enable user to edit a picture using a control store a representation

enable user to edit a picture using a control store a representation
US 20060170669Al
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2006/0170669 A1
Walker et al.
(54)
(43) Pub. Date:
DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME AND METHOD
FOR EDITING
Aug. 3, 2006
Publication Classi?cation
(51)
(76) Inventors: Jay S. Walker, Ridge?eld, CT (US);
James A. Jorasch, Stamford, CT (US);
Int. Cl.
G06T 1/00
G06F 17/24
Russell P_ Sammon’ San Francisco’ CA
(52)
(200601)
(200601)
U.S. Cl. .......................................... .. 345/418; 715/530
(US); Steven M. Santisi, Ridge?eld,
CT (US); Victor M. Garcia, New
Haven, CT (U S)
Correspondence Address:
WALKER DIGITAL
(57)
ABSTRACT
The invention provides a digital picture frame that allows a
user to edit a displayed picture using simple and intuitive
controls. Modi?cations to an image may be stored by the
digital picture frame so that the digital picture frame may
2 HIGH RIDGE PARK
STAMFORD, CT 06905 (Us)
later display the edited or modi?ed version of the picture
rather than the original version. A user may edit a picture
using mechanical controls (e.g., knobs, sWitches, slider-bars,
(21)
(22)
App1_ NQ;
Filed;
10/639,090
Wheels), sensors (e.g., a position sensor, a tilt sensor, a
Aug, 12, 2003
microphone, a light sensor), a voice recognition module,
and/or a touch screen. A digital picture frame may identify
Related US. Application Data
preferences or permissions), may display pictures to the
a user and based on the user’s identity (e.g., the user’s
(60)
user. Further, different users may modify a picture in dif
ferent Ways, so that tWo different users may vieW two
different versions of the same picture.
Provisional application No. 60/403,186, ?led onAug.
12, 2002.
ENABLE USER TO EDIT A
PICTURE USING A CONTROL
I
STORE A REPRESENTATION
OF THE EDITED PICTURE
I
DISPLAY THE EDITED PICTURE
Patent Application Publication Aug. 3, 2006 Sheet 1 0f 7
f- 106
US 2006/0170669 A1
CONTROL
108
MICROPHONE
M
VOICE
RECOGNITION
MODULE L32
DISPLAY
SCREEN
M
AUDIO
SPEAKER
m
PROCESSOR
(Hob
COMMUNICATION
PORT
PROGRAM
PRINTER
CLOCK
IMAGE
DATABASE
124
USER
DATABASE
1 6
IMAGE MODIFICATION
DATABASE
128
SENSOR
FIG. 1
-
Patent Application Publication Aug. 3, 2006 Sheet 2 0f 7
.62:
US 2006/0170669 A1
Patent Application Publication Aug. 3, 2006 Sheet 7 0f 7
ENABLE USER TO EDIT A
PICTURE USING A CONTROL
I
STORE A REPRESENTATION
OF THE EDITED PICTURE
I
DISPLAY THE EDITED PICTURE
FIG. 6
US 2006/0170669 A1
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME AND METHOD FOR
EDITING
mechanical controls (e.g., knobs, sWitches, slider-bars,
RELATED APPLICATIONS
touch screen. More speci?cally, a digital picture frame may
include dedicated mechanical slider control bars for adjust
[0001] This application claims priority to commonly
oWned, co-pending US. Provisional Patent Application Ser.
No. 60/403,186, ?led Aug. 12, 2002, entitled “Digital Pic
Wheels), sensors (e.g., position sensors, tilt sensors, micro
phones, light sensors), a voice recognition module, and/or a
ing the vertical and horiZontal cropping of a digital picture,
knobs for adjusting brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation
ture Frame and Method for Editing” Which is incorporated
by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
of a digital picture, and a microphone and speaker that may
be part of a voice recognition module.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0011] A digital picture may be edited in a variety of Ways
in accordance With the present invention. For example, the
different Ways of modifying a picture may include geometric
[0002] The present invention relates to digital picture
frames. More speci?cally, the present invention relates to
digital picture editing and display methods and apparatus for
displaying and editing digital pictures.
transformations (e.g., cropping, rotating, Zooming in and
out), pixel transformations (e.g., brightness, contrast, hue,
saturation), ?lters (e.g., sharpen, soften, emboss, remove
shadoWs), image manipulation (e.g., combining tWo pic
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
tures, removing an object from a picture), and meta-data
While there are a number of commercially avail
When and Where a picture Was taken).
changes (e.g., adding annotations of Who is in a picture,
[0003]
able conventional digital picture frames, none of them alloW
a user to simply and easily edit and store a displayed image
(e.g., US. Pat. No. 6,442,573 to Schiller et al. describes
[0012] According to the present invention, any modi?ca
tions to an image may be stored by a digital picture frame
conventional digital picture frames and is hereby incorpo
rated herein by reference for all purposes.) Currently, the
along With the image so that in the future, the digital picture
only available means to edit an image requires the use of a
picture rather than the original version of the picture. In
frame may display the edited or modi?ed version of the
general purpose personal computer executing an image
some embodiments, different users may modify a picture in
editing application. Such prior art systems are typically too
involved, too cumbersome and too complicated for the
different Ways, so that tWo different users may vieW tWo
average consumer. Therefore, What is needed are systems
and methods that facilitate picture editing functions in a
simple, straight forWard, convenient, and easy to use man
ner.
different versions of the same picture.
[0013] According to some embodiments, a digital picture
frame may identify a user. Based on the user’s identity (e. g.,
the user’s preferences or permissions), the digital picture
frame may display pictures to the user or enable the user to
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0004] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an example
digital picture frame according to some embodiments of the
present invention.
[0005] FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an example of the
external appearance of a digital picture frame that includes
controls according to some embodiments of the present
invention.
[0006]
FIG. 3 is a table illustrating an example data
structure of an example picture database for use in some
embodiments of the present invention.
[0007] FIGS. 4A and 4B are a table illustrating an
example data structure of an example user database for use
in some embodiments of the present invention.
[0008] FIG. 5 is a table illustrating an example data
structure of an example picture modi?cation database for
use in some embodiments of the present invention.
[0009] FIG. 6 is a How diagram illustrating an exemplary
process for editing a displayed image according to and for
use in some embodiments of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
OF THE INVENTION
[0010]
The invention overcomes the above and other
edit pictures using the digital picture frame. For example, a
user may have certain photos that are private (e.g., not
vieWable by other vieWers) or pictures (e. g., artWork) that he
Would prefer not be edited by other users.
[0014] According to some embodiments, a digital picture
frame may communicate With one or more other devices
(e.g., a computer server). This communication may be
encrypted to prevent attackers from vieWing pictures, modi
fying pictures, or performing other undesirable activities
relating to a digital picture frame. For example, encryption
may be used to prevent attackers from duplicating copy
righted photos that are displayed on a digital picture frame.
[0015] According to the present invention, editing and
manipulating pictures is simpli?ed to such a degree that any
user may edit pictures. A user no longer needs to oWn a
general purpose computer, nor to understand hoW to operate
a computer, to edit a picture. Mechanical controls make it
easy and intuitive for a user to edit a picture using a digital
picture frame of the present invention. In some embodi
ments, voice recognition alloWs a user to edit a picture using
the digital picture frame of the present invention. Identifying
a user enables personaliZation of display preferences and
editing functions. For example, pictures may be displayed
based on a user’s identity. Further, different users may make
different modi?cations to the same picture. Encryption may
be used to ensure privacy and prevent illicit use of a digital
picture frame according to the present invention. Private
drawbacks of the prior art by providing a digital picture
digital pictures may be kept private. Copyrighted digital
frame that alloWs a user to edit a picture displayed on the
pictures displayed on the frame may be protected from
digital picture frame. For example, a user may edit a picture
duplication or alteration. Users or attackers may not be able
using various controls on the digital picture frame, including
to edit pictures Without permission
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
[0016]
With these and other advantages and features of the
invention that will become hereinafter apparent, the nature
of the invention may be more clearly understood by refer
ence to the following detailed description of the invention,
the appended claims and to the several drawings included
herein.
[0017] In the following description, reference is made to
the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in
which is shown, by way of illustration, speci?c embodi
ments in which the invention may be practiced. These
[0025] The term “mechanical control” may refer to a
physical mechanism that enables a user to regulate or guide
an aspect of the operation of a digital picture frame.
Mechanical controls are a subset of controls.
