US20150069242A1 - Electronic Device and Method for Detecting Presence - Google Patents

Electronic Device and Method for Detecting Presence Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150069242A1
US20150069242A1 US14103909 US201314103909A US2015069242A1 US 20150069242 A1 US20150069242 A1 US 20150069242A1 US 14103909 US14103909 US 14103909 US 201314103909 A US201314103909 A US 201314103909A US 2015069242 A1 US2015069242 A1 US 2015069242A1
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Prior art keywords
device
ir
waveguide
sensor
housing
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14103909
Inventor
Rachid Mohsen Alameh
Patrick J. Cauwels
Jun Jiang
Kenneth A. Paitl
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Google Technology Holdings LLC
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Motorola Mobility LLC
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S17/00Systems using the reflection or reradiation of electromagnetic waves other than radio waves, e.g. lidar systems
    • G01S17/02Systems using the reflection of electromagnetic waves other than radio waves
    • G01S17/50Systems of measurement based on relative movement of target
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J1/00Photometry, e.g. photographic exposure meter
    • G01J1/02Details
    • G01J1/04Optical or mechanical part supplementary adjustable parts
    • G01J1/0407Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. manifolds, windows, holograms, gratings
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J1/00Photometry, e.g. photographic exposure meter
    • G01J1/42Photometry, e.g. photographic exposure meter using electric radiation detectors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J5/00Radiation pyrometry
    • G01J5/0022Radiation pyrometry for sensing the radiation of moving bodies
    • G01J5/0025Living bodies
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J5/00Radiation pyrometry
    • G01J5/02Details
    • G01J5/08Optical features
    • G01J5/0803Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, gratings, holograms, cubic beamsplitters, prisms, particular coatings
    • G01J5/0818Optical elements not provided otherwise, e.g. optical manifolds, gratings, holograms, cubic beamsplitters, prisms, particular coatings using waveguides, rods or tubes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J5/00Radiation pyrometry
    • G01J5/10Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J5/12Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors using thermoelectric elements, e.g. thermocouples
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J5/00Radiation pyrometry
    • G01J5/10Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J5/20Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors using resistors, thermistors or semiconductors sensitive to radiation
    • G01J5/22Electrical features
    • G01J5/26Special adaptation for indicating or recording
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01JMEASUREMENT OF INTENSITY, VELOCITY, SPECTRAL CONTENT, POLARISATION, PHASE OR PULSE CHARACTERISTICS OF INFRA-RED, VISIBLE OR ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT; COLORIMETRY; RADIATION PYROMETRY
    • G01J5/00Radiation pyrometry
    • G01J5/10Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors
    • G01J5/34Radiation pyrometry using electric radiation detectors using capacitors, e.g. pyroelectric elements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S17/00Systems using the reflection or reradiation of electromagnetic waves other than radio waves, e.g. lidar systems
    • G01S17/02Systems using the reflection of electromagnetic waves other than radio waves
    • G01S17/026Systems using the reflection of electromagnetic waves other than radio waves for detecting the presence of an object
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/017Gesture based interaction, e.g. based on a set of recognized hand gestures
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/02Constructional features of telephone sets
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/026Details of the structure or mounting of specific components
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/72Substation extension arrangements; Cordless telephones, i.e. devices for establishing wireless links to base stations without route selecting
    • H04M1/725Cordless telephones
    • H04M1/72519Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01VGEOPHYSICS; GRAVITATIONAL MEASUREMENTS; DETECTING MASSES OR OBJECTS
    • G01V8/00Prospecting or detecting by optical means
    • G01V8/10Detecting, e.g. by using light barriers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/12Details of telephonic subscriber devices including a sensor for measuring a physical value, e.g. temperature or motion

Abstract

An electronic device for detecting presence includes a housing, an infrared (“IR”) sensor disposed in the housing, and a waveguide included in the housing. The waveguide is configured to collect heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing and guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor. The IR sensor is configured to receive the IR signal via the waveguide and generate a signal in response thereto.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/976,691, filed Sep. 11, 2013, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present disclosure relates to electronic devices and methods for detecting presence, more particularly, to electronic devices and methods for detecting presence using an infrared sensor and a waveguide.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    Mobile devices such as cellular telephones, smart phones, and other handheld or portable electronic devices such as personal digital assistants (“PDAs”), headsets, MP3 players, etc. have become popular and ubiquitous. As more and more features have been added to mobile devices, there has been an increasing desire to equip these mobile devices with input/output mechanisms that accommodate numerous user commands and/or react to numerous user behaviors. It is of increasing interest that mobile devices be capable of detecting the presence of, and determining with some accuracy the position of, physical objects located outside of the mobile devices and, more particularly, the presence and location of human beings (or portions of their bodies, such as their heads or hands) who are using the mobile devices or otherwise are located nearby the mobile devices. By virtue of such capabilities, the mobile devices are able to adjust their behavior in a variety of manners that are appropriate given the presence (or absence) and location of the human beings and/or other physical objects.
