 647) (password, software/hardware info, SSL certificates) which, for example, may be operable to perform various types of authentication/validation tasks such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): verifying/authenticating devices, verifying passwords, passcodes, SSL certificates, biometric identification information, and/or other types of security-related information; verify/validate activation and/or expiration times; etc. In one implementation, the Authentication/Validation Component(s) may be adapted to determine and/or authenticate the identity of the current user or owner of the mobile client system. For example, in one embodiment, the current user may be required to perform a log in process at the mobile client system in order to access one or more features. In some embodiments, the mobile client system may include biometric security components which may be operable to validate and/or authenticate the identity of a user by reading or scanning the user's biometric information (e.g., fingerprints, face, voice, eye/iris, etc.). In at least one implementation, various security features may be incorporated into the mobile client system to prevent unauthorized users from accessing confidential or sensitive information.
      • Transaction Processing Engine (e.g., 622) which, for example, may be operable to handle various types of transaction processing tasks such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): identifying/determining transaction type; determining which payment gateway(s) to use; associating databases information to identifiers; etc.
      • OCR Processing Engine (e.g., 634) which, for example, may be operable to perform image processing and optical character recognition of images such as those captured by a mobile device camera, for example.
      • Database Manager (e.g., 626) which, for example, may be operable to handle various types of tasks relating to database updating, database management, database access, etc. In at least one embodiment, the Database Manager may be operable to manage TISS databases, Gaming Device Application databases, etc.
      • Log Component(s) (e.g., 610) which, for example, may be operable to generate and manage transactions history logs, system errors, connections from APIs, etc.
      • Status Tracking Component(s) (e.g., 612) which, for example, may be operable to automatically and/or dynamically determine, assign, and/or report updated transaction status information based, for example, on the state of the transaction. In at least one embodiment, the status of a given transaction may be reported as one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): Completed, Incomplete, Pending, Invalid, Error, Declined, Accepted, etc.
      • Gateway Component(s) (e.g., 614) which, for example, may be operable to facilitate and manage communications and transactions with external Payment Gateways.
      • Web Interface Component(s) (e.g., 608) which, for example, may be operable to facilitate and manage communications and transactions with TIS web portal(s).
      • API Interface(s) to Server System(s) (e.g., 646) which, for example, may be operable to facilitate and manage communications and transactions with API Interface(s) to Server System(s).
      • API Interface(s) to 3rd Party Server System(s) (e.g., 648) which, for example, may be operable to facilitate and manage communications and transactions with API Interface(s) to 3rd Party Server System(s).
      • OCR Processing Engine (e.g., 634) which, for example, may be operable to perform image processing and optical character recognition of images such as those captured by a mobile device camera, for example.
      • At least one processor 610. In at least one embodiment, the processor(s) 610 may include one or more commonly known CPUs which are deployed in many of today's consumer electronic devices, such as, for example, CPUs or processors from the Motorola or Intel family of microprocessors, etc. In an alternative embodiment, at least one processor may be specially designed hardware for controlling the operations of the mobile client system. In a specific embodiment, a memory (such as non-volatile RAM and/or ROM) also forms part of CPU. When acting under the control of appropriate software or firmware, the CPU may be responsible for implementing specific functions associated with the functions of a desired network device. The CPU preferably accomplishes all these functions under the control of software including an operating system, and any appropriate applications software.
      • Memory 616, which, for example, may include volatile memory (e.g., RAM), non-volatile memory (e.g., disk memory, FLASH memory, EPROMs, etc.), unalterable memory, and/or other types of memory. In at least one implementation, the memory 616 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more commonly known memory devices such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art. According to different embodiments, one or more memories or memory modules (e.g., memory blocks) may be configured or designed to store data, program instructions for the functional operations of the mobile client system and/or other information relating to the functionality of the various Mobile Transaction techniques described herein. The program instructions may control the operation of an operating system and/or one or more applications, for example. The memory or memories may also be configured to store data structures, metadata, identifier information/images, and/or information/data relating to other features/functions described herein. Because such information and program instructions may be employed to implement at least a portion of the F/E Computer Network techniques described herein, various aspects described herein may be implemented using machine readable media that include program instructions, state information, etc. Examples of machine-readable media include, but are not limited to, magnetic media such as hard disks, floppy disks, and magnetic tape; optical media such as CD-ROM disks; magneto-optical media such as floptical disks; and hardware devices that are specially configured to store and perform program instructions, such as read-only memory devices (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). Examples of program instructions include both machine code, such as produced by a compiler, and files containing higher level code that may be executed by the computer using an interpreter.
      • Interface(s) 606 which, for example, may include wired interfaces and/or wireless interfaces. In at least one implementation, the interface(s) 606 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more computer system interfaces such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art.