[0026]
The term “edit control” may refer to a control that
enables a user to regulate or guide a modi?cation of an
image displayed on a digital picture frame as well as a
modi?cation of the information representative of the digital
image. The modi?cation of the digital image may be saved
embodiments are described in suf?cient detail to enable
so that future viewing of the modi?ed digital image on any
digital picture frame will include the modi?cation. Thus, an
those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to
be understood that other embodiments may be utiliZed and
display characteristic for all displayed images, modi?es the
that structural, logical, software, hardware, and electrical
changes may be made without departing from the scope of
the present invention. The following description is, there
fore, not to be taken in a limited sense, and the scope of the
present invention is de?ned by the appended claims.
A. Terms
[0018] Throughout the description that follows and unless
otherwise speci?ed, the following terms may include and/or
encompass the example meanings provided in this section.
These terms and illustrative example meanings are provided
to clarify the language selected to describe embodiments of
the invention both in the speci?cation and in the appended
claims.
[0019] The terms “picture” and “image” shall be synony
mous and may refer to any design or representation made by
various means (as painting, drawing, or photography).
[0020] The terms “digital picture” and “digital image”
shall be synonymous and may refer to a digital representa
tion of an image and may be composed of at least one pixel.
Information representative of a digital image may be stored
in a memory device in the form of binary data. Note that
various different types of digital pictures are possible,
edit control, distinct from a control that merely alters a
binary data of a particular digital image and saves the
modi?ed binary data.
[0027] The term “user” may refer to any person or entity
that operates a digital picture frame. A user may view
pictures or edit pictures using a digital picture frame.
[0028] The term “viewer” may refer to a user who views
pictures on a digital picture frame. Note that viewer is a
subcategory of user.
[0029] The terms “server,”“computer server” and “image
server” shall be synonymous and may refer to any device
that may communicate with one or more digital picture
frames, one or more third-party servers, one or more remote
controllers, one or more user devices, and/or other network
nodes, and may be capable of relaying communications
including digital images to and from each.
[0030]
The terms
“user terminal,”“computer,” and
“remote controller” shall be synonymous and may refer to
any general purpose device that may execute a variety of
different applications and may communicate with one or
more servers, one or more digital picture frames, one or
more third-party service provider servers, one or more
including photographs, artwork (e. g., generated with
player devices, and/or other network nodes. User terminals
may, for example, include personal computers, laptop com
Adobe® lllustrator®), and diagrams (e.g., a ?oor plan of a
building). The term digital picture may refer to a multi
puters, handheld computers, telephones, kiosks, automated
teller machines, gaming devices, game consoles, and/or
dimensional image, including 2-dimensional, 2.5-dimen
vending machines. They may include facilities to support
sional, and 3-dimensional images. A digital image may be a
secure communications using encryption or the like.
2-dimensional array of pixels, or information that is suitable
in determining a 2-dimensional array of pixels.
[0021] The term “photography” may refer to the art or
process of producing images on a sensitiZed surface (as a
?lm or electronic sensors) by the action of radiant energy
[0031] The term “input device” may refer to a device that
is used to receive an input. An input device may commu
nicate with or be part of another device (eg a digital picture
frame, a point of sale terminal, a point of display terminal,
a user terminal, a server, a player device, a gaming device,
and especially light.
a controller, etc.). Some examples of input devices include:
[0022]
a memory stick reader, a mechanical control, a bar-code
The term “digital photo” may refer to a digital
picture generated via photography.
scanner, a magnetic stripe reader, a computer keyboard, a
point-of-sale terminal keypad, a touch-screen, a micro
[0023]
phone, an infrared sensor, a sonic ranger, a computer port, a
video camera, a motion detector, a digital camera, a network
The term “digital picture frame” may refer to a
device whose dimensions are similar to a conventional
picture frame and whose function is limited to displaying
card, a universal serial bus (USB) port, a GPS receiver, a
and editing digital pictures.
radio frequency identi?cation (RFID) receiver, a RF
[0024]
The term “control” may refer to a device, mecha
nism, or process that enables a user to regulate or guide one
or more aspects of the operation of a digital picture frame.
A control may include a device or representation associated
with and/or for controlling a single dedicated function or it
may include a physical device associated with and/or for
controlling a plurality of functions that depend upon an
operating mode or context.
receiver, a thermometer, a pressure sensor, a motion sensor,
and a weight scale.
[0032] The term “output device” may refer to a device that
is used to output information. An output device may com
municate with or be part of another device (eg a digital
picture frame, a computer, a gaming device, a point of sale
terminal, a point of display terminal, a player device, a
controller, etc.). Some examples of possible output devices
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
include: a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor, liquid crystal
display (LCD) screen, light emitting diode (LED) screen, a
printer, an audio speaker, an infra-red transmitter, a radio
transmitter.
[0033]
The term “I/O device” may refer to any combina
tion of input and/or output devices.
B. System
[0034]
Prior art digital picture frames, also knoWn as
digital photo vieWers, digital picture vieWers, digital image
vieWers, digital photo receivers, and digital image frames,
are typically shaped and siZed similar to conventional pic
ture frames. These prior art devices may include controls to
operate basic display functions of the digital photo receivers,
of the mechanical control. Examples of mechanical edit
controls include: a user may displace a slider bar (a movable
portion) relative to a digital picture frame 100 to crop an
image; a user may tWist a knob (a movable portion) relative
to a digital picture frame to modify the orientation of an
image; and/or a user may press a button, thereby moving
inWards relative to the case of a digital picture frame 100 to
step through application of a series of digital ?lters. A user
may operate a mechanical edit control on a digital picture
frame 100 to perform various editing functions. For
example, as suggested above, a user may use a slider bar on
a digital picture frame 100 to control hoW a digital picture
displayed in the frame is cropped.
make modi?cations to digital images that are associated With
[0039] A mechanical edit control may have a dedicated
edit function on a digital picture frame 100 according to the
present invention. That is, a control may perform one and
only one function. For example, a knob on a digital picture
frame 100 may control the editing of the brightness of a
the digital images such that the modi?ed digital images are
picture displayed in the digital picture frame 100. In some
presented as modi?ed When displayed in the future or on
embodiments, a mechanical edit control may perform a
plurality of functions on a digital picture frame 100. For
example, up-doWn arroW keys on a digital picture frame 100
may control different aspects of a digital picture in different
contexts of usage. Note that operating a control may include
such as brightness, for example. HoWever, because prior art
digital picture vieWers are merely picture vieWers or receiv
ers, they do not provide “edit controls” that alloW a user to
other digital picture frames.
[0035] A digital picture frame of the present invention
includes devices Whose dimensions are similar to a conven
tional picture frame and Whose function is limited to both
displaying and editing digital pictures. Turning to FIG. 1,
such a digital picture frame 100 may include one or more of
the folloWing: a processor 102 (e.g., a microcontroller or
microprocessor); a display screen 104; a frame 106 includ
ing an enclosure or case for the other components; at least
one control 108; a memory 110 storing a program 122 and
databases 124, 126, 128; an audio speaker 112; at least one
communication port or input device 114; a printer 116; a
clock 118; and a hanger 120 (not pictured) (e.g., to hang the
digital picture frame on a Wall). In some embodiments, a
digital picture frame may include a sensor 130 and/or a voice
pushing the control (e.g., a button), tWisting the control (e. g.,
a knob), turning the control (e.g., a Wheel), ?icking the
control (e.g., a sWitch), moving the control (e.g., a slider),
rotating the control (e.g., a track-ball), pressing the control,
depressing the control (eg a spring loaded button), com
pressing the control, squeezing the control (eg a trigger),
pulling the control (eg a handle), pinching the control,
and/or grasping the control.
[0040] FIG. 2 illustrates a frontal vieW of a an example of
a digital picture frame 100 according to some embodiments
of the present invention. Note that slider controls 108A and
recognition module 132 and microphone 134.
108B are positioned so as to provide an intuitive means to
[0036] Various different types of display screens 104 may
be used including: a cathode ray tube (CRT) video monitor;
de?ne boundaries for cropping a displayed image both
horiZontally and vertically. In other Words, the left-hand
moveable portion 108SL of slider control 108A may easily
a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen (including passive
matrix and active matrix LCD screens); a light emitting
diode (LED) screen (including organic and inorganic
LEDs); a LCD projector display; an electronic ink display
(e. g., such as one made by E Ink Corporation in Cambridge,
Mass.); and/or a touch screen. A display screen 104 may
output various information to a user, including: digital
pictures; meta-data about digital pictures; and/or instruc
tions for operation of the digital picture frame.
