GB2323193A - Man-machine interface - Google Patents

Man-machine interface Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2323193A
GB2323193A GB9704938A GB9704938A GB2323193A GB 2323193 A GB2323193 A GB 2323193A GB 9704938 A GB9704938 A GB 9704938A GB 9704938 A GB9704938 A GB 9704938A GB 2323193 A GB2323193 A GB 2323193A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
man
machine interface
plurality
input elements
input
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.)
Granted
Application number
GB9704938A
Other versions
GB9704938D0 (en
GB2323193B (en
Inventor
Margaret Rice-Jones
Bruce Clive Dearling
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 UK Ltd
Motorola Solutions Inc
Original Assignee
Motorola Solutions UK Ltd
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
Application filed by Motorola Solutions UK Ltd, Motorola Solutions Inc filed Critical Motorola Solutions UK Ltd
Priority to GB9704938A priority Critical patent/GB2323193B/en
Publication of GB9704938D0 publication Critical patent/GB9704938D0/en
Publication of GB2323193A publication Critical patent/GB2323193A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2323193B publication Critical patent/GB2323193B/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/72Substation extension arrangements; Cordless telephones, i.e. devices for establishing wireless links to base stations without route selecting
    • H04M1/725Cordless telephones
    • H04M1/72519Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status
    • H04M1/72583Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status for operating the terminal by selecting telephonic functions from a plurality of displayed items, e.g. menus, icons
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/02Constructional features of telephone sets
    • H04M1/22Illuminating; Arrangements for improving visibility of characters on dials
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/72Substation extension arrangements; Cordless telephones, i.e. devices for establishing wireless links to base stations without route selecting
    • H04M1/725Cordless telephones
    • H04M1/72519Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status

Abstract

For a man-machine interface (14, 20, 22) of an electronic device of FIG. 2, an arrangement of pixels (SEND) on a display (20) is altered to reflect a colour-coding scheme associated with a particular one of a plurality of input elements (32, 33) in a keypad (14) or graphics tablet (22). Alternatively, an appearance of at least one of the plurality of input elements (33), associated with the arrangement of pixels (SEND), is altered with time to facilitate its identification. In these ways, a user of the electronic device is stimulated to enter an instruction through an identified input element.

Description

MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE

Background of the Invention

2323193 This invention relates, in general, to a man-machine interface and is particularly, but not exclusively, applicable to a man-machine interface of a cellular telephone in which there is provided a guide to data entry.

Summaj:y of the Prior Art

Market research has indicated that "ease of use" of electronic equipment, such as cellular radiotelephones, has a substantial influence on whether the electronic equipment is purchased and whether the functionality provided within the electronic equipment is utilised to its greatest potential. Indeed, electronic equipment that is controlled intuitively has the greatest likelihood of success within the market place.

As technology has advanced, the functionality provided within such electronic equipment has increased accordingly. For example, man- machine interfaces (i.e. the data input interface between a user of the electronic device and the device itself, e.g. a peripheral keypad or graphics tablet and a liquid crystal display (LCD)) have increased in size and complexity to accommodate the presentation and entry of more detailed user information. Within smaller electronic devices, such as cellular radio telephones, some functional (operational) tasks, e.g. initiating a call or accessing an electronic phone book, are activated by a user in response to direct data entry; with selection of a task achieved following navigation to an appropriate software function in a hierarchical menu scheme in which the user is presented with visually displayed instructions. Within such hierarchical menus, it is not unusual for smaller electronic devices (on which space is limited) to have a multi-function "soft-key" that performs different data input instructions according to the software function selected from the menu, e.g. a single button such as "enter" may execute call establishment and call termination while another soft-key may control ring-tone volume, address book access and memory retrieval of data stored from short messaging services (SMS) or the -like.

In relation to personal computers, operating system or application software is sometimes designed to instruct a user to make a keyboard entry to initiate a software command. For example, when copying a file from a hard disk to a floppy disk, the operating system of the personal computer may indicate that the file transfer can be suspended or terminated by the user depressing a combination of special character keys. However, the user of the personal computer must be familiar with the keyboard layout of the man-machine interface in order to locate and execute the combination of special characters keystrokes before the function is completed.

