Licenses overview

TNO likes to explore the various possibilities of license constructions together. The basic principle here is that all transactions concluded by TNO must meet the conditions of market conformity. If you are interested in a specific license, we would be happy to discuss this.

Licensing opportunities

The links below will direct you to descriptions of each licensing opportunity. TNO can discuss any type of license arrangement. As a public research and technology organisation, TNO is obliged to apply conditions of market conformity. Please contact us for more information.

E-safety tag

The invention relates to protection against unauthorized access to files stored in a computer network. The object of the invention is to provide a computer system which makes it possible to selectively limit the access to files without requiring extra measures when copies are made within the computer system and without requiring encryption.

The invention makes use of a gate device in a communication channel between a network domain and an external connection such as a connection to the Internet. The gate device is arranged to check for the presence of a security tag in all files sent to the external connection via the communication channel. Depending on the presence or absence of this security tag, the gate device limits the free sending of the file to the external connection.

Applications

Applications for this invention are typically environments where distribution of files needs restriction. Especially firewall and network security device manufacturers could benefit from this technology.

Technical Summary

A file is provided with a security tag, based on which a selective check is performed by the gate device for the access possibilities to the file outside the network domain. Within the local network every user has access to the file. But out of that, access is limited. Thus, a domain specific protection is provided. In principle, the invention can be applied to all forms of file sending, for instance sending as part of e-mail protocols (SMTP), as part of file transfer protocols (FTP), as part of hyperlink protocols (HTTP) or any other sort of protocol.

On-demand-TV in a High Speed Bundled Access Network

Triple play is a key concept for Telco operators in their competition with cable network providers. Telco operators wishing to provide triple play over their xDSL enabled access infrastructures need to adapt to the service model of radio and television distribution in such a way that it suits their access infrastructure. Traditional radio and television distribution is based on a broadcast-and-select mechanism, where all channels are sent to all customers and each customer 'tunes' into the channel of choice. However, this model is not compatible with a DSL network, both in terms of capacity and topology.

This invention discloses a different approach, using IP based transport and IP-multicast and forwarding. The customer subscribes to the delivery tree of a particular channel before this channel is transported to said customer. Therefore the network operates in an 'on-demand delivery' mode. Various protocols are known to achieve this over so called Non Broadcast Multiple Access networks. Due to the inverse multiplexing methodology, these known protocols are not compliant with a High Speed Bundled Access network.

Applications

Due to the flexibility these systems and methods offer, they would be extremely useful to any company involved in managing network traffic or manufacturing network equipment.

Technical Summary

The main problem is how to arrange the multicast subscription within the radio mesh network when the data flows to the subscriber are inverse multiplexed. The solution is to distribute the subscription process over all radio mesh network elements. In the accompanying figure, host 4, who wishes to subscribe to e.g. CNN, establishes a branch from the mesh network multicast source to itself by sending an "ICMP_Report" message to the IP multicast router. As in the case of HBA, all inverse multiplex elements receive all data for host 4. Due to the inverse multiplexing process there must be a branch from all mesh network elements to host 4. This means sending an "NMCP_Join" message to all mesh network elements.

New method for making functional textiles and fibers

Plasma technology is used to modify the chemical structure as well as the topography of textiles, foils, composites and other fibrous material. It has the ability to add functional characteristics to materials, for example water resistance or absorption, antibacterial properties, improved adhesion etc. Conventional plasma systems are established in the industry but have the disadvantage that they operate at vacuum, have a small treatment surface or operate at high temperatures. TNO has developed a technology that overcomes these drawbacks and is well suited for continuous production processes.

For coating of materials with very thin layers (300nm), TNO has developed SDBD (Surface Dielectric Barrier Discharge) Plasma. This plasma, generated at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, can be precisely controlled and can therefore easily be used in a continuous production process. For example, SDBD plasma can provide a hydrophobic coating on the individual fibers, thus maintaining breathability and natural feel of cotton. Main advantages are:

  • Almost at room temperature (Application for temperature sensitive materials)
  • Dry process (no need to dry or for waste water)
  • Applicable in continuous process
  • Operates under atmospheric pressure
  • Easy control of power and coating process
  • Up scalable to production widths up to 4 m
  • Low energy consumption

Applications

SDBD plasma technology can be applied for activation or coating of textile, foils, composites etc. in order to achieve an improved:

  • Adhesion
  • Dyeability
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Antimicrobial characteristics
  • UV protection
  • etc.

