Patents

Granted Patents (36)

Systems and Methods for Enhanced Television Interaction
Danny Grant, Pamela Pimentel, Eric Gervais, Vincent Lévesque, Aaron Kapelus, Mina Chang, Daniel Parker, David Birnbaum, Li Jiang, Stephen Rank
US Patent 9,866,924, filed March 14, 2013, issued January 9, 2018.

Abstract

Systems and methods for enhanced television interaction are disclosed. For example, one disclosed method includes receiving notification information, the notification information indicating an event associated with video content displayed by a television device; determining a haptic effect associated with the notification information; generating and transmitting a haptic signal to a haptic output device, the haptic signal configured to cause the haptic output device to output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Haptically-Enabled Holders
Vincent Levesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Abdelwahab Hamam
US Patent 9,851,805, filed December 24, 2014, issued December 26, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a processor configured to: receive a signal; determine a haptic effect based at least in part on the signal; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The system further includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor and coupled to a holder, wherein the holder is configured to mechanically couple with an electronic device. The haptic output device is configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

System and Method For Feedforward and Feedback With Haptic Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,836,150, filed March 14, 2013, issued December 5, 2017.

Abstract

Systems and methods for feedforward and feedback with haptic effects are disclosed. One such system may include a sensor configured to detect an interaction with a touch surface and transmit a sensor signal associated with the interaction; a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: determine an operation available on a device, the operation associated with a first user interaction; determine a simulated texture associated with the operation; output a haptic signal associated with the simulated texture; determine whether to perform the operation based on a second user interaction; and a haptic output device in communication with the processor and coupled to the touch surface, the haptic output device configured to receive a haptic signal and simulate a texture on the touch surface based in part on the haptic signal.

Haptic Sensations as a Function of Eye Gaze
Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,833,697, filed March 11, 2013, issued December 5, 2017.

Abstract

Systems, electronic devices, and methods provide haptic sensations as a function of eye gaze. A system may include a detector configured to determine a direction of an eye gaze of a user of the system, a processor configured to generate signal representative of a haptic effect based on the direction of the eye gaze, and a haptic output device configured to receive the signal from the processor and output the haptic effect to the user. A method for providing a haptic effect to a user of a system may include determining a direction of an eye gaze of the user of the system, generating a haptic effect based on the direction of the eye gaze, and outputting the haptic effect to the user.

Systems and Methods for Providing Enhanced Haptic Feedback
Vincent Levesque, Abdelwahab Hamam, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Vahid Khoskava
US Patent 9,763,628, filed December 31, 2014, issued September 19, 2017.

Abstract

A system includes a haptic output device constructed and arranged to generate a haptic effect to a user of the system, and a chemical delivery device constructed and arranged to deliver a chemical to the user of the system.

Haptic Functionality For Network Connected Devices
Vincent Lévesque, Abraham Alexander Dauhajre
US Patent 9,756,604, filed July 21, 2016, issued September 5, 2017.

Abstract

A system provides haptic functionality over a networked system. The system receives information from a first device registered at the networked system and determines a notification to be provided to a user based on the information. The system then selects a second device registered at the networked system and provides the notification to the user by producing a haptic effect on the second device.

Haptic Notification Manager
Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant, Jean-Francois Blanchard-Dionne, Amaya Weddle, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,733,880, filed May 30, 2014, issued August 15, 2017.

Abstract

A notification manager is provided that manages notifications for a user. The notification manager detects a notification event and determines a context of the notification event. The notification manager determines a target device for the notification event based on the determined context and one or more available displays. The notification manager then generates a notification on one or more of the one or more available displays to direct the user's attention to the target device.

Systems and Methods For Perceptual Normalization of Haptic Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Neil Olien, Danny Grant, Erin Ramsay, David Birnbaum, Amaya Weddle
US Patent 9,729,730, filed July 2, 2013, issued August 8, 2017.

Abstract

Systems and methods for perceptual normalization of haptic effects are disclosed. One system may include a first sensor configured to detect a user interaction with a touch surface and transmit a first sensor signal associated with the user interaction; a second sensor configured to detect a feature associated with the touch surface and transmit a second sensor signal associated with the feature; a processor in communication with the first sensor and the second sensor, the processor configured to: determine a first haptic effect based on the user interaction; determine a modified haptic effect based in part first haptic effect and on the feature; output a haptic signal associated with the modified haptic effect; and a haptic output device in communication with the processor and coupled to the touch surface, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the modified haptic effect to the touch surface.

Systems and Methods For Determining Haptic Effects For Multi-Touch Input
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,710,063, filed July 21, 2014, issued July 18, 2017.

Abstract

A system of the present disclosure may include a haptic output device configured to output a haptic effect to a touch surface; a touch sensitive input device configured to detect a first user interaction and transmit a first sensor signal, the touch sensitive input device further configured to detect a second user interaction and transmit a second sensor signal, wherein at least part of the first user interaction occurs at the same time as the second user interaction; a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the first sensor signal and the second sensor signal; determine a haptic effect based in part on the first user interaction and the second user interaction; transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect to the haptic output device.

