Patent Issued for Systems and Methods for Implementing User-Customizable Operability for Imaging Operations in Image Forming Devices Using Selectable Platen Sheet Rulers
Patent number 8724162 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/155,756, filed
"This disclosure relates to systems and methods for implementing user-customizable operability for imaging operations in image forming devices using selectable platen sheet rulers.
"Office level image forming devices combine image forming processes and associated media handling and finishing processes in a single device. What is not clear to the common user is that any particular imaging task or job requested by the user to be carried out by the office level image forming device includes multiple individual imaging operations each according to specified orthogonal orientations referenced to a specific origin in the image forming device. Different imaging devices behave differently with regard to these individual imaging operations. The differing behaviors can occur across imaging devices from a same manufacturer, or across like devices produced by differing vendors.
"An exemplary and non-exhaustive list of individual imaging operations includes scaling or sizing, translation or image shift, mirroring or reflecting, and rotation of images in two dimensions and of image receiving media in three dimensions. These operations are generally specifically ordered for a particular image forming device. Individual image forming operations are non-commutative. Thus, differing orders of the operations manipulate an input image receiving media in different ways. Any change in an order of operations, however, as a set of transformations, will typically result in a different output unless modified in some manner that may or may not be available to the system designer and/or programmer. Frequently, it is only through an extensive iterative trial and error process that a user will get an imaging job to run as desired to produce, for example, the desired output orientation for an imaged and finished document on a particular device and this effort is not translatable to another device.
"An example of an image forming device that exhibits the characteristic behaviors discussed above is a multi-function device (MFD). The MFD is an office level or light production image forming and media handling device that incorporates multiple common image forming and media handling functionalities including printing, scanning, faxing, viewing and copying in a single unit. MFDs provide a smaller footprint in an office environment than would a combination of devices that individually carry out the respective image forming functions.
"As is mentioned briefly above, conventionally, imaging operations, and an order of the imaging operations, such as rotation, scaling, and translation, are generally fixed within a device. These operations are generally fixed relative to a specific operation origin, and in a specific orientation (direction of operation) with respect to that origin. The origin used by the image forming device is generally specified according to placement of one or more platen sheet rulers positioned along one or more sides of the device platen. The origin is generally specified for an office level device and is most often indicated to a user by an origin graphic shown in one corner of the platen. Vendors often build the imaging hardware and then place a user interface on top of the hardware by which the user is able to communicate with the image processing system in a limited manner, but by which the user is unable to effect any change in the origin to, for example, specify a different origin from which imaging operations should take place.
"Many times devices or fleets of devices, even when produced by a same manufacturer, use differing origin points and/or coordinate references as a basis by which to interpret descriptive labels for orientations of images and image receiving media in individual devices. Without a common frame of reference, the descriptive terms are left to the interpretation of the individual devices according to individual device frames of reference as individual devices carry out electronic image scanning and processing functions as well as mechanical image media handling and finishing functions.
"In a broad context, overall imaging operations such as device specific scaling, translation, reflection, rotation and edge erase are individually undertaken relative to a particular coordinate space referenced to a particular origin for a particular device that may be completely different from another coordinate space referenced to another origin for another device. The coordinate spaces and origins by which a particular image forming device references image and image receiving media orientations can differ from device to device.
"As indicated above, origins, directions of execution and orders of particular internal operations are often fixed for each individual image forming device. Conventionally, the user cannot generally select a different origin, i.e., a particular corner, the center, or an arbitrary point in the imaging frame, or a different order of operations for a particular device. The user cannot generally specify a different direction of rotation, or a different edge about which image media is to be flipped from, for example, a faceup to a facedown orientation.
"The point at which the above difficulties may particularly manifest themselves is when the user enters a competitive environment. The user would prefer to approach any of the differing, apparently similar, devices and operate them in the same manner to achieve repeatable outcomes. Depending on a particular origin that is referenced by a particular system, the manner by which the sheet flows through the particular system, and how the platens and/or rulers are set up in the particular system, ordering of particular operations will likely result in an output from that particular system that differs from an output from another system, much to the customers' dissatisfaction."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In view of identified shortfalls in conventional image forming devices, previous research by the inventor of the subject matter of this disclosure has defined a common framework for representation of image origins and coordinate spaces across multiple devices. See, e.g., co-owned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/155,756, entitled 'Frame-Based Coordinate Space Transformations Of Graphical Image Data In An Image Processing System' and Ser. No. 13/155,723, entitled 'Image Operations Using Frame-Based Coordinate Space Transformations Of Image Data In A Digital Imaging System.'
