The patent's inventor is Cathey, James (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Portable phones are widely used for communicating and transmitting information between users. Portable phones include cordless phones which receive signals from a base station controlled by a user over a relatively short range, typically on a frequency of 900 MHz, 2.4 Ghz or 5.8 GHz. Portable phones also include cellular phones for a greater range, which typically receive signals from a telecommunications network using various platforms, such as ANALOG, CDMA, TDMA and GSM. Portable phones also include satellite phones, where the portable phone is in direct transmission to and from a communications satellite orbiting the earth, such as the 'GLOBAL STAR' system and the 'IRIDIUM' system.
"Some portable phones employ a handset configured for holding in one hand and placement against the user's head. A conventional handset for a portable phone includes a speaker configured for placement proximate to the ear, and a microphone configured for placement proximate to the mouth.
"The handset can also include a face having a key pad, and a direct view display configured to display a visual image of data in an alphanumeric or video format. Some types of data that can be visually displayed on the direct view display are 'caller waiting ID' data. Moreover, the data can be displayed, even when the user is conducting a two way conversation with the handset held against the head. For example, during a two way conversation, the data can include the originating phone number of an incoming call.
"One limitation of a conventional handset is that the direct view display cannot be seen by the user with the handset held against the head. During a two way conversation, in order to view the data, the user must hold the handset away from the ear, and place the direct view display at least several inches in front of the eyes. This requires interrupting a two way conversation to read data from a third party during the conversation, such as caller waiting ID data. Although this problem can be avoided by speaker phones, this approach has limitations, in that confidentiality and sound fidelity are reduced, and the transmission of environmental noises is increased.
"The present invention is directed to a portable phone having a data projection system configured to generate and project a visual image of data onto a viewing surface which is in close proximity to the user, and easily viewable by the user. This permits the visual image to be ergonomically viewed by the user even with the handset held against the head. Two way phone conversations can thus be carried out without interruption, and without the limitations of speaker phones."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In accordance with the present invention a portable phone, and a method for displaying data in a portable phone, are provided.
"The portable phone includes a handset configured for holding in a user's hand, and placement against the head during a two way conversation. The handset includes a speaker, a microphone, a keypad, and a direct view visual display on a front surface thereof. In addition, the handset includes a battery, and a pair of charging contacts for the battery on a bottom end surface thereof. Further, the handset includes conventional phone circuitry configured to generate and display a first visual image of data on the direct view visual display.
"The handset also includes an image projection system configured to form a second visual image on a viewing surface, such as a body part of the user, which is easily viewable during the phone conversation with the handset held against the head. In addition, the image projection system can be operated by manipulation of the handset, and by selection and manipulation of the viewing surface, such that the second visual image can be focused, enlarged, compressed, moved or moved to another viewing surface.
"The image projection system includes an electro optic system configured to generate a pattern corresponding to the second visual image. The image projection system also includes an optics system configured to process the pattern into a mirror image and to project the mirror image onto the viewing surface, which is then reflected to the user to form the second visual image. The image projection system is an integral fixed element of the handset, which eliminates the need for additional mechanical elements, and allows the second visual image to be easily located using subtle and intuitive user manipulation of the hands or other body parts. In this regard, the image projection system is optically configured to project along a vector that is controlled by manipulation of the handset about the user's head, such that the second visual image can be projected into the user's field of view with the speaker in proximity to the ear, and the microphone in proximity to the mouth. Stated differently, the handset, and the viewing surface as well, can be manipulated to provide a focused and readable second visual image in close proximity to the user. However, the handset can also be manipulated to provide privacy, or an unreadable second visual image if required, or to make the second visual image viewable by persons other than the user.
"In a first embodiment, the electro optic system includes a light source in light communication with a first set of optics and a light valve, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), configured to generate the pattern. In a second embodiment the electro optic system includes an emissive display, such as an addressable patterned LED display, an electroluminescent display, a cathode ray tube, or a field emission display, configured to generate the pattern. The optics system includes a second set of optics, which can include a single optical element (e.g., positive convex lens, positive Fresnel lens), or multiple optical elements configured to process the pattern from the electro optic system into the mirror image of the second image and to project the mirror image onto the viewing surface.
"The image projection system can also be configured to orient the second visual image such that it can be read by the user from left to right, regardless of whether the handset is held against the left ear or the right ear. As such, the image projection system can include a sensing device configured to sense an orientation of the handset, and to orient the second visual image as a function of the orientation of the handset. For example, with the handset held in the user's left hand against the left ear (i.e., left hand orientation), the second visual image can be oriented for left to right reading on the user's right hand, wrist or forearm. Similarly, with the handset held in the user's right hand against the right ear (i.e., right hand orientation), the second visual image can be oriented for left to right reading on the user's left hand, wrist or forearm.
"The image projection system can also include a pulsing circuit configured to pulse the second visual image from a bright image to a low image, or to a no image. The pulsing circuit reduces power consumption and heat generation by the image projection system. However, because of the way the human eye perceives and processes light, the high to low pulsing sensation results in the user perceiving a higher brightness, than the actual brightness averaged over the pulses.
"The method for displaying data includes the steps of: providing the handset having the image projection system, holding the handset against the head of the user, conducting a two way conversation using the handset with the handset held against the head, transmitting data to the image projection system during the two way conversation, forming a pattern representative of the data using the image projection system, processing the pattern into a mirror image of the second visual image using the image projection system, and then projecting the mirror image from the handset onto the viewing surface using the image projection system.
"The method can also include the step of moving the handset about the head during the conversation to locate the second visual image on the viewing surface, or another selected viewing surface. In addition, the method can also include the steps of: providing the handset with a sensing system, sensing an orientation of the handset using the sensing system, and then projecting the second visual image onto the viewing surface with an orientation dependent on the sensed orientation of the handset. As an alternative to the sensing system, a user may manually select a left hand or a right hand orientation for the second visual image."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Cathey, James. Portable Phone Having Electro Optic Image Projection System and Orientation Sensing Device. U.S. Patent Number 8774861, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Electro-optics,
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