Systems and Methods for Multi-Output Electrostatic Haptic Effects
Ali Modarres, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Christopher Ullrich, Danny Grant, Neil Olien, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,696,806, filed July 2, 2014, issued July 4, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a processor configured to determine a haptic effect, wherein the haptic effect includes a static ESF effect or a confirmation ESF effect; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative system also includes an ESF controller in communication with the processor, the ESF controller configured to receive the haptic signal, determine an ESF signal based at least in part on the haptic signal, and transmit the ESF signal. The illustrative system further includes an ESF device in communication with the ESF controller, the ESF device including an ESF cell and configured to receive the ESF signal and output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Shape Input and Output for a Haptically-Enabled Deformable Surface
Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant, Jamal Saboune, Abdelwahab Hamam, William Rihn
US Patent 9,690,381, filed August 21, 2014, issued June 27, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative computing device disclosed herein includes a first sensor configured to detect a position associated with a deformable surface and transmit a sensor signal associated with the position; and a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the sensor signal; determine a haptic effect based at least in part on the sensor signal; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative computing device also includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Crowd-Based Haptics
Eric Gervais, Shadi Asfour, Jamal Saboune, Amer Alhabi, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,691,238, filed October 14, 2015, issued June 27, 2017.

Abstract

A system produces haptic effects. The system receives input data associated with an event, identifies an element of the event in the input data, generates the haptic effects based on the element of the event, and produces the haptic effects via a haptic output device. In one embodiment, the haptic effects are generated by haptifying the element of the event. In one embodiment, the haptic effects are designed haptic effects and are adjusted based on the element of the event. In one embodiment, the input data is associated with a crowd that attends the event, and the element of the event is caused by the crowd. In one embodiment, the input data includes haptic data collected by one or more personal devices associated with the crowd. In one embodiment, the input data is indicative of a location of the one or more personal devices associated with the crowd.

Systems and Methods for Viewport-Based Augmented Reality Haptic Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant
US Patent 9,690,370, filed May 5, 2014, issued June 27, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a display configured to receive a display signal and output an image, and an image capture device configured to capture an area image and transmit an image signal. The illustrative system also includes a processor in communication with the image capture device and the display, the processor configured to: receive the image signal; determine a virtual object based in part on the image signal; determine the display signal based in part on the image signal, wherein the display signal includes data associated with the virtual object; determine a haptic effect based at least in part on the virtual object; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative system further includes a haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Method and Apparatus of Body-Mediated Digital Content Transfer and Haptic Feedback
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Amaya Weddle, David Birnbaum, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Henry Da Costa
US Patent 9,671,826, filed December 13, 2013, issued June 6, 2017.

Abstract

The disclosure relates to systems and methods of transferring/storing digital content, and/or providing haptic feedback via wearable devices directly or indirectly responsive to an event such as a communication, an event occurring in an electronic environment and/or physical environment, the transfer of digital content, and/or other events. Wearable devices may be worn at various locations on a body of the user. Each location may be associated with a wearable device. Different haptic feedback may be provided at different locations based on the event such that the events may be distinguished or otherwise identified based on the location at which haptic feedback is provided. The locations may be stored in a configuration of wearable devices that act as a mapping of the wearable devices. The locations and/or haptic feedback itself may be varied based on the context and/or properties such as size of digital content or status of the transfer.

Systems and Methods for Haptically-Enabled Interactions with Objects
Vincent Levesque, Wei Zhu, Eric Gervais, Fengtian An, Eric Lajeunesse, Johnny Maalouf
US Patent 9,658,693, filed December 19, 2014, issued May 23, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative computing device disclosed herein includes a sensor configured to detect a user interaction with a physical object and transmit a sensor signal associated with the user interaction. The illustrative computing device also includes a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the sensor signal; determine a characteristic of the physical object based on the sensor signal; and determine a function based at least in part on the user interaction and the characteristic. The processor is also configured to determine a haptic effect associated with the function; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative computing device further includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Haptic Feedback In A Haptically Noisy Environment
Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Vincent Lévesque, Jamal Saboune, Danny Grant, Robert Lacroix, Abdelwahab Hamam
US Patent 9,659,468, filed September 16, 2015, issued May 23, 2017.

Abstract

A method for providing haptic feedback is provided for a device that produces haptic noise, such as a power tool with an electric motor that produces noises and vibrations while in operation. An environmental condition of the device can be sensed while the device is being operated and generating haptic noise. A haptic noise characteristic of the device can be determined. A haptic drive signal based on the environmental condition and haptic noise characteristic can be generated. The haptic drive signal can be applied to a haptic output device associated with the device.

Method and System For Providing Haptic Effects Based on Information Complementary to Multimedia Content
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Jamal Saboune
US Patent 9,652,945, filed December 31, 2013, issued May 16, 2017.

Abstract

The present disclosure is generally directed to systems and methods for providing haptic effects based on information complementary to multimedia content. For example, one disclosed method includes the steps of receiving multimedia data comprising multimedia content and complementary data, wherein the complementary data describes the multimedia content, determining a haptic effect based at least in part on the complementary data, and outputting the haptic effect while playing the multimedia content.

Systems and Methods for Haptic Feedback for Modular Devices
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,645,647, filed May 13, 2015, issued May 9, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative haptic output device disclosed herein includes a connector configured to couple the haptic output device to a modular computing device. The modular computing device includes an outer housing configured to mechanically and electrically couple with one or more external electronic modules. The haptic output device also includes a receiver configured to receive a haptic signal from a processor. The processor is configured to receive a signal; determine a haptic effect based in part on the signal; generate the haptic signal based on the haptic effect; and transmit the haptic signal. The haptic output device is configured to output the haptic effect responsive to receiving the haptic signal.