  • [0004]
    While remote sensing devices such as infrared (or, more accurately, near-infrared) transceivers have been employed in the past in some mobile devices to allow for the detection of the presence and/or location of human beings and/or physical objects even based on their movement, such sensing devices have been limited in various respects. In particular, some such near-infrared transceivers in some such mobile devices are only able to detect the movement of a human being/physical object within a certain distance from the given transceiver, but not able to detect the continuous presence of the human being/physical object after the human being/physical object stops moving or vice versa. Also, some such transceivers in some such mobile devices are undesirably complicated, require large numbers of components in order to operate, or require optical elements that attenuate the received infrared signals, which in turn renders such devices unduly expensive and inefficient.
  • DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    While the appended claims set forth the features of the present techniques with particularity, these techniques may be best understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:
  • [0006]
    FIG. 1 is a cross-section view an electronic device, which is depicted as a mobile device in the drawing, according to an embodiment.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 2 shows example components of the electronic device of FIG. 1.
  • [0008]
    FIGS. 3A-3D show various embodiments of an electronic device.
  • [0009]
    FIGS. 4A and 4B show detection coverage area of the electronic device of FIG. 1.
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 5 and 6 show steps that may be carried out according to various embodiments.
  • DESCRIPTION
  • [0011]
    The present disclosure sets forth an electronic device for detecting presence using an infrared sensor and a waveguide.
  • [0012]
    In an embodiment, an electronic device includes a housing, an infrared (“IR”) sensor disposed in the housing, and a waveguide included in the housing. The waveguide is configured collect heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing and guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor. The IR sensor is configured to receive the IR signal via the waveguide and generate a signal in response thereto.
  • [0013]
    In another embodiment, an electronic device includes a housing, an IR sensor disposed in the housing, and a waveguide included in the housing and is configured as a ring that extends around a perimeter of the electronic device. The waveguide is configured collect heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing and guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor. The IR sensor is configured to receive the IR signal via the waveguide and generate a signal in response thereto.
  • [0014]
    In one embodiment, the IR sensor may be disposed or located in a path of the waveguide.
  • [0015]
    In another embodiment, the IR sensor may be optically coupled to the waveguide.
  • [0016]
    The electronic device may further include a processor communicatively linked to the IR sensor and configured to carry out a function in response to the generated signal. The function to be carried out by the processor may be selected from the group consisting of answering a call, dismissing a call, silencing a ringer, sending a call to voicemail, turning on a screen, waking up the electronic device, viewing the time, scrolling a screen, scrolling through photos, panning a map, alerting of messages, switching audio mode, setting audio level, steering audio toward the person's location, steering camera toward the person's location, altering functionality based on distance between the person and the device, and magnifying a view.
  • [0017]
    In an embodiment, the waveguide may be disposed at a top portion of the housing.
  • [0018]
    In another embodiment, the waveguide may be disposed at a bottom portion of the housing.
  • [0019]
    In yet another embodiment, the waveguide may be disposed between a top portion and a bottom portion of the housing.
  • [0020]
    In still another embodiment, the electronic device may further include a second waveguide stacked on the waveguide. The second waveguide is configured to collect IR signal emitted by the person from outside of the housing and guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor.
  • [0021]
    In another embodiment, the waveguide may include a plurality of branches. Each branch may have an opening disposed along a perimeter of the housing, and each branch may be oriented in a different direction than the other branches.
  • [0022]
    The waveguide may be configured to guide IR signals having a wavelength that ranges between about 5 to about 100 micrometers.
  • [0023]
    The waveguide may be formed of a high-density polyethylene material.
  • [0024]
    The IR sensor may be a sensor selected from the group consisting of a thermopile sensor and a pyroelectric sensor.
  • [0025]
    In yet another embodiment, an electronic device includes a housing, an IR sensor disposed in the housing, and a waveguide included in the housing. The waveguide receives heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing. The waveguide then guides the received IR signal to the IR sensor. The IR sensor generates a signal based on the received IR signal. The device then detects the presence of the person based on the generated signal.
  • [0026]
    The device may further initiate a notification if the presence of the person is detected. The device may initiate the notification by displaying a notification on a display unit of the device, emitting a notification sound from the device, or vibrating the device.
  • [0027]
    To detect the presence of the person, the device may determine a distance between the person and the device based on the generated signal.
  • [0028]
    Based on the determined distance, the device may adjust a notification volume. The device may control the adjusted notification volume so that it does not exceed an initial notification volume.
  • [0029]
    In another embodiment, based on the determined distance, the device may change a type of notification.
  • [0030]
    In still another embodiment, the device may repeat the initiated notification based on the determined distance between the person and the device.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 1 is a cross-section view of an electronic device 100, which is depicted as a mobile device in the drawing, according to an embodiment. The electronic device 100 includes a housing 110, an IR sensor 120, and a waveguide 130. The IR sensor 120 is located in a single location in the housing 110. The waveguide 130 may be disposed at a top portion of the housing 110, at a bottom portion of the housing 110, or between the top portion and the bottom portion of the housing 110.
  • [0032]
    In the present embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is an IR receiver, and the device 100 does not include an IR transmitter for presence detection. Instead, the IR transmitter is a person near the device, who emits body heat or IR signal having a wavelength of about 10 microns. To collect the heat or IR signal emitted by the person, the waveguide 130 may be configured to collect IR signals having a wavelength that ranges between about 5 to about 100 micrometers and guide such collected IR signals to the IR sensor 120. In an embodiment, the waveguide 130 may be formed of a high-density polyethylene material.
  • [0033]
    To detect the heat emitted by the person, the first IR sensor 120 may be a passive heat sensor (e.g., a thermopile sensor), or a heat motion sensor (e.g., a pyroelectric sensor), or other passive heat sensor known in the art. In an embodiment, the first IR sensor 120 is a thermopile sensor configured to detect emitted heat or IR signals having a wavelength that ranges between about 5 microns to 100 micrometer. This embodiment would allow the device 100 to distinguish between heat wave emitted by a person from heat wave emitted by other objects (e.g., other electronic devices).
  • [0034]
    As shown in FIG. 1, the waveguide 130 is configured as a ring that extends around a perimeter of the housing 110. The IR sensor 120 is located in the path of the waveguide 130. The waveguide 130 may include various openings along the perimeter of the housing 110 to collect heat or IR signals generated by the person.
  • [0035]
    In another embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is not disposed or located in the path of the waveguide 130. Instead, the IR sensor 120 is located anywhere within the housing 110 and is optically coupled to the waveguide 130 to detect the IR signal collected by the waveguide 130.
  • [0036]
    The waveguide 130 may offer gain in collecting more heat or IR signals and directing the collected IR signals toward the IR sensor 120. To help guide IR signal or heat wave propagation, the waveguide 130 may include internal reflectors or integrated structures. To help couple waves into the waveguide 130, an outer surface of the waveguide 130 may be non-polished and the internal surface may have saw tooth structures 132 to guide the signal. Each angle in the saw tooth structures 132 is about 45 degrees. When the saw tooth structures 132 receive heat wave emitted by a person, the saw tooth structures 132 bounce or reflect the heat wave in a different direction (at about 90 degrees) to guide the heat waves into the waveguide 130.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 2 shows example components of the electronic devices 100 of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 2, the internal components 200 include one or more wireless transceivers 202, a processor 204 (e.g., a microprocessor, microcomputer, application-specific integrated circuit, etc.), a memory portion 206, one or more output devices 208, and one or more input devices 210. The internal components 200 can further include a component interface 212 to provide a direct connection to auxiliary components or accessories for additional or enhanced functionality. The internal components 200 may also include a power supply 214, such as a battery, for providing power to the other internal components while enabling the mobile device to be portable. Further, the internal components 200 additionally include one or more sensors 228. All of the internal components 200 can be coupled to one another, and in communication with one another, by way of one or more internal communication links 232 (e.g., an internal bus).