[0037] A control 108 may include a device, mechanism, or
process that enables a user to regulate or guide the operation
be used to specify a left-hand boundary 108LB Within an
image on the display screen 104 While the right-hand
moveable portion 108SR of slider control 108A may easily
be used to specify a right-hand boundary 108RB Within a
displayed image. LikeWise, the upper moveable portion
108ST of slider control 108B may easily be used to specify
an upper boundary 108TB Within a displayed image While
the loWer moveable portion 108SB of slider control 108B
may easily be used to specify a loWer boundary 108BB
Within an image on the display screen 104. Knob and/or
of a digital picture frame. A variety of different types of
push button controls 108C, 108D, 108E, 108F may be used
for any number of different functions including, for
controls 108 are possible, including: a mechanical edit
control; a sensor; a voice recognition module; and/or a touch
example, Zooming in or out, stepping through application of
digital ?lters, editing color and lighting characteristics,
screen. A mechanical edit control may be a mechanism that
adding text to the image or meta-data, saving an edited
version of an image, etc. Many other possible functions for
enables a user to regulate or guide the editing of a digital
image displayed on a digital picture frame 100. Examples of
mechanical edit controls include a slider, a knob, a button,
a key, a Wheel, a dial, a handle, and/or a sWitch.
various types of different mechanical controls are discussed
in more detail beloW With respect to methods of the inven
tion.
[0038] A mechanical edit control 108 may include at least
tWo parts: a base portion (e.g., Which may be mounted to the
the present invention may include one or more sensors 130,
[0041] Returning to FIG. 1, a digital picture frame 100 of
digital picture frame 100) and a movable portion. Operating
132, 134 that may be used to operate aspects of the digital
a mechanical edit control may include moving the movable
picture frame’s functions. A sensor may include devices that
portion of the mechanical control relative to the base portion
respond to a physical stimulus (as heat, light, sound, pres
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
sure, magnetism, or a particular motion) and transmit a
resulting impulse (as for measurement or operating a con
trol). Examples of sensors 130 include position sensors. For
example, a digital picture frame may include a global
positioning satellite (GPS) device or other location sensor
that alloWs it to knoW its oWn location. The digital picture
frame 100 may then (in response to the GPS signal) display
photos based on its location (e.g., a child’s bedroom, a
kitchen). In a another example, a user may move a digital
picture frame 100 in order to crop a picture. As the user
moves the digital picture frame, the digital picture frame
may automatically pan the display of the picture based on
the user’s movement of the frame. So if the user moves the
digital picture frame one inch to the right, then the picture
displayed in the frame Will be shifted one inch to the left
(e.g., thereby moving the left side of the picture out of the
compass); and/or a biometric sensor (e.g., a ?ngerprint
reader, a camera With facial recognition capability, a retinal
scanner, a DNA sequencer).
[0044] Note that sensors 130 on a digital picture frame 100
may be used for a variety of different purposes including:
receiving inputs to a digital picture frame (e.g., a digital
picture frame 100 may use a biometric sensor to identify a
user, or an acceleration sensor to determine if a user acci
dentally drops the digital picture frame on the ground);
and/or monitoring a digital picture frame’s environment
(e.g., a digital picture frame 100 may use a digital camera
and a microphone to determine Whether there is a party
going on in a room Where it is located, or a digital camera
to determine What type of room it is located in (e.g., a
hallWay, or a kitchen) or determine if someone is Walking by.
vieWable area on the picture frame and cropping it o?). A
[0045]
digital picture frame 100 may determine its position using
may include a voice recognition module 132. This voice
dead-reckoning.
recognition module 132 may include one or more of the
[0042]
Likewise, an orientation sensor 130 such as the
CXMll3 3-Axis Analog Magnetometer manufactured by
CrossboW Technology, Inc. in San Jose, Calif. may be used
to sense the orientation of the digital picture frame 100 to
enable the display of a large 360o picture. As the digital
picture frame 100 is rotated, it may shift the displayed image
so that an appropriate portion of the image is displayed
corresponding to the orientation of the vieWer’s gaZe. In
other Words, if the image includes the vieW in all directions
of a person standing in the middle of a square room, a digital
picture frame 100 that displays images based on the orien
tation of the digital picture frame 100 Would shoW a picture
of the ceiling of the room if the digital picture frame 100 Was
held face doWn and a picture of the ?oor of the room if the
In some embodiments, a digital picture frame 100
folloWing: at least one microchip, a computer program, and
a microphone 134. A voice (or speech) recognition module
132 in a digital picture frame 100 may enable the digital
picture frame 100 to receive and process voice commands
from a user. Voice recognition softWare is knoWn to those
skilled in the art and need not be described herein. Examples
of voice recognition softWare include: OpenSpeech from
SpeechWorks International; Nuance 8.0 from Nuance Com
munications; ViaVoice from IBM Voice Systems; and
Dragon Naturally Speaking from Dragon Systems.
[0046]
Atouch screen may be used as a display screen 104
that also functions as a control 108. Touch screens are
knoWn to those skilled in the art and need not be described
in detail herein. Various touch screen technologies are
digital picture frame Was held face up. (360-degree-by-360
degree “immersive images” can be generated using com
possible, including resistive touch screens, infrared touch
mercially available software and cameras from iPIX® Inter
net Pictures Corporation in Oak Ridge, Tenn.)
touch screens. A user may use a stylus or other implement
to operate a touch screen. Examples of touch screen manu
[0043]
facturers include Elo TouchSystems, 3M Touch Systems,
Other sensors that may be used include: a micro
phone 134 (note that a microphone 134 may be part of, or
be otherWise associated With a voice recognition module
132); pressure sensor (e.g., an altimeter); a force sensor
(e.g., a tilt sensor in the digital picture frame may alloW the
digital picture frame to determine its oWn orientation rela
tive to gravity and thereby automatically sWitch from dis
playing pictures vertically to displaying pictures horiZon
tally); an acceleration sensor; a velocity sensor; a light
sensor (e.g., a digital picture frame 100 may automatically
turn itself off When the lights in a room are turned off or a
digital picture frame 100 may automatically adjust the
brightness of a display screen based on the amount of
ambient light in a room); a digital camera (e.g., a digital
picture frame may use image recognition to monitor its
surroundings and determine information like hoW many
people are in a room or the identity of a person in the room);
a temperature sensor; a magnetic ?eld sensor; a voltage
sensor (e.g., a touch screen may use voltage sensors to
determine Where a user touches the display screen 104); a
current sensor (e.g., a touch screen may use current sensors
to determine Where a user touches the display screen 104);
a radio antenna (e.g., a digital picture frame 100 may include
a radio antenna for communicating With other devices like
computers, personal digital assistants, printers, and radio
frequency identi?cation (REID) cards); a biological or
chemical voltage probe; a compass (e.g., an electronic
screens, acoustic Wave touch screens, and/or capacitive
Touch Controls, Inc., Digitech Systems, and/or CyberTouch.
[0047] A digital picture frame 100 may include at least one
communication port (or input device) 114 suitable for com
municating With other devices to receive digital pictures for
display. For example, a communication port on a digital
picture frame may be used to: receive pictures from a
computer on the World Wide Web (e.g., a Website); receive
pictures from a digital camera; send pictures to a computer
on the World Wide Web (e.g., a Website); send pictures to a
digital camera; and/or retrieve and store digital images
from/to a memory stick. A communication 114 port may
connect a digital picture frame 100 to a communication
netWork. Possible communication netWorks include: a local
area netWork (LAN), a Wide area netWork (WAN), the
Internet, a telephone line, a cable line, a radio channel, an
optical communications line, a satellite communications
link. Communication through a communication port 114
may use at least one communication protocol. Possible
communications protocols include: Ethernet, Bluetooth,
TCP/IP, USB, and/or FireWire. Communication may be
encrypted to ensure privacy and prevent fraud.
[0048] Those skilled in the art Will understand that devices
in communication With each other need not be continually
transmitting to each other. On the contrary, such devices
need only transmit to each other as necessary, and may
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
actually refrain from exchanging data most of the time. For
example, a device in communication With another device via
the Internet may not transmit data to the other device for
Weeks or months at a time.
images; one or more routines to store digital images; one or
more routines to store modi?cations of digital images and
associate the stored modi?cations With the corresponding
digital image; and/or one or more routines to control data
bases or softWare objects that track information regarding
[0049] In some embodiments, a digital picture frame may
include a printer 116. Examples of printers include an ink-jet
users, images, and modi?cations of images. Examples of
printer, a laser printer, a dot-matrix printer, and/or a thermal
a picture for a user. For example, a user may press a button
conjunction With the ?owchart depicted in FIG. 6.