Mobile Device with Motion Controlling Haptics
William Rihn, David Birnbaum, Yiting Wang, Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant
US Patent 9,645,643, filed June 17, 2014, issued May 9, 2017.

Abstract

A haptically enabled device includes a haptic output device used to control motion. The haptically enabled device determines a desired motion, and then generates a haptic effect on the haptic output device to cause the desired motion.

Systems and Methods for Generating Friction and Vibrotactile Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Amaya Weddle, David Birnbaum, Danny Grant
US Patent 9,639,158, filed November 26, 2013, issued May 2, 2017.

Abstract

A system includes a sensor configured to sense an input received from a user at a surface; a first haptic output device configured to generate a first haptic effect at the surface based on the input received from the user, the first haptic effect comprising a friction effect at the surface; a second haptic output device configured to generate a second haptic effect, the second haptic effect comprising vibrotactile feedback; and a processor configured to receive an input signal from the sensor and output a first drive signal to the first haptic output device to generate the first haptic effect and to output a second drive signal to the second haptic output device to generate the second haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Generating Haptic Effects Associated With Audio Signals
Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Jamal Saboune, Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres
US Patent 9,619,980, filed November 12, 2013, issued April 11, 2017.

Abstract

Systems and methods for generating haptic effects associated with audio signals are disclosed. One disclosed system for outputting haptic effects includes a processor configured to: receive an audio signal; determine a haptic effect based in part on the audio signal by: identifying one or more components in the audio signal; and determining a haptic effect associated with the one or more components; and output a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect.

Haptically-Enabled Deformable Device with Rigid Component
Vincent Levesque, Danny Grant, Yiting Wang
US Patent 9,606,625, filed October 13, 2014, issued March 28, 2017.

Abstract

A device includes a flexible component, such as a display and a rigid component coupled to the flexible component. An input circuit coupled to the flexible component can detect deformation of the flexible component. A response module can provide haptic feedback or another response based on the deformation. In some devices, the rigid component can be made of rigid members attached by a flexible connection and coupled to a motor. The flexible connection can be altered by the motor to cause the flexible component to deform from one state to another.

Systems and Methods to Generate Haptic Feedback for Skin-Mediated Interactions
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,600,083, filed July 15, 2014, issued March 21, 2017.

Abstract

A system includes a sensor configured to sense an input at a skin surface, a processor configured to receive an output signal from the sensor and generate a haptic control signal based on the output signal, and a haptic output device configured to generate a haptic effect based on the haptic control signal.

Systems and Methods for Object Manipulation with Haptic Feedback
Vincent Levesque, Wei Zhu, Eric Gervais, Fengtian An, Eric Lajeunesse, Johnny Maalouf
US Patent 9,600,076, filed December 19, 2014, issued March 21, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative computing device disclosed herein includes a sensor configured to detect a user interaction with a physical object and transmit a sensor signal associated with the user interaction. The illustrative computing device also includes a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the sensor signal; determine a characteristic of the physical object based on the sensor signal; determine a haptic effect associated with the characteristic; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative computing device further includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Deformation-Based Haptic Effects
Vincent Levesque, Danny Grant, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Ali Modarres, William Rihn
US Patent 9,535,550, filed November 25, 2014, issued January 3, 2017.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a deformation sensor configured to detect a deformation of a deformable surface and transmit a first sensor signal associated with the deformation. The system also includes a sensor configured to detect a user interaction with a user input device and transmit a second sensor signal associated with the user interaction. The system further includes a processor configured to: receive the first sensor signal; receive the second sensor signal; execute a function based at least in part on the first sensor signal and the second sensor signal. The processor is also configured to: determine a haptic effect based at least in part on the first sensor signal or the second sensor signal; and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect to a haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Providing Haptic Notifications
Vincent Lévesque, David Birnbaum, Amaya Weddle, Robert Lacroix, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Danny Grant, Neil Olien, Erin Ramsay, Ali Modarres
US Patent 9,529,435, filed December 30, 2014, issued December 27, 2016.

Abstract

A system includes a sensor configured to sense relative movement between a surface and a user's skin; a haptic output device configured to generate a haptic effect at the surface; and a processor configured to receive an input signal from the sensor indicating the sensed movement between the surface and the skin of the user, determine whether a notification is to be sent to the user, and output an output signal, based on the notification, to the haptic output device to generate the haptic effect if it is determined that the notification is to be sent to the user.

Haptic Feedback for Interactions with Foldable-Bendable Displays
Ali Modarres, Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,524,030, filed March 21, 2014, issued December 20, 2016.

Abstract

A flexible device includes a bendable-foldable display that has bendable flaps connected by a hinge. The display has sensors for detecting a folding characteristic between the at least two flaps and for detecting a bending characteristic in at least one flap. The display has a haptic system with haptic output devices, where the haptic system receives input from the sensors indicating deformation of the bendable-foldable display device. A flexible device also includes bendable, foldable, or rollable displays that have sensors and actuators to augment user interaction with the device. Based on one or more measurements provided by the input, the haptic system interprets the input to determine deformation characteristics of the bendable-foldable display device. The haptic system generates haptic feedback based on the deformation characteristics.

Contactor-Based Haptic Feedback Generation
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,436,282, filed March 14, 2013, issued September 6, 2016.