      • Device driver(s) 642. In at least one implementation, the device driver(s) 642 may include functionality similar to at least a portion of functionality implemented by one or more computer system driver devices such as those described herein and/or generally known to one having ordinary skill in the art.
      • One or more display(s) 635. According to various embodiments, such display(s) may be implemented using, for example, LCD display technology, OLED display technology, and/or other types of conventional display technology. In at least one implementation, display(s) 635 may be adapted to be flexible or bendable. Additionally, in at least one embodiment the information displayed on display(s) 635 may utilize e-ink technology (such as that available from E Ink Corporation, Cambridge, Mass., www.eink.com), or other suitable technology for reducing the power consumption of information displayed on the display(s) 635.
      • Email Server Component(s) 636, which, for example, may be configured or designed to provide various functions and operations relating to email activities and communications.
      • Web Server Component(s) 637, which, for example, may be configured or designed to provide various functions and operations relating to web server activities and communications.
      • Messaging Server Component(s) 638, which, for example, may be configured or designed to provide various functions and operations relating to text messaging and/or other social network messaging activities and/or communications.
      • Facial/Eye Tracking Analysis and Interpretation Component(s) 694, which, for example, may be configured or designed to facilitate and/or provide one or more of the following feature(s) (or combinations thereof).
        • Facial Feature Detection functionality for analyzing user image data (e.g., images of users captured by one or more cameras of a F/E Commercial Device) and identifying facial features.
        • Facial Expression Recognition functionality for detecting and recognizing facial expressions associated with one or more users that may be interacting with one or more F/E Commercial Device(s).
        • Eye Tracking functionality for analyzing tracked eye movement data associated with a given user that is interacting with a particular F/E Commercial Device.
        • Functionality for monitoring, tracking, recording and/or storing information relating to facial feature detection, and facial expression recognition, and/or eye tracking functionality.
        • Functionality for mapping an identified facial expression (e.g., performed by a user interacting with a F/E Commercial Device) to one or more function(s).
        • Functionality for Initiate and/or perform one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with a user interacting with a F/E Commercial Device.
        • Functionality for initiating and/or performing one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with a user interacting with a F/E Commercial Device.
        • Functionality for initiating and/or performing one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with a user interacting with a F/E Commercial Device.
        • Functionality for identifying one or more items being observed by a user (interacting with a F/E Commercial Device) in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with the user.
        • Functionality for creating an association between an identified facial expression (e.g., performed by a user interacting with a F/E Commercial Device) and the user who performed that facial expression.
        • Functionality for automatically and/or dynamically adjusting the display of content being displayed on a multi-layer display (MLD) device in response to detecting a location of a user's eyes (e.g., wherein the user is interacting with a F/E Commercial Device which includes the MLD display).
        • Functionality for tracking a user's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically adjust (e.g., in real-time) output display of MLD content on each MLD screen in a manner which results in improved alignment and display of MLD content from the perspective of the user's current eyes/head position.
        • Functionality for tracking a user's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically improve alignment of front and/or rear (e.g., mask) displayed content (e.g., in real time) in a manner which results in improved visibility/presentation of the displayed content as viewed by the user (e.g., as viewed from the perspective of the user's current eyes/head position).
        • Functionality for automatically and/or dynamically aligning on screen objects to a viewer's perspective, creating a virtual window effect. For example, in one embodiment, objects displayed in the background will pan and move differently than objects displayed in the foreground, based on user's detected head movements.
        • Functionality for automatically and/or dynamically adjusting display of characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) to reference a user's detected position or location (e.g., in real-time). For example, a character may be automatically and/or dynamically adjusted (e.g., in real-time) to look in the direction of a user viewing the display screen, and to wave at the user.
        • Functionality for automatically and/or dynamically adjusting display of characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) based on the detected number of live (e.g., in-person) viewers looking at (or observing) the screen.
        • Functionality for automatically and/or dynamically adjusting the size of displayed characters and/or objects (e.g., on an F/E Commercial Device display screen) based on detected location and/or detected distance of a user interacting with the device. For example, in one embodiment, a F/E Commercial Device may be configured or designed to determine how far a user's head (or body) is from the display screen, and may respond by automatically and/or dynamically resizing (e.g., in real-time) displayed characters and/or objects so that they are more easily readable/recognizable by the user.
        • Functionality for capturing image data using F/E Commercial Device camera component(s), and analyze captured image data for recognition of facial features such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): eyes; nostrils; nose; mouth region; chin region; etc.
        • Functionality for enabling independent/individual facial/eye tracking activities to be simultaneously performed for multiple different users (e.g., who are standing in front of a multiple display array).