[0053] According to some embodiments of the present
or other control 108 on a digital picture frame 100 to print
a copy of a picture that he can carry in his Wallet or give to
a friend. According to some embodiments, a printer 116 may
be included in a digital picture frame 116. Alternatively, a
into a memory 110 of the processor 102 from another
medium, such as from a ROM to a RAM. Execution of
sequences of the instructions in the program 122 causes
printer. A printer 116 may be particularly useful in printing
digital picture frame may be connected to a printer using a
cable or other communications link (e.g., an infra-red com
munications link).
[0050] A digital picture frame 100 may include volatile or
non-volatile memory 110, or a combination thereof. This
memory may be electronic, capacitive, inductive, or mag
netic in nature. Examples of memory 110 may include any
appropriate combination of magnetic, optical and/or semi
conductor memory, and may include, for example, addi
tional processors, communication ports, Random Access
Memory (“RAM”), Read-Only Memory (“ROM”), a com
pact disc, DVD drive, and/or a hard disk. Memory 110 may
be used for storing information such as program instruc
tions, encryption keys (e. g., a secret key), an image database
124, a user database 126, and/or an image modi?cation
database 128. These example databases are discussed in
detail beloW. Information stored in the memory 110 of a
digital picture frame 100 may be encrypted to ensure pri
vacy, restrict copying, and prevent fraud.
[0051]
The memory 110 may store a program 122 for
controlling the processor 102. The processor 102 performs
instructions of the program 122, and thereby operates in
accordance With the present invention, and particularly in
accordance With the methods described in detail herein.
Portions of the present invention may be embodied as a
program 122 developed using an object oriented language
that alloWs the modeling of complex systems With modular
objects to create abstractions that are representative of real
World, physical objects and their interrelationships. HoW
ever, it Would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the
art that the invention as described herein can be imple
mented in many different Ways using a Wide range of
programming techniques as Well as general purpose hard
Ware sub-systems or dedicated controllers. The program 122
may be stored in a compressed, uncompiled and/or
encrypted format. The program 122 furthermore may
include program elements that may be generally useful, such
as an operating system, a database management system and
device drivers for alloWing the processor 102 to interface
With computer peripheral devices. Appropriate general pur
these routines and their operation are described beloW in
invention, the instructions of the program 122 may be read
processor 102 to perform the process steps described herein.
In alternative embodiments, hard-Wired circuitry or inte
grated circuits may be used in place of, or in combination
With, softWare instructions for implementation of the pro
cesses of the present invention. Thus, embodiments of the
present invention are not limited to any speci?c combination
of hardWare, ?rmWare, and/or softWare.
[0054] In addition to the program 122, the memory 110 is
also operative to store (i) an image database 124, (ii) a user
database 126, and (iii) an image modi?cation database 128.
The databases 124, 126, 128 are described beloW and
example structures are depicted With sample entries in the
accompanying ?gures. As Will be understood by those
skilled in the art, the schematic illustrations and accompa
nying descriptions of the sample databases 124, 126, 128
presented herein are exemplary arrangements for stored
representations of information. Any number of other
arrangements may be employed besides those suggested by
the tables shoWn. For example, even though three separate
databases are illustrated, the invention could be practiced
effectively using one, tWo, four, or more functionally
equivalent databases. Similarly, the illustrated entries of the
databases represent exemplary information only; those
skilled in the art Will understand that the number and content
of the entries can be different from those illustrated herein.
Further, despite the depiction of the databases as tables, an
object-based model could be used to store and manipulate
the data types of the present invention and likeWise, object
methods or behaviors can be used to implement the pro
cesses of the present invention. These processes are
described beloW With respect to FIG. 6.
C. Databases
[0055] As indicated above, it should be noted that
although the example embodiment depicted in FIG. 1
includes three particular databases stored in memory 110,
other database arrangements may be used Which Would still
be in keeping With the spirit and scope of the present
invention. In other Words, the present invention could be
implemented using any number of different database ?les or
data structures, as opposed to the three depicted in FIG. 1.
pose program elements are knoWn to those skilled in the art,
and need not be described in detail herein.
Further, the individual database ?les could be stored on
different devices (eg located on different storage devices in
different geographic locations, such as on a third-party
[0052]
image server). LikeWise, the program 122 could also be
Further, the program 122 is operative to execute a
number of invention-speci?c, objects, modules and/or sub
routines Which may include (but are not limited to) one or
more routines to respond to mechanical edit controls to edit
digital images; one or more routines to respond to controls
108, including sensors, to control the operation of the digital
picture frame 100; one or more routines to receive digital
located remotely from the memory 110 and/or on another
server. As indicated above, the program 122 may include
instructions for retrieving, manipulating, and storing data in
the databases 124, 126, 128, as may be useful in performing
the methods of the invention as Will be further described
beloW.
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
1. Image Database
[0056]
Turning to FIG. 3, a tabular representation of an
embodiment of an image database 124 according to some
embodiments of the present invention is illustrated. This
particular tabular representation of an image database 124
includes eight sample records or entries Which each include
information regarding a particular image. In some embodi
ments of the invention, an image database 124 is used to
track such things as image data and characteristics of the
image. Those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that such an
image database 124 may include any number of entries or
additional ?elds.
[0057] The particular tabular representation of an image
database 124 depicted in FIG. 3 includes six ?elds for each
of the entries or records. The ?elds may include: (i) an image
identi?er ?eld 300 that stores a representation uniquely
identifying the image and may also serve as a pointer to a
storage location of the actual image data Within the memory
110; (ii) an image format ?eld 302 that stores a representa
tion of a format of the image; (iii) a Width ?eld 304 that
stores a representation of the image’s Width; (iv) a height
?eld 306 that stores a representation of the image’s height;
address ?eld 404 that stores a representation of the user’s
email address; (iv) a passWord ?eld 406 that stores a
representation of the user’s passWord; (v) a preference ?eld
408 that stores a representation of the user’s preferences;
and (vi) a voice sample ?eld 410 that stores a representation
of the characteristics of the user’s voice that may be used by
the digital picture frame 100 to identify the user.
[0061] The example user database 126 depicted in FIGS.
4A and 4B provides example data to illustrate the meaning
of the information stored in this database embodiment. A
user name ?eld 400 (eg “ALICE,”“BOB,”“CARL,”“DI
ANA,”“EDDIE,”“SCOTT J,”“MARY M,”“SAM J”) may
be used to identify and index the users listed in the user
database 126. Eight examples of user information are pro
vided and the last three entries are described here. “SCOTT
JONES” With an email address of “[email protected]”
has a passWord “1212ASD” and prefers a neW digital image
to be displayed “EVERY 30 SECONDS BETWEEN 9 AM
AND 5 PM.” To determine Scott’s presence, the digital
picture frame 100 listens for a voice print that encodes as
“FF AB BC CB EF DC.”“MARY MILLER” With an email
(v) a time ?eld 308 that stores a representation of the
address “[email protected]” has a passWord
“EMWOLLOF” and prefers “ONLY IMAGES MODIFIED
BY MARY M, [With a] NEW IMAGE TO BE DISPLAYED
time/date the image Was created; and (vi) a subject(s) ?eld
UPON [being] IDENTIF[ied].” To determine Mary’s pres
310 that stores a representation of a description of people or
ence, the digital picture frame 100 listens for a voice print
subjects depicted in the image.
that encodes as “AA AC CC CA FF DE.”“SAM JONES”
With an email address “[email protected]” has a
[0058] The example image database 124 depicted in FIG.
3 provides example data to illustrate the meaning of the
information stored in this database embodiment. An image
identity 300 (eg “YOSEMITE-Ol,”“WEDDING-02,
”“VANGOGH-03,”“RICKSAMTOM-04,”“BABYALICE
05,”“P111123,”“P222234,”“P333345”) may be used to
identify and index the images listed in the image database
124. Eight examples of image information are provided in
FIG. 3 and the last three examples are described here. Image
number “P111123” is a “JPEG” that is “800 PIXELS” by
“600 PIXELS.” It Was created “10:00 AM Jan. 10, 2002”
and it depicts “SALLY, [and] SAM.” Image number
“P222234” is a “GIF” that is “1024 PIXELS” by “800
PIXELS.” It Was created “9:00 PM Feb. 5, 2002” and it
depicts “MOUNTAINS.” Image number “P333345” is a
“BMP” that is “640 PIXELS” by “480 PIXELS.” It Was
created “2:00 PM Dec. 25, 2001” and it depicts “SCOTT,
MARY, SAM, [and] SALL .”
