News Column

Patent Application Titled "Portable Electronic Equipment with Automatic Control to Keep Display Turned on and Method" Published Online

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Katz, Darius (Malmo, SE), filed on February 11, 2014, was made available online on June 19, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Sony Mobile Communications AB.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many portable electronic devices, such as, for example, mobile phones, hand-held computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), etc., have displays (sometimes referred to as screens or display screens) on which various images, information, text, icons, etc., may be shown. Many of such devices also have a screensaver (also referred to as a screensaver function) that activates after a period of time to turn off or to blank the display of the device or to present a standard image such as the name of the device manufacturer or of the wireless carrier or a standard GUI (graphical user interface), etc. Screensavers are useful for a number of reasons, e.g., to conserve power, to avoid showing information that might be seen by an unauthorized person, etc. For example, a screensaver may turn off the display if the user of the device does not provide within a specified period of time a conventional input to the device, e.g., by manually or otherwise pressing a key, operating a cursor, such as a navigation/function selection key (referred to below as a navigation key for brevity), pointer, trackball or touch pad, or touching a stylus or a finger to a touch sensitive display screen, etc.

"Sometimes a screensaver may activate at an inconvenient moment or time. For example, a screensaver may activate to blank a display while a user is looking at the image on the display, e.g., while reading a lengthy text or document shown on the display or while studying a map, picture or other image shown on the display. The user would have to reactivate the display or to stop the effect of the screensaver by providing a conventional input to the device; and having to do this once or sometimes several times may be an inconvenience."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "According to an aspect of the present invention, portable electronic equipment, includes a camera, a display, and circuitry adapted to effect at least one of turning on or holding on the display in response to recognizing a specified image provided by the camera.

"Another aspect relates to the circuitry including face recognition software adapted to recognize characteristics of a human face as the specified image.

"Another aspect relates to the circuitry being adapted to effect a power saving mode for the display in the absence of a human face being seen by the camera.

"Another aspect relates to at least one of the display or circuitry having a screensaver function for the display, and the circuitry being adapted to override the screensaver function at least while a human face is recognized as the specified image.

"Another aspect relates to the screensaver function effects a power saving mode for the display after expiration of a period of time that no input has been provided the equipment, and circuitry prevents expiration of the time period at least while the specified image is recognized.

"Another aspect relates to the circuitry being adapted to prevent such expiration of the time period for a duration after the specified image has been recognized.

"Another aspect relates to the camera being located in the equipment to face in a direction to view the face of a user of the equipment while the user is viewing the display.

"Another aspect relates to a fish eye lens for the camera to obtain a wide angle view to facilitate receiving an image of the face of a user of the equipment.

"Another aspect relates to the fish eye lens having a focal length to provide to the camera a relatively focused image of the face of a user while such user holds the equipment in a hand during use of the equipment.

"Another aspect relates to the equipment comprising a mobile phone, and the camera comprising a standard camera of the mobile phone.

"Another aspect relates to including a second camera for taking photographs by the equipment.

"Another aspect relates to the circuitry including program code adapted to recognize a prescribed image from the camera and adapted to control operation of a power saving feature associated with the display in response to whether or not the prescribed image is recognized.

"Another aspect relates to the circuitry including operational control circuitry for operating the portable electronic equipment and a memory adapted to store information and to provide for retrieval of information and program code for use in connection with operation of the portable electronic equipment, and further including an input module to provide user inputs to the operational control circuitry.

"Another aspect relates to the portable electronic equipment being a mobile phone, and further including a communications module adapted to wirelessly transmit and receive signals, a speaker, and a microphone.

"Another aspect relates to a method of operating portable electronic equipment, including detecting whether a specified image is received by a camera of the equipment, and operating the equipment in response to whether or not the specified image is received.

"Another aspect relates to the detecting including detecting whether the image of a human face is received.

"Another aspect relates to the operating including controlling operation of a display of the equipment.

"Another aspect relates to the controlling including determining operation of a power saving feature of the display.

"Another aspect relates to the portable electronic equipment being a mobile phone, the detecting including detecting whether the image of a face is received by a camera of the mobile phone, and the operating including effecting control or overriding of a screensaver for a display of the mobile phone.

"Another aspect relates to a computer program product stored in a storage medium, including a storage medium and a computer program including face recognition software to recognize whether an input image represents that of a human face, and a control program to control operation of portable electronic equipment depending on whether or not an input image represents a human face.

"Another aspect relates to keeping the display of portable electronic equipment, e.g., a mobile phone, PDA or the like, turned on while a user is reading or watching the display of the equipment and to activate power saving facilities of the equipment only when a user no longer is reading or watching the display.

"Another aspect relates to not activating power saving facilities of a display while there is a human face in front of the device that includes the display, e.g., a person reading or watching the display.

"Another aspect relates to automatically turning on a display when a face comes within detection range and/or view of the display or a camera associated with the display.

"Another aspect relates to automatically turning on a display when a face is detected as being seen by a camera associated with the display so that a user would not have to press a button or otherwise provide an input to a device including the display to turn on the display.

"According to another aspect, a mobile phone automatically turns off or on a screensaver for the display of the mobile phone depending on whether or not there is a face in front of the display.

"These and further features of the present invention will be apparent with reference to the following description and attached drawings. In the description and drawings, particular embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail as being indicative of some of the ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed, but it is understood that the invention is not limited correspondingly in scope. Rather, the invention includes all changes, modifications and equivalents coming within the spirit and terms of the appended claims.

"Features that are described and/or illustrated with respect to one embodiment may be used in the same way or in a similar way in one or more other embodiments and/or in combination with or instead of the features of the other embodiments.

"It should be emphasized that the term 'comprises/comprising' when used in this specification is taken to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps or components but does not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof.

"Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. To facilitate illustrating and describing some parts of the invention, corresponding portions of the drawings may be exaggerated in size, e.g., made larger in relation to other parts than in an exemplary device actually made according to the invention. Elements and features depicted in one drawing or embodiment of the invention may be combined with elements and features depicted in one or more additional drawings or embodiments. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views and may be used to designate like or similar parts in more than one embodiment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"In the annexed drawings:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the front of a portable communication device, e.g., in the form of a mobile phone;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevation view of the mobile phone looking in the direction of the arrows 2-2 of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic block system diagram of circuitry of the portable telephone for carrying out operation thereof in a manner described below;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic flow chart illustrating exemplary logic according to which the invention may operate using a hold on function to prevent the screensaver function from turning off the display of the mobile phone;

"FIG. 5 is a schematic flow chart illustrating exemplary logic according to which the invention may operate using an image to enable the mobile phone or one or more functions of the mobile phone;

"FIG. 6 is a schematic flow chart illustrating setting up of the hold on function of the mobile phone; and

"FIG. 7 is a schematic side elevation view similar to FIG. 2 of an alternate embodiment of mobile phone using a single camera for the hold on function and for photographing function."

For more information, see this patent application: Katz, Darius. Portable Electronic Equipment with Automatic Control to Keep Display Turned on and Method. Filed February 11, 2014 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5234&p=105&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Sony Mobile Communications AB.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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