  • [0038]
    Further, in the embodiment of FIG. 2, the wireless transceivers 202 particularly include a cellular transceiver 203 and a Wi-Fi transceiver 205. More particularly, the cellular transceiver 203 is configured to conduct cellular communications, such as 3G, 4G, 4G-LTE, vis-à-vis cell towers (not shown), albeit in other embodiments, the cellular transceiver 203 can be configured to utilize any of a variety of other cellular-based communication technologies such as analog communications (using AMPS), digital communications (using CDMA, TDMA, GSM, iDEN, GPRS, EDGE, etc.), and/or next generation communications (using UMTS, WCDMA, LTE, IEEE 802.16, etc.) or variants thereof.
  • [0039]
    By contrast, the Wi-Fi transceiver 205 is a wireless local area network (WLAN) transceiver 205 configured to conduct Wi-Fi communications in accordance with the IEEE 802.11 (a, b, g, or n) standard with access points. In other embodiments, the Wi-Fi transceiver 205 can instead (or in addition) conduct other types of communications commonly understood as being encompassed within Wi-Fi communications such as some types of peer-to-peer (e.g., Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer) communications. Further, in other embodiments, the Wi-Fi transceiver 205 can be replaced or supplemented with one or more other wireless transceivers configured for non-cellular wireless communications including, for example, wireless transceivers employing ad hoc communication technologies such as HomeRF (radio frequency), Home Node B (3G femtocell), Bluetooth and/or other wireless communication technologies such as infrared technology.
  • [0040]
    Although in the present embodiment the device 100 has two of the wireless transceivers 202 (that is, the transceivers 203 and 205), the present disclosure is intended to encompass numerous embodiments in which any arbitrary number of wireless transceivers employing any arbitrary number of communication technologies are present. By virtue of the use of the wireless transceivers 202, the device 100 is capable of communicating with any of a variety of other devices or systems (not shown) including, for example, other mobile devices, web servers, cell towers, access points, other remote devices, etc. Depending upon the embodiment or circumstance, wireless communication between the device 100 and any arbitrary number of other devices or systems can be achieved.
  • [0041]
    Operation of the wireless transceivers 202 in conjunction with others of the internal components 200 of the device 100 can take a variety of forms. For example, operation of the wireless transceivers 202 can proceed in a manner in which, upon reception of wireless signals, the internal components 200 detect communication signals and the transceivers 202 demodulate the communication signals to recover incoming information, such as voice and/or data, transmitted by the wireless signals. After receiving the incoming information from the transceivers 202, the processor 204 formats the incoming information for the one or more output devices 208. Likewise, for transmission of wireless signals, the processor 204 formats outgoing information, which can but need not be activated by the input devices 210, and conveys the outgoing information to one or more of the wireless transceivers 202 for modulation so as to provide modulated communication signals to be transmitted.
  • [0042]
    Depending upon the embodiment, the input and output devices 208, 210 of the internal components 200 can include a variety of visual, audio and/or mechanical outputs. For example, the output device(s) 208 can include one or more visual output devices 216 such as a liquid crystal display and/or light emitting diode indicator, one or more audio output devices 218 such as a speaker, alarm, and/or buzzer, and/or one or more mechanical output devices 220 such as a vibrating mechanism. The visual output devices 216 among other things can also include a video screen. Likewise, by example, the input device(s) 210 can include one or more visual input devices 222 such as an optical sensor (for example, a camera lens and photosensor), one or more audio input devices 224 such as a microphone (or further for example a microphone of a Bluetooth headset), and/or one or more mechanical input devices 226 such as a flip sensor, keyboard, keypad, selection button, navigation cluster, touch pad, capacitive sensor, motion sensor, and/or switch. Operations that can actuate one or more of the input devices 210 can include not only the physical pressing/actuation of buttons or other actuators, but can also include, for example, opening the mobile device, unlocking the device, moving the device to actuate a motion, moving the device to actuate a location positioning system, and operating the device.