2. User Database
[0059]
Turning to FIGS. 4A and 4B, a tabular represen
tation of an embodiment of a user database 126 according to
some embodiments of the present invention is illustrated.
This particular tabular representation of a user database 126
includes eight sample records or entries Which each include
information regarding a particular user. In some embodi
ments of the invention, a user database 126 is used to track
such things as user identity and preferences. Those skilled in
the art Will recogniZe that such a user database 126 may
include any number of entries or additional ?elds.
[0060] The particular tabular representation of a user
database 126 depicted in FIGS. 4A and 4B includes six
?elds for each of the entries or records. The ?elds may
passWord “SPIDY1010” and prefers “ONLY IMAGES
INCLUDING SUBJECT ‘SALLY’,” his girlfriend, be dis
played When he is detected by the digital picture frame 100.
To determine Sam’s presence, the digital picture frame 100
listens for a voice print that encodes as “BB CB DE DC BE
PD.”
3. Image Modi?cation Database
[0062] Turning to FIG. 5, a tabular representation of an
embodiment of an image modi?cation database 128 accord
ing to some embodiments of the present invention is illus
trated. This particular tabular representation of an image
modi?cation database 128 includes nine sample records or
entries Which each include information regarding particular
modi?cations of an image. In some embodiments of the
invention, an image database 128 is used to track such things
as multiple image modi?cations by a particular user. Those
skilled in the art Will recogniZe that such an image database
128 may include any number of entries or additional ?elds.
[0063] The particular tabular representation of an image
modi?cation database 128 depicted in FIG. 5 includes six
?elds for each of the entries or records. The ?elds may
include: (i) an user identity ?eld 500 that stores a represen
tation uniquely identifying the user Who modi?ed (or origi
nally loaded) the image; (ii) an image identity ?eld 502 that
stores a representation uniquely identifying the image; (iii)
a ?rst modi?cation ?eld 504 that stores a representation of
a ?rst modi?cation made to the image; (iv) a second modi
?cation ?eld 506 that stores a representation of a second
modi?cation made to the image; (v) a third modi?cation
?eld 508 that stores a representation of a third modi?cation
made to the image; and (vi) an edited version ?eld 510 that
stores a representation of data representative of a pointer to
include: (i) a usemame ?eld 400 that stores a representation
the edited version of the image.
uniquely identifying the user; (ii) a name ?eld 402 that stores
a representation of the user’s actual name; (iii) an email
[0064] The example image modi?cation database 128
depicted in FIG. 5 provides example data to illustrate the
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
meaning of the information stored in this database embodi
ment. Nine examples of image modi?cations are provided
ments of the invention. In other Words, the methods of the
present invention may contain any number of steps that are
and the last four are described here. A user name ?eld 500
practicable to implement the several different inventive
(eg “SAM J,”“MARY M,”“SAM J,”“SCOTT J”) may be
processes described herein.
used to identify the user Who either originally loaded the
image into the digital picture frame 100 or modi?ed the
1. Editing a Picture Using a Control
corresponding identi?ed image (e.g. “P111123,”“P222234,
”“P333345,”“P333345”). Thus, in these examples, Sam
loaded image P111123 and Mary edited image P222234 by
rotating it to a landscape orientation. Sam cropped out all
subjects except Sally from P333345 and then enlarged the
resulting image. Meanwhile, Scott added a text message to
[0069] Step S1, editing a picture using a control 108 of the
digital picture frame 100 of the present invention, may
include making a modi?cation or alteration to the image. For
clarity, the terms “a modi?cation,”“an edit,” and “an alter
ation” are synonymous and are used to refer to any change
that may be made to a digital picture. Different types of
the original version of image P333345.
modi?cations to pictures include geometric transformations,
D. PROCESS
pixel transformations, ?lters, image manipulation, meta-data
[0065] The system discussed above, including the hard
changes, and text annotation. Examples of geometric trans
formations include horiZontal cropping, vertical cropping,
rotating a picture (e.g., clockWise or counterclockwise),
Ware components and the databases, are useful to perform
the methods of the invention. HoWever, it should be under
stood that not all of the above described components and
databases are necessary to perform any of the present
invention’s methods. In fact, in some embodiments, none of
the above described system is required to practice the
present invention’s methods. The system described above is
an example of a system that Would be useful in practicing the
invention’s methods. For example, the user database 126
described above With respect to FIGS. 4A and 4B is useful
for tracking users and information about them, but it is not
absolutely necessary to have such a database in order to
perform the methods of the invention. In other Words, the
methods described beloW may be practiced using, for
example, a set of generic user preference slots that are
numbered, e.g., one to four and a user simply associates
himself With Which ever generic user preference slot is
available to store his preferences.
[0066]
Referring to FIG. 6, a How chart is depicted that
represents some embodiments of the present invention that
may be performed using the digital picture frame 100 (FIG.
1) or other device. It must be understood that the particular
arrangement of elements in the How chart of FIG. 6, as Well
as the number and order of example steps of various
methods discussed herein, is not meant to imply a ?xed
Zooming in/ out on a portion of a picture (a.k.a. scaling), and
cropping a picture to a predetermined aspect ratio or to a
prede?ned boarder shape. For example, a user may desire to
crop a picture so that it may be printed out and included in
a standard photo album. Therefore, the horiZontal and ver
tical cropping controls on the digital picture frame may be
locked to a ?xed aspect ratio (e.g., 2:3 or 3:5) so that a user
may easily crop one or more photos to an appropriate siZe
for printing on glossy paper. In addition a user may Wish to
print a picture to ?t a conventional oval-shaped frame.
Therefore, the horiZontal and vertical cropping controls on
the digital picture frame may be set to control the major and
minor axes of an ellipse so that a user may easily crop a
picture in an oval shape to match the conventional frame.
[0070] Examples of pixel transformations include bright
ness, contrast, hue, saturation, infra-red (e.g., for a camera
that captures infra-red image information), range (e.g., for a
digital camera that captures a range value for each pixel as
in a 2.5-dimensional photo). Examples of ?lters include
red-eye reduction, sharpen edges, soften edges, emboss,
strobe, add shadoW, remove shadoW, coloriZe, sepia e?fect,
tinting, toning, mosaic, pixeling, slimming, lith, compres
sion, distortion, diffusion, and coarse grain effects.
order, sequence, quantity, and/or timing to the steps;
[0071] Examples of image manipulation include: remov
embodiments of the present invention can be practiced in
ing a person/object from a picture; adding an element of a
any order, sequence, and/or timing that is practicable.
second photo (e.g., insert Bob into the picture next to Alice);
adding a animated portion to an image (e.g. moving eyeballs
on an otherWise stationary head); modifying the background
[0067]
In general terms and referring to FIG. 6, method
steps of an embodiment of the present invention may be
summarized as folloWs. In Step S1, a user is enabled to edit
a picture using a control. In Step S2, a representation of the
edited picture is stored. In Step S3, the edited picture is
displayed.
of a photograph (e.g., a user may change the background of
a photograph from a picture of a dusty prairie to a picture of
the Grand Canyon); combining a plurality of pictures into a
single picture (e.g., a user may create a collage from a
plurality of photos of her family members or create a
In the subsections that folloW, each of these steps
sandWich or overlay effect using semi-transparent pictures);
Will noW be discussed in greater detail. Note that not all of
these steps are required to perform the method of the present
morphing to combine tWo photos; modifying a picture based
on another picture (e.g., a user may specify that the bright
invention and that additional and/or alternative steps are also
ness in a ?rst picture should be set equal to the brightness in
discussed beloW. Also note that the above general steps
represent features of only some of the embodiments of the
present invention and that they may be re-ordered, combined
a second picture, or specify a plurality of modi?cations to a
[0068]
and/or subdivided in any number of different Ways so that
methods of the present invention include more or feWer
actual steps. For example, in some embodiments many
additional steps may be added to update and maintain the
databases described above, but as indicated, it is not neces
sary to use the above described databases in all embodi
?rst picture and then use a single command to apply this
plurality of modi?cations to a second picture); and/or
extracting a portion of a picture and making it into a neW
picture (e.g., a digital picture frame may display a picture of
three people (Rick, Sam, and Tom), a user may extract a
portion of the picture (just Rick and Sam), and make this into
a neW picture). These neW, edited pictures may be stored in
an image database as illustrated in FIG. 3.
