Patent Application Titled "System and Method for Using Pattern Matching to Determine the Presence of Designated Objects in Digital Images" Published Online
No assignee for this patent application has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "There are many applications in which it is desired to be able to identify objects that are present, approaching, or passing through a certain area. For example, it might be desired to monitor hospital parking lots to be sure that only authorized vehicles, e.g. those of handicapped persons or staff, enter and park in certain assigned areas. In another example, it might be desired to track the movements of the vehicles of a company or service provider along specified routes or throughout a city to determine the effectiveness of the routes chosen or the correlation between the published schedule, e.g. for a bus route or mail pick-up service, and the actual time of arrival and departure from each station.
"Today, in order to provide the desired information in such situations it is usually necessary to send personnel out into the field to make on site observations that are manually compiled to provide the desired report.
"Methods of logo detection that are somewhat related to the present invention are currently used in the broadcasting industry. Examples of these methods are: U.S. Pat. No. 7,356,084 teaches a method for detecting logos, such as station identification logos that are superimposed over the video images at fixed locations on the screen, and for determining when the logo disappears from the broadcast. The method is used to control processing or removing the logo to prevent problems such as screen burn on high definition TV sets. US2003/0076448 teaches a method of preparing a video summarization of broadcast sporting events. The invention is based on the assumption that the most important or interesting scenes of the game are replayed during the course of the full length live broadcast. Typically the replayed scenes are distinguished from the live play by the use of logos or special visual effects at the beginning and end of each replay scene. These logos are unchanged by the broadcaster at least during the course of a single game and usually are unchanged for an entire season or longer. The invention makes use of various methods of detecting the beginning and end logos to extract the replay sections of the broadcast from which a complete video summary of the sporting event is compiled. U.S. Pat. No. 7,020,336 teaches a method for detecting the presence of specific logos in television broadcasts. The method is used for example for reporting to advertisers the length of time that their logo can be seen during the broadcast or to enable the director to determine which image from the multiple cameras used to record the event should broadcast to insure that a particular advertiser's logo appears on the screen for the required amount of time. The method is able to compensate for viewing of the logo from different angles and for motion of the camera recording the scene.
"The methods of logo detection used in the broadcast industry are characterized in that the position of the logo relative to the scene being recorded and broadcast is fixed. This is in contrast to applications in which the logo is attached to objects which can move independently and therefore whose location changes in consecutive images not only as a result of camera movement but also as a result of the motion of the objects to which they are attached.
"It is therefore a purpose of the present invention to provide a system and method of automatically providing desired information concerning the presence and movement of persons, objects, and vehicles by searching for logos attached to them in video images.
"Further purposes and advantages of this invention will appear as the description proceeds."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "In a first aspect the invention is a system for using pattern matching to determine the presence of designated objects in digital images. The system comprises the steps of: a. one or more cameras that are set up to record events that take place in a region of interest; b. processing means that comprise dedicated software adapted to carry out the steps of the pattern matching process; c. input and output means; d. display means; and e. communication means between the cameras and the processing means.
"The cameras can be selected from film cameras, analog cameras, digital single frame cameras, and digital video cameras.
"In embodiments of the invention the dedicated software comprises setup software and detection software.
"In embodiments of the invention, processing means and IP (Internet Protocol) based setup software are contained within the body of the camera or within a small box attached to the body of the camera or within a multi channel box comprising multiple input and output connectors.
"In embodiments of the invention, IP based detection software is contained within the body of the camera or within a small box attached to the body of the camera or within a multi channel box comprising multiple input and output connectors.
"An embodiment of the system of the invention comprises an autonomous PTZ camera that contains software that allows the PTZ camera to determine the presence of a pre-selected logo and automatically track the object to which the logo is attached throughout the PTZ camera's field of view.
"Embodiments of the system of the invention comprise a separate camera, which is activated to track designated moving objects. In some of these embodiments, after the presence of a pre-selected logo is determined by the system, the system determines positional information for the object and sends instructions to an autonomous PTZ camera that contains software that allows the PTZ camera to automatically track the object to which the logo is attached throughout the PTZ camera's field of view. In others of these embodiments, after the presence of a pre-selected logo is determined by the system, the system determines positional information for the object to which the logo is attached in each successive frame of a video stream produced the cameras of the system and the software of the system is enabled to instruct the processor of the system to convert the positional information into commands that activate the motors that are responsible for the PTZ motion of a 'slave' camera, which tracks the motion of the object as it moves from frame to frame.
"In a second aspect the invention is a method for pattern matching to determine the presence of designated objects in digital images. The method comprises the following stages: a. a pre-processing stage in which the digital signatures of the source patterns are created; b. an optional user setup stage in which the user may configure the system; and c. a real time processing stage in which the system tries to match the digital signatures of the source pattern with full or partial frame signatures of the images.
"The pre-processing stage is performed off line and comprises the following steps: a. loading a frontal digital image of the source pattern into the computing means of the system by the user;
"followed by the following steps performed by the software of the system: b. performing transformations of the source pattern; c. creating a set of unique signatures, one for each of the transformed source patterns; d. saving the set of signatures in the database of the computer; and e. creating a collection of sets of transformed signatures and storing them in the database by repeating steps a to d for each source pattern of interest.
"The user setup stage is carried out off line, the stage comprising one or more of the following steps carried out by the user: a. setting the basic depth information for the video images; b. selecting a source pattern from the collection in the database that should be detected; c. selecting the area of the video images in which the system is to look for the source pattern; d. instructing the system whether to detect only the first appearance of the selected source pattern or also multiple appearances of the selected source pattern; e. instructing the system whether to detect only complete occurrences of the selected source pattern or also partial occurrences of the selected source pattern; f. instructing the system which of the transformations from the set of transformations of the selected source pattern should be used; g. instructing the system how to react if the selected source pattern is found in the video images; and h. repeating steps b to g are for each source pattern of interest to the user.
"The processing stage is carried out in real-time on the video images that are input into the processing means, the stage comprising the following steps carried out by the detection software: a. selecting a single frame from the video; b. creating a unique signature for the full frame or a partial frame selected by the user; c. trying to match the source pattern signature to the full or partial frame signature while looking only in the predefined area of the full frame; d. determining a geometric transformation from the features of the source pattern to those of the full frame and reacting according to definitions supplied by the user, if a match is made; e. repeating steps a to d for each frame in the video.
"In a third aspect the invention is a method for tracking a moving object. The method comprises the steps: a. identifying a logo attached to the object in a frame of a video stream; b. determining positional information for the object; c. creating an instruction comprising the positional information that is used to activate an autonomous PTZ camera that contains software that allows the PTZ camera to locate and automatically track the object throughout the PTZ camera's field of view.
"In a fourth aspect the invention is a method for tracking a moving object comprising the steps of: a. identifying a logo attached to the object in a frame of a video stream; b. determining positional information for the object; c. creating an instruction comprising the positional information that is used to activate the motors that are responsible for the PTZ motion of a 'slave' camera in order to point the slave camera at the object; d. repeating steps a to c for each frame of the video stream.
"All the above and other characteristics and advantages of the invention will be further understood through the following illustrative and non-limitative description of preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the appended drawings; wherein like components are designated by the same reference numerals.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 symbolically shows the system of the invention;
"FIG. 2 is a flow chart outlining the steps of the pre-processing stage of the method of the invention;
"FIG. 3 is a flow chart outlining the steps of the user setup stage of the method of the invention; and
"FIG. 4 is a flow chart outlining the steps of the processing stage of the method of the invention."
For more information, see this patent application: KASS, Aharon. System and Method for Using Pattern Matching to Determine the Presence of Designated Objects in Digital Images. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Software.
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