WO2016123129A1 - Wearable band - Google Patents

Wearable band Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016123129A1
WO2016123129A1 PCT/US2016/014961 US2016014961W WO2016123129A1 WO 2016123129 A1 WO2016123129 A1 WO 2016123129A1 US 2016014961 W US2016014961 W US 2016014961W WO 2016123129 A1 WO2016123129 A1 WO 2016123129A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
band
information
wearer
wearable
method
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2016/014961
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Michael KARLESKY
Original Assignee
New York University
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201562107777P priority Critical
Priority to US62/107,777 priority
Application filed by New York University filed Critical New York University
Publication of WO2016123129A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016123129A1/en

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Classifications

    • 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
    • G06F3/016Input arrangements with force or tactile feedback as computer generated output to the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/01Measuring temperature of body parts; Diagnostic temperature sensing, e.g. for malignant or inflamed tissue
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/02Detecting, measuring or recording pulse, heart rate, blood pressure or blood flow; Combined pulse/heart-rate/blood pressure determination; Evaluating a cardiovascular condition not otherwise provided for, e.g. using combinations of techniques provided for in this group with electrocardiography or electroauscultation; Heart catheters for measuring blood pressure
    • A61B5/024Detecting, measuring or recording pulse rate or heart rate
    • A61B5/0245Detecting, measuring or recording pulse rate or heart rate by using sensing means generating electric signals, i.e. ECG signals
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/08Detecting, measuring or recording devices for evaluating the respiratory organs
    • A61B5/0809Detecting, measuring or recording devices for evaluating the respiratory organs by impedance pneumography
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/68Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient
    • A61B5/6801Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient specially adapted to be attached to or worn on the body surface
    • A61B5/6813Specially adapted to be attached to a specific body part
    • A61B5/6822Neck
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/74Details of notification to user or communication with user or patient ; user input means
    • A61B5/7455Details of notification to user or communication with user or patient ; user input means characterised by tactile indication, e.g. vibration or electrical stimulation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/163Wearable computers, e.g. on a belt
    • 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
    • G06F3/011Arrangements for interaction with the human body, e.g. for user immersion in virtual reality

Abstract

A wearable device for providing haptic indications to a wearer. The device includes a suite of sensors and is configured to communicate with external components to send or receive information. The haptic indications can be in the form of a pattern to provide a signal associated with a predetermined event, thus communicating information to the wearer. The suite of sensors may be biometric sensors associated with the wearer or ambient environment sensors.

Description

WEARABLE BAND

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to the field of wearable technology, more specifically to sensor feedback for communication.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0002] This application claims priority from Provisional

Application US Application 62/107777, filed 1/26/2015, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Wearable technology has begun to develop as computing power and battery technology have enabled smaller "smart" devices. As wearable devices developed, the widespread adoption of smartphones also altered the projected landscape and needs of a smart wearable device. Most wearers of a smart wearable would also have a smart phone present at all times. Therefore, there is a need for a wearable device that provides a different set of interactions and data from a standard smart-phone type device. Further, many contexts of use for mobile technology preclude looking at screens or listing to prompts because of issues of safety, disability, or the limits of available attention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] One embodiment of the invention relates to a wearable band. The band has a housing having a non-linear shape with an inner surface, the housing having a first end and a second end, the curved shape placing the first end and the second end adjacent to each other but spaced apart by gap less than a major axis of the housing. A suite of sensors is associated with the housing. A plurality of haptic actuators are positioned in communication with the inner surface of the band. A wireless communication device is included. [0005] Another embodiment of the invention relates to a method of providing feedback. The method includes the steps of: receiving information from a sensor; processing the information; converting the processed information into a haptic signal; and communicating the haptic signal to the wearer by selective activation of one or more haptic actuators associated with a wearable device.

[0006] Another embodiment of the invention relates to a method of calibrating a wearable device. The method comprises the steps of:

determining a relative positioning of a first portion and a second portion of the wearable device; and determining from the relative positioning, headings with respect to the wearer, for each of a plurality of haptic actuators spaced about the wearable device.

