VMP (Visual Memory Prosthetic)

(Wearable face-recognizer, captured with wearable computer, S. Mann, Aug 17th, 1996.)
  1. Invention title: VMP (Visual Memory Prosthetic).
  2. Summary explanation -- how it works:
    The VMP helps the elderly, or otherers with a visual memory impairment, remember names and faces, and other visual information in their environment or in transformations of the environment (e.g. helps people remember names and faces of movie characters while watching a movie). The system can take the form of a wearable device, or can also take the form of a hand-held device (e.g. an app on a smartphone or the like).
  3. Example commercial applications:
    Helps people remember things, e.g. if you bought something at Wal-Mart, and are returng it, you can remember the face of the person you bought it from (e.g. when they ask "Who told you that?" in regards to a refund explanation).

    Safety, health, wellness, personal security, etc.. Ingle International (Ingle Insurance) has already expressed interest in this invention, and they could, for example, be the remote service provider. In this application, a remote call centre or crisis centre is setup 1-way (e.g. covert) or 2-way (e.g. where an attacker or assailant is made aware of the remote connection and actually is being talked to by the remote party). Another example application is to help in addressing bullying. Presently persons with special needs are often bullied others, inluding police or security guards, due to the fact that people with special needs often act differently than others, and acting differently is seen as suspicious.

    The PSD might have saved the life of Sammy Yatim, and others suffering from mental challenges, who otherwise end up being shot dead by police because of differences in their responses or actions. In this case, the PSD makes it known to the potential attacker (whether the attacker is a civilian or a guard or an officer) that the attacker is being watched by a remote entity. Much like the big screen TV at the entrance to a shopping mall, the PSD can include a wearable video screen that shows a video conference call with a remote call centre like Ingle International, a company that already has extensive experience with tense standoffs like hostage negotions and hostile attackers.

  4. Link to technical papers associated with the invention:
    Wearablerable, tetherless computer--mediated reality: WearCam as a wearable face--recognizer, and other applications for the disabled, S. Mann, 1996
    IEEE Computer, Vol. 30, No. 2, February 1997, pages 25-32 (available also as PDF).
    • Mann, S. (1996, November). 'Smart clothing': Wearable multimedia and 'personal imaging' to restore the balance between people and their intelligent environments. In Proc. ACM Multimedia (Vol. 96, pp. 163-174).
    The Witnessential Network
  5. Patent applications filed or issued: CA2357697. Other patents in-progress.
  6. Prototypes constructed: Several working prototypes have been constructed by S. Mann, but additional work is required regarding industrial design and other improvements.
  7. Further possibilities: This work can be extended and deepened, if desired, by bringing in Ryan Janzen, and Mir Adnan Ali, on this invention. See also related inventions: Vericop, and Glogger.
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