The patent's assignee for patent number 8763058 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Portable and handheld electrical devices are a staple of modern society. Every day, millions of people use laptop computers, cellular telephones, digital music players and personal data assistants (PDAs). As technology and innovation progress, electrical devices become more portable and processors become faster. As a result, devices have an increasing number of features and more complex menu systems, despite getting smaller, even handheld.
"One handheld device was recently lauded as being revolutionary for successfully combining, among other things, a cellular phone, wireless internet connectivity, a media player, and a touch screen. That device is
"Despite the improvements in processor and battery power, people often desire handheld devices to act more like their larger brethren. For example, although the iPhone.TM. can surf the internet and download video, the iPhone.TM. had a number of limitations due to, e.g., power, memory and possessor constraints that many laptop computers do not have. In other words, despite technology constantly improving, handheld devices may always be less powerful and more limited than larger devices and, therefore, unique solutions tailored to handheld devices need to be found for complex problems, because people will probably desire handheld devices that function like their larger brethren.
"For example, obtaining some information and/or types of media from the Internet was expensive (with regards to bandwidth, memory and battery requirements) and limited some devices as to the types of media and information the devices could present for the user. For example, YouTube.TM. videos could not be viewed by all handheld devices (even those with sophisticated web browsers). (YouTube.TM. is a trademark owned by
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The invention is directed to systems, methods, computer readable media and other means for presenting information to a user. More particularly, some embodiments of the invention are directed to avoiding the wasteful use of processing bandwidth and communications bandwidth when the user is using a handheld device to browse through media listings associated with videos or other media stored on a remote server. For example, the handheld device can present media listings to the user that include both bandwidth-inexpensive information (e.g., text) and bandwidth-expensive information (e.g., graphical data such as a thumbnail images representative of the media). In response to an initial user input to view some of the media listings, the handheld device can download an excess of the inexpensive information (in anticipation of the user deciding to browse through the media listings) without wasting much bandwidth, and only provide expensive information after the device determines the corresponding media listings is actually being displayed to the user. This can allow the handheld device to have improved performance (both user perceived and actual), extended battery life and reduced memory consumption, all of which are important and can be major obstacles when designing a handheld, multifunctional electrical device.
"A handheld device can present information to the user after, for example, the device receives a first user input indicating a desire to view a list of videos stored on at least one remote server. In response to receiving the user input, the device can request a first set of text metadata portions associated with at least two videos. For example, the device can request text metadata portions of 50 videos from the at least one remote server. To reduce bandwidth consumption and response time, the device can also request a first set of thumbnail metadata portions, which are associated with a subset of the at least two videos. For example, the device can request thumbnail metadata portions for 10 of the 50 videos. The thumbnail metadata portions can be stored on the same or different servers than the corresponding text metadata portions and/or the media payload data.
"In response to the requests, the server(s) can upload the data over, for example, a network to the handheld device. The handheld device can then receive the first set of text metadata portions and the first set of thumbnail metadata portions.
"The metadata portions can be used by the handheld device to generate a first display that includes a first set of media listings. Each of the media listings can comprise text information associated with one of the first set of text metadata portions as well as thumbnail information associated with one of the first set of thumbnail metadata portions. The handheld device can then present the first display to a user. The display can be presented by any suitable display component, such as an integrated display screen (e.g., multi-touch display screen) and/or external display device (e.g., television).
"The handheld device can receive a second user input while presenting the first display. The user input can cause any number of system commands to be generated. For example, an exit command can be generated in response to the second user input and the device can power OFF or exit the mode of operation. As another example, the device can determine that the second user input is a selection of a media listing included in the first set of media listings. For example, the device can detect a tap touch event on its multi-touch display screen. In response, the handheld device can request payload data associated with the media listing from the appropriate remote server(s).
"The remote server(s) can then provide the payload data to the handheld device. Upon receiving the payload data, the handheld device can, for example, receive the payload data (using its communications circuitry), store the data in local memory and play back video information associated with the payload data. As another example, the handheld device can receive and playback the corresponding video in a streaming manner.
"In addition to receiving a playback command while displaying media listings, the handheld device can also be configured to receive a browse command. For example, the handheld device's multi-touch display screen can generate a browse command in response to detecting a scrolling touch event. In response to the browse command, the handheld device can enter a browse mode. The browse mode can be an active mode. From the user's perspective, it can look like a free-scrolling list of selectable options that has a decreasing acceleration until eventually stopping.
"To provide active browse displays, the handheld device can generate a number of additional displays that each include one or more additional media listings. The additional media listings can comprises text information associated with one of the first set of the text metadata portions and omit new thumbnail information associated with new thumbnail metadata portions. One or more of the additional displays can also include both old media listings (which have expensive and inexpensive information) and new listings (which have inexpensive information and omit expensive information).
"Once the handheld device exits the active browsing mode (in response to, e.g., a user input or a period of time elapsing), the device can enter a rest mode. The handheld device can then generate a second display that includes a second set of media listings. The second display can be generated in response to entering the rest mode or in response to determining the handheld device has been in the rest mode for a predetermined period of time.
"The second display can include text information associated with one of the text metadata portions (e.g., one of the original 50) and initially omit new thumbnail information associated with new thumbnail metadata portions (e.g., not one of the original 10). While the second display is being presented to a user by the handheld device, the handheld device can be requesting and receiving the new thumbnail metadata portions from the server(s). The new thumbnail metadata portions can then be used to update the second display to include the new thumbnail information associated with the second set of thumbnail metadata portions."
For additional information on this patent, see: Omernick,
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