[0007] Additional features, advantages, and embodiments of the present disclosure may be set forth from consideration of the following detailed description, drawings, and claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that both the foregoing summary of the present disclosure and the following detailed description are exemplary and intended to provide further explanation without further limiting the scope of the present disclosure claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The foregoing and other objects, aspects, features, and advantages of the disclosure will become more apparent and better understood by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the

accompanying drawings, in which:

[0009] Figure 1 is a perspective view of a neck band.

[0010] Figure 2 is a block diagram of the internal components of the neck band of Figure 1 .

[0011] Figure 3 illustrates a wired embodiment of a neck band. [0012] Figure 4 illustrates a band with vibration actuators, battery, wireless transceivers, various biometric sensors, and in communication with a smartphone.

[0013] Figure 5 illustrates a nine axis orientation sensor for use in certain embodiments.

[0014] Figure 6 illustrates indoor position finding with coded stationary beacons for GPS-like time-of-flight or other forms of radio-based triangulation or orientation/location finding.

[0015] Figure 7 illustrates a band with different fit sensing options: flex and telescopic position measurement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof. In the drawings, similar symbols typically identify similar components, unless context dictates otherwise. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented here. It will be readily understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein, and illustrated in the figures, can be arranged, substituted, combined, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are explicitly contemplated and made part of this disclosure.

[0017] One embodiment relates to a wearable smart band 1 10 that provides communication to its wearer regarding directional and other low throughput information via haptic actuators associated with the band. In one particular embodiment, such as illustrated in Figures 1 -4, the band 1 10 is designed to be worn around the neck of its user.

[0018] The band 1 10 serves as a platform for a variety of sensors 130, further described in various embodiments below, reading data relevant to the wearer's current state. A wireless data link 150 to external devices 210 extends the band's 1 10 abilities. For example, in one embodiment the band 1 10 includes a housing 1 1 1 , one or more microprocessors 160, multiple haptic actuators 120 and driving electronics 165, a suite of sensors 130, one or more a wireless communication devices, shown as a radio 151 , and an internal battery 166 and charging apparatus 167. Figure 2 a block diagram of the internal components of the neck band of Figure 1 .

[0019] In one embodiment, the housing 1 1 1 has a non-linear shape, such as a curved shape, with terminating at a first end 1 14a and a second end 1 14b. The first end 1 14a and the second end 1 14b are positioned, due to the curved shape, adjacent each other separated by a gap 1 13. The gap 1 13 is less than a major axis 1 15 of the housing 1 1 1. The housing 1 1 1 may define a partial circular, elliptical, or polygon. "Nonlinear" shape refers to the overall shape of the housing, which may comprise individual linear segments such as where forming a partial polygon. The non-linear shape of the housing 1 1 1 allows the band 1 10 to curve or wrap around a wearer's neck. The gap 1 13 allows one to slide the band 1 10 in place.

[0020] The band 1 10 is constructed of materials and mechanisms that allow it to conform to the unique size and shape of the wearer's neck. The band 1 10 may be semi-rigid, exhibiting flexibility along one or more axes to accommodate a user equipping the band. For example, the band 1 10 may be flexible along the transverse axis of the body. In one embodiment, the band is configured to be worn directly in contact with the skin all around the neck except, at the gap 1 13, where there is no contact with the wearer's esophageal area. For example, preferably the gap 1 13 is no smaller than about 5cm or may be defined in terms of relative body size.

[0021] As described further below embodiments of the device have numerous applications including a haptic clock, a haptic compass, haptic turn-by-turn directions, haptic performance thresholds (e.g. heart rate training profile), situational awareness (e.g. approaching obstacles outside of a wearer's visual field), biometric readings (e.g. heart rate, skin vs. external air temperature, breathing rate, posture), adaptive athletic training (thresholds and prompts dynamically manipulated by the wearer's location, orientation, and/or biometrics). See applications sections for full descriptions.

[0022] In one embodiment, the band is configured to engage with the neck of a wearer, such as a human. For humans, the neck naturally follows a human's direction of attention and grossly aligns with the body's general orientation. Further, the neck is a relatively sensitive area of the body. The neck is also a body part largely free of restrictive clothing or jewelry interference (as opposed to watches on wrists, helmets / hats on heads, belts on waists); scarves and collars fit over top of a wearable band. The neck gives access to 360° of body space, referred to herein as the transverse plane; as orientation and navigation are more nuanced than only left / right / forward / back such access improves the fidelity of guidance and directional information.