Abstract

A system that generates haptic effects senses contact on an interface by a contactor/object. The system then determines one or more properties of the contactor and generates a type of haptic effect in response to the contact. The type of haptic effect is based at least on the one or more properties.

Simulation of Tangible User Interface Interactions and Gestures Using Array of Haptic Cells
Ali Modarres, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,405,369, filed April 25, 2014, issued August 2, 2016.

Abstract

A user interface device includes a flexible layer comprising a touch surface configured to receive a touch by a user, a plurality of haptic cells covered by the flexible layer, each haptic cell comprising a haptic output device, a sensor configured to sense an amount and/or rate of deformation of the flexible layer when a user touches the touch surface, and a processor configured to receive an output signal from the sensor, generate a haptic control signal based on the output signal from the sensor, and output the haptic control signal to at least one haptic output device of the plurality of haptic cells to cause the haptic output device to deform an associated haptic cell in response to the sensed deformation of the flexible layer.

Method and Apparatus of Converting Control Tracks for Providing Haptic Feedback
Vincent Lévesque, Jamal Saboune, David Birnbaum
US Patent 9,401,079, filed August 29, 2014, issued July 26, 2016.

Abstract

Disclosed are systems and methods for converting a control track designed for use with a number and/or type of haptic output devices to be used with other numbers and/or types of haptic output devices. For example, a computing device may convert the control track into another control track that can be applied to other types and/or numbers of haptic output devices. The converted control track may be compatible for use with a smartphone or other system that includes a different number and/or type of haptic feedback devices than the system for which the haptic track was originally designed. In this manner, the user of the smartphone or other system may experience haptic feedback using a device that is different from another haptic feedback system for which the control track was originally designed for use. The conversion may occur locally at the smartphone or other system and/or remotely at another device.

System and Method for Simulated Physical Interactions With Haptic Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Amaya Weddle, David Birnbaum
US Patent 9,330,544, filed March 14, 2013, issued May 3, 2016.

Abstract

A system of the present disclosure may include a sensor configured to detect user interaction with a touch surface and transmit a sensor signal associated with the user interaction; a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: determine a position of the user interaction based on the sensor signal, determine a feature associated with the position of the user interaction, control a device associated with the feature, modify a display signal based in part on the user interaction, select a haptic effect to generate based at least in part on user interaction and the position, the haptic effect selected to simulate the feature, and transmit a haptic signal to generate the haptic effect, and a haptic output device in communication with the processor and coupled to the touch surface, the haptic output device configured to receive a haptic signal and output a haptic effect.

Systems and Methods For Haptics In Vibrating Environments and Devices
Vincent Lévesque, Amaya Weddle
US Patent 9,202,351, filed March 11, 2013, issued December 1, 2015.

Abstract

Systems and methods for haptics in vibrating environments and devices are disclosed. For example, one described system includes: a haptic output device; a processor coupled to the haptic output device, the processor configured to: determine that a haptic effect should be generated; receive a signal associated with a parasitic vibration; determine a haptic effect based in part on the parasitic vibration; and output a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect to the haptic output device.

Automatic Haptic Effect Adjustment System
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,202,352, filed March 11, 2013, issued December 1, 2015.

Abstract

A system is provided that automatically adjusts a haptic effect. The system generates a haptic effect based on one or more haptic parameters. The system measures an affective state of a user that experiences the haptic effect. The system adjusts at least one haptic parameter of the one or more haptic parameters based on the measured affective state. The system generates a new haptic effect based on the one or more haptic parameters, where the at least one haptic effect parameter causes the new haptic effect to be different from the haptic effect.

Method and Apparatus for Simulating Surface Features on a User Interface with Haptic Effects
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent 9,196,134, filed October 31, 2012, issued November 24, 2015.

Abstract

A haptic effect enabled device for simulating a tactile sensation on a surface. In some cases, the haptic effect enabled device may be a user interface device, and the tactile sensation may be simulated on a surface of the user interface device. The interface device may include a haptic output device configured to generate a haptic effect, such as a periodic haptic effect, at the surface. The interface device may include a drive module configured to generate a periodic drive signal based on a touch input at the surface of the interface device and based on the tactile sensation to be simulated at the surface. The interface device may include a drive circuit operatively coupled to the drive module and the haptic output device and configured to apply the periodic drive signal to the haptic output device. In some cases, the surface may be separate from the device.

User Interface Device Provided with Surface Haptic Sensations
Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 9,041,647, filed March 15, 2013, issued May 26, 2015.

Abstract

A user interface device includes a housing, a user input element supported by the housing, and a haptic output device supported by the housing. The haptic output device is configured to generate a haptic effect at a surface of the user interface device. The surface is part of the housing and/or the user input element. A processor disposed within the housing. The processor is configured to receive an input command from the user input element, communicate the input command to a host computer, receive an output command from the host computer, and output a haptic signal based on the output command to the haptic output device to generate the haptic effect at the surface.

Apparatus to Reproduce Tactile Sensations
Vincent Hayward, Jerome Pasquero, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent 7,077,015, filed May 29, 2003, issued July 18, 2006.

