EP1027690A4 - Communication device and method of use - Google Patents

Communication device and method of use

Info

Publication number
EP1027690A4
EP1027690A4 EP98950936A EP98950936A EP1027690A4 EP 1027690 A4 EP1027690 A4 EP 1027690A4 EP 98950936 A EP98950936 A EP 98950936A EP 98950936 A EP98950936 A EP 98950936A EP 1027690 A4 EP1027690 A4 EP 1027690A4
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
display
message
communication device
defined
presented
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP98950936A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP1027690A1 (en
Inventor
Robert Scott Flippo
Troy Allen Bailey
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Motorola Solutions Inc
Original Assignee
Motorola Solutions Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US94463597A priority Critical
Priority to US944635 priority
Application filed by Motorola Solutions Inc filed Critical Motorola Solutions Inc
Priority to PCT/US1998/020981 priority patent/WO1999018552A1/en
Publication of EP1027690A1 publication Critical patent/EP1027690A1/en
Publication of EP1027690A4 publication Critical patent/EP1027690A4/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B5/00Visible signalling systems, e.g. personal calling systems, remote indication of seats occupied
    • G08B5/22Visible signalling systems, e.g. personal calling systems, remote indication of seats occupied using electric transmission; using electromagnetic transmission
    • G08B5/222Personal calling arrangements or devices, i.e. paging systems
    • G08B5/223Personal calling arrangements or devices, i.e. paging systems using wireless transmission
    • G08B5/224Paging receivers with visible signalling details
    • G08B5/225Display details

Abstract

A communication device such as a pager (100) includes a color display (106). An icon (302), a portion of the display (106) or another attribute of the display, such as the display's backlight, changes color depending on the age of any message which has been received by the pager (100) but has not been presented to the user of the communication device. If the message is read or heard by the user, as determined by the message being presented on the display or annunciate on a speaker, in the preferred embodiment, the display returns to displaying the icon (302) in conventional black color. If a message remains not presented to the user, the color of icon (302) changes over time according to the age of the message which has yet to be presented to the user.

Description

COMMUNICATION DEVICE AND METHOD OF USE

Field of the Invention

This invention relates in general to radio communication devices and in particular to a radio communication device having a display and method of use thereof.

Background of the Invention

When a message is received in a communication device such as a pager, the pager will typically alert the user by sounding an alert and /or displaying a message received symbol (icon). If the message is not read after it has been received, some pagers will provide a flashing symbol indicating to the user that he has unread messages stored in memory. Some pagers can also be programmed with reminder alerts which provide an audio alert at a given interval of time.

The problem with these prior art techniq ies is that they do not provide the user with any indication of the age (length of time the message has been received but remained unpresented) of the unpresented (unread or unheard) message(s), they simply remind a user that he has some messages stored in the pager. A need thus exists in the art for a communication device and method which can provide a user with an indication of long it has been since the messages have been received by the communication device and have remained unpresented to the user.

Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a pager in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a front of a pager showing the pager's display and controls in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention. FIG. 3 shows the display section of the pager shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 4 is a flowchart which shows the steps taken in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 shows an alternate display for the pager shown in FIG. 2. FIG. 6 shows an other alternate display for the pager shown in FIG.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, a simplified block diagram of a communication device such as a selective call receiver or pager 100 in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. Pager 100 includes a primary power supply 102 which can preferably take the form of a nonrechargeable battery, such an alkaline battery, or a rechargeable battery, such as a nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery. Battery 102 provides power to all of the pager's circuitry. The pager 100 further comprises an antenna 104 that receives a radio frequency (RF) modulated selective call signal and provides the signal to a conventional receiver circuitry 108 for demodulation thereby. A microcontroller or microprocessor 110 processes the demodulated signal to decode an address and optional message data contain therein. The controller 110 can take the form of anyone of a number of well known and commercially available microprocessors or microcontrollers, such as a Motorola 68HC05 series microcontroller.