[0023] With regard to directional information, the band utilizes the plasticity of the human brain and its ability to incorporate new sensory

information. That is, because directional information presented to the wearer corresponds to the frame of physical space around them regardless of their orientation, directional prompts become an extension of the wearer's innate sense of direction rather than only a consciously processed abstraction of direction. In effect, once the brain adapts to the new presentation of information, the experience of directional prompts is more like naturally following a tap on the shoulder than interpreting a map. Specifically, it is theorized that the band indirectly stimulates the place cells and grid cells (types of neurons) of the so- called hippocampal map and entorhinal map, respectively, that are keys to the brain's functions of path-integration, directional orientation, etc.

[0024] By virtue of its placement on the body about the neck, the band follows its wearer's attention and orientation in space. Referring to Figure. 5, in one embodiment, an orientation sensor 152 is associated with the band 1 10. For example, one orientation sensor152, including accelerometers 153, gyroscopes 154, and magnetometers 155, continually measures nine axes of acceleration, rotation, and electromagnetic fields. Further, a software filter (e.g. Madgwick filter, Kalman filter, particle filter (or Sequential Monte Carlo method), Mahony's explicit complementary filter, Madgwick's gradient descent based orientation filter) processes these raw readings into yaw, pitch, and roll relative to the direction of gravity and compass north (i.e. an Attitude and Heading

Reference System [AHRS]).

[0025] An internal GPS sensing package 141 or external GPS data communicated over a wireless link 150 establishes the wearer's location on the earth. Further, in one embodiment, a barometric pressure sensor 142 is included. The barometric pressure sensor 142 in the band 1 10 reads ambient air pressure, using location data this measure is mathematically transformed through formulas and look-up tables into an elevation measure complementary to GPS elevation. Further, the barometric pressure sensor 142 captures ambient air pressure to augment GPS calculations of altitude and to approximate oxygen content of the air.

[0026] The inertial data from the onboard accelerometers and gyroscopes is processed to track the band (thus, the wearer's) path through space relative to a starting point (i.e. an Inertial Measurement Unit [IMU]).

Mathematically combining in software this inertial data with the constraints of the wearer's body motions and location data sensed via onboard GPS or provided externally over a wireless link yields improved location sensing via assisted GPS (AGPS).

[0027] Although Figure 3 shows a wired embodiment, in a preferred mode the band includes wireless communication capability. For example, band may include Bluetooth ®, Wi-Fi, or other wireless technologies (e.g. ANT+, Zigbee) for data communication, one-way or two-way, with one or more sensors (external to the band or internal) and external devices (local or remote).

[0028] In one embodiment, no user interface display is provided on the band, but it is instead configured to communicate with external screen- based devices (e.g. smartphones) to allow for configuration and to provide setup of features and/or a route planning interface. Further, the band may

communicate with such external display devices during use to provide real-time or near real-time information regarding the band, including information from the sensor package or derived from the sensor package information.

[0029] An external device can process the band's 1 10 orientation data (AHRS/IMU) and the external device's 210 location data to calculate the wearer's location and orientation in relationship to the wearer's immediate surroundings to be communicated back to the band 1 10. Alternatively, if the band 1 10 contains onboard GPS, the band 1 10 can calculate this same information internally.

[0030] In the case of a certain wireless links such as Bluetooth ®, the band can be configured with a secondary profile and audio jack receptacle for audio headphones to act as wireless headphones. Of course, the band 1 10 can also directly drive audio signals to headphones through a jack using internal storage of audio data. For example, in one embodiment the systems and methods described herein can be used for vision impaired users, such as through one or a combination of audio and haptic signals.

[0031] Directly (e.g. ANT+) or via an external intermediate device (e.g. smartphone) the band 1 10 can be linked to an external heart rate monitor, cycling power meter, cycling cadence meter, proximity sensors, wind direction, etc. to process and communicate such data to the wearer.