        • Functionality for coordinating identification and tracking of movements of a given user across different displays of a multiple display array (e.g., as the user walks past the different displays of the multiple display array).
        • Functionality for automatically and dynamically modifying content displayed on selected displays of a multiple display array in response to tracked movements and/or recognized facial expressions of a given user.
        • Functionality for recording eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) where user has observed; item(s)/product(s) which user has observed; length of time user has observed a particular item/product.
        • Functionality for determining, using user eye tracking data, identity of object(s) which user is observing or viewing.
        • Functionality for detecting and analyzing facial features of a user that is interacting with the F/E Commercial Device in order to identify and/or determine user demographic information relating to the user.
        • Functionality for automatically and dynamically altering or supplementing advertising or displayed content based on the demographics of the audience deemed to be viewing the selected display.
        • Functionality for influencing game-related activities and/or outcomes in response to identifying one or more recognized facial expression(s) associated with a user interacting with the F/E Commercial Device.
        • Etc.
    Illustrative Examples of Facial-Eye Enabled Commercial Device Embodiments Example Facial Detection/Eye Tracking in Gaming Environments
  • FIG. 7 shows an illustrative example of a gaming machine 710 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment.
  • As illustrated in the example embodiment of FIG. 7, gaming machine 710 has been adapted to include one or more cameras (e.g., 712 a-d) capable of capturing images (and/or videos) of one or more players interacting with the gaming machine, and/or capable of capturing images/videos of other persons within a given proximity to the gaming machine.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one camera (e.g., 712 a) may be installed in the front portion of the gaming machine cabinet for viewing/monitoring user/player movements, facial expressions, eye tracking, etc. The camera may be used to capture images, and the gaming machine may be operable to analyze the captured image data for recognition of one or more facial features of a user (e.g., 740) such as, for example, eyes; nostrils; nose; mouth region; chin region; and/or other facial features.
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically align displayed objects (e.g., viewable at one or more display screens of the gaming machine) to a viewer's perspective, thereby creating a virtual window effect. For example, in one embodiment, objects displayed in the background may be caused to pan and move differently than objects displayed in the foreground, based on a player's detected head movements and detected locations/positions of the user's head and/or eyes.
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically adjust display of characters and/or objects (e.g., displayed on one or more displays of the gaming machine) to reference a user's detected position or location (e.g., in real-time). For example, in one example scenario where it is assumed that a fictional character is being displayed on a display screen of the gaming machine, when the gaming machine detects that a person is interacting with the gaming machine (or that the person is observing the display screen), the gaming machine may respond by automatically and dynamically causing (e.g., in real-time) the displayed character to look in the direction of the person, and to wave at that person. In some embodiments, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically change or adjust the quantity and/or appearance of displayed of characters/objects in response to detecting specific activities, events and/or conditions at the gaming machine such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
      • the number of persons (e.g., physically present persons) looking at or observing the gaming machine display screen;
      • the facial expressions of a player interacting with the gaming machine;
      • movement(s) of one or more players at or near the gaming machine;
      • eye tracking activity (e.g., associated with a player who is interacting with the gaming machine);
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically adjust the size and/or appearance of displayed characters and/or objects based on the detected proximity of a person/player to the gaming machine. For example, in one embodiment, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to determine how far a player's head (or body) is from the display screen, and may respond by automatically and/or dynamically resizing (e.g., in real-time) displayed characters and/or objects so that they are more easily readable/recognizable by the player.
  • In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine may be configured or designed to record and store (e.g., for subsequent analysis) facial expressions of a player interacting with the gaming machine (e.g., during game play). In at least one embodiment, the gaming machine may also record and store concurrent game play information. The recorded player facial expression information and related game play information may be provided to a server system (e.g., Server System 600), where the information may be analyzed to determine which portions or aspects of the game play the player enjoyed (e.g., which portions of the game play made the player smile), which portions or aspects of the game play the player disliked (e.g., which portions of the game play made the player frown or look unhappy).
  • In at least one embodiment, a gaming machine or gaming system may be configured or designed to facilitate, initiate and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s) (or combinations thereof): identify facial features of a person or player interacting with the gaming machine/system (e.g., during game play mode); recognize and/or interpret facial expressions made by the identified person/player; and; initiate or perform one or more action(s)/operation(s) in response to detecting a recognized facial expression made by the person/player. For example, in one embodiment, the content displayed at the gaming machine/system (and/or the outcome of specific event(s) during game play) may be dynamically determined and/or modified (e.g., in real-time) based on the recognized facial expressions of the player who is interacting with that gaming machine/system. In some embodiments where the game outcome is known or predetermined (e.g., within the gaming system) before the end of current round of game play, the displayed game play content and/or game play events presented to the player during the game may be automatically and/or dynamically determined and/or modified (e.g., in real-time) to encourage the player to exhibit a happy facial expression (e.g., a smile). If, during the game play, it is detected that the user is not smiling, the gaming machine/system may respond by dynamically changing or modifying (e.g., in real-time) the player's game play experience to encourage the player to exhibit a happy facial expression.