Once recovered, the message data may be stored in the memory or storage area 112 (message buffer) for subsequent presentation by an output device 106, such as a color liquid crystal display (LCD) 106 or an audio transducer 114. In the preferred embodiment, display 106 comprises a color LCD display, although other types of color displays as known in the art can be used. Display section 106 also includes all of required display driver hardware required to drive the LCD color display as known in the art. In normal operation, the pager's controller 110 compares a decoded address contained in the received signal with a predetermined address(es) stored in memory to determine if the message is for that particular pager. The user is alerted by an alert mechanism 114 that a message has been received if the decoded address correlates with one of the predetermined address or addresses. The alert mechanism 114 typically takes the form of an audio transducer, etc. If the pager 100 is set to Silent mode, no audible alert will be given upon receipt of the message. Alternatively, the pager 100 can vibrate instead of sound an audible alarm upon receipt of an incoming message if equipped with a vibrating device 118. If the received signal contains optional message data, the display 106 will present the message automatically on the display or when manually selected, by user actuated controls 116 which comprise switches, etc. In the case of voice or other types of audio messages being received, the messages can be stored in RAM or presented to the user via the pager's speaker or audio transducer 114.

In FIG. 2, a front view of pager 100 in accordance with the invention is shown. In the particular pager shown, the user controls 116 include left/ right directional buttons 208, up /down directional buttons 202, a read /reset/power on button 204, and a function /select button. The user controls 116 allows the pager user to set all of the pager's user selectable features and functions, and allows the user to review and delete the messages which have been received. Referring now to FIG. 3, a standby display for pager 100 in accordance with the invention is highlighted. The color LCD display screen 106 in the standard standby mode displays the time and date of the current time zone and a "power on" icon 302. Preferably, if messages have been received, but have not been presented (read or heard) by the user, the "power on" icon 302 will commence flashing. In accordance with the invention, Icon 302 or another icon depending on the pager's design will change color depending on the age or how long it has been since the received message(s) have gone unpresented to the user. In FIG. 4, a flowchart highlights the changes in color made to icon

302 due to the length of time the unpresented message has remained stored without being read or heard in accordance with the preferred embodiment. The following example will be discussed in association with text or alaphanumeric messages which are intended to be read by the user, although it would be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the same routine could be implemented for voice or audio messages which are intended to be heard by the user of the communication device.

In step 402, it is determined if a message has been received. If a message has been received, the icon 302 commences flashing in step 404, indicating that a message has been received and stored but has yet not been read or presented to the user. In accordance with the preferred embodiment, the icon 302 will start flashing in the color black, which is the standard color used for messages presented on display 106. In step 406, it is determined if the received message has been read. Controller 110 determines if the received message has been read by the user by determining if the "read" message switch has been activated, in this embodiment the "read" message switch is switch 204. If it is determined that the received message has been read by the user, icon 302 is caused to stop flashing in step 414.

If the received message has not been read, in step 408, it is determined if a first time period has elapsed (e.g., 10 minutes) since the message was received but has remained unread. If it is determined that the first time period has elapsed in step 408, in step 410, icon 302 is caused to change color. As one example, from the standard black color to green. In step 412, it is again determined whether or not the received message has been read as was done in step 406. If the message has been read, the icon 302 is caused to stop flashing and it is reset to the color black in step 414.

If the message has still not been read in step 412, in step 416, it is determined if a second time period has elapsed, for example, thirty minutes, without the received message being read by the user. If in step 416, it is determined that the second time period has elapsed, the icon 302 is caused to change color again, from green to yellow as one example. If step it is determined if the message has been read, if it has, in step 414 the icon 302 is caused to stop flashing and the color is changed back from yellow to black. The above routine is executed by controller 110, with the program preferably being stored in "on-chip" read-only memory (ROM). Preferably, controller 110 also includes an onboard timer (s) so that it can keep track of each of the first and second time periods discussed in steps 408 and 416. The routine shown in FIG. 4 can be continued for as many iterations as deemed appropriate. For example, if a third time period iteration were added to the routine, the color yellow could be changed to red, etc. Although the present invention can support any number of color changes, in most situations, three or four color changes may be enough to give the user a good feel for the length of time a message has gone unread. The predetermined periods of time (e.g., steps 408 and 416 in the above example) can be adjusted to fit the particular pager design or user requirements. For example, the first color change could occur after thirty minutes and not ten, as one example. These time thresholds can be programmed into pager 100 during manufacturing of the pager or preferably, be user programmable, in that way each individual pager user can control the color change periods. Also, preferably, the user could should also be able to program the colors he would like icon 302 to change to in each period.

Instead of changing the color of an icon, such as icon 302, other attributes of display 106 such as the display background color 502 may be changed over time as shown in FIG. 5. Other attributes of display 106 which may be caused to change color to indicate the age of any unread messages, include but are not limited to, the display's backlight, characters located on the display, portions of the display screen 504, etc. By changing the color of an attribute of display 106, such as the icon 302, over time after a message which has been received but has remained unread, provides a quick indication to the pager user of how long it has been since the message was received by the pager.

In situations in which a number of pages have been received but have remained unread, different icons 602 as shown in FIG. 6, may be used to provide the user with the length of time it has been since each individual message has been received but has remained unread. In this example, the number "1" may be the indicator for the first message received, the number "2" would be the indicator for the second message received, etc. In this example, each of the individual numbers ("1", "2", "3" , etc.) can each individually change to different colors depending on how long the messages they correspond to have gone unread.

Although the preferred embodiment has been described in association with selective call receivers such as pagers, other communication devices which receive messages such as cellular telephones, PCS telephones, trunked radios, etc. can benefit from the present invention. Also, although the above embodiments have emphasized the reception of binary, text, or alphanumeric messages which are capable of being presented on display 106, the present invention can also be utilized in situations where voice or audio (e.g., music, etc.) messages are received and stored. For example, in the case of a voice pager or other communication receiver which is capable of receiving and storing voice messages, the present invention can also be utilized. In this particular situation, the received messages will not be considered presented to the user, if the messages are not annunciated via the communication receiver's speaker or other audio generating device. The same process of determining the length of time since the message has been received can also be used for voice messages.

It is also worth noting here that the commencement of the timer(s) for determining the change of colors on the display can be triggered by the reception of the message or the storage of the messages, or another criteria. This issue is open to the particular design requirements which are needed for a particular communication device design.

While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be clear that changes, variations, substitutions and equivalents will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