[0032] The band 1 10 includes associated haptic mechanism 120. Various types of haptic mechanisms exist. For example, Linear Resonant Actuators (LRA's) operate akin to speaker coils with a mass moving along a single axis in response to a changing magnetic field. These are generally thought to be best for haptics as they allow a variety of sensations and strengths at reasonably good responsiveness. Eccentric Rotating Masses (ERM's) spin with an off-center mass (as often used in cell phones and pagers before them). These lack the subtlety of LRA's and spread vibration energy somewhat indiscriminately but may be effective for our application as location on the body is as important as sensation of the vibration. That is, a limited library of vibration patterns possible with ERM's may be sufficient and more cost effective than LRA's. Piezo and dielectric elastomer materials that deform in response to electricity can also be used for haptics. Simple physical displacement ("poking") through pneumatics, hydraulics, or electromagnetics (i.e. linear motor) can also create haptic feedback. For certain embodiments of the described systems, issues considered in selecting a haptic actuator include: varying sensitivity to vibration around the neck, resolution of discrimination of individual points of vibration, perceived direction in relation to actual placement on the neck, preferences for vibration patterns, etc. In one embodiment, the haptic

mechanism comprises a plurality of vibration actuators 122. The vibration actuators 122 are disposed about the internal circumference of the band 1 10 such that they are positioned to transmit vibration to the wearer. Actuators 122 can be driven individually or in multiples up to and including all the actuators of the band. It should be appreciated that variations in patterns and intensity of vibration represent different data in different contexts. Actuators 122 can also be energized in temporal patterns (e.g. a single point of vibration shifting or

"chasing" around the circumference of the band). Patterns of vibration can be varied for adjacent actuators to create a sensation of pattern in quality or position more complex and subtle than possible with only a single actuator (e.g. fading effects or generating a virtual vibration where a physical actuator does not exist). The actuators 122 may be spaced equidistant about the housing, for example in communication with the interior surface of the housing. The actuators 122 may be in communication by forming a part of or protruding from the housing or may be disposed internal to the housing and physically coupled to the housing to provide localized vibration.

[0033] The band 1 10 uses placement of vibration actuators 122 all around the circumference of the band 1 10 to map "body space" to physical space. Utilizing the band's 1 10 orientation sensing, vibration prompts in body space can directionally correspond to physical space. For instance, acting as a simple compass, the actuator 122 most closely corresponding to north is energized regardless of the orientation of the user wearing the band. If north would fall in the esophageal region, in one embodiment then the two haptic actuators on either side of the gap are energized simultaneously to indicate due forward in "body space." Note that this does not preclude each being energized individually for directional prompts slightly to the left or right of the gap. Similarly, routing prompts can notify a user of an upcoming turn and guide that user through that turn regardless of where the user's attention is directed.

[0034] By increasing the height of the band 1 10 and stacking (vertically in relation to the band when worn) additional rows of actuators 122 along the inside of the band 1 10 or portions of the band, limited "tilt" and vertical directional information is also possible.

[0035] In one embodiment, the suite of sensors 131 include one or more biometric sensors, for example a heart monitor 132 and/or a respiration monitor 133. In a specific embodiment, the biometric sensors include a combined heart and respiration monitor, such as a respiration impedance and ECG front end, mounted on the interior of the band 1 10 that senses the wearer's heart rate and respiration rate. A wearer temperature sensor 135, such as a thermistor, on the interior of the band 1 10 together with an ambient temperature sensor 143 on the exterior of the band measure absolute skin temperature and temperature relative to the ambient air. In one embodiment, the external device 210 may be utilized for the external ambient temperature. In a further

embodiment, pH sensors 136 and/or moisture sensors 137 on the interior of the band 1 10 measure sweat output and basic composition.

[0036] As noted above, significant variations in neck size and shape combined with limitations in materials and manufacturing processes require, in certain embodiments, adjustability in the band (e.g. flex, telescoping, etc.). This necessary flexibility in fit may shift actuator position around a given wearer's neck. In order to preserve a proper mapping of body space to physical space, the position of the vibration actuators 122 must be known. Consequently, the band 1 10 senses its configuration upon the neck to determine where vibration actuators 122 land in relation to the wearer and, for example, updates an internal registration of angular heading for each actuator 122.