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine may be adapted to include an array of cameras for improved tracking and multi-player detection/monitoring. In one embodiment, a gaming system may be provided which includes an array of separate display screens and an array of cameras which may be used for facilitating tracking and multi-player detection/monitoring. In some embodiments, the gaming system may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically enable independent/individual facial/eye tracking activities to be simultaneously performed for multiple different players or persons (e.g., who are standing in front of the multiple display array). In some embodiments, the gaming system may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically coordinate identification and tracking of movements of a given person across different displays of a multiple display array (e.g., as the person walks past the different displays of the multiple display array) In some embodiments, the gaming system may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically modify content displayed on selected displays of a multiple display array in response to tracked movements and/or recognized facial expressions of a detected person/player.
  • Multi-Layered Displays
  • Various embodiments of devices and/or systems described herein (including gaming machines and/or gaming systems) may be configured or designed to include at least one multi-layered display (MLD) system which includes a plurality of multiple layered display screens.
  • As the term is used herein, a display device refers to any device configured to adaptively output a visual image to a person in response to a control signal. In one embodiment, the display device includes a screen of a finite thickness, also referred to herein as a display screen. For example, LCD display devices often include a flat panel that includes a series of layers, one of which includes a layer of pixilated light transmission elements for selectively filtering red, green and blue data from a white light source. Numerous exemplary display devices are described below.
  • The display device is adapted to receive signals from a processor or controller included in the gaming system and to generate and display graphics and images to a person near the gaming system. The format of the signal will depend on the device. In one embodiment, all the display devices in a layered arrangement respond to digital signals. For example, the red, green and blue pixilated light transmission elements for an LCD device typically respond to digital control signals to generate colored light, as desired.
  • In one embodiment, the gaming system comprises a multi-touch, multi-player interactive display system which includes two display devices, including a first, foremost or exterior display device and a second, underlying or interior display device. For example, the exterior display device may include a transparent LCD panel while the interior display device includes a digital display device with a curved surface.
  • In another embodiment, the gaming system comprises a multi-touch, multi-player interactive display system which includes three or more display devices, including a first, foremost or exterior display device, a second or intermediate display device, and a third, underlying or interior display device. The display devices are mounted, oriented and aligned within the gaming system such that at least one—and potentially numerous—common lines of sight intersect portions of a display surface or screen for each display device. Several exemplary display device systems and arrangements that each include multiple display devices along a common line of sight will now be discussed.
  • Layered display devices may be described according to their position along a common line of sight relative to a viewer. As the terms are used herein, ‘proximate’ refers to a display device that is closer to a person, along a common line of sight, than another display device. Conversely, ‘distal’ refers to a display device that is farther from a person, along the common line of sight, than another.
  • In at least one embodiment, one or more of the MLD display screens may include a flat display screen incorporating flat-panel display technology such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): a liquid crystal display (LCD), a transparent light emitting diode (LED) display, an electroluminescent display (ELD), and a microelectromechanical device (MEM) display, such as a digital micromirror device (DMD) display or a grating light valve (GLV) display, etc. In some embodiments, one or more of the display screens may utilize organic display technologies such as, for example, an organic electroluminescent (OEL) display, an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display, a transparent organic light emitting diode (TOLED) display, a light emitting polymer display, etc. In addition, at least one display device may include a multipoint touch-sensitive display that facilitates user input and interaction between a person and the gaming system.
  • In one embodiment, the display screens are relatively flat and thin, such as, for example, less than about 0.5 cm in thickness. In one embodiment, the relatively flat and thin display screens, having transparent or translucent capacities, are liquid crystal diodes (LCDs). It should be appreciated that the display screen can be any suitable display screens such as lead lanthanum include titanate (PLZT) panel technology or any other suitable technology which involves a matrix of selectively operable light modulating structures, commonly known as pixels or picture elements.
  • Various companies have developed relatively flat display screens which have the capacity to be transparent or translucent. One such company is Tralas Technologies, Inc., which sells display screens which employ time multiplex optical shutter (TMOS) technology. This TMOS display technology involves: (a) selectively controlled pixels which shutter light out of a light guidance substrate by violating the light guidance conditions of the substrate; and (b) a system for repeatedly causing such violation in a time multiplex fashion. The display screens which embody TMOS technology are inherently transparent and they can be switched to display colors in any pixel area. Certain TMOS display technology is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,319,491.