  • [0043]
    As mentioned above, the internal components 200 also can include one or more of various types of sensors 228 as well as a sensor hub to manage one or more functions of the sensors. The sensors 228 may include, for example, proximity sensors (e.g., a light detecting sensor, an ultrasound transceiver or an infrared transceiver), touch sensors, altitude sensors, and one or more location circuits/components that can include, for example, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, a triangulation receiver, an accelerometer, a tilt sensor, a gyroscope, or any other information collecting device that can identify a current location or user-device interface (carry mode) of the device 100. Although the sensors 228 for the purposes of FIG. 2 are considered to be distinct from the input devices 210, in other embodiments it is possible that one or more of the input devices can also be considered to constitute one or more of the sensors (and vice-versa). Additionally, although in the present embodiment the input devices 210 are shown to be distinct from the output devices 208, it should be recognized that in some embodiments one or more devices serve both as input device(s) and output device(s). In particular, in the present embodiment in which the device 100 includes a touch screen display, the touch screen display can be considered to constitute both a visual output device and a mechanical input device (by contrast, keys or buttons are merely mechanical input devices).
  • [0044]
    The memory portion 206 of the internal components 200 can encompass one or more memory devices of any of a variety of forms (e.g., read-only memory, random access memory, static random access memory, dynamic random access memory, etc.), and can be used by the processor 204 to store and retrieve data. In some embodiments, the memory portion 206 can be integrated with the processor 204 in a single device (e.g., a processing device including memory or processor-in-memory (PIM)), albeit such a single device will still typically have distinct portions/sections that perform the different processing and memory functions and that can be considered separate devices. In some alternate embodiments, the memory portion 206 of the device 100 can be supplemented or replaced by other memory portion(s) located elsewhere apart from the mobile device and, in such embodiments, the mobile device can be in communication with or access such other memory device(s) by way of any of various communications techniques, for example, wireless communications afforded by the wireless transceivers 202, or connections via the component interface 212.
  • [0045]
    The data that is stored by the memory portion 206 can include, but need not be limited to, operating systems, programs (applications), modules, and informational data. Each operating system includes executable code that controls basic functions of the device 100, such as interaction among the various components included among the internal components 200, communication with external devices via the wireless transceivers 202 and/or the component interface 212, and storage and retrieval of programs and data, to and from the memory portion 206. As for programs, each program includes executable code that utilizes an operating system to provide more specific functionality, such as file system service and handling of protected and unprotected data stored in the memory portion 206. Such programs can include, among other things, programming for enabling the device 100 to perform a process such as the process for presence detection and discussed further below. Finally, with respect to informational data, this is non-executable code or information that can be referenced and/or manipulated by an operating system or program for performing functions of the device 100.
  • [0046]
    FIGS. 3A-3D show various configurations of waveguides in an electronic device, according to various embodiments. While the waveguide 130 in FIG. 1 is configured as a ring that extends around a perimeter of the housing 110, the present disclosure is not limited thereto. The waveguide may be configured to have a variety of other shapes, e.g., as shown in FIGS. 3A to 3D. The embodiments shown in FIGS. 3A-3D are layers of waveguides that are stacked depth-wise on a top region, a bottom region, or between the top and bottom regions in the housing of the electronic devices. The waveguides receive heat waves or IR signals from the outside edges or openings of the devices as shown in FIGS. 3A-3C, through compound parabolic concentrators (“CPCs”), via bumps as shown in FIG. 3D.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 3A illustrates a cross section of an electronic device 102. The device 102 includes the housing 110, the IR sensor 120, and a waveguide 330. In the present embodiment, the waveguide 330 includes a plurality of branches 331, with each branch 331 extending from a center portion of the housing 110 to a corner of the housing 110. Each branch 331 also includes an opening 340, which is disposed proximate to and oriented toward each corner of the housing 110. As shown in FIG. 3A, each branch 331 of the waveguide 330 is oriented in a different direction than the other branches. The waveguide 330 receives heat wave or IR signal emitted by a person via the opening 340, and the branch 331 corresponding to the opening 340 guides the received IR signal toward the IR sensor 120. In an embodiment, the waveguide 330 is a compound parabolic concentrator. In other embodiments, each corner of the housing 110 may have an opening or a plurality of openings formed thereon so that the openings 340 of the waveguide 330 have a line of sight to outside of the housing 110, which would allow the waveguide 330 to collect IR signals emitted by the person. Although FIG. 3A shows that the IR sensor 120 is located at the center of the housing 110, the IR sensor 120 may be located anywhere within the path of the waveguide 330. In another embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is not located within the path of the waveguide 330 but is rather optically coupled to the waveguide 330.