[0037] Referring to Figure 7, in one embodiment where the band 1 10 provides for flexible sizing, a distance sensor, such as a flex sensors 171 , and/or position sensors 170, and/or proximity sensors 172 internal to the flexible / extendible superstructure of the band senses the conformance of the band 1 10 to the wearer's neck so as to calculate haptic actuator position. In the case of a flex fit, one option is variable resistance flex sensors 171 that measure the deviation from a rest state according to a factory calibration table. Another option for a flex fit is embedding inductive proximity sensors 172 in the ends 1 14a, 1 14b of the band 1 10 on either side of its forward opening 1 13. The distance sensed between those ends 1 14a, 1 14b is utilized to determine an amount of flex deformation in the band 1 10. In both sensing scenarios, a parametric model of the spread / headings of the 122 is updated accordingly. In the case of telescoping elements 174, the position sensor 170 may be a linear potentiometer coincident with the telescoping armature 174 creates a voltage divider indicating the amount of extension. With this information, a model of the band 1 10 and the placement of the vibration actuators 122 is internally updated appropriately based on the amount of telescoping determined.

[0038] In addition, the flex sensors 171 and/or position sensors 170 described above may also be configured to wake the band 1 10 from a low power sleep state. For example, when a user flexes / extends the band 1 10 from its default unworn state in order to put it on, the flex sensors 170 used to measure fit to the neck trigger a wake up routine.

[0039] In addition to more standard charging options known in the art, including inductive charging, in one embodiment the band 1 10 utilizes the proximity to the wearer's body to harvest energy. For example, thermal energy from the wearer's neck is used as a trickle charge for the internal battery through a thermoelectric material. The thermal impact on the wearer results in a cooling effect. .

[0040] The band 1 10 may be used in numerous applications. The following descriptions are for individual modes or applications for or with which the band may be configured. It should be appreciated that such are nonlimiting examples and the band 1 10 may utilize a single mode or a

combination of modes. For example, in one application, the band 1 10 may be used in applications for configured for outdoor use. In one embodiment, operating as a compass, the band 1 10 produces a periodic pulse around its perimeter 1 16 most closely aligned with either magnetic north or true north selected, set by default or as input by the wearer, such as through an external wireless interface. Magnetic north is calculated with a basic filtering and synthesis of raw magnetometer data obtained from the band's 1 10 orientation sensor package . True north is calculated with the addition of compensation for magnetic declination (the difference between magnetic north and true north). To account for changes in declination around the globe (and an ever changing magnetic pole), like a mobile phone updates to local time when communicating with a cell tower, the band 1 10 updates with a regional declination correction factor when it communicates with its external wireless user interface (e.g.

smartphone or dedicated GPS navigation unit).

[0041] In another embodiment, a vector finding mode is provided by the band 1 10. For example, the wearer selects a final destination, such as through a personal mobile device 180 (i.e. smartphone). Subsequently the band calculates the vector between the wearer and the final destination and communicates this vector to the wearer through a continually updated pulse around its circumference. The accompanying personal mobile device 180 calculates the vector between it and the destination while the band translates the vector information into a real world direction relative to the wearer's orientation in space. In this mode, the, wearer is guided to their destination only in the macro sense. Turn-by-turn navigation choices are made solely by the wearer such that they accumulate to arrive at the desired destination.

[0042] In a turn-by-turn mode, the wearer selects a final destination and suitable route, such as through a personal mobile device interface (i.e. smartphone). The mobile device and the band 1 10 cooperate to translate traditional turn-by-turn directions into prompts guiding the wearer along the route. Patterns of vibrations across multiple actuators 122 indicate approaching turns and their proximity. Prompts, from the actuators 122, follow the wearer into turns giving affirmative feedback as a turn is executed. Similarly, other patterns (including in the back of the band or a whole band 1 12 vibration) indicate missed turns and the process of rerouting. With the addition of headphones and prerecorded audio, this turn-by-turn mode together with the band's orientation sensing (i.e. attention tracking) could guide wearers for walking / biking tours. Not only would the band 1 10 guide wearers through directions to waypoints along a tour, this configuration would also be aware of when the wearer arrived at a waypoint *and* generally at what their attention was directed so as to deliver the appropriate audio.