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
[0072] Examples of meta-data include: the time When
picture Was taken; the time When picture Was uploaded from
a digital camera or computer or memory stick; the source of
a user may use a stylus to select an area of a photograph
Where a shadoW exists (e.g., one side of a person’s face) and
then press a button 108F on the digital picture frame 100 to
the digital picture; the time When the picture Was doWn
loaded into the digital picture frame 100, the location Where
remove the shadoW from this area.
the picture Was taken; the orientation of the camera When the
command “Make picture number eighteen look like picture
picture Was taken; the subjects of the picture (e.g., people,
objects, locations, animals, etc); the identity of the photog
rapher; notes from photographer (e.g., “trying to get a
picture of baby With eyes open”); a telephone number of a
subject in a picture. (e.g., a digital picture frame may include
telephone capability, that alloWs a user to initiate a phone
call based on a telephone number associated With a picture,
for example, a grandmother may be able to telephone her
grandson by pressing a button on digital picture frame When
a picture of her grandson is being displayed); and changes
that have been made to a picture (e.g., meta-data may
include a description of hoW a picture has been edited by a
user, such as a list of modi?cations).
[0079]
In some embodiments, a user may use a spoken
number seventeen.” Based on this command, a picture
identi?ed as number eighteen may be edited so that it has the
similar brightness, contrast, ?ltering, and cropping to a
picture identi?ed as number seventeen.
[0080]
Enabling a user to edit a picture may include
determining a modi?cation and altering the picture based on
the modi?cation. Determining a modi?cation may include:
determining a modi?cation desired by a user; receiving an
indication of a modi?cation; receiving an indication of a
modi?cation from a user; and/or determining a plurality of
modi?cations. Altering the picture based on a modi?cation
may include: modifying a picture based on a modi?cation;
making a modi?cation to a picture; editing a picture; and/or
[0073]
A user may edit a plurality of pictures at one time.
For example, a plurality of photographs may have been
taken in the same location, Which may have had poor
editing a picture based on a modi?cation.
2. Storing a Representation of the Edited Picture
lighting conditions. Rather than editing each photograph
[0081]
individually, a user may provide a single set of modi?cations
tions to picture. In Step S2, information relating to these
and these modi?cations may be applied to the plurality of
modi?cations may be stored in a database. Storing informa
tion relating to a modi?cation may include storing an
photographs.
[0074]
A user may edit a picture based on one or more
previous modi?cations to the picture. For example, an
“undo” function may enable a user to reverse one or more
previous modi?cations to a picture. In some embodiments,
a digital picture frame 100 may display information that
helps a user to edit a picture.
[0075]
A user of a digital picture frame 100 may operate
one or more controls on the digital picture frame to edit a
picture. A variety of different types of controls are possible
As described above, a user may make modi?ca
indication of a modi?cation, storing the modi?cation itself,
saving a modi?cation, storing a modi?ed picture, and/or
storing information in a database. Various information may
be stored based on modi?cations to a picture made by a user,
including: a list of one or more modi?cations; Who made a
modi?cation (e.g., Which user); a description of a modi?
cation; a reason for a modi?cation (e.g., to emphasiZe the
background in the photo); a result of a modi?cation (e.g., a
modi?ed picture); a method of reversing the modi?cation
and a variety of different methods of editing a picture, as
(e.g., darkening may be the reverse of brightening); and/or
an unedited version of the picture (the “original” picture).
described above, are possible. An example of using at least
[0082]
one control on a digital picture frame 100 to edit a photo
includes cropping a picture using slider bar controls. As
depicted in FIG. 2, a digital picture frame 100 may include
four slider bars, tWo oriented vertically 108ST, 108SB and
tWo oriented horizontally 108SL, 108SR, on tWo slider
controls 108A, 108B. These slider bars 108ST, 108SB,
108SL, 108SR may be used to crop a picture that is
displayed in the digital picture frame 100. For example, the
?rst slider bar 108ST may be used to set the upper crop limit
108TB for the picture, the second slider bar 108SB may be
used to set the loWer crop limit 108BB for the picture, the
third slider bar 108SL may be used to set the left crop limit
108LB for the picture, and the fourth slider bar 108SR may
be used to set the right crop limit 108RB for the picture.
For example, an edited version of a picture may be
stored in a database or both an edited version of a picture and
an original version of the picture may be stored in a
database. In some embodiments, a database may store an
original version of a picture and a list of at least one
modi?cation to the original picture. In some embodiments,
various meta-data may be appended to a ?le associated With
a picture. In some embodiments, various users may modify
a picture in different Ways. For example, Alice may modify
a photo of Rick, Sam, and Tom to crop Rick out of the photo,
Whereas Bob may modify the picture of Rob, Sam, and Tom
to crop Tom out of the photo. TWo different version of the
modi?ed photo may be stored, one based on Alice’s modi
?cations (i.e., shoWing just Sam and Tom) and one based on
In some embodiments, a knob 108C on a digital
Bob’s modi?cations (i.e., shoWing just Rick and Sam).
[0083] In some embodiments, original versions of pictures
picture frame 100 may be used to adjust the brightness of a
may be stored in a ?rst database (e.g., on a computer server),
[0076]
picture displayed in the digital picture frame 100.
[0077]
In some embodiments, a user may use spoken
commands to apply ?lters to a digital picture that is dis
played in a digital picture frame 100. For example, a user
may say “Soften Photo” to run a softening ?lter on a digital
photo that is displayed in a digital picture frame 100.
[0078]
In some embodiments, a user may use a touch
screen to remove shadoWs from a photograph. For example,
and information about hoW pictures have been edited may be
stored in second database (e.g., on the digital picture frame
100). In some embodiments, information relating to modi
?cations of pictures may be stored in an image modi?cation
database 128, such as the one shoWn in FIG. 5. Note that,
as shoWn in FIG. 5, different users may modify the same
picture in different Ways, so that there may be multiple
edited versions of a given picture. Also note that users may
modify images previously modi?ed by other users.
Aug. 3,2006
US 2006/0170669 A1
3. Displaying the Edited Picture
[0084] In Step S3, the edited picture is displayed on the
digital picture frame 100. Displaying a picture on the digital
picture frame 100 may include outputting the picture using
a display screen 104, using a display screen 104 to display
the picture, and/or outputting the picture using a printer 116.
example, a digital picture frame may access an image
modi?cation database 128 to determine What modi?cations
have been made to a picture. Then the digital picture frame
100 may make these modi?cations to an original version of
the picture to create the edited version of the picture. The
edited version of the picture may then be output to a user.
A digital picture frame 100 may display a picture to a user
E. Additional Embodiments of the Invention
at various times, including before it is edited, While it is
being edited, and/or after is has been edited. In some
embodiments, a digital picture frame 100 may display a
[0088] In some embodiments, a digital picture frame 100
may identify a user of the digital picture frame. For example,
picture in response to some stimuli or triggering condition,
and/or based upon a user de?ned schedule or prede?ned
program.
a user may use a touch screen on a digital picture frame to
enter in his name, passWord, user identi?cation number,
login, or other information identifying himself. In some
embodiments, a digital picture frame 100 may include a
In addition to displaying a picture, in some
?ngerprint reader. A user may identify himself by pressing
embodiments, a digital picture frame 100 may output vari
ous other information associated With the picture, including:
his thumb on the ?ngerprint reader. In some embodiments,
a user may say his name aloud to the digital picture frame.
an associated sound or verbal message; play-back of an
Using a voice recognition module, the digital picture frame
MPEG or video stream Wherein the initially displayed
picture is the ?rst or a key image of the video stream;
meta-data associated With the picture (e.g., a list of changes
may recogniZe the user’s name and identify the user.
[0085]
that a user has made may be displayed next to an edited
version of a picture); information that helps a user to edit a
picture; information about security of a picture (e.g., a ?rst
portion of a picture may be secure and a second portion of
a picture may be insecure. A digital picture frame may
highlight a portion of a picture that is insecure); and/or a
message to a user (e.g., a digital picture frame may display
a message to a user that the user’s subscription to an online
image gallery is about to expire or has expired. This message
[0089]
In some embodiments, a digital picture frame may
merely receive an indication of a user’s identity. For
example, the user may carry a radio frequency identi?cation
(RFID) card and use this RFID card to identify himself to the
digital picture frame. When the user Walks Within ten feet of
the digital picture frame, the digital picture frame may use
a radio antenna to communicate With the RFID card and
identify the user. This system may be particularly convenient
because a user may identify himself by carrying an RFID
card in his Wallet.
may include contact information for a service provider of the
[0090]
online image gallery. A message displayed by a digital
may use a sensor to identify a user. For example, a digital
In some embodiments, a digital picture frame 100
picture frame may obscure a portion of picture displayed on
picture frame 100 may include a video camera. Using image
the digital picture frame).
recognition softWare, the digital picture frame may recog
[0086] As indicated above, a digital picture frame may
niZe a user (e.g., based on his facial features) and identify
him. LikeWise, a digital picture frame 100 may include a
microphone 134 and a voice recognition module 132. Using
display information that helps a user to edit a picture.
Examples include: one or more suggested modi?cations to
the picture (e.g., if a picture is too dark, the digital picture
frame may suggest that a user brighten the picture by turning
the brightness control knob); a digital picture frame 100 may
display a box or highlight a portion of a picture to shoW hoW
the picture may be cropped; a meter may compare the
brightness and contrast of tWo sections of a photo to help a
user remove a shadoW from the photo; a digital picture frame
100 may include a tutorial that instructs a user hoW to crop
a picture; and/or a digital picture may include a control (e.g.,
a touch-screen graphical user interface (GUI) sWitch) that
alloWs a user to easily jump back and forth betWeen tWo
versions of a picture (e.g., an edited version and the original
version).
[0087]
In some embodiments, displaying a picture may
include one or more of the folloWing: determining if the
voice recognition softWare, the digital picture frame may
recogniZe a user (e.g., based on a pre-recorded voice sample
410 associated With him and stored in the user database 126)
and identify him.
[0091] In some embodiments, a digital picture frame may
identify multiple users. For example, Alice and Bob may
both be vieWing a digital picture frame 100 simultaneously.
The digital picture frame 100 may identify both of them by
communicating With Alice’s RFID card and Bob’s RFID
card. In some embodiments, a user may be identi?ed as part
of a group of users. For example, a digital picture frame may
have tWo groups of users: (a) adults and (b) children. The
digital picture frame 100 may not identify each user
uniquely; instead a user may only be identi?ed as being part
of the “adults” group or part of the “children” group.
picture has been edited; determining an edited version of a
picture; and/or displaying the picture based on the at least
[0092]
one modi?cation. Determining an edited version of a picture
identity or membership in a group or category. For example,
pictures may be displayed based on a user’s preferences. For
may include retrieving the edited version of the picture from
a database. For example, a digital picture frame 100 may
In some embodiments, a digital picture frame may
display one or more pictures to a user based on the user’s
example, pictures of Alice’s Wedding may be displayed
access an image modi?cation database 128 to determine an
When Alice is in the same room as the digital picture frame
edited version of a picture. Determining an edited version of
100 or Alice may specify that pictures of her honeymoon are
displayed Whenever her husband Bob is in the room With the
digital picture frame 100. An indication of a user’s prefer
a picture may include one or more of the folloWing: deter
mining an original version of a picture; determining at least
one modi?cation; and/or determining an edited version of
the picture based on the at least one modi?cation. For
ences may be stored in a user database 126, such as the one
shoWn in FIGS. 4A and 4B. In another example, pictures
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US 2006/0170669 A1
may be displayed based on a user’s permissions. For
example, a digital picture frame 100 may prevent a picture
from being displayed to a user if the user does not have
permission to vieW the picture. For example, Bob’s children
may not have permission to vieW Bob’s pictures from
college. An indication of a user’s permissions may also be
stored in a user database 126, such as the one shoWn in
FIGS. 4A and 4B.
information that is transmitted by a digital picture frame 100
may be encrypted; information that is received by a digital
picture frame 100 may be encrypted; a digital picture frame
100 may encrypt information before transmitting it to
another device; and/or a digital picture frame 100 may
decrypt information that it receives from another device.
[0101]
In the folloWing discussion, the term “attacker” is
used to refer to a party Who may perform an undesirable
[0093] In some embodiments, pictures may be displayed
activity relating to a picture frame (e.g., duplicating copy
based on one or more modi?cations made by a user. For
righted pictures, vieWing private pictures). For example, an
example, Alice may edit a photo of Rick, Sam, and Tom to
remove Rick from the photo. When Alice vieWs the photo in
attacker may hack into a Wireless netWork that a digital
picture frame 100 uses to communicate With a computer
the future, a digital picture frame may automatically display
server.
the edited version of the photo to Alice (i.e., the version
Without Rick). Note that if the digital picture frame displays
[0102] A digital picture frame 100 may transmit informa
the photo to a second user (e.g., Bob), then the original
version of the photo (i.e., the version that includes Rick) or
a third version of the photo (e.g., based on modi?cations by
tion to other devices (e.g., a computer server With a large
Bob) may be displayed.
[0094] Note that in some cases, a digital picture frame 100
may have multiple simultaneous users and a ?rst user’s (e.g.,
Alice’s) preferences or permissions may be different than a
second user’s (e.g., Bob’s) preferences or permissions.
When this occurs, a digital picture frame may determine
Which picture to display based on the preferences or per
database of pictures). If this transmission is not encrypted,
various attacks may be possible. For example, Without
encryption, an attacker might be able to read communica
tions betWeen a digital picture frame and another device.
This may be undesirable if information communicated
to/from a digital picture frame 100 is private, con?dential, or
copyrighted. For example, an attacker might intercept a
picture that is transmitted to a digital picture frame 100 and
post the picture on the World Wide Web.
con?icting preferences.
[0103] Without encryption, an attacker might be able to
forge communications from another device to a digital
picture frame. For example, a computer server might trans
mit pictures to a digital picture frame for display on the
[0095]
In some embodiments, a digital picture frame 100
propaganda, leWd pictures, or advertisements into a stream
may alloW or prevent modi?cations to a picture based on
of pictures that is displayed by the digital picture frame 100.
missions of a plurality of users. In some embodiments, users
may specify to the digital picture frame 100 prede?ned rules
that specify a priority system or other method to resolve
digital picture frame 100. An attacker could insert political
user’s identity. Examples include:
[0096] A user may not be permitted to edit a picture. For
example, Alice may not have permission to edit Bob’s
pictures and therefore a digital picture frame may prevent
Alice from editing Bob’s pictures. The term “vieWer” may
be used to refer to a user Who does not have permission to
edit pictures.
[0097]
A user may be permitted to edit a picture in some
Ways, but not others. For example, Alice may be permitted
to adjust the brightness and contrast on Bob’s photographs,
but not to crop the photos.
[0098] One or more controls on a digital picture frame 100
may be enabled or disabled based on a user’s identity. For
example, the cropping sliders on a digital picture frame may
be enabled Whenever a user has permission to crop a picture.
When Alice is vieWing one of Bob’s pictures, the cropping
sliders on a digital picture frame 100 may be disabled.
[0099] Users With a certain characteristic may be alloWed
to edit photos While users Without the characteristic may not
be permitted to edit photos. For example, members of the
Jones family may be able to edit pictures on a digital picture
frame in the Jones household, but nobody else may be
permitted to edit these pictures. Note that different users of
a digital picture frame may have different permissions. For
example, some users (e.g., “poWer users”) may be able to
edit pictures, Whereas other users (e.g., “vieWers”) may only
be able to vieW pictures.
[0100]
As mentioned above, communication to or from a
digital picture frame 100 may be encrypted. For example,
[0104] Further, Without encryption, an attacker might be
able to forge communications from digital picture frame 100
to another device. For example, a digital picture frame might
transmit indications of modi?cations to pictures to a com
puter server for long-term storage. An attacker could pretend
to be the digital picture frame 100 and transmit his oWn
modi?cations to pictures to the computer server.
[0105]
In addition, various information relating to a digital
picture frame may be encrypted, including digital pictures,
meta-data relating to digital pictures (e.g., modi?cations to
pictures, annotations of pictures), and/or encryption keys
(e.g., public-key cryptography may be used to exchange
symmetric encryption keys for use during a communication
session).
[0106] Examples of different types of pictures that may be
encrypted include copyrighted, private, and pay-per-vieW
pictures. For example, a digital picture frame may display
photographs taken by a professional photographer. Without
encryption, an attacker might copy these photos and distrib
ute them (either for free or for pro?t), thereby infringing the
professional photographer’s copyright and possibly imped
ing the photographer’s ability to earn income based on his
photos.
[0107] In another example, a husband and Wife may have
a set of digital photographs from their honeymoon that they
display on a digital picture frame. Without encryption, an
attacker might intercept communications from the digital
picture frame to another device (e.g., a controller) and post
these pictures on the Internet.
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US 2006/0170669 A1
[0108] In yet another example, a user may pay a fee based
on one or more pictures he vieWs using a digital picture
frame. For example, a user may pay $0.01 per picture
displayed on a digital picture frame. Without encryption, an
attacker (e.g., a user) might be able to vieW pictures Without
paying a fee.
[0109] Note that encryption may provide a variety of
bene?ts, including secrecy and authentication. Aspects of
authentication include: data legitimacy, data paternity, data
integrity, digital picture frame integrity, transmission integ
rity, non-repudiation.
[0110] A digital picture frame may store a secret key that
may be used to encrypt information. For example, a digital
picture frame may store a 128-bit private key for use in
public-key encryption. This secret key may be stored in a
memory of a digital picture frame, possibly inside a secure
perimeter. Note that a secret key is not depicted in FIG. 1.
A digital picture frame 100 may include a secure perimeter
106 that may prevent an attacker from tampering With a
processor 102, a secret key, or other aspects of the digital
picture frame 100.
[0111] A digital picture frame may include a cryptographic
processor that may perform functions relating to encryption.
This cryptographic processor may be implemented as part of
the processor 102 or as a distinct device. Various encryption
protocols may be used to encrypt information relating to a
digital picture frame. Examples include: public-key encryp
tion, symmetric key encryption, one-time pad, secret algo
rithm.
[0112] As mentioned above, information stored in a
memory of a digital picture frame may be encrypted. Note
that various aspects of cryptography mentioned above are
knoWn to those skilled in art and are not described in detail
here. For reference, one of ordinary skill in the art may refer
to Applied Cryptography, Protocols, Algorithms, And
Source Code In C, (2d Ed, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996)
by Bruce Schneier Which is hereby incorporated herein for
all purposes.
[0113] In some embodiments, a user may use a digital
picture frame 100 equipped With a camera, as a mirror. In
such an embodiment, users can Zoom in to see details of their
faces or they can freeZe a pro?le image so that they can vieW
it Without having to strain their neck as With conventional
mirrors.
[0114] In some embodiments Where an animated portion is
added to an image (e.g. moving eyeballs on an otherWise
stationary head), the animation may be programmed to be
The speci?cations and draWings are, accordingly, to be
regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.
[0116] Further, even though only certain embodiments
have been described in detail, those having ordinary skill in
the art Will certainly appreciate and understand that many
modi?cations, changes, and enhancements are possible
Without departing from the teachings thereof. All such
modi?cations are intended to be encompassed Within the
folloWing claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus comprising:
an enclosure having a WindoW;
a display screen contained Within the enclosure and
visible through the WindoW;
a processor coupled to the display screen and contained
Within the enclosure;
a mechanical edit control coupled to the processor and
having a ?xed portion and a moveable portion, Wherein
the ?xed portion is mounted to the enclosure; and
a memory coupled to the processor and contained Within
the enclosure,
Wherein the memory is operable to store information
representative of an image,
Wherein the display screen is operable to display a digital
image representative of the information,
Wherein the mechanical edit control is operable to send a
signal to the processor,
Wherein the processor is operable to alter the information
in the memory based upon the signal, and
Wherein the processor is operable to store the altered
information.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the processor is
operable to store a representation of the alteration of the
information in association With the information.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the processor is
operable to store a representation of the signal in association
With the information.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the mechanical edit
control includes a slider.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 Wherein the signal indicates
an area of the digital image to crop.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 Wherein the signal indicates
an area of the digital image to center.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 Wherein the mechanical edit
responsive to a vieWer in the room With the digital picture
frame 100. For example, the moving eyeballs can track the
control includes a knob.
movement of the vieWer as he moves through the room.
an area of the digital image to crop.
F. Conclusion
an area of the digital image to center.
[0115] It is clear from the foregoing discussion that the
disclosed systems and methods relating to digital picture
frames and picture editing represent an improvement in the
art of electronic displays and editing systems. While the
method and apparatus of the present invention has been
described in terms of its presently preferred and alternate
embodiments, those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that the
present invention may be practiced With modi?cation and
alteration Within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 Wherein the signal indicates
9. The apparatus of claim 7 Wherein the signal indicates
10. A digital picture frame comprising:
a frame;
an enclosure attached to a rear side of the frame;
a processor mounted Within the enclosure;
a memory coupled to the processor, mounted Within the
enclosure, and operable to store data representative of
a digital image;
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US 2006/0170669 A1
12
a display screen coupled to the processor, framed by the
frame, vieWable through a front side of the frame,
mounted Within the enclosure, and operable to display
a representation of the digital image based on the data;
and
a sensor coupled to the processor and mounted Within the
enclosure,
Wherein the sensor is operable to send a signal to the
processor,
Wherein the processor is operable to modify the data in
response to the signal, and
Where the display screen is operable to modify the rep
resentation of the digital image based on the modi?ed
data.
11. The digital picture frame of claim 10, Wherein infor
mation representative of the modi?cation made to the data is
stored in the memory in association With the data
12. The digital picture frame of claim 11, Wherein an
identity of a user is stored in association With the informa
tion representative of the modi?cation made to the data.
13. The digital picture frame of claim 10 Wherein the
sensor includes an orientation sensor.
14. The digital picture frame of claim 10 Wherein the
sensor includes a voice recognition module.
15. The digital picture frame of claim 10 Wherein the
sensor includes a motion sensor.
16. The digital picture frame of claim 10 Wherein the
sensor includes a camera and an image recognition system.
17. The digital picture frame of claim 10 Wherein the
signal from the sensor includes information suf?cient to
enable the processor to identify a vieWer proximate to the
Wherein the processor is operative to determine at least
one modi?cation to the digital picture, and
Wherein the processor is operative, based on the at least
one modi?cation, to cause the display screen to display
the digital picture.
21. A digital picture frame, comprising:
a display screen suitable for displaying a digital picture;
and
a processor coupled to the display screen,
Wherein the processor is operative to identify at least one
user of the digital picture frame,
Wherein the processor is operative to display the digital
picture on the display screen based on the at least one
user, and
Wherein the processor is operative to enable the at least
one user to edit the digital picture based on the identity
of the at least one user.
22. An apparatus, comprising:
a digital picture frame including a memory that stores a
secret key;
a computer server; and
a communication netWork that enables communication
betWeen the digital picture frame and the computer
server,
Wherein at least a portion of communication betWeen the
digital picture frame and the computer server is
encrypted using the secret key.
digital picture frame, and the processor is operable, in
23. A method comprising:
response to the signal, to display a video stream of images
associated With the vieWer.
storing information representative of an image in a
memory of a digital picture frame;
18. A digital picture frame, comprising:
a display screen suitable for displaying a digital picture;
a processor coupled to the display screen;
at least one control coupled to the processor,
displaying a digital image representative of the informa
tion on a display screen;
receiving a signal representative of an edit of the digital
image from a mechanical edit control attached to the
digital picture frame;
Wherein the at least one control enables a user to edit the
digital picture displayed on the digital picture frame,
Wherein the processor is operable to store the edited
digital picture,
Wherein the at least one control is a mechanical control,
and
Wherein the at least one control performs a dedicated
function.
19. A digital picture frame, comprising:
a display screen suitable for displaying a digital picture;
and
a processor coupled to the display screen,
Wherein the processor performs at least one function
based on a voice command from a user.
20. A digital picture frame, comprising:
a display screen suitable for displaying a digital picture;
and
a processor coupled to the display screen,
altering the information in the memory based upon the
signal;
storing the altered information; and
displaying a digital image representative of the altered
information on the display screen.
24. The method of claim 23 further including storing a
representation of the alteration of the information in asso
ciation With the information.
25. The method of claim 23 further including storing a
representation of the signal in association With the informa
tion.
26. The method of claim 23 Wherein receiving a signal
representative of an edit includes receiving a signal from a
slider.
27. The method of claim 26 Wherein receiving a signal
includes receiving a signal that indicates an area of the
digital image to crop.
28. The method of claim 26 Wherein receiving a signal
includes receiving a signal that indicates an area of the
digital image to center.
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