Abstract

A tactile sensing transducer provides as its output a skin deformation signal for storage or transmission to a tactile stimulation display transducer. A skin surface imaging means operating optically, acoustically or otherwise is positioned for viewing and providing an output image signal corresponding to said deformed skin surface. An electronic processing means connected to said imaging means provides an output skin deformation signal corresponding to the deformation of said skin. The display transducer may incorporate a plurality of individually actuatable, bendable cantilevered arms mounted in line on a base support, each of the arms having tip ends which are displaceable, upon actuation, to provide a tactile display.

Pending Patents (34)

Systems and Methods for Closed-Loop Control for Haptic Feedback
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 15/186,727, filed June 20, 2016, pending.

Abstract

Example systems and methods for closed-loop control for haptic feedback are disclosed. One example method includes the steps of outputting a first signal configured to cause a haptic output device to output a haptic effect to a surface; determining one or more first velocities of a surface of an object attracted towards the surface in response to the haptic effect; in response to the first velocities decreasing to approximately zero, discontinuing output of the first signal; determining one or more second velocities of a surface of an object rebounding away from the surface in response to the discontinuing output of the first signal; in response to the second velocities decreasing to approximately zero, determining a responsiveness of the surface of the object to the haptic effect; and outputting a second signal based on the responsiveness.

Systems and Methods for Providing Haptic Feedback via a Case
Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant, Razmik Mousakhanian, Andry Rabemiarisoa, Gor Isajanyan, Alex Zhu
US Patent Application 15/183,182, filed June 15, 2016, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a case configured to mechanically couple with a mobile device and position the mobile device such that the mobile device serves as a display for the case. The system also includes a processor coupled to the case and configured to generate a haptic signal based at least in part on a characteristic of the case. The system also includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor and configured to receive the haptic signal and output a haptic effect in response to the haptic signal.

Systems And Methods For Monitoring Insulation Integrity For Electrostatic Friction
Kaniyalal Shah,  Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 15/179,133, filed June 10, 2016, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods for monitoring insulation integrity for electrostatic friction are disclosed. One system may include a touch sensitive interface configured to detect user interaction; an electrostatic haptic output device configured to output one or more electrostatic haptic effects to the touch sensitive interface; a processor in communication with the touch sensitive interface and the electrostatic haptic output device, the processor configured to: determine an operating condition associated with the electrostatic haptic output device; determine a corrective action associated with the operating condition; and apply the corrective action.

Haptic Feedback for Opportunistic Displays
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 15/176,692, filed June 8, 2016, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a computing device in communication with a sensor configured to detect a display device near the sensor, the computing device, or within a field of view of a user of the computing device. The sensor can also be configured to transmit a signal associated with the display device to a processor in communication with the sensor. The processor is configured to determine an availability of the display device to display or output content (e.g., texts, images, sounds, videos, etc.) and a location of the display device based on the signal. The processor is also configured to determine a haptic effect based on the availability and the location of the display device and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative system also includes a haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Haptic Surface Elements
Vahid Khoshkava, Vincent Lévesque, Jamal Saboune, Abdelwahab Hamam, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Liwen Wu
US Patent Application 15/062,903, filed March 7, 2016, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes an enclosure configured to define a boundary of a chamber, the chamber including a material, and a flexible layer coupled overtop of the chamber and configured to enclose the chamber. The illustrative system also includes a first actuation device configured to receive a first haptic signal and responsively output a first haptic effect by changing a characteristic of the material to deform the flexible layer. The illustrative system also includes a second actuation device configured to receive a second haptic signal and responsively output a second haptic effect by applying an electrical signal to the flexible layer. The illustrative system further includes a processor in communication with the first actuation device and the second actuation device. The processor is configured to transmit the first haptic signal to the first actuation device and the second haptic signal to the second actuation device.

Haptic Effects Conflict Avoidance
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 15/049,745, filed February 22, 2016, pending.

Abstract

A method and system for avoiding haptic effects conflict is presented. A haptic enabled device configured to generate haptic effects associated with a first signature is used by a user. The system detects an additional source of haptic effects and determines a second signature associated with the haptic effects produced by the source. The system determines a preferred set of haptic configurations and modifies either the first or second signature based on the preferred set of haptic configurations to achieve a minimal conflict between the first and second signatures.

Externally-Activated Haptic Devices And Systems
Vincent Levesque, David M. Birnbaum, Benoit Belley, Jamal Saboune, Vahid Khoshkava, Simon Forest, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent Application 14/984,434, filed December 30, 2015, pending.

Abstract

Examples of externally-activated devices and systems are disclosed. One example system includes a first device having an actuation component; and a second device having a haptic output component, wherein: the first device and the second device are configured to be physically separable from each other; the actuation component is configured to transmit an actuation signal to the haptic output component while the first device and the second device are physically separated from each other, and the haptic output component configured to output a haptic effect in response to receiving the actuation signal and while the first device and the second device are physically separated from each other, the haptic effect based on the actuation signal.

Systems and Methods for Multifunction Haptic Output Devices
Vahid Khoshkava, Vincent Levesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent Application 14/974,456, filed December 18, 2015, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a processor configured to determine a haptic effect and transmit a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect. The illustrative system also includes a multifunction haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the haptic effect. The multifunction haptic output device includes a single haptic actuator.

Wearable Article Having An Actuator That Performs Non-Haptic And Haptic Operations
Vincent Levesque, Vahid Khoshkava
US Patent Application 14/974,963, filed December 18, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A wearable haptics-enabled apparatus comprises a wearable article comprising an actuator and an input device. A controller is electrically connected to the actuator and the input device. The controller is configured to selectively transmit operation and haptic drive signals to the actuator, and to generate the haptic drive signal upon receiving an input signal from the input device. The haptic drive signal embodies a message. A method of delivering haptic feedback through a wearable article comprises: selectively generating a non-haptic drive signal and applying the non-haptic drive signal to an actuator; and selectively generating a haptic drive signal and applying the haptic drive signal to the actuator.

Automated Haptic Setting Generation
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 14/969,870, filed December 15, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A system and method of generating a set of preferred haptic settings for a user based on haptic settings chosen by other similar users is presented. The method includes maintaining a database of haptic software applications with associated haptic configuration settings. When a user loads a haptic software application such as a computer game or video, a server receives a communication identifying the particular computer game or video and the identity of the user. The server searches the database for other users of the computer game or video where the other users have similar setting preferences as the user. The server calculates a preferred set of configuration settings and sends those settings to the user where a haptic output device produces haptic effects based on the preferred set of configuration settings. A system that generates haptic setting based on similar users is also presented.

Delivery Of Haptics To Select Recipients Of A Message
Liwen Wu, Henry Da Costa, Changyu Yang, Vincent Levesque, Hua Yu, David M. Birnbaum, Christopher Ullrich
US Patent Application 14/968,363, filed December 14, 2015, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods, by which a sender can deliver haptic messages to selected recipients within a larger group of recipients that are otherwise receiving a common message, are disclosed. The haptic messages can be individualized according to a recipient's profile, preference, and/or relationship with the sender. The haptic message can be created by the sender or selected from a pre-existing library of messages, and can be delivered automatically or assigned by the sender. The haptic messages can be dynamically changed in response to haptic feedback and supplemental data collected from the recipients that is used to update preferences and profiles of message recipients.

Systems and Methods for Position-Based Haptic Effects
Vahid Khoshkava, Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Mansoor Alghooneh, William Rihn
US Patent Application 14/966,652, filed December 11, 2015, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a sensor configured to detect a gesture and transmit an associated sensor signal. The gesture includes a first position at a distance from a surface and a second position contacting the surface. The system also includes a processor in communication with the sensor and configured to: receive the sensor signal from the sensor, and determine one or more haptic effects based at least in part on the sensor signal. The one or more haptic effects are configured to provide substantially continuous haptic feedback throughout the gesture. The processor is also configured to generate one or more haptic signals based at least in part on the one or more haptic effects, and transmit the one or more haptic signals. The system includes a haptic output device for receiving the one or more haptic signals and outputting the one or more haptic effects.

Haptically Enabled Flexible Devices
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 14/947,661, filed November 20, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A haptic effect enabled flexible device is presented that includes a flexible frame, a processor, a flexible display and an actuator system. The processor is configured to receive a data stream where the data stream contains visual content. The flexible display is connected to the flexible frame and is designed to display the visual content from the data stream. The actuator system is also connected to the flexible frame and receives drive commands from the processor as a result of the processor executing a plurality of haptic instructions. The drive commands direct the actuator system to deform the flexible device. Execution of the plurality of haptic instructions is synchronized with the display of the visual content on the flexible display device.

Haptic CAPTCHA
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 14/865,373, filed September 25, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A system performs haptic challenge-response functionality. The system generates one or more haptic effects, provides the one or more haptic effects as a haptic challenge question to a user via a haptic output device, and receives an answer from the user corresponding to the haptic challenge question. The system then determines, based on a model of human perception, whether the answer corresponds to a correct answer to the haptic challenge question. One embodiment predicts the correct answer to the haptic challenge question, compares the correct answer with the answer received from the user, and determines that the user is a human when the answer matches the correct answer. One embodiment repeats the generating, the providing, the receiving, the predicting, and the comparing when the answer does not match the correct answer.

Systems And Methods For Providing Haptic Effects In Response To Deformation Of A Cover For An Electronic Device
Vincent Lévesque, Jamal Saboune, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Abdelwahab Hamam, Vahid Khoshkava, Liwen Wu
US Patent Application 14/858,148, filed September 18, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A system includes an electronic device that includes a display screen, a cover configured to cover the display screen, a sensor configured to sense an input gesture comprising deformation and/or movement of the cover relative to the electronic device, and a processor configured to determine an action for the electronic device to perform based on the input gesture, to determine a haptic effect to generate based on the input gesture and/or the action for the electronic device to perform, and to initiate the action. The system also includes a haptic output device configured to generate the haptic effect.

Systems And Methods For Location-Based Notifications For Shopping Assistance
Vincent Lévesque, Alex Zhu, Eric Gervais, Fengtian An, Johnny Maalouf, Eric Lajeunesse
US Patent Application 14/851,140, filed September 11, 2015, pending.

Abstract

Methods, systems, and devices are described for location-based notifications for shopping assistance. One disclosed method includes the steps of receiving a list of items for a shopping list; obtaining a location of at least one of the items in the list; responsive to a determination that a proximity of a user device to the location is within a threshold proximity of the location: generating a notification signal based on the proximity of the user device to the location; and outputting the notification signal to cause the user device to output a notification.

Haptic Effects Based On Predicted Contact
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Abdelwahab Hamam, Vahid Khoshkava
US Patent Application 14/717,393, filed May 20, 2015, pending.