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 3B illustrates a cross-section view of an electronic device 104. The device 104 includes the housing 110, the IR sensor 120, and a waveguide 332. The waveguide 332 includes a plurality of branches 333, with each branch 333 extending from a center portion of the housing 110 to a side of the housing 110. Each branch 333, which may be CPCs, also includes an opening 342, which is disposed proximate to each side of the housing 110. Each branch 333 of the waveguide 332 is oriented in a different direction than the other branches. The waveguide 330 receives heat or IR signal emitted by a person via the opening 342, and the branch 333 corresponding to the opening 340 guides the received IR signal toward the IR sensor 120. In various embodiments, each side of the housing 110 may have an opening or a plurality of openings formed thereon so that the openings 342 of the waveguide 332 have a line of sight to outside of the housing 110. Although FIG. 3B shows that the IR sensor 120 is located at the center of the housing 110, the IR sensor 120 may be located anywhere within the path of the waveguide 332. In another embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is not located within the path of the waveguide 332 but is rather optically coupled to the waveguide 332.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 3C illustrates a cross-section of an electronic device 106. The device 106 includes the housing 110, the IR sensor 120, and a waveguide 334. The waveguide 334 includes a plurality of branches 335, with each branch 335 extending from a center portion of the housing 110 to a side of the housing 110. Each branch 335, which may be CPCs, also includes an opening 344, which is disposed proximate to each side of the housing 110. The configuration of waveguide 334 in FIG. 3C is similar to the configuration of waveguide 332 in FIG. 3B. The center portion of the waveguide 334 is of a substantially oval shape, while the center portion of the waveguide 332 is of a substantially rectangular shape. Although FIG. 3C shows that the IR sensor 120 is located at the center of the housing 110, the IR sensor 120 may be located anywhere within the path of the waveguide 334. In another embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is not located within the path of the waveguide 334 but is rather optically coupled to the waveguide 334.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 3D illustrates a cross section of an electronic device 108. The device 108 includes a housing (not shown), the IR sensor 120, and a waveguide 336. The waveguide 336 includes a ring that extends around a perimeter of the housing and a plurality of branches extending from a center portion of the housing. The waveguide 336 may include bumps 348 along the ring and at the end of each branch. As shown in FIG. 3D, the waveguide 336 includes heat block materials 346. The housing may include openings corresponding to the the bumps 348. In this embodiment, the bumps 348 replace the CPCs as shown in FIGS. 3A-3C. The bumps 348 may be Fresnel lenses or magnifying lenses, which are heat wave collecting lenses. Based on the location of the bumps 348, a detection coverage area of the device 108 includes the perimeter of the device 108 and an area above the top surface of the housing. Thus, the device 108 may be used to detect the presence of a person from above the device 108 (e.g., a person hovering over the device 108). Furthermore, the device 108 may be used to perform the IR proximity function, where the device 108 deactivates a touch screen of the device 600 when a person's face approaches the bumps 348.
  • [0051]
    In another embodiment, the electronic device 108 may include a plurality of waveguides, which are stacked on top of each other. For example, the electronic device 108 may include two waveguides: a first waveguide having a ring-shape that extends around a perimeter of the housing, and a second waveguide having a plurality of branches extending from a center portion of the housing. Both the first and second waveguides have openings disposed along the perimeter of the housing. Both waveguides are configured to collect IR signal emitted by the person from outside of the housing and guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor 120. In this embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is located in the paths of the first and second waveguides. In another embodiment, the IR sensor 120 is not located within the path of the first and second waveguides but is rather optically coupled to the first and second waveguides.
  • [0052]
    FIGS. 4A and 4B show detection coverage area of an electronic device, according to various embodiments. FIGS. 4A and 4B show the detection area of the electronic device of FIG. 1 as well as other topologies (e.g., FIGS. 3A-3D). For example, FIG. 4A illustrates a horizontal-plane detection coverage area 410 of the device 100. Because the waveguide 130 of the device 100 is disposed along the perimeter of the housing 110, the waveguide 130 collects heat or IR signals emitted by a person from any direction with respect to the device 100. Thus, the device 100 may have a horizontal-plane detection coverage area 410 that spans 360 degrees around the device 100. FIG. 4B illustrates an elevation detection coverage area of the device 100, which is represented by an angle 420. The angle 420 may be about 20 degrees to about 45 degrees. The elevation detection coverage area may be used to detect a person walking by a table on which the device 100 is placed.
  • [0053]
    In another embodiment, the detection coverage area of an electronic device may further include an area below a top surface of the housing (e.g., the electronic device 108 of FIG. 3D), or an area below a bottom surface of the housing. In this embodiment, the device not only has a horizontal-plane detection area and an elevation detection coverage area, the device would also have a top detection coverage area and a bottom detection coverage area. Accordingly, in three-dimensional space, the detection coverage area of the device may resemble a spheroid, with the device disposed at the center of the spheroid. Accordingly, heat or IR signals emitted from a person may enter the device at any direction and is guided via the waveguide toward the IR sensor. In other words, the device may detect heat or IR signals in any orientation, including being flipped upside down.
  • [0054]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a procedure 500 that may be carried out by an electronic device (e.g., electronic device 100 of FIG. 1), according to an embodiment. The electronic device 100 includes the housing 100, the IR sensor 120 disposed in in the housing, and the waveguide 130 included in the housing 100. At step 502, the waveguide 130 receives heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing 100. At step 504, the waveguide 130 guides the received IR signal to the IR sensor 120. Then at step 506, the IR sensor 120 generates a signal based on the received IR signal collected by the waveguide 130. The device 100 may further include a processor (e.g., the processor 204 of FIG. 2) to analyze the generated signal to detect the presence of the person at step 508.
  • [0055]
    If the presence of the person is detected at step 508, the device 100 may further initiate a notification at step 510. The device 100 may initiate the notification by displaying a notification on a display unit of the device, emitting a notification sound, or vibrating the device 100.
  • [0056]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a procedure 600 that may be carried out by an electronic device (e.g., electronic device 100 of FIG. 1), according to another embodiment. At step 602, the waveguide 130 receives heat or IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing 100. The waveguide 130 then guides the received IR signal to the IR sensor 120. At step 604, the IR sensor 120 generates a signal based on the received IR signal collected by the waveguide 130. The processor of the device 100 then analyzes the generated signal to detect the presence of the person at step 606. If the presence of the person is detected at step 606, the device 100 may further initiate a notification at step 608.
  • [0057]
    When detecting the presence of the person at step 608, the device 100 may determine the position or distance of the person with respect to the device 100. At step 610, the device 100 may determine the position or direction of the person with respect to the device 100. Using the determined direction or position information, the device 100 may orient its display screen so that the screen is easily readable by the person (e.g., orient the display screen so text or other display elements are displayed right-side up from the person's viewing perspective). At step 612, the device 100 may determine the distance and/or a change in the distance between the person and the device 100.
  • [0058]
    If the initiated notification at step 608 is an emission of notification sound, then at step 614, based on the determined position or distance of the person with respect to the device 100, the device 100 may adjust the notification sound volume. As the person approaches the device 100 (i.e., the distance decreases), the device 100 may control the adjusted notification volume so that it does not exceed an initial notification volume.
  • [0059]
    Optionally, at step 616, based on the determined position or distance of the person with respect to the device 100, the device 100 may change a type of notification based on the determined position or distance between the person and the device 100. For instance, the device 100 may emit a notification sound when the person is first detected. When the person is within a predetermined distance of the device 100 (e.g., the person is close enough to the device to view the display screen), the device 100 may stop emitting the notification sound and change the notification to a display notification.
  • [0060]
    In other embodiments, based on the determined position or distance of the person with respect to the device, the device 100 may repeat the initiated notification.
  • [0061]
    It can be seen from the foregoing that an electronic device and methods for detecting presence using an IR sensor and a waveguide have been provided. In view of the many possible embodiments to which the principles of the present discussion may be applied, it should be recognized that the embodiments described herein with respect to the drawing figures are meant to be illustrative only and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the claims. Therefore, the techniques as described herein contemplate all such embodiments as may come within the scope of the following claims and equivalents thereof.

Claims (25)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. An electronic device comprising:
    a housing;
    an infrared (“IR”) sensor disposed in the housing;
    a waveguide included in the housing and configured to:
    collect IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing; and
    guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor;
    wherein the IR sensor is configured to:
    receive the IR signal via the waveguide; and
    generate a signal in response thereto.