  • Another company, Deep Video Imaging Ltd., has developed various types of multi-layered displays and related technology. Various types of volumetric and multi-panel/multi-screen displays are described, for example, in one or more patents and/or patent publications assigned to Deep Video Imaging such as, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,906,762, and PCT Pub. Nos.: WO99/42889, WO03/040820A1, WO2004/001488A1, WO2004/002143A1, and WO2004/008226A1, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
  • It should be appreciated that various embodiments of multi-touch, multi-player interactive displays may employ any suitable display material or display screen which has the capacity to be transparent or translucent. For example, such a display screen can include holographic shutters or other suitable technology.
  • In some embodiments, gaming machines and/or gaming systems which include one or more multi-layer display(s) (MLDs) may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically adjust the display and/or appearance of content being displayed on a multi-layer display (MLD) in response to tracking a player's eye movements. In some embodiments, the gaming machine/system may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically track a player's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically adjust (e.g., in real-time) output display of MLD content on each MLD screen in a manner which results in improved alignment and viewing of displayed of MLD content from the perspective of the player's current eyes/head position. In some embodiments, the gaming machine/system may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically track a player's head movements/positions to automatically and/or dynamically improve alignment of front and/or rear (e.g., mask) displayed content (e.g., in real time) in a manner which results in improved visibility/presentation of the displayed content as viewed by the player (e.g., as viewed from the perspective of the player's current eyes/head position).
  • According to different embodiments, the various gaming machine features described above (as well as other features described and/or referenced herein) may be implemented at the gaming machine during game play mode and/or attract mode.
  • Example Facial/Eye Tracking in Kiosk/Consumer Environments
  • FIG. 8 shows an illustrative example of an F/E Commercial Device 810 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment. As illustrated in the example embodiment of FIG. 8, F/E Commercial Device 810 may be configured as a consumer-type vending machine which has been adapted to include one or more cameras (e.g., 812 a, 812 b) capable of capturing images (and/or videos) of one or more customers interacting with the vending machine, and/or capable of capturing images/videos of other persons within a given proximity to the vending machine.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one camera (e.g., 812 a) may be installed in the front portion of the vending machine cabinet for viewing/monitoring customer movements, facial expressions, eye tracking, etc. The camera may be used to capture images and/or videos, and the vending machine (and/or server system) may be operable to analyze the captured image data for recognition of one or more facial features of a consumer (e.g., 840) such as, for example, eyes; nostrils; nose; mouth region; chin region; and/or other facial features.
  • According to different embodiments, the vending machine may be configured or designed to detect the presence of a person within a predefined proximity. In at least one embodiment, the vending machine may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically record eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) where consumer has observed (or is currently observing); item(s)/product(s) which consumer has observed; length of time consumer has observed each particular item/product; etc. For example, as illustrated in the example embodiment of FIG. 8, vending machine 810 may be configured or designed to track (e.g., using camera 812 a) the eye positions and movements of a consumer (840), and determine and record which items of the product display (820) the consumer has viewed and for how long.
  • In at least one embodiment, the recorded consumer viewing information may be transmitted from the vending machine to a remote system such as server system 600. In at least one embodiment, the server system may analyze and process the received consumer viewing information, and in response, may facilitate, initiate and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • associate at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information with the profile of a selected/identified consumer;
      • report at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information to 3rd party entities;
      • automatically and/or dynamically generate one or more targeted advertisements or promotions based on at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information
      • dynamically adjust pricing information relating to one or more items viewed by the consumer;
      • dynamically adjust inventory management information based on at least a portion of the processed consumer viewing information;
      • etc.
  • For example, in the specific example embodiment of FIG. 8, it is assumed that the vending machine is tracking the consumer's eye movements, and has determined that the consumer 840 has viewed item 821 (e.g., located at vending machine display grid position C1) for an amount of time exceeding predefined threshold value (e.g., 10 seconds). In order to incentivize the consumer to purchase the identified item 821, the vending machine (e.g., in communication with server system 600) may automatically display a dynamically generated, targeted promotion 815 to the consumer such as, for example, “Receive a 10% discount if you purchase item C1 in the next 60 seconds.” During the next 60 seconds, the vending machine may dynamically reduce the purchase price of the identified item 821 by 10%. In one embodiment, if the consumer walks away before the 60 seconds has expired, the vending machine may detect such activity, and may respond by automatically restoring the purchase price of the identified item 821 back to its original value. In at least one embodiment, if the vending machine detects that the consumer is walking away without completing a purchase, it may automatically and/or dynamically generate one or more visual and/or audio signals to capture the attention of the consumer, and may additionally display one or more dynamically generated, targeted promotions to the consumer based on the consumer's prior viewing activities.