Technical Summary

SDBD plasma created by adding electrical energy to the gas near the surface. The substrate, for instance cotton, is guided through the plasma with a roll to roll system. A gaseous precursor can be added over the plasma to achieve the optimum coating effect. Various demonstrations have been given with astonishing results to the customer, at low operational costs. The technique has been applied in several pilot applicatiosn to enhance the properties of fibers and textiles. Some examples are:

  • Hydrophobization of cotton
  • Anti-microbial layers in bandages
  • Corrosion protective coatings on metallized fabrics
  • Increase of surface energy of Polyethylene fibers
  • Dying of Polypropylene foil
  • Improved adhesion of PET fabric to a PU or PVC coatings

Car sickness control unit

Who dears comment daddy's driving style? If someone gets sick in a car, it is almost never the driver. However, the passengers suffer only too often. This certainly holds for children, especially when they are seated in the back. The fact that the driver hardly gets sick (due to proper anticipation), makes it for the passengers only more difficult to convince him to drive more comfortably. TNO therefore developed a little gadget to support the driver in adopting a passenger-friendly driving style.

This so-called "car sickness indicator" measures car accelerations in three dimensions, and calculates the nauseating extent of these. A green LED means "good", yellow "caution", and a red LED (possibly accompanied by a beep) signals the driver about "bad" passenger comfort. These calculations are a simplification of a comprehensive six-degrees-of-freedom mathematical motion sickness model that has been developed at TNO in the past ten years. This model has been validated for a large number of conditions using data from the literature and own expertise.

Applications

This device is patented, implemented in an operational prototype, and is now ready for commercialisation. Apart from the after market, this idea lends itself for dashboard integration and tour operator management applications.

Technical Summary

The unique TNO model is based on neuro-physiological knowledge of the human vestibular (equilibrium) system. This system plays a crucial role in the aetiology of motion sickness, given the fact that people without functioning organs of balance in the inner ear do not suffer from car sickness, sea sickness, air sickness, or whatever sickness induced by motion.

Camera Motion Stabilization

Users of digital cameras may wish to record moving objects against a constant background. Achieving this outcome requires the detection of movement in the background itself, along with the restoration of a stable background behind the moving objects. Existing techniques are inadequate because they can only work with a small number of frames before consuming too much memory. The invention solves this problem by maintaining a cumulative 'mosaic' frame of the background. The resulting procedure can be adapted to produce several effects relying on background detection.

The crux of the invention is a mosaic frame representing a composite assessment of the image background. The mosaic is larger than any individual frame—because it includes older data that now falls outside the margins—but does not include data changeable enough to constitute a foreground object. The background of each new frame is distinguished through comparison to the mosaic. When background elements are identified, the frames can be anchored onto the mosaic. The procedure can then output video in which foreground objects move in front of a fixed composite.

Applications

  • Compensates for camera movements resulting from shaking by anchoring images according to a reasonable assessment of the background.
  • Offsets internal camera effects such as automatic gain control.
  • Allows user to customize preferred background changeability and other elements.
  • Facilitates video compression by eliminating redundant background data.
  • Saves memory relative to earlier techniques assessing the same number of frames.

Technical Summary

The patent describes a cycle of operations performed after the input of each new frame. The frame is searched for areas resembling those in the mosaic. This search can use one of many procedures, each of which will yield a different outcome. Once the background elements of the new frame have been defined, the image can be anchored atop the mosaic. The mosaic and input frame modify each other according to criteria set by the user. A threshold for changeability determines the power of the new frame to alter the mosaic and vice-versa. This core procedure can be used to create different outputs.

Inverse multiplexing to control data transfer

Telecom and internet have undergone significant changes due to the advent HFC, satellite and Wimax-networks. However, this has not rendered legacy copper based networks useless. In most countries competitive DSL solutions exist for the "last mile". An important characteristic/drawback of existing xDSL solutions is that it uses a dedicated pair of copper wires between subscriber and exchange (DSLAM). This precludes subscribers from using idle capacity of other neighboring xDSL subscribers. Thus valuable transmission capacity/bandwidth goes to waste/is lost. DSL bandwidth may now be sufficient for most subscribers but transmission capacity over DSL is nearing its physical limits.