Claims

1. A method for changing the color of a portion of a display used by a communication device, comprising the steps of:
receiving a message at the communication device; storing said message; determining the length of time the message has been stored without having been presented to the user of the communication device; and changing the color of the portion of the communication device's display if the message has not been presented to the user in a predetermined period of time.
2. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the portion of the communication device display which is caused to change color comprises an icon which is presented on the display.
3. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the portion of the communication device's display which is caused to change color comprises the display's backlight.
4. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the portion of the communication device's display which is caused to change color comprises the display's background color.
5. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the message comprises an audio message.
6. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the message comprises a binary message.
7. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the message comprises an alphanumeric message.
8. A method as defined in claim 2, further comprising the steps of: receiving a second message at the communication device; storing said second message; determining the length of time the second message has been stored without having been presented; and changing the color of a second portion of the communication device's display if the second message has not been presented in a predetermined period of time.
9. A method as defined in claim 8, wherein the second portion of the communication device's display which is caused to change color comprises a second icon which is presented on the display.
10. A communication device, comprising: a receiver section for receiving a message; a storage device coupled to the receiver section for storing the received message; a display; and a controller coupled to the storage device and the display, the controller in response to the message being received determines the length of time it has been since the message has been received and not been presented on the display, and causes an attribute of the display to change color if the received message has not been displayed within a predetermined period of time.
11. A communication device as defined in claim 10, wherein the attribute of the display which is caused to change color comprises an icon which is presented on the display.
12. A communication device as defined in claim 10, wherein the attribute of the display which is caused to change color comprises a portion of the display's overall display area.
13. A communication device as defined in claim 10, wherein the attribute of the display which is caused to change color comprises the display's background color.
14. A communication device as defined in claim 10, wherein the display further comprises a backlight and the attribute of the display which is caused to change color comprises the display's backlight.
15. A communication device as defined in claim 10, wherein the communication device comprises a selective call receiver.
16. A method of alerting a user of a communication receiver having a display that a message has been received but has remained unpresented to the user, comprising: receiving a message at the communication receiver; determining the length of time which has elapsed since the message has been received; and changing the color of an attribute of the display if the message has been received over a predetermined period of time and has not been presented to the user of the communication receiver.
17. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the changing step comprises: changing the color of an icon which is presented on the display if the message has been received over a predetermined period of time and has not been presented on the display.
18. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the attribute which is caused to change color comprises a portion of the display's viewing area.
19. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the message comprises a voice message, and the message is deemed unpresented to the user if it is not enunciated by the communication receiver after being received.
20. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the message is deemed not to be presented to the user if it is not presented on the communication receiver's display.
EP98950936A 1997-10-06 1998-10-06 Communication device and method of use Withdrawn EP1027690A4 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US94463597A true 1997-10-06 1997-10-06
US944635 1997-10-06
PCT/US1998/020981 WO1999018552A1 (en) 1997-10-06 1998-10-06 Communication device and method of use

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1027690A1 EP1027690A1 (en) 2000-08-16
EP1027690A4 true EP1027690A4 (en) 2003-01-22

Family

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP98950936A Withdrawn EP1027690A4 (en) 1997-10-06 1998-10-06 Communication device and method of use

Country Status (3)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1027690A4 (en)
CN (1) CN1274449A (en)
WO (1) WO1999018552A1 (en)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6549894B1 (en) 1999-05-07 2003-04-15 Legalstar, Inc. Computerized docketing system for intellectual property law with automatic due date alert
JP3335947B2 (en) * 1999-05-19 2002-10-21 エヌイーシーアクセステクニカ株式会社 Wireless communication device and display control method for wireless communication device
CN106325674B (en) * 2016-08-18 2020-01-10 北京小米移动软件有限公司 Message prompting method and device

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US5005013A (en) * 1987-07-16 1991-04-02 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Pager with a display function
US5546078A (en) * 1990-03-29 1996-08-13 Nec Corporation Paging receiver capable of reporting the time of paging connection

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US4701759A (en) * 1984-04-03 1987-10-20 Motorola, Inc. Call reminder for a radio paging device
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US4713808A (en) * 1985-11-27 1987-12-15 A T & E Corporation Watch pager system and communication protocol
US4872005A (en) * 1988-01-04 1989-10-03 Motorola, Inc. Paging receiver capable of reminding a user of an important message event
US4975694A (en) * 1989-03-14 1990-12-04 Motorola, Inc. Paging receiver with variable color indicators
US5012219A (en) * 1989-10-13 1991-04-30 Motorola, Inc. Message reminder alert for selective call receiver
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JP2968705B2 (en) * 1995-07-13 1999-11-02 静岡日本電気株式会社 Radio selective call receiver
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US5005013A (en) * 1987-07-16 1991-04-02 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Pager with a display function
US5546078A (en) * 1990-03-29 1996-08-13 Nec Corporation Paging receiver capable of reporting the time of paging connection

Non-Patent Citations (1)

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Title
See also references of WO9918552A1 *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO1999018552A1 (en) 1999-04-15
EP1027690A1 (en) 2000-08-16
CN1274449A (en) 2000-11-22

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