Patent number 8558465 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Adjustment of a lamp's properties is well known to be achieved via a remote control (RC). A disadvantage of a remote control is the necessity of the presence of the remote control on the right location at a random moment. Also a lot of different remote controls are already present in the living room for TV, audio, VCR, CD/DVD player/recorder, etc. Further, the different buttons on a remote control can be confusing to the user. Finally, the costs of a remote control and the accompanying receiver are relatively high.
"Also control of electrical devices by the use of video cameras and movement detection software is known, wherein the user can control the electrical device by making gestures in front of the camera. Such systems require heavy duty processing power, have a relatively long response time, and are relatively expensive.
"WO 2006/056814 describes a lighting system comprising a lamp and a control means comprising an infrared transmitter, an infrared receiver and a lens arrangement. The control means measure the intensity of the reflected infrared light, and changes the lamp brightness in reaction thereto. In this manner the lamp can be switched on and off, and can be dimmed by hand movements in the infrared beam. Such an arrangement is however relatively expensive and inaccurate, as the intensity of the reflected infrared signal heavily depends on the kind of object that is moved in the beam.
"It is a goal of the invention to provide an improved, cheap, reliable and/or easy-to-use control system for lighting. A further goal of the invention is to provide a lighting system that is safe and comfortable for its users and their environment.
"In existing lighting applications often a very wide illumination of the whole room is performed. But in many cases only a small part of the room needs to be illuminated, which is not energy efficient. Furthermore, in existing light applications lightbeam focussing and lightbeam position deviation is achieved in a mechanical way, which is not flexible and is vulnerable to mechanical failures.
"It is a further goal of the invention to provide a more robust, energy efficient, easy to use and/or flexible lighting system."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to one aspect of the invention the lighting system further comprises a plurality of ultrasonic transmitters arranged to transmit ultrasonic signals; a plurality of ultrasonic receivers arranged to receive reflected ultrasonic signals; and a processing means arranged to send an ultrasonic pulse sequentially through each of said transmitters and to determine after each pulse is sent which ones of said receivers receive a reflected ultrasonic signal with an amplitude exceeding a predetermined threshold within a predetermined period, and to send control signals to said light control means in dependence of said determination. Preferably said ultrasonic transmitters are arranged such that the ultrasonic signals are transmitted within and parallel to the light beam of the lamp. Said ultrasonic transmitters and receivers are preferably arranged in an equilateral polygon or a circle. In the preferred embodiment said system comprises three of said transmitters and three of said receivers.
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