  • In some embodiments, the vending machine may identify, recognize, and record the facial characteristics of one or more consumer(s) in a manner which enables the vending machine to automatically determine the identity of a subsequently returning consumer. In at least one embodiment, the vending machine (and/or server system) may maintain consumer profiles which include for a given consumer, that consumer's unique facial feature characteristics. In at least one embodiment, the vending machine may automatically record the purchasing activity and/or viewing activity associated with an identified consumer, and may associate such activities with that consumer's profile. When a consumer approaches the vending machine to view the product display, the vending machine may automatically identify and recognize the facial features of the consumer, and may compare the recognize facial features to those stored in the consumer profile database(s) in order to automatically determine the identity of the consumer who is currently interacting with the vending machine. In at least one embodiment, if the vending machine is able to determine the identity of the consumer who is currently interacting with the vending machine, it may use the consumer's profile information (e.g., purchasing activity and/or viewing activity associated with the identified consumer) to automatically generate one or more dynamically generated, targeted promotions or purchase suggestions to be presented to the consumer.
  • It will be appreciated that various aspects and features of the facial detection and eye tracking functionality described herein may be implemented in other types of kiosk/consumer environments such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof):
      • Drive-through restaurant environments;
      • Public transportation environments;
      • Private transportation environments;
      • Environments involving automated sales of products and/or tickets;
      • etc.
    Example Facial/Eye Tracking in Television (TV) Viewing Environments
  • FIG. 9 shows an illustrative example of an F/E Commercial Device 910 which has been configured or designed to include facial detection and eye tracking functionality in accordance with a specific embodiment. As illustrated in the example embodiment of FIG. 9, F/E Commercial Device 910 may be configured as a Intelligent TV device which has been adapted to include one or more cameras (e.g., 912 a, 912 b) capable of capturing images (and/or videos) of one or more viewers interacting with the Intelligent TV, and/or capable of capturing images/videos of other persons within a given proximity to the Intelligent TV. Additionally, in some embodiments, the Intelligent TV may include infrared flash component(s) (e.g., 914), which may be configured or designed to facilitate detection and/or tracking of the eyes of one or more viewers.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one camera (e.g., 912 a) may be installed in the front portion of the Intelligent TV frame for viewing/monitoring viewer movements, facial expressions, eye tracking, etc. In other embodiments, one or more external camera(s) may be hooked up to the TV (e.g., Microsoft Kinect Unit). The camera may be used to capture images and/or videos, and the Intelligent TV (and/or server system) may be operable to analyze the captured image data for recognition of one or more facial features of a viewer (e.g., 940) such as, for example, eyes; nostrils; nose; mouth region; chin region; and/or other facial features.
  • According to different embodiments, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to detect the presence of a person within a predefined proximity. In at least one embodiment, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically record eye tracking activity and related data, such as, for example, one or more of the following (or combinations thereof): region(s)/location(s) of the Intelligent TV display where viewer has observed (or is currently observing); timestamp information; concurrent content and/or program information being presented at the Intelligent TV display (e.g., during times when a viewer's viewing activities are being recorded); length of time viewer has observed the Intelligent TV display (and/or specific regions therein); etc. According to different embodiments, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically monitor and record information relating to: detection of one or more sets of eyes viewing Intelligent TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on Intelligent TV display at time(s) when viewer's eyes detected as viewing Intelligent TV display. Additionally, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically monitor and record information relating to: detection of person(s) NOT viewing Intelligent TV display; timestamp information of detected events; content being displayed on Intelligent TV display at time(s) when person(s) detected as NOT viewing Intelligent TV display.
  • In at least one embodiment, the recorded viewer viewing information may be transmitted from the Intelligent TV to a remote system such as server system 600. In at least one embodiment, the server system may analyze and process the received viewer viewing information, and in response, may facilitate, initiate and/or perform one or more of the following operation(s)/action(s) (or combinations thereof):
      • associate at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information with the profile of a selected/identified viewer;
      • report at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information to 3rd party entities;
      • automatically and/or dynamically generate one or more targeted advertisements or promotions based on at least a portion of the processed viewer viewing information;
      • etc.
  • In some embodiments, the Intelligent TV may identify, recognize, and record the facial characteristics of one or more viewer(s) in a manner which enables the Intelligent TV to automatically determine the identity of a subsequently returning viewer. In at least one embodiment, the Intelligent TV (and/or server system) may maintain viewer profiles which include for a given viewer, that viewer's unique facial feature characteristics. In at least one embodiment, the Intelligent TV may automatically record the viewing activity associated with an identified viewer, and may associate such activities with that viewer's profile. The Intelligent TV may automatically identify and recognize the facial features of the viewer, and may compare the recognize facial features to those stored in the viewer profile database(s) in order to automatically determine the identity of the viewer who is currently interacting with the Intelligent TV. In at least one embodiment, if the Intelligent TV is able to determine the identity of the viewer who is currently interacting with the Intelligent TV, it may use the viewer's profile information to automatically generate one or more dynamically generated, targeted promotions or viewing suggestions to be presented to the viewer.