  2. 2. The electronic device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a processor communicatively linked to the IR sensor and configured to carry out a function in response to the generated signal.
  3. 3. The electronic device of claim 2, wherein the function is selected from the group consisting of answering a call, dismissing a call, silencing a ringer, sending a call to voicemail, turning on a screen, waking up the electronic device, viewing the time, scrolling a screen, scrolling through photos, panning a map, performing power optimization to turn the device on or off, switching audio mode, setting audio level, steering audio toward the person's location, steering camera toward the person's location, altering device functionality based on distance between the person and the device, and magnifying a view.
  4. 4. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the waveguide is disposed at a top portion of the housing.
  5. 5. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the waveguide is disposed at a bottom portion of the housing.
  6. 6. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the waveguide is disposed between a top portion and a bottom portion of the housing.
  7. 7. The electronic device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a second waveguide stacked on the waveguide, the second waveguide configured to:
    collect IR signal emitted by the person from outside of the housing; and
    guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor.
  8. 8. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein:
    the waveguide comprises a plurality of branches;
    each branch having an opening disposed along a perimeter of the housing; and
    each branch being oriented in a different direction than the other branches.
  9. 9. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the waveguide is configured to guide IR signals having a wavelength that ranges between about 5 to about 100 micrometers.
  10. 10. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the waveguide is formed of a high-density polyethylene material.
  11. 11. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the IR sensor comprises a sensor selected from the group consisting of a thermopile sensor and a pyroelectric sensor.
  12. 12. An electronic device comprising:
    a housing;
    an infrared (“IR”) sensor disposed in the housing;
    a waveguide included in the housing and is configured as a ring that extends around a perimeter of the electronic device;
    wherein the waveguide is configured to:
    collect IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing; and
    guide the collected IR signal to the IR sensor;
    wherein the IR sensor is configured to:
    receive the IR signal via the waveguide; and
    generate a signal in response thereto.
  13. 13. The electronic device of claim 12, wherein the IR sensor is disposed in the path of the waveguide.
  14. 14. The electronic device of claim 12, wherein the IR sensor is optically coupled to the waveguide.
  15. 15. The electronic device of claim 12, wherein the waveguide is configured to guide IR signals having a wavelength that ranges between about 5 to about 100 micrometers.
  16. 16. The electronic device of claim 12, wherein the waveguide is formed of a high-density polyethylene material.
  17. 17. The electronic device of claim 12, wherein the IR sensor comprises a sensor selected from the group consisting of a thermopile sensor and a pyroelectric sensor.
  18. 18. A method in an electronic device comprising a housing, an infrared (“IR”) sensor disposed in the housing, and a waveguide included in the housing, the method comprising:
    receiving, via the waveguide, an IR signal emitted by a person from outside of the housing;
    guiding, by the waveguide, the received IR signal to the IR sensor;
    generating, by the IR sensor, a signal based on the received IR signal; and
    detecting the presence of the person based on the generated signal.
  19. 19. The method of claim 18, further comprising:
    initiating a notification if the presence of the person is detected.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein the initiating of the notification comprises at least one step selected from the group consisting of displaying a notification on a display unit of the device, emitting a notification sound from the device, and vibrating the device.
  21. 21. The method of claim 19, wherein the detecting of the presence of the person comprises:
    determining a distance between the person and the device based on the generated signal.
  22. 22. The method of claim 21, further comprising:
    adjusting a notification volume based on the determined distance between the person and the device.
  23. 23. The method of claim 22, wherein the adjusted notification volume does not exceed an initial notification volume.
  24. 24. The method of claim 21, further comprising:
    changing a type of notification based on the determined distance between the person and the device.
  25. 25. The method of claim 21, further comprising:
    repeating the initiated notification based on the determined distance between the person and the device.
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US20150069243A1 (en) 2015-03-12 application
US20150247926A1 (en) 2015-09-03 application
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US9423500B2 (en) 2016-08-23 grant
US9029780B2 (en) 2015-05-12 grant
US20150069248A1 (en) 2015-03-12 application
US9213102B2 (en) 2015-12-15 grant
US20150069249A1 (en) 2015-03-12 application
US9316736B2 (en) 2016-04-19 grant

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