"In a three-dimensional system, there is a set of forty-eight definable coordinate systems that represent all of the possible orthogonal orientations for image receiving media in an image forming device. (Note that imaging occurs in a two-dimensional coordinate system. In the two-dimensional system, there is a set of eight definable coordinate systems that may simply be considered a subset of the set of forty-eight definable three-dimensional coordinate systems in which Z is consistently set to zero). One of the forty-eight variations represents the standard Cartesian coordinate system, and the other forty-seven variations are deviations from that standard. This set of forty-eight coordinate systems is based on the existence of six sets of XYZ orientations that can be mapped to each of the eight corners of a cube representing the three-dimensional system. These forty-eight coordinate systems can, in turn, be mathematically represented according to a corresponding set of forty-eight individual mathematical representations to respectively identify each of the coordinate systems.
"Examples of limited numbers of the above-described mathematical representations are presented in the above-identified co-owned U.S. Patent Applications. FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate an example correspondence between a visual representation of a three-dimensional coordinate system 100 and a corresponding mathematical representation 150 according to this inventor's previous work as a foundation for the disclosed systems and methods. As shown in FIG. 1A, the coordinate system may be visually represented as having an origin 110 from which orthogonal axes, X-axis 120, Y-axis 130 and Z-axis 140 emanate. The origin 110 could be any one of the eight corners of the depicted cube. Varying combinations of the axes will emanate from each of those origins resulting collectively in the forty-eight coordinate systems discussed above. A mathematical representation 150, in a mathematical matrix format as shown in FIG. 1B, may be assigned to each of the forty-eight coordinate systems. The assignment of mathematical representations, in a mathematical matrix format, as shown, facilitates combining program operations (transformations) using matrix algebra as a processing medium for the systems and methods according to this disclosure. It should be noted that the specific mathematical representations shown in in FIG. 1B, and in the referenced documents, are only examples of the mathematical representation matrices that could be employed to define each of the forty-eight coordinate systems. Those of skill in the arts of image forming systems and mathematics will recognize that a particular three-dimensional coordinate system can be represented in a number of different ways mathematically in the form of a numerical matrix.
"Regardless of their construct, the corresponding set of forty-eight individual mathematical representations, when taken together, define a mathematical group under the operations of rotation and reflection. With the forty-eight coordinate systems being defined or represented mathematically, matrix algebra is applied in manipulation of the individual mathematical transformations to rotate or reflect the orthogonal orientations represented by the coordinate systems to different ones of the forty-eight possible orientations. Each resultant orientation is a member of the mathematical group. Any series of multiple operations applied to a beginning orientation necessarily results in an ending orientation that is defined as one of the orientations in the group.
"An advantage of finding a common definition or interpretation for the multiple non-standard coordinate systems, as they are applied to differing image forming devices, is that individual orientations of images and image receiving media between differing image forming devices can be commonly expressed and manipulated according to the common mathematical framework. Coordination can then be effected between operations in differing devices according to a user's desires. Application of the mathematical framework provides a capability by which the effects of changes that are made in an order of imaging operations can be accurately predicted and evaluated, obviating the requirement for conventional complex trial and error processes in order to achieve or maintain the desired output from any particular image forming device. The derived mathematical framework facilitates a level of automation and precision that was previously unavailable to system designers and/or programmers.
"The above-referenced prior work of the inventor of the subject matter of this application described image and image receiving media orthogonal orientations using the group of forty-eight coordinate systems (or orthogonal orientation matrices). The solution presented in the previous work was limited to generating the specified set of mathematical representations forming the mathematical group that could then be manipulated using matrix algebra principles to provide an example of a common mathematical framework for interpreting the orthogonal orientations of images and image receiving media in image forming devices in a manner that is device and/or vendor agnostic.