  • In at least one embodiment, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically lower its audio output volume if no persons are detected to be watching the Intelligent TV display. Similarly, the Intelligent TV may be configured or designed to automatically and/or dynamically increase its audio output volume (or return it to its previous level) if at least one person is detected to be watching the Intelligent TV display.
  • According to different embodiments, at least a portion of the various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features provided by one or more facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be implemented at one or more client systems(s), at one or more server systems (s), and/or combinations thereof. In at least one embodiment, the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be operable to perform and/or implement various types of functions, operations, actions, and/or other features such as one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be operable to utilize and/or generate various different types of data and/or other types of information when performing specific tasks and/or operations. This may include, for example, input data/information and/or output data/information. For example, in at least one embodiment, the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be operable to access, process, and/or otherwise utilize information from one or more different types of sources, such as, for example, one or more local and/or remote memories, devices and/or systems. Additionally, in at least one embodiment, the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be operable to generate one or more different types of output data/information, which, for example, may be stored in memory of one or more local and/or remote devices and/or systems. Examples of different types of input data/information and/or output data/information which may be accessed and/or utilized by the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • In at least one embodiment, a given instance of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may access and/or utilize information from one or more associated databases. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the database information may be accessed via communication with one or more local and/or remote memory devices. Examples of different types of data which may be accessed by the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to specific embodiments, multiple instances or threads of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be concurrently implemented and/or initiated via the use of one or more processors and/or other combinations of hardware and/or hardware and software. For example, in at least some embodiments, various aspects, features, and/or functionalities of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be performed, implemented and/or initiated by one or more of the various systems, components, systems, devices, procedure(s), processes, etc., described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, one or more different threads or instances of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be initiated in response to detection of one or more conditions or events satisfying one or more different types of minimum threshold criteria for triggering initiation of at least one instance of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s). Various examples of conditions or events which may trigger initiation and/or implementation of one or more different threads or instances of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may include, but are not limited to, one or more of those described and/or referenced herein.
  • According to different embodiments, one or more different threads or instances of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be initiated and/or implemented manually, automatically, statically, dynamically, concurrently, and/or combinations thereof. Additionally, different instances and/or embodiments of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be initiated at one or more different time intervals (e.g., during a specific time interval, at regular periodic intervals, at irregular periodic intervals, upon demand, etc.).
  • In at least one embodiment, initial configuration of a given instance of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may be performed using one or more different types of initialization parameters. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the initialization parameters may be accessed via communication with one or more local and/or remote memory devices. In at least one embodiment, at least a portion of the initialization parameters provided to an instance of the facial detection/eye tracking procedure(s) may correspond to and/or may be derived from the input data/information.
  • Although several example embodiments of one or more aspects and/or features have been described in detail herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that aspects and/or features are not limited to these precise embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope of spirit of the invention(s) as defined, for example, in the appended claims.

Claims (24)

1. A gaming device in a gaming network, comprising:
a gaming controller;
memory;
a first display;
at least one interface for communicating with at least one other device in the gaming network;
at least one facial detection component;
the gaming device being operable to:
control a wager-based game played at the gaming device;
recognize facial features associated with a first user that is interacting with the gaming device; and
initiate a first action in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user.
2. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
recognize facial expressions associated with the first user; and
influence an outcome of at least one event of the first gaming session in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with the first user.
3. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
enable the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
recognize facial features associated with the first user; and
influence an outcome of at least one event of the first gaming session in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user.
4. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
enable the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
monitor events of the first gaming session in which the first user is a participant;
monitor the first user's facial expressions during participation of at least one event of the first gaming session; and
create a first association between a first identified event of the first gaming session and a first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event.
5. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
enable the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
monitor events of the first gaming session in which the first user is a participant;
interpret a first facial expression made by the first user during participation in a first event of the first gaming session; and
create a first association between the first identified event of the first gaming session and the interpretation of the user's first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event.
6. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
track one or more eye movements associated with the first user during a first time interval; and
identify at least one object being observed by the first user during the first time interval in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with the user.
7. The gaming device of claim 1 further comprising a first multi-layer display (MLD), the first MLD including a first display screen and a second display screen, the first MLD being configured or designed to display a first portion of game-related content on the first display screen, and being further operable to display a second portion of game-related content on the second display screen;
the gaming device being further operable to:
identify a current position or location of the first user's eyes;
dynamically adjust display of content displayed on at least one display screen of the MLD in a manner which facilitates improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes.