[0043] Further embodiments can take advantage of temporal information. Time can be communicated by the band 1 10 both spatially (e.g. hands on a clock) or as a pattern (e.g. the bells of a clock tower). The band 1 10 can relay time in both fashions and as a mixture of the two. Telling time itself is accomplished by mapping a clock face to the horizontal plane of the band 1 10 around the neck: noon is straight ahead, 3 o'clock is to the right, 6 o'clock at back, and 9 o'clock to the left. It should be appreciated any

orientation/configuration for mapping the clock face to the band 1 10 can be used. The hour is communicated by a series of pulses beginning at the noon position and chasing clockwise— one strong pulse for each hour with the final pulse ending at its corresponding place on the virtual clock face with multiple pulses. Minutes are communicated immediately after the hour in a similar fashion with a variation of pulse distinct from the hour pulses. Checking the time in this fashion is initiated by activating one of the user input physical switches. Like a clock tower 15 minute increments can then be communicated through a quick series of pulses at the appropriate location around the virtual clock face.

[0044] In yet another mode, the band 1 10 can also act as a countdown timer akin to an egg timer. In this configuration, the countdown clock is set external to the band via a wireless personal device (e.g. smartphone). The band once again maps its circumference as a virtual clock face where its circumference scales to the selected countdown time. At appropriately calculated (and configurable) intervals, the band 1 10 initiates a train of pulses from the noon position counterclockwise to the appropriate fractional position around the virtual clock face. That is, when the countdown begins only a very small portion of the band 1 10 is actuated along the left side. As the countdown nears completion, the pulses chase around nearly the entire circumference of the band. At the completion of the countdown, the entire band 1 10 vibrates. This mode may be attractive in competitive settings where preparing to begin a race before physically crossing the starting line is vitally important. An example is the moving starts of sailing competitions where crews must manage their craft to cross a starting as close to their allotted starting time as possible.

[0045] In an indoor navigation/pathfinding mode, the band 1 10 does not rely on location finding via internal GPS or an external personal mobile device. Rather, it incorporates a subset of navigation technologies. For example, the subset of navigation technologies may be those present in the average smartphone such as a radio transceiver arrangement between the band and fixed radio beacons for establishing location and orientation through triangulation or other means and receives short range transmissions from nearby radio beacons, as shown in FIG. 5. Using techniques similar to those of the Global Positioning System, the band 1 10 triangulates a basic heading from multiple reference points provided by the array of radio beacons (not shown). With a scattering of multiple coded beacon arrays, interior location as well as orientation sensing can be achieved.

[0046] A configuration of a single array of beacons is thus able to present the wearer with limited but robust orientation information even indoors where GPS fails and magnetic north is easily obscured. In this mode, the band 1 10 emits pulse patterns always directed towards the physical center of the radio beacon array. For situations such as Fire / Rescue where maps and blueprints are unreliable, unavailable, or out of date, the persistent, fixed orientation reference point augments the wearer's internal sense of space and sharpens the remembered details of a traversed path. That is, like air bubbles aid a

disoriented scuba diver in finding their way to the surface of the water, so too this persistent sense of orientation relevant to a fixed point aids pathfinding.

[0047] An arrangement of multiple coded arrays of beacons (e.g. iBeacon technology) is able to establish both orientation and interior location without GPS. With the addition of headphones connected to the band and internal pre-programmed routes and pre-recorded audio, this configuration is able to present wearers with guided tours of museums, architectural sites, etc. not only free of the encumbrances of traditional self-guided tour technology but also with the added benefit of sensing when the wearer has arrived at a particular attraction and their orientation of attention relative to it. Thus, audio prompts are appropriate to the wearer's position and orientation (e.g. "In this gallery and to your right you will find... "). A variation on this mode could also guide workers in factory or warehouse settings to indoor locations for servicing, pick-and-place, etc.

[0048] In a Threshold / Quantity / Directional / Differential Haptic Data mode, data read by the band 1 10 itself or communicated to it from external sensors is translated into a haptic experience of thresholds, quantities, differences, or directions. Thus, in certain embodiments any quantity or direction data measured internal to the band or communicated to it externally can be represented through the haptics around the band's circumference. In addition, derivatives of this data in the form of thresholds and differentials can also be communicated by the band. Configuration of the limits of a measurement range (e.g. 10 units at minimum and 135 units at maximum) and thresholds (e.g. 90 heartbeats per minute +/- 5 bpm) are programmed externally. The processing of measured data occurs internal to the band or external through a smartphone or other device with updates communicated wirelessly to the band. The ranges of measurements and thresholds can, of course, also be dynamically updated. The patterns and strength of haptic prompts can be both configurable and

dynamically adjustable over time. In the case of thresholds, patterns indicating approach to, arrival at, and departure from a programmed threshold would provide awareness of an instantaneous measurement in relation to the threshold; these patterns are activated around the entire band. Simple quantity, direction, and differential data are communicated with a single haptic pattern but spatially around the band in discrete arcs and points of vibration.

