Honda plans to use 3D fingertip tracking to assist drivers


A driver may require driving directions, or desire other information pertinent to his surroundings, but has limited options for accessing that information. Most onboard navigation systems are disabled while the vehicle is in motion and many states have enacted distracted driving laws that prohibit the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Basic safe driving wisdom dictates that the driver’s hands be kept on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road. However, drivers still have a need for timely information and real-time driver assistance. Despite clear advantages, fingertip recognition is often limited by the resolution of systems employing it.

Honda’s invention allows detection and recognition of a hand, hand segments and portions thereof, including fingers and portions thereof (e.g., fingertips) can be performed to detect and track three dimensional location data. The three dimensional fingertip tracking data can be used as an input to a wide range of systems and devices.

Patent Information

Patent Number: 9,122,916
Patent Title: Three dimensional fingertip tracking

Inventors: Fujimura; Kikuo (Palo Alto, CA)
Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. (Tokyo, JP)
Family ID: 1000001312063
Appl. No.: 13/826,986
Filed: March 14, 2013

Abstract: Systems and methods for detecting, tracking the presence, location, orientation and/or motion of a hand or hand segments visible to an input source are disclosed herein. Hand, hand segment and fingertip location and tracking can be performed using ball fit methods. Analysis of hand, hand segment and fingertip location and tracking data can be used as input for a variety of systems and devices.

Claim 1: 1. A computer implemented method for three dimensional fingertip tracking, comprising: utilizing one or more processors and memory storing one or more programs for execution by the one or more processors, the one or more programs including instructions for: receiving sensor data associated with a hand; identifying a hand segment in the sensor data; establishing a generally circular observation area; advancing at least a portion of the generally circular observation area along an axis of the identified hand segment; calculating data associated with the hand segment within the observation area; and determining a three dimensional fingertip location based at least in part on the calculated data and a position of the observation area.