8. The gaming device of claim 1 further comprising a first multi-layer display (MLD), the first MLD including a first display screen and a second display screen, the first MLD being configured or designed to display a first portion of game-related content on the first display screen, and being further operable to display a second portion of game-related content on the second display screen;
the gaming device being further operable to:
identify a current position or location of the first user's eyes;
determine an amount of adjustment to be made to content displayed on at least one display screen of the MLD for facilitating improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes.
9. The gaming device of claim 1 further comprising a first display;
the gaming device being further operable to:
identify a current position or location of the first user's head;
dynamically influence, using information relating to the current position or location of the first user's head, a behavior of a selected virtual character displayed at the first display.
10. The gaming device of claim 1 further comprising a first display;
the gaming device being further operable to:
identify a current position or location of the first user's head;
dynamically influence a behavior of a first virtual character displayed at the first display to thereby cause the first virtual character to appear to acknowledge a presence of the first user at the identified current position or location.
11. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
identify a first set of facial features associated with the first user; and
automatically determine, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user.
12. The gaming device of claim 1 being further operable to:
identify a first set of facial features associated with the first user;
automatically determine, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user;
automatically identify, using the user demographic information, a first portion of user targeted content specifically targeted toward a first portion of the user demographic information; and
dynamically cause the first portion of user targeted information to be displayed at the first display in response to determining the first user's demographic information using the first set of identified facial features.
13. A computer implemented method for operating a gaming device in a gaming network, the gaming device including at least one facial detection component, the method comprising:
controlling a wager-based game played at the gaming device;
recognizing, using the at least one facial detection component, facial features associated with a first user that is interacting with the gaming device; and
initiating a first action in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user.
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
recognizing, using the at least one facial detection component, facial expressions associated with the first user; and
influence an outcome of at least one event of the first gaming session in response to identifying a recognized facial expression associated with the first user.
15. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
enabling the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
recognizing, using the at least one facial detection component, facial features associated with the first user; and
influencing an outcome of at least one event of the first gaming session in response to identifying a recognized facial feature associated with the first user.
16. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
enabling the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
monitoring events of the first gaming session in which the first user is a participant;
monitoring, using the at least one facial detection component, the first user's facial expressions during participation of at least one event of the first gaming session; and
creating a first association between a first identified event of the first gaming session and a first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event.
17. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
enabling the first user to participate in a first gaming session at the gaming device;
monitoring events of the first gaming session in which the first user is a participant;
interpreting, using the at least one facial detection component, a first facial expression made by the first user during participation in a first event of the first gaming session; and
creating a first association between the first identified event of the first gaming session and the interpretation of the user's first facial expression made by the first user while participating in the first identified event.
18. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
tracking, using the at least one facial detection component, one or more eye movements associated with the first user; and
identifying at least one object being observed by the first user in response to tracking one or more eye movements associated with the user.
19. The method of claim 13 wherein the gaming device includes a first multi-layer display (MLD), the first MLD including a first display screen for displaying a first portion of game-related content, the first MLD further including a second display screen for displaying a second portion of game-related content, the method further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a current position or location of the first user's eyes;
dynamically adjusting display of content displayed on at least one display screen of the MLD in a manner which facilitates improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes.
20. The method of claim 13 wherein the gaming device includes a first multi-layer display (MLD), the first MLD including a first display screen for displaying a first portion of game-related content, the first MLD further including a second display screen for displaying a second portion of game-related content, the method further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a current position or location of the first user's eyes;
determining an amount of adjustment to be made to content displayed on at least one display screen of the MLD for facilitating improved visual alignment of content displayed on the first and second display screens as observed from the identified current position or location of the first user's eyes.
21. The method of claim 13 further comprising a first display, the method further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a current position or location of the first user's head;
dynamically influencing, using information relating to the current position or location of the first user's head, a behavior of a selected virtual character displayed at the first display.
22. The method of claim 13 further comprising a first display, the method further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a current position or location of the first user's head;
dynamically influencing a behavior of a first virtual character displayed at the first display to thereby causing the first virtual character to appear to acknowledge a presence of the first user at the identified current position or location.
23. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a first set of facial features associated with the first user; and
automatically determining, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user.
24. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
identifying, using the at least one facial detection component, a first set of facial features associated with the first user;
automatically determining, using the first set of identified facial features, user demographic information relating to the first user;
automatically identifying, using the user demographic information, a first portion of user targeted content specifically targeted toward a first portion of the user demographic information; and
dynamically causing the first portion of user targeted information to be displayed at a first display of the gaming device in response to determining the first user's demographic information using the first set of identified facial features.
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US20150265916A1 (en) 2015-09-24
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US20130005482A1 (en) 2013-01-03
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