Limited upgradeability of xDSL lines has been widely regarded to be a serious drawback of DSL technology. The invention however presents a cost-efficient way to further enhance transmission capacity over DSL networks. By creating individually accessible virtual high speed internet access the upgradeability issue is addressed. This is achieved by virtually bundling several neighboring xDSL lines by interconnecting the individual subscribers by means of a meshed (radio) network and inverse multiplexing up- and downstream traffic generated by the individual subscribers.

Applications

Because of the flexibility these systems and methods offer, they would be extremely useful to any company involved in managing network traffic or manufacturing network equipment.

Technical Summart

Inverse multiplexing of the individual data streams is performed through an algorithm embedded in a (distributed) software module in the local interconnection network. A reciprocal algorithm in the cloud recombines the split data streams into the original data stream generated by the individual subscriber. With downstream data a similar process is performed.

Method for Extracting a Semantic Parameter

This invention is designed to search radar data for useful information. Specifically, it assists data analysis by producing a "semantic parameter," which is a quantitative value connected to a specific type of object. For example, it might take a data set recorded from a walking person and yield specific values for the speed of the torso or the leg. The goal of the invention is to make radar data easily legible according to previously specified terms.

The method calls for the determination of a velocity envelope for different objects. Whoever programs the detector must have some idea about the type of objects to be detected. For example, they must introduce some basic differentiation, such as the difference between upper and lower body. Different elements of the object are subsequently sorted and classified according to existing parameters. Data can then be accessed in terms of these parameters; leg speed, for example, can be analyzed as a separate variable. The invention can also be used to analyze relations between still objects.

Applications

  • Detection of moving speed of the human body
  • Analysis of individual moving parts
  • Determination of how a human body is moving: i.e., walking, running, bicycling, swimming, or other types of locomotion
  • Detect other types of movement: vehicles, animals, or any other object with specified parameters

Technical Summary

The invention calls for a radar signal which collects data about nearby moving objects. This data is then fed into a program, which classifies values according to specified semantic values. The method defines a range of values which it interprets as relevant. Within this range, the average speed is taken as the speed of the primary object (i.e., the torso, in the case of the human). Other objects are discerned on the basis of their different frequencies. I.e., swinging arms are identified because they move forward and backward quickly.

Motion of a Multiple Camera System

This invention is designed to evaluate the motion of multiple cameras with (at least partially) overlapping views of a 3D space. Many methods for estimating this type of motion exist, but they are inaccurate due to misperceptions of landmarks, as well as inefficient due to the high volume of processing power they require. The method succeeds empirically compared to a well-used existing approach known as RANSAC.

This invention adds extra parameters to existing techniques for estimating the motion of a camera array. These include the calculation of likely error in order to reduce the impact of outlier landmarks on the overall estimate. The method uses a loop of estimates, moving back and forth between the large dataset and the single motion estimate; an algorithm will check the motion estimate against the evaluations of landmarks. The method also outputs a final uncertainty value associated with its estimate.

Applications

One particular use for the invention is in estimating the motion of a moving vehicle using two visual inputs arrayed in stereo. Motion of the vehicle is determined by establishing corresponding landmarks between the two cameras. The invention can be hardwired into a camera system or hosted in a computer program, potentially stored on a CD or DVD, that can be installed to perform this type of estimate.

Technical Summary

The method begins with simple left-to-right matching of pixels between the different cameras, followed by triangulation used to estimate position relative to a primary object. The method calls for a set of uncertainties associated with each point. These data allows the algorithm to weight its motion estimates on the basis of likely data quality. The utility of landmarks for the estimate will be weighted according to a system of minimal squared distances. The algorithm evaluates the Bhattacharyya distance between the probability distributions found by the initial evaluation.

Improved resolution for a moving object

This invention is designed to improve the resolution attributed to a small object (bundle of pixels) moving across a series of digital frames. It is typically difficult to attain good resolution for this type of object in the context of a complicated scene. The invention improves a process called Super-Resolution (SR) for gathering data about the object from across multiple frames. Existing methods describe the use of SR to improve resolution for an object that would be blurry in a single given frame; however, they fail when tracking particularly small objects across the sequence.

The particular advance of this method involves using an iterative optimization function to improve resolution for a single object. First the process creates a high-resolution model of the image background. The object is then detected and registered frame by frame. The method then calls for an algorithm to define the boundary and intensity of the object. The algorithm minimizes "costs" associated with describing the object by prioritizing consistency and penalizing irregularity—for example, "spikes" from the background into the object.