"What that work further provided, and was limited to, was a system and method for transforming graphics coordinates between different models of image processing systems. Using the method previously disclosed, a user could readily configure an image forming device to receive image data from a device platen in a first coordinate space and map the received data to a second coordinate space for subsequent processing independent of whether the two coordinate spaces share the same origins. Implementations were provided that enable a user to configure an image processing system to transform image data to any desired processing orientation.
"In related U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/420,157, a system and method are provided that combine the orientation approaches described above with reference to this inventor's previous work, and existing algorithmic approaches to provide a user with a mechanism by which to cause a particular image forming device to appear to operate generically according to the user's desires based on user manipulation at, for example, a graphical user interface (GUI).
"In view of the body of this inventor's previous work, it would be advantageous to provide a visual indication to a user who walks up to an image forming device of a particular origin, and a set of axes of operations, that are being employed by the image forming device. Selectable platen sheet rulers may provide a readily apparent indication of a correct and current origin, and a set of axes of operations, in an image forming device that provides an option for specifying an origin and axes of operations for imaging operations that are different from the specified origin and axes of operations that the image forming device nominally references, and to which the image forming device's default or vendor installed platen sheet rulers are referenced. Such a capability affords a user an immediate indication of the 'current' origin, and axes of operations, being employed by the image forming device, thereby reducing a possibility of confusion that often leads to user frustration in accomplishing image forming operations in the image forming device.
"Exemplary embodiments of the systems and methods according to this disclosure may provide selectable platen sheet rulers as at least one of a set of technology-based dynamically adaptable platen sheet rulers or a set of physically-replaceable platen sheet rulers or a plurality of physically-replaceable platens having associated with each a permanently-affixed set of platen sheet rulers for device emulation.
"Exemplary embodiments may provide the user with a mechanism by which to select a different origin, and set of axes of operations, for imaging operations in an image forming device. To enable emulation on the image forming devices selectable rulers may be employed.
"Exemplary embodiments may provide adaptable rulers using, for example, liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, light emitting diode (LED) arrays or similar tools to configure platen sheet ruler displays to frame a platen of an image forming device in a manner that will enable real-time changing of a configuration of a platen sheet ruler to work with any platen corner designated as an origin for the imaging operations in the image forming device.
"In exemplary embodiments, measurement values displayed according to an adaptable ruler scheme may be in ISO 216 format, North American (NA) format, a combination of these, or may be according to some other measurement convention. The measurement values may be adapted when using dynamically-adaptable rulers, according to, for example, a measurement of a size of an image receiving medium loaded in, or selected by, the image forming device for the imaging operation, or as defined by a user input of a user preference.
"Exemplary embodiments may provide physically-replaceable rulers such as, for example, one of 'snap-in' rulers that are changeable with respect to a set platen in the image forming device, or otherwise as complete 'simple-to-replace,' e.g., 'drop-in,' platen subassemblies that contain differing platen sheet rulers.
"Exemplary embodiments may provide a mechanism for platen spatial calibration associated with automated or manual operations for selecting platen sheet rulers.
"Exemplary embodiments may bypass conventional constraints that are based on a manner in which the hardware of the image forming device is manufactured and configured, and/or the corresponding constraints imposed on the software that drives the hardware. The user experience may be disconnected from the constraints of the image forming device in which the platen has a corner defined as an origin from which scanning proceeds according to designated axes of operations, with different image forming devices using differing corners, that conventionally cannot be modified as including differing origins.
"Exemplary embodiments may be used to standardize a fleet of differing devices by a same or a different vendor to a single layout. In this manner, a competitor's image forming device can be generally made to 'act' and 'appear to act' as a vendor's device allowing a user to have a common user experience across the fleet of devices. Simply changing the 'under-the-hood' behavior in the image forming device may not be sufficient to satisfy a user because the user takes direction on sheet placement from the provided platen sheet rulers. To fully emulate another image forming device, the placement of the sheet on the platen must be correct. Specifying (selecting) the platen sheet rulers according to changing origins an axes of operations provides an appropriate solution.
"These and other features, and advantages, of the disclosed systems and methods are described in, or apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments."
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