Summary of the Invention

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a man-machine interface of an electronic device having: a display for displaying an arrangement of pixels; an adaptive input device containing a plurality of input elements for entry of instructions to the electronic device; and a processor responsive to the instructions and arranged to control the arrangement of pixels to be displayed on the display, wherein an appearance of at least one of the plurality of input elements, associated with the arrangement of pixels, is altered with time by the processor to facilitate identification of said at least one of the plurality of input elements thereby to stimulate entry of an instruction via said at least one of the plurality of input elements.

In a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a manmachine interface of an electronic device having: a colour display for displaying characters in differing colours; an input device containing a plurality of input elements for entry of instructions to the electronic device, at least one of said input elements having a colour-coding scheme associated therewith and being arranged to perform a soft-key function whereby a plurality of operations are executed by the electronic device in response to entry of an instruction via said at least one of the input elements; and a processor responsive to the instructions and arranged to generate the characters to be displayed on the display, wherein the processor is arranged to generate at least some of the characters in the colour-coding scheme associated with said at least one of the input elements to stimulate entry of an instruction via said at least one of the input elements.

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawingg

FIG. 1 illustrates an electronic device having a man-machine interface constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2. is a representation of an electronic device with a man-machine interface according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a simplified diagram of a man-machine interface of the present invention.

FIG. 4. is a flow diagram illustrating operation of the man-machine interface of the present invention.

Detailed Description of a Preferred Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an electronic device 10 having a manmachine interface according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. For exemplary purposes, the electronic device 10 of FIG. 1 is shown as mobile radiotelephone having a display 12, such as an LCD display, and a keypad 14 comprising a plurality of input keys (thirteen are shown for the purposes of illustration only, although it will be appreciated that the keypad could contain substantially fewer or substantially more keys). In the mobile radiotelephone of FIG. 1, the size of the display 12 warrants some form of protection and to this effect a protective closure member 16 is hinged at the top of the telephone and is moveable to cover the display 12.

The display 12 can be seen to be presenting a request for the input of an instruction from a user of the electronic device 10. Particularly, in addition to the request "Call?" (illuminated on the display 12 by the microprocessor controlled energisation of appropriate pixels in the display, as will be understood by the skilled addressee), the word "ENTER" is also generated on the display 12 to prompt a user to depress a corresponding ENTER key 18 associated with executing the command.

According to the present invention, the man-machine interface is in some way altered when keystroke entry is required. For example, in a first aspect of the present invention, the pixels that are energised to display the word "ENTER" are altered in appearance compared with those pixels energised to display the question "Call?". In these respects, the alteration of the pixels in the word "ENTER" can be a colour change and/or a pulsed energisation of the pixels that form the word "ENTER". Simultaneously, to stimulate a user to perform a required keystroke entry (via the appropriate key or combination of keys on the keypad 14), the appropriate key (in this case the ENTER key 18) is correspondingly coded with: i) the colour used to display the word "ENTER"; and/or ii) is backlit or otherwise illuminated (e.g. by pulsing a light emitting diode located behind the ENTER key 18 or by changing the colour in which the key is illuminated to a similar colour to that used to display the word "ENTER" on the display). In this way, a user is encouraged in an intuitive fashion to depress the ENTER key 18 as a consequence of association and/or visual stimulation.

In the case of the permanent colour coding of a particular key (or combinations of keys) on the keypad, colour coding may be applied to a surface of the key or in close proximity to the key, i.e. to an area surrounding the key.

FIG. 2 illustrates an alternative form to the man-machine interface shown in FIG. 1. Again, as in FIG. 1, an electronic device 10 can be seen to comprise a keypad 14 (which in this case may be optional because its function may be redundant). The keypad comprises a plurality of keys 24-34, some of which may be permanently colour coded (e.g. keys 24, 30, 32) in accordance with the foregoing description. Instead of or supplementary to a display 20, the electronics device 10 further comprises a graphics tablet 22 that can be adaptively altered to display information and to accept data that can be input by virtual of the graphics tablet having a touch- sensitive input matrix, as will be understood. The graphics tablet 22 (like the display 12 of FIG. 1) is under the control of a microprocessor (not shown). The keypad or graphics tablet 22 may also comprise a soft-key 28 that performs a variety of functions in a variety of different operating modes, which soft-key may be coded according to the various aspects of the present invention.