Applications

This method can be used as part of long-range detection devices, such as visual and infrared cameras. Other suggested uses include alarm systems, and vehicle alerts. Although the method represents a particular advancement for the resolution of small objects, it also works to improve resolution for larger objects. It is particularly useful for creating a high-resolution image of an object moving at relatively constant velocity.

Technical Summary

The method calls for defining a geometrically precise polygon around the object to be detected. The polygon defines the difference between object (foreground) and background. The method independently defines camera blurring and noise in order to cancel them. It uses a cost function to locally optimize decisions about which pixels to include as part of the object or part of the background. Protrusions into the object ("spikes") are penalized in this algorithm, while regularity is preserved. This method also assumes minimal acceleration on the part of the small moving object.

Method of processing a sequence of color images

This invention is designed to for upgrading color images to compensate for noise reduction without generating a large color shift. This color shift takes place when separately upgrading different color planes of an image. The invention improves on existing methods by creating a separate enhanced gray-tone image from which to derive edges, which is used to enhance the color planes of the image.

The method uses an enhanced gray-tone image as the basis for upgrading colors. All color upgrades are based on relevant edges determined from the gray-tone image. It calls for analyzing a sequences of images together in order to find the edge information. The noise reduction of the color planes is performed using the edge information. This process preserves the color consistency of the image.

Applications

This invention can be used for any kind of photo and video editing software in which the user may want to modulate the process of noise reduction in a color image. It lends itself well to an easy-to-use interface allowing the user to request an image upgrade without needing to do very much hands-on editing. The method may also be used for the automatic production of color images without the need for user-guided upgrades. It will be particularly useful for color photos and videos taken in dark places, and for cameras needing a "night view mode."

Technical Summary

The method calls for the creation of enhanced gray tone images, based on an original set of color images, using luminance or lightness as the main criterion for the creation of grayscale values. This enhancement may be done spatially or temporal. A new image, with the edge information of the gray tone image is constructed. Upgrades for the color planes now take place using on edge information given in the gray tone image. These edges may additionally be weighted according to importance.

Detecting Moving Objects from a Moving Camera

Existing patents describe a method for detecting moving objects from a moving camera, using a system that compares multiple frames. Subtraction between two images leaves objects as a remainder. This process can be somewhat messy, since the process of comparing two frames requires simultaneous interpretation of the background and of the object. The proposal involves using an artificially high-resolution image to organize the comparison between images. The inclusion of this synthetic image has the power to decrease the noise of the captured images.

The invention calls for image processing that, rather than compare one frame to the next, first creates a higher-resolution synthetic image based on multiple frames. Individual frames can then be compared to the larger image, which represents the background more accurately. A moving camera actually makes the creation of the synthetic image easier, because it creates more data about the background—it creates variation in the range of visual reality described by each pixel. Once the background is established, the system can more easily identify, track, and image a given moving object.

Applications

  • Increase accuracy of object detection and tracking
  • Improve resolution of individual collected images
  • Decrease false positives generated by noise associated with frame-by-frame subtraction

Technical Summary

Multiple frames collected from an input source are synthesized into a higher-resolution background image using previously known techniques. Several options are available for this synthesis, such as the use of even or odd images. The associated computer program will use an algorithm that identifies a certain threshold for object detection; if pixels differ in this degree from the background composite, the program will register the existence of a moving object. The computer program can then also track the object across multiple frames and/or yield an extracted image of the object.

Amplifier With Compensated Gate Bias

An existing Japanese patent describes an amplifier for high-frequency signals. This amplifier contains a "gate bias stage," a sub-circuit intended to reduce variability in signal stemming from fluctuations in power. Naturally, amplifiers are prone to magnifying input errors. Various errors can arise in the process of harnessing direct current. This invention concerns the stabilization of the initial voltage to prevent noticeable variations in the amplified signal; it improves on that Japanese patent by adding a resistor.

This invention introduces an improvement into the gate bias stage of a high-frequency amplifier. The invention adds a supplementary resistor that goes into effect only if the input signal remains higher than a desired threshold. The extra resistor minimizes the effect of fluctuations in the power supply by eliminating the effects of variation above a certain level.

Applications

  • Improve amplification process in situations where fluctuations in output would be functionally or aesthetically detrimental
  • Compensate for particular variability in power supplies.

Technical Summary

The invention describes a circuit designed to amplify high-frequency (Gigahertz range) signals. An extra resistor is added between two transistors in the bias sub-circuit. The resistor falls between the first transistor and the ground and intervenes at the negative power supply. A variation uses an additional resistor that affects the positive power supply. The invention also covers more complex variations.

Detecting Concealed Objects Using Electromagnetic Waves

Lower-frequency electromagnetic radiation, typically microwaves or radar, can be used to discern the location of hidden objects by passing through obstacles such as walls and floors. Existing technologies for detecting objects behind obstacles suffer from a lack of precision. They often have difficulty, for example, in determining whether the target is in front of or behind a particular obstacle. Both passive and active devices have difficulties of this type. Obstacles may also interfere with the signal. This invention uses two active microwave systems to improve the effectiveness of detection.

The invention uses two microwave transmitter modules operating at two different frequencies. One frequency is designed to penetrate the obstacle (e.g. a wall) and the other will not. Return signals are detected by two receivers or by one integrated receiver. Comparing the data from the two signals allows clear differentiation of an object's position relative to the obstacle. Frequencies can be varied depending on the materials that will typically constitute obstacles for the system. A larger range of obstacles implies the need for a larger difference between the two transmitted frequencies.

Applications

  • Detecting hidden objects behind walls in a home and quickly differentiating these from furniture. May be useful for any type of surveillance.
  • Military use: efficiently differentiating between revealed and concealed objects in an unknown situation.

Technical Summary

The invention calls for two microwave transmitters. One module is higher frequency, preferably greater than four times the other, and as a consequence less able to penetrate obstacles. 2GHZ and 20GHZ are cited as workable frequencies. Both frequencies may undergo continuous modulation. The transmitters should be positioned close together. A third frequency may be used to differentiate between different types of obstacles, or to detect different types of objects. The invention also covers a simple computer program that would classify objects on the basis of their responses to the two signals.

Image Processing Apparatus And Contrast Correction

Existing techniques for increasing visual contrast suffer when single images contain various types of borders. The existence of strong edges may cause weak edges to become lost in the contrast enhancement process. In particular, the contrast function can be guilty of wiping out small artifacts near large borders. Changing the threshold for contrast may cause an excess of noise in other areas. The invention proposes a technique for increasing the visibility of both weak and strong edges.

The invention uses a localizing algorithm to improve contrast on visual displays. It compares each pixel to its neighbors and then assigns weight to each on the basis of local similarity. Pixel weights are used to determine the edge locations, which are then used in a modification of the whole image's contrast. This system will increase the visibility of weak edges, and can be supplemented with the secondary use of other filters that affect strong edges equally. This contrast function can be performed, as is typical, for intensity, but also for a specified color axis.

Applications

  • Improve any image enhancement software.
  • Specifically useful for images which contain small artifacts near large boundaries; this technique will be particularly good at preserving the artifacts without otherwise distorting the image.

Technical Summary

The algorithm analyzes small-scale statistical data in order to determine whether an edge is present. It also seeks to determine whether a gradient exists and, if not, to increase the strength of the contrast effect. This calculation is made on the basis of the similarity—for whatever value—of each pixel to its neighbors. The results of this calculation inform the image editor to transform each pixel within a specified range. The user may define a 'stretching factor,' which specifies the relationship between the inputted difference between two pixels and the resulting output image.

Licenses
Intellectual property Stage of development Proposal TNO reference number
WO2004017599 Computer Network Protection concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2009032
WO2006028371 On-demand-TV in a High Speed Bundled Access Network concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2009045
WO 2003/068564
Car sickness control unit
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2010001
WO2008082297 A surface dielectric barrier discharge plasma unit proof-of-concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2010002
WO2003043348
Determination Motion of a Background
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP 2010010
WO2004109983
Inverse multiplexing to control data transfer
concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2009038
WO2007073173
Method for Extracting a Semantic Parameter
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity and research collaboration IP2011011
WO 2009/104965
Motion of a Multiple Camera System
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012001
WO2009091259
Improved resolution for a moving object
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012002
WO2009/110797
Method of processing a sequence of color images
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012009
WO 2008/063058
Method for detecting a moving object in a sequence of
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012012
WO 2007/064201
Amplifier with compensated gate bias
proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012013
WO2009082223 Detecting concealed objects using electromagnetic waves proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012015
WO2009078717 Image processing apparatus proof-of-concept licensing opportunity IP2012016