Abstract

A haptically enabled device has a user interface and generates haptic effects. The device receives an indication of a future contact by a user with the user interface based on an existing contact by the user on the device and, based on the indication, predicts a time and a location of the contact. Based on the prediction, the system determines a responsive haptic effect, and generates the responsive haptic effect using a haptic output device.

Systems And Methods For Tactile Guidance
Abdelwahab Hamam, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Liwen Wu, Jamal Saboune, Vincent Lévesque, Robert Lacroix, Danny Grant
US Patent Application 14/697,680, filed April 28, 2015, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods for tactile guidance are disclosed. One illustrative method disclosure herein includes: receiving a sensor signal from a sensor configured to determine one or more objects associated with an area; determining area information based in part on the sensor signal; determining a haptic effect based in part on the area information; and transmitting a haptic signal associated with the haptic effect to a haptic output device configured to output the haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Haptically-Enabled Curved Devices
Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant, Ali Modarres, Jamal Saboune
US Patent Application 14/663,405, filed March 19, 2015, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a curved device that includes a curved outer housing, The illustrative system also includes a sensor configured to detect a user interaction with the curved device and transmit a sensor signal associated with the user interaction. The illustrative system additionally includes a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the sensor signal from the sensor; determine a user interaction based on the sensor signal, determine a first haptic effect based at least in part on the user interaction, and transmit a haptic signal associated with the first haptic effect. The illustrative system also includes a haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the first haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Force-Based Object Manipulation and Haptic Sensations
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Danny Grant, Jamal Saboune, Liwen Wu, Kurt Eerik Stahlberg, Abdelwahab Hamam
US Patent Application 14/663,406, filed March 19, 2015, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods for force-based object manipulation and haptic sensations are disclosed. One disclosed method includes the steps of receiving a first signal indicating a location of a user interaction and receiving a second signal indicating a first force. The method also includes, if the location of the user interaction corresponds to an object displayed on a display screen: outputting a first haptic signal to a haptic output device to cause a first haptic effect; and outputting a second haptic signal to the haptic output device to cause a second haptic effect if the first force meets or exceeds a first force threshold.

Deformable Haptic Wearables with Variable Physical Properties
Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Jamal Saboune, Abdelwahab Hamam, Vincent Levesque
US Patent Application 14/585,429, filed December 30, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A haptically-enabled device has an interface for receiving an instruction to provide haptic information. The device includes a tangible element with a physical property including length, stiffness, or texture. A haptic output device is attached to the tangible element and a haptic response module provides haptic information to the haptic output device. The haptic output device causes the tangible element to be altered from a first state to a second state of the physical property.

Systems and Methods for Recording and Playing Back Point-of-View Videos with Haptic Content
Vincent Lévesque, Jamal Saboune, David Birnbaum
US Patent Application 14/585,752, filed December 30, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A system includes a video recorder configured to record a point-of-view video of an event, a sensor configured to sense vibrations associated with the event, a processor configured to synchronize the recorded point-of-view video and the sensed vibrations, and a playback device that includes a display and a haptic output device. The playback device is configured to play back the synchronized point-of-view video and vibrations, and the haptic output device is configured to generate haptic effects based on the vibrations.

Friction Augmented Controls and Method to Convert Buttons of Touch Control Panels to Friction Augmented Controls
Vincent Lévesque, Neil Olien, Christopher Ullrich, David Birnbaum, Amaya Weddle
US Patent Application 14/585,898, filed December 30, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A system includes a touch control panel configured to receive an input from a user, a controller in signal communication with the touch control panel and configured to control at least one operational setting of a powered apparatus, and a haptic output device in signal communication with the controller and configured to simulate an input button of the touch control panel by outputting a friction effect to the user as the user provides the input.

Systems and Methods for Generating Haptic Effects Based on Eye Tracking
Vincent Levesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Abraham Dauhajre, Paige Raynes, Satvir Singh Bhatia
US Patent Application 14/584,098, filed December 29, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A system includes an eye-tracking device configured to track a user's eye gaze while looking at media content comprising an image, and a processor configured to execute one or more computer program modules, including a content determination module that, when executed by the processor, analyzes the media content to identify the image, an eye gaze determination module that, when executed by the processor, determines a gaze location of the user's eye gaze while looking at the image, and an event determination module that, when executed by the processor, determines an event to trigger based on the identification of the image and the gaze location.

Systems and Methods for Providing Haptic Feedback for Remote Interactions
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Danny Grant, Jean Francois Dionne, David Birnbaum
US Patent Application 14/275,216, filed May 12, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A system includes a first electronic device and a second electronic device. The first electronic device includes a sensor configured to sense or property experienced by the first electronic device, and a transmitter configured to transmit a signal based on output from the sensor. The second electronic device is in signal communication with the first electronic device. The second electronic device includes a receiver configured to receive the transmitted signal, a detector configured to determine an object that a user of the second device is focusing on, a processor configured to generate a haptic signal representative of the transmitted signal if it is determined that the object the user is focusing on corresponds with a location of the first electronic device, and a haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and generate a haptic effect to the user.

Wearable Device with Flexibly Mounted Haptic Output Device
Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque, Elena Redelsheimer, Daniel Gregory Parker
US Patent Application 14/243,313, filed April 2, 2014, pending.

