Huawei recently received approval for new earphones patent, which comes with integrated cameras. This is something entirely new from a consumer point of view. The aim of this new tech is to make user aware of the surroundings and traffic.
Details reveal that this technology may use the camera in the earwear to take pictures and/or record videos of the user’s environment. For example, images captured by the camera in the headset can be wirelessly transmitted to the user’s mobile which has motion or location sensors. The images and the information provided by the mobile could be used to locate the user. Also, users can receive navigation instructions in-ear based on the current view.
The earphones support features such as video recording and processing such as compressed video. It can also do basic image processing and video transfer to a phone. The camera contains a recognition algorithm for pattern recognition, gesture, 3D recognition of goods and objects, 3D scanning, and 3D photography.
Despite its amazing functionalities, there are some cons, which we should know. These earphones have a limited field of view and can only perform limited computing. Also, there’s no real-time processing of the data. However, these are things that we should be expecting from a small device, yet it’s still praisable.
The patent mentioned three main modules: A sensor, a processor, and a user interaction/feedback module. The earwear can detect the user and his/her environment using a sensor. The sensor then converts the detected analog data (user and his/her environment) into digital data to generate user and environment data. And passes on the user and environment data to the processor.
The processor then processes the user and environment data to generate meaningful information for a computer vision task. The information only comprises computer vision metadata for privacy consideration. Here, the computer vision metadata may include information on the space in which the user exists.
Such information may include bounding boxes, semantic segmentation, depth map, etc. The information data is then used by the user interaction/feedback module. The user interaction/feedback module is configured to enable various smart features/functionalities as described below.
Earbuds with Heart Rate Sensor:
Huawei is experimenting with a lot of new smart wearables. Earlier this year, Huawei unveiled FreeBuds Pro 2+ earphones, which come with a heart rate monitoring system. These can measure the pulse directly from your ear. Currently, Huawei has not announced new earphones with cameras but we might hear about them in the near future.