Looking specifically at the information presented by electronic device 10 of 5 FIG. 2, a short message (provided by a suitable telecommunications service) is displayed either on the display 20 or on a particular portion of the graphics tablet 22 and reads "...and I'll see you at Tom's Bar 7. 30pm". On another area of the display 20 (or graphics tablet 22), the instruction "SENW is formed from illuminated pixels, and is coded with a colour corresponding to key 32. For the sake of graphical representation, the hatching of key 32 and the instruction "SENW is used to represent a particular colour while the polka-dot pattern of key 24 represents a different colour.

The present invention therefore awaits a user to depress the correspondingly coded SEND button (in this case key 32) before activating the send function. Alternatively, if the send button is displayed on a graphics tablet 22, touching "SENW on the graphics tablet may also activate the send function. Additionally, the graphics tablet 22 may contain dedicated segments 33-34 for data display and data entry, which segments may normally be left vacant of information and then selectively energised to display colour coded and/or pulsed icons that indicate the requirement for user input. For example, send could be represented be a flashing 'winged-envelope' that periodically appears in segment 33 of the graphics tablet 22.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a simplified diagram of the man-machine interface 50 of the present invention is shown. The man-machine interface 50 comprises a display 52 that is coupled to a processor 54. The processor is further coupled to both a memory 56 and a keypad or graphics tablet 58. The graphics tablet or keypad 58 contains a number of discrete sectors 6270 that have pixels or light emitting diodes 72-78 that can be selectively energised by the processor 54. For the sake of illustration only, four sectors are illustrated as containing pixels or light emitting diodes. The processor 54 controls the operation of the man-machine interface 50 by executing software functions stored in memory 56. Occasionally, the processor 54 is required to display information 60 on the display 52, and therefore generates an instruction to prompt a user to perform a particular data entry via a keystroke. In the case of FIG. 3, the message displayed by the processor 54 is "End Call?", while the prompt that is displayed is "YES". The pixels that form the prompt are selectively energised by the processor 54. Simultaneously, the processor 43 controls the energisation of pixels or light emitting diodes 72-78 that appear beneath discrete sectors of the keypad or graphics tablet 58 that correspond to an input instruction of "YES".

FIG. 4. is a flow diagram illustrating operation of the man-machine 10 interface of the present invention. At 100, the process starts. A processor in an electronic device is arranged to display messages by illuminating pixels at 102, and then determines whether a user instruction is required at 104. In the negative, the processor continues to generate display pixels (to provide a 'comfort message' to the user that the device is active). In the affirmative, however, the processor causes the alteration of the appearance of an input element and/or the display pixels so that a visual similarity (or an alteration in the man-machine interface) occurs. The processor continues to maintain the altered appearance of the man-machine interface 106 until it receives a required user instruction, which instruction is manually input by a user through a keypad, a graphics tablet or the like. The input-prompt process then ends at 108.

The present invention therefore advantageously provides a man-machine interface that can be adaptively changed to prompt a user to input specific instructions in an intuitive fashion.

2D 4. The man-machine interface of claim 2 or 3, wherein the illumination is coloured.

Claims (1)

  1. Claims
    1. A man-machine interface of an electronic device having:
    a display for displaying an arrangement of pixels; an adaptive input device containing a plurality of input elements for entry of instructions to the electronic device; and a processor responsive to the instructions and arranged to control the arrangement of pixels to be displayed on the display, wherein an appearance of at least one of the plurality of input elements, associated with the arrangement of pixels, is altered with time by the processor to facilitate identification of said at least one of the plurality of input elements thereby to stimulate entry of an instruction via said at least one of the plurality of input elements.
    2. The man-machine interface of claim 1, wherein adaptive