Abstract

A system includes a wearable device configured to be worn by a user. The wearable device includes a flexible mounting, and a haptic output device connected to the flexible mounting. The system includes a signal generator configured to generate a haptic signal and communicate the haptic signal to the haptic output device. The haptic signal includes a short duration control pulse configured to create a small deformation sensation to the user.

System and Method for a Haptically-Enabled Deformable Surface
Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres
US Patent Application 14/222,518, filed March 21, 2014, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a first haptic output device configured to receive a first haptic signal and output a first haptic effect to a deformable surface and a second haptic output device configured to receive a second haptic signal and output a second haptic effect to the deformable surface. The illustrative system further includes a processor coupled to the first haptic output device and the second haptic output device, the processor configured to: determine an event, determine a first haptic effect and a second haptic effect based at least in part on the event, transmit a first haptic signal associated with the first haptic effect to the first haptic output device, and transmit a second haptic signal associated with the second haptic effect to the second haptic output device.

Systems and Methods for a Haptically-Enabled Projected User Interface
Vincent Lévesque, Ali Modarres, Amaya Weddle, David Birnbaum
US Patent Application 14/143,675, filed December 30, 2013, pending.

Abstract

One illustrative system disclosed herein includes a sensor configured to detect a user input associated with a projected user interface and transmit a sensor signal associated with the user interaction, and a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: receive the sensor signal, determine a remote haptic effect based at least in part on the user input, generate a haptic signal based at least in part on the remote haptic effect, and transmit the haptic signal. The illustrative system further includes a haptic output device in communication with the processor, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and output the remote haptic effect.

Systems and Methods for Haptic Fiddling
Danny Grant, Vincent Lévesque, Amaya Weddle, David Birnbaum, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hermandez, Jamal Saboune
US Patent Application 14/010,973, filed August 27, 2013, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods for haptic fiddling are disclosed. In one embodiment, a sensor signal indicating an interaction with an electronic device is received by the electronic device. In response to receiving the sensor signal, the electronic device may output an output signal. The output signal may be output to a display, a haptic output device, an audio device, and/or another output device. The output signal can correspond to a modality. After outputting the output signal, another sensor signal indicating another interaction with the electronic device may be received by the electronic device. This interaction may be associated with the previously-received interaction. In response to receiving this interaction, the electronic device may output another output signal to the same output device(s) and/or different output device(s). The second output signal may correspond to one or more different modalities than the previous output signal.

Usable Hidden Controls with Haptic Feedback
Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 13/945,498, filed July 18, 2013, pending.

Abstract

A system configured to activate a hidden control includes a sensor configured to sense an input by a user. The input includes a gesture. The system includes a haptic output device configured to output a haptic feedback as the input is being sensed, and a processor configured to determine if the sensed input corresponds to a predetermined gesture associated with activation of a control, and if the sensed input corresponds to the predetermined gesture to activate the control.

Systems and Methods For Providing Mode or State Awareness With Programmable Surface Texture
Vincent Lévesque, David Birnbaum, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Amaya Weddle
US Patent Application 13/830,125, filed March 14, 2013, pending.

Abstract

Systems and methods of mode or state awareness with programmable surface texture are disclosed. For example, in one embodiment, a system of the present disclosure may include a sensor configured to detect an interaction with a touch surface and transmit a sensor signal associated with the interaction; a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor configured to: determine a mode of operation; control at least one feature of a system based on the mode of operation and the interaction; determine a simulated texture associated with the mode of operation; output a haptic signal associated with the simulated texture; and a haptic output device in communication with the processor and coupled to the touch surface, the haptic output device configured to receive the haptic signal and simulate the texture on the touch surface based in part on the haptic signal.

Friction Modulation for Three Dimensional Relief in a Haptic Device
Robert Lacroix, Vincent Lévesque
US Patent Application 13/793,843, filed March 11, 2013, pending.

Abstract

A haptic device includes a display configured to display an image, a haptic output device configured to generate a haptic effect to a user when the user interacts with the display, and a processor configured to receive information related to the image displayed on the display. The processor is also configured to create a friction based haptic effect map associated with the image displayed on the display, and generate a signal to the haptic output device to output the haptic effect when the user interacts with the display when the image is displayed on the display, the haptic effect being configured to simulate a feel of the image in three dimensions.

Method and Apparatus for Providing Haptic Cues for Guidance and Alignment with Electrostatic Friction
Vincent Lévesque, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez
US Patent Application 13/782,771, filed March 1, 2013, pending.

Abstract

A haptic effect enabled device for producing a haptic effect. In some cases, the haptic effect may represent a component of a spatial pattern represented on a surface of the haptic effect enabled device. In some cases, the haptic effect enabled device may comprise a haptic output device, a drive module, and a drive circuit. The drive module may receive information indicative of a location of a touch input at the surface and determine whether the touch input's location corresponds with a location of one of multiple components of the spatial pattern. The drive module may generate a drive signal that the drive circuit then applies to the haptic output device to generate the haptic effect.

Mobile Device with Instinctive Alerts
David Birnbaum, Vincent Lévesque, Danny Grant
US Patent Application 13/772,682, filed February 21, 2013, pending.

Abstract

A haptically enabled system receives information and determines that a user of the system should be notified of the information. The system further receives and analyzes inputs to determine a context of the user. The system then generates an instinctive alert based on the context, where the instinctive alert is configured to impart a desired emotion on the user. The system then displays the instinctive alert based on the context.