News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Methods for Enhancing User Interaction with Mobile Devices", for Approval

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Anda, Venkata R. (San Jose, CA); Zhang, Guanghua (Sunnyvale, CA); Lin, Michael (Fremont, CA), filed on December 7, 2012, was made available online on June 19, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Nvidia Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, have become more compact and the number of functions performed by a given device increases, it has become increasingly problematic to design a user interface that allows users to easily interact with a multifunctional device. The challenge is particularly significant for handheld portable devices, which due to their smaller screens and form factors are incapable of dedicating much space, either on-screen for touch-screen devices or on the device itself, for buttons to access the various features. Some portable communication devices have attempted to address this problem by increasing the density of pushbuttons or overloading the functions of the existing pushbuttons. Other devices have designed complex menu systems to allow a user to access the various device features. These conventional user interfaces often result in complicated key sequences and menu hierarchies that the user needs to navigate to access even the simplest features.

"Many such conventional user interfaces are also inflexible. They may prevent a user interface from being configured and/or adapted in accordance with a user's frequent actions or behaviors. When coupled with the time consuming requirement to memorize multiple key sequences and menu hierarchies, and the difficulty in activating a desired pushbutton, such inflexibility is frustrating to most users. This presents a significant problem because the user interface is the gateway through which many of the device's features are activated and through which the user receives responses to user actions or behaviors, including user attempts to access a device's features, tools and functions. As such, the user interface needs to be configured for maximum efficiency and ease of use."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Accordingly, a need exists for systems and methods for enhancing users' interactions with a mobile device. In one embodiment, the user's interactions with a mobile device are enhanced by sensing the presence of a user and detecting the location and orientation of the head, face, or the eyes of the user in order to automatically and adaptively configure certain settings on the device, including the screen power saving timer, the screen orientation and auto-focusing for the device. By sensing the presence of the user, one embodiment of the present invention avoids the inconvenience to the user of manually interacting with the device in order to keep the display on while, at the same time, retaining the benefits of power consumption. Also by detecting the orientation of the user's head, face or eyes, another embodiment of the present invention allows the screen orientation to be automatically configured accurately even when or if the orientation (through gyro or accelerometer) sensor fails to provide an accurate measurement because the device is oriented in the horizontal plane. Finally, automatic detection of the location of the user's head, face or eyes can help facilitate auto-focusing on the image captured by the user-facing camera on the device.

"In one embodiment, a method for enhancing user interaction with mobile electronic devices is presented. The method includes determining screen orientation on the device by first detecting the presence of a user using data from a camera of the portable electronic device. The method further includes searching the data from the camera for a plurality of physical characteristics of the user if a user image is detected. The method also includes determining a facial orientation of the user based on information regarding at least one physical characteristic of the user image determined from the data. Finally, the method includes setting a screen orientation of a display device of the portable electronic device based on the determined facial orientation of the user.

"In one embodiment, a computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon, computer executable instructions that, if executed by a computer system cause the computer system to perform a method for determining screen orientation of a display panel on a portable electronic device is disclosed. The method includes determining screen orientation of a display panel on the device by first detecting the presence of a user using data from a camera of the portable electronic device. The method further includes searching the data from the camera for a plurality of physical characteristics of the user if a user image is detected. The method also includes determining a facial orientation of the user based on information regarding at least one physical characteristic of the user image determined from the data. Finally, the method includes setting a screen orientation of a display device of the portable electronic device based on the determined facial orientation of the user.

"In one embodiment, a system for determining screen orientation on a portable electronic device is presented. The system comprises a display screen configured to display an image in a plurality of orientations, a memory, a camera and a processor. The processor is configured to detect the presence of a user using data from a camera of the portable electronic device, search the data from the camera for a plurality of physical characteristics of the user if a user image is detected, determine a facial orientation of the user based on information regarding at least one physical characteristic of the user determined from the data and set a screen orientation on the display screen of the portable electronic device based on the determined facial orientation of the user.

"The following detailed description together with the accompanying drawings will provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements.

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the screen display of a cell phone change in accordance with accelerometer and/or gyroscope methods of adjusting screen orientation.

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a cell phone positioned in a horizontal plane.

"FIG. 3 shows an exemplary operating environment in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 is a high level block diagram representation showing the interconnections between the internal hardware or software components within a portable mobile device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 depicts a flowchart of an exemplary process of setting the screen power saving feature of a portable mobile device in accordance with on embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 depicts a flowchart of an exemplary process setting the screen orientation of a portable mobile device in accordance with on embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 depicts a flowchart of an exemplary process setting the auto-focus of a portable mobile device in accordance with on embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 8 depicts a flowchart of an exemplary process setting the screen power saving feature, the screen orientation and auto-focus of a portable mobile device in accordance with on embodiment of the present invention.

"FIGS. 9A-9D illustrates how the on screen orientation of an image on the display of a portable mobile device changes in relation to the facial orientation of the user in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 10 is a more detailed block diagram of an exemplary computer system and illustrates the various hardware and software components with the orientation sensing module, auto-focusing module and screen power saving module for a portable mobile device, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

"In the figures, elements having the same designation have the same or similar function."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Anda, Venkata R.; Zhang, Guanghua; Lin, Michael. Methods for Enhancing User Interaction with Mobile Devices. Filed December 7, 2012 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=5231&p=105&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Nvidia Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Computer Weekly News


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters