The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A typical user of electronic devices may store data files at a variety of different places including hard drives on personal computers, transportable media such as CD's, DVDs, USB storage devices and portable hard drives, as well as on remote storage devices accessible using the Internet, often referred to as the 'cloud'. When users want to share these files with others, they have customarily made copies of the files and provided them on a transportable media or shared the files electronically as an attachment to an email message.
"With the expansion of cloud based services and social networks, new ways to share information have evolved (e.g. public and private online posts), although the sharing of actual data files is still done in a traditional manner. For example, sharing data that is stored in the cloud is done traditionally with email or social contact where, once the data is selected, options are provided to the user to select emails or social contacts from a list. The process may be further optimized by defaulting the contacts based on first few characters entered by the user. Even though the current process may be simple, it usually requires the user to manually enter a list of personally identifiable information (e.g. emails or social network identifications) to initiate the sharing of data with the intended recipients.
"For these reasons, there exists a need for an integrated solution that allows a user to more easily share their data through a visual and frictionless means that does not require the repetitive motion of manually entering recipient information to initiate sharing of data."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Some embodiments provide a comprehensive visual sharing application, method and/or technique that combines all elements of sharing in a visual and seamless manner for data that resides either on a personal computer or on the cloud. This technique will allow users to share data where almost every activity related to sharing data is done through visual representations of data to enhance ease of sharing. In addition, such visual sharing may occur across several different application platforms, such as web interfaces, desktop application, and social networks.
"Some embodiments provide a method where a piece of data, located on either a local user computing device (operating system interface) or the cloud (via a browser platform or client application), can be shared with a contact(s) or a group(s) of contacts by a simple visual process.
"The visual sharing process may include using a drag-n-drop motion where a user can select and drag a data file or representation of the data file, which may reside either on the desktop or in the cloud, onto an icon that represents a contact or a group of contacts to effectuate the sharing of the data file.
"The contacts or groups of contacts may be presented in an automatically arranged fashion, where the arrangement may be based on popularity/frequency of use, online/offline status, alphabetically, or other similar parameter. The group of contact may also be represented as a deck-of-contacts which expands when a group is selected for ease of visual representation or any other smooth visual effects that allows the members of a group to be easily viewed by the user.
"A share view may provide the user with a visual list of current shared data. The data may include associated contacts/groups of contacts with whom the data has been shared and a representation of the contacts may be displayed around the shared data in a visually appealing manner. This share view may also provide the user with the ability to manage the shares visually (e.g., to delete, add, or update contacts who have share access). A visual representation may also be used to indicate whether the data has been viewed by a particular contact and group.
"The data files may also be displayed as thumbnail icons to provide additional visual feedback to the user. For example, a thumbnail preview image may be provided on an icon for pictures/image files, and images for data files (e.g., text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.) may show a thumbnail preview of the first page (or relevant excerpt) of the data file.
"The preceding Summary is intended to serve as a brief introduction to some embodiments of the invention. It is not meant to be an introduction or overview of all inventive subject matter disclosed in this document. The Detailed Description that follows and the Drawings (or 'Figures' or 'FIGS.') that are referred to in the Detailed Description will further describe some of the embodiments described in the Summary as well as other embodiments. Accordingly, to understand all the embodiments described by this document, a full review of the Summary, Detailed Description and the Drawings is needed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The novel features of the invention are set forth throughout this disclosure. However, for purpose of explanation, some embodiments of the invention are set forth in the following drawings.
"FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary graphical user interface for one embodiment of a visual sharing application according to the present invention;
"FIG. 2 illustrates a manual sharing operation of user data in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 3 illustrates a public visual share operation in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 4 illustrates a public visual share screen in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 5a illustrates an individual visual share operation in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 5b illustrates an individual visual share operation in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 6 illustrates a visual group creation operation in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 7 illustrates the visual group creation operation of FIG. 6;
"FIG. 8a illustrates the creation of a group using the visual group creation operation in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 8b illustrates the addition of a contact to the group created in FIG. 8a;
"FIG. 8c illustrates the successful addition of a contact to the group created in FIG. 8a;
"FIG. 8d illustrates visual sharing of local data with the group created in FIG. 8a;
"FIG. 8e illustrates the simultaneous uploading and sharing of local data with the group created in FIG. 8a;
"FIG. 9 illustrates a sample message sent to a contact after the execution of a share;
"FIG. 10a illustrates an exemplary share management interface in one embodiment of a visual sharing application;
"FIG. 10b illustrates displaying recipients of a shared data item;
"FIG. 10c illustrates displaying recipients of a shared data item;
"FIG. 11 illustrates a flow chart of a conceptual process used by some embodiments to define and store a visual sharing application of some embodiments; and
"FIG. 12 illustrates a schematic block diagram of a conceptual computer system with which some embodiments of the invention may be implemented."
For more information, see this patent application: Kulkarni, Raghavendra; Mishra, Vilabh; Dutta, Diganta; Sanghavi, Gaurav; Sirohi, Ajit. Application Neutral Visual Sharing. Filed
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