The assignee for this patent, patent number 8506303, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Traditional document-based instruction manuals are generally linear and when intended to be printed they are segmented. Content is often placed for efficiency of storage and not for efficiency of comprehension. The nature of instruction documents or manuals lends itself to reading or printing as pages; it does not lend itself to actually comprehending or executing the instructions.
"Furthermore, traditional instruction manuals are often long and complex with many different options. Instructions for a single sub-task are typically spread across more than one column or page and such pages are routinely non-contiguous pages. Also, instruction manuals may provide reference material such as keys, legends, abbreviations, and other instructions that apply across several steps of the process. Additionally, the ordering of sub-tasks for completing instructions may not follow physical ordering in the instruction manual. Further, instructions frequently require two or more instructions to be followed simultaneously. Finally, instructions are always created and finalized before the user ever starts reading them. There is no meaningful mechanism for allowing the user to interact with the instructions, or track their progress through those instructions.
"Frequently a user of a traditional instruction manual will spend a significant amount of time flipping between manual pages to complete a step or use the embedded reference materials. They will need to write notes about how each step may be related to others, or which steps need to be reworked due to incomplete or faulty instruction. Re-work is constant, as steps that must be done together are not clearly labeled in one spot resulting in missed instructions. Multiple options may result in mistakes and make it difficult to track current progress against the instructions. Progress through the instructions may even be negative, meaning that the user may need to go backwards and undo certain instructions.
"In the construction of garments in the fiber arts, for example in the knitting of garments or portions of garments, the difficulty and limitations of traditional instruction manuals and traditional instruction sets is particularly evident. For example, knitting instructions are typically provided in a linear fashion with content distributed across multiple pages. The instructions are traditionally in both text format and in graphical or knitting chart format, and require simultaneous engagement with parallel instructions such as reference notes. For example, knitting an entire sock may require combining knitting charts for each of a cuff portion, a leg portion, heel portion and a toe portion. However, such required integration is difficult to perform with traditional systems, and typically requires the user to mentally remember critical aspects of combining the individual portions.
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