[0049] For example, thresholds may be a predetermined (or selectable) value related to exertion (e.g. heart rate, breathing rate, cycling power output), hydration (via sweat monitoring), pacing (e.g. cycling cadence, running split times), or any measurable threshold (e.g. data on factory floors). Examples of data include: target heart or breathing rates for training, warning thresholds for dehydration levels, warnings for excessive heart or breathing rates, and target timing for running pace management. All of these examples involve data that could be measured internal to the band. Other examples include: target cycling power output, target cycling cadence, or monitoring a key temperature level in a production process. All these examples involve data measured remotely from the band and processed/communicated to it externally.

[0050] Pre-programmed targets are communicated to the wearer when the measured value nears the threshold. Series of pulses increasing in strength or duration and alternately decreasing in strength or duration all around the neck simultaneously indicate a deviation from the desired threshold or approaching a warning threshold.

[0051] In a quantity tracking mode, quantity information is mapped as a virtual circular gauge around the neck similar to the previous discussion of clock. A filling or emptying "tank" is represented by a "virtual needle" sweeping around the virtual gauge mapped to the circumference of the band 1 10. The vibration pattern grows clockwise from the front of the band to the location of the virtual needle. The vibration pattern fills the arc of the

circumference of the band representative of the gauge's reading. In contrast, the reverse may be used to as well, where the vibration pattern reduces as the quantity is filled. Further, the quantity tracking made can be utilized for communicating "filling" or "emptying" actions.

[0052] In a directionality mode, the band 1 10 communicates directionally relevant information to the wearer in relation to their orientation. For instance, on a construction site a bank of proximity sensors on a construction vehicle could signal where in space the machine is when approaching a collision with an obstruction or worker. The proximity and size of the impending collision is communicated by strength of vibration pulses and/or the arc of the

circumference of the band in actuation. The area of the band actuated with vibration pulses corresponds to frame of reference of the vehicle. That is, the wearer experiences the warning pulses in relation to the orientation frame of the vehicle (i.e. vehicle left, vehicle rear back) regardless of their orientation within the vehicle.

[0053] In a warning mode, radio beacons are provided at areas of danger. For example, beacons could be installed in transit areas, such as to indicate the edge of a train platform, public venues, or construction sites. The beacon may transmit information regarding distance and location as described above. In addition, the existence of a proximity to a dangerous area can be transmitted and indicated to the wearer. In a further embodiment, such radio beacons may transmit information that would not be readily discernable through the use of a guide dog or cane, such as a sign warning of electrocution danger or falling ice.

[0054] In a differentials mode, the band 1 10 communicates a difference from a reference as an arc of vibration (i.e. a pie slice). For instance, in sailing a key piece of information is heading in relation to wind direction. This information is only available on electronic screens or by glancing up at a wind vane atop a mast. Instead, the band 1 10 communicates the difference between wind direction and heading as a differential arc of vibration pulses around the circumference of the band. In this example, heading (i.e. direction of the craft) would be the reference against which wind direction was differenced. The heading reference would remain fixed in relation to the orientation frame of the boat regardless of the wearers orientation to the boat. In such usage, the entire crew would benefit from the information; thus, a central radio beacon system to communicate wind direction and establish sailor orientation accompanies the bands 1 10.

[0055] In a biometric tracking mode, the band 1 10 is configured to periodically sample and store measurements of the suite of sensors worn at the neck (for example, those sensors described above) for post-processing. Alternatively, the band is able to transmit the values to a paired personal mobile device for real-time processing and display. Directly measured heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, and sweating combined with known body mass, ambient air temperature, ambient air pressure, cycling power, distance / elevation covered, time of activity, etc. yields estimates of calories consumed, dehydration, exertion profile, remaining metabolic power, etc.

