News Column

Patent Issued for Method and Apparatus for Displaying Interactions with Media by Members of a Social Software System

July 31, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Cook, Thomas E. (Essex Junction, VT); Finn, Peter G. (Brampton, CA); Kienzle, Martin G. (Briarcliff Manor, NY); Ledak, Paul J. (Williston, VT); Moody, Paul B. (Hyde Park, VT); Webb, Alan M. (Ridgefield, CT), filed on June 2, 2008, was published online on July 15, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8782680 is assigned to International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Cultural alignment is formed when members of a society share cultural content such as stories, music, events, etc. As more of our cultural content is experienced in isolation on media devices such as TV's, or personal computers, knowing who has seen or experienced the cultural content has become difficult."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention addresses the foregoing problems and effectively provides an overlay or other coupling of interactions with media (including but not limited to virtual world events, web based content, or channels of distribution of the same) that is displayed in the context of an electronic program guide (EPG). Through use of this display, system users can know which of their social network has seen, will see, recommends or rated the media (or channels) presented in the EPG. In this way, the present invention EPG provides real-time awareness and a type of 2-way communication among the users.

"In one embodiment, an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) display includes indications of interaction with shows (media works) by members of a user's social network, or system's global population. The interactions that are indicated, represented, or otherwise displayed in the EPG may be (but not limited to): setting a dvr record event, show has been viewed, show has been recommended, show has been rated, show is currently being watched, show is currently being watched by more than one party synchronized, show is currently being watched in a VR (virtual reality) environment by multiple parties. The system allows for inspection of these interactions to determine who is interacting and when.

"The invention system collects data on the interaction with media and events by users and then overlays indications of the collected data on an EPG display. The data collected includes for a particular piece of content (media work) or channel--who has watched/played it, who has requested more info, who has scheduled a recording (pertains to scheduled content), who has recommended the content, who has rated the content, who is currently interacting with the content or content contained in a channel.

"The system provides ways to inspect exactly who and when the interactions occurred. The system further provides in-context features to facilitate social interactions (recommending, rating, chatting/conference calling, coordinated viewing, etc.)."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Cook, Thomas E.; Finn, Peter G.; Kienzle, Martin G.; Ledak, Paul J.; Moody, Paul B.; Webb, Alan M.. Method and Apparatus for Displaying Interactions with Media by Members of a Social Software System. U.S. Patent Number 8782680, filed June 2, 2008, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation, Software.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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