[0056] In an adaptive fitness mode, by combining routing features, threshold monitoring, and biometrics tracking— as previously discussed— in cooperation with a personal mobile device (e.g. smartphone), the band 1 10 can guide a wearer through an adaptive fitness plan. Goals for calorie consumption, exertion profiles, power output plans, etc. are input and achieved by guiding the wearer to dynamically increase or decrease pace, increase or decrease time spent, and/or vary routes and elevations to achieve said goals regardless of day-to-day variations in performance, traffic, interruptions, etc.

[0057] In a gaming mode, the band 1 10 can be used as a controller and feedback extension for gaming systems. Gaming applications are a use specific example of the previously described directional haptic data. Using an appropriate indoor beacon system for orientation, the band 1 10 can signal tactical information from within a game (e.g. radar blips, gun fire, entirely fanciful creations). Used outdoor in conjunction with augmented reality mobile gaming (via smartphones), the band 1 10 can communicate navigation information as well as tactical information and sensory stimulation identical to the indoor context.

[0058] The foregoing description of illustrative embodiments has been presented for purposes of illustration and of description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or limiting with respect to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the disclosed embodiments. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1 . A wearable band comprising: a housing having a non-linear shape with an inner surface, the housing having a first end and a second end, the curved shape placing the first end and the second end adjacent to each other but spaced apart by gap less than a maximum diameter of the housing;
a suite of sensors associated with the housing; a plurality of haptic actuators positioned in communication with the inner surface of the band; and a wireless communication device.
2. The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the housing is flexible along a major axis.
3. The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the suite of sensors comprises one or more accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer configured to provide nine axes of acceleration, rotation, and electromagnetic fields.
4. The wearable band of claim 1 , further comprising a GPS sensor.
5. The wearable band of claim 1 , further comprising a barometric pressure sensor.
6. The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the plurality of haptic actuators are spaced equidistant about the housing.
7. The wearable band of claim 1 , further comprising a plurality of biometric sensors.
8. The wearable band of claim 1 , further comprising a distance sensor configured to determine the distance forming the gap between the first end and second end.
9. The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the distance sensor is a linear potentiometer associated with a telescoping portion of the housing.
10. The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the distance sensor comprises a first inductive proximity sensor in the first and a second inductive proximity sensor in the second end.
1 1 . The wearable band of claim 1 , wherein the gap is less than ½ the major axis of the housing
12. A method of providing feedback comprising: receiving information from a sensor; processing the information; converting the processed information into a haptic signal; communicating the haptic signal to the wearer by selective activation of one or more haptic actuators associated with a wearable device.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein receiving information comprises receiving information from a plurality of biometric sensors and from a plurality of environment sensors.
14. The method of claim 12, further comprising receiving GPS information and wherein the selective activation of the one or more haptic actuators corresponds to vector finding.
15. The method of claim 12, further comprising receiving temporal information and wherein the selective activation of the one or more haptic actuators corresponds to mapping the temporal information to a circle.
16. The method of claim 12, further comprising determining if the information is indicative of a threshold being exceeded, wherein the selective activation is based upon a predetermined activation associated with the threshold.
17. The method of claim 12, further comprising calibrating the wearable device by determining a relative positioning of a first portion and a second portion of the wearable device and determining from the relative positioning, headings with respect to a wearer, for each of a plurality of haptic actuators spaced about the wearable device.
18. The method of claim 12 wherein receiving biometric sensor information includes receiving heart rate and respiration rate
19. A method of calibrating a wearable device comprising: determining a relative positioning of a first portion and a second portion of the wearable device; determining from the relative positioning, headings with respect to the wearer, for each of a plurality of haptic actuators spaced about the wearable device.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein determining the relative positioning comprises measuring deviation based upon one or more variable resistance flex sensors.
21 . The method of claim 19, wherein determining the relative positioning comprises measuring deviation based upon the distance between a first proximity sensor in a first end of the wearable device and a second proximity sensor in a second end of the wearable device..
22. The method of claim 19, wherein determining the relative positioning comprises measuring deviation based upon information from a linear
potentiometer regarding an amount of extension of an extendable portion of the wearable device.
PCT/US2016/014961 2015-01-26 2016-01-26 Wearable band WO2016123129A1 (en)

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WO2018116678A1 (en) * 2016-12-22 2018-06-28 ソニー株式会社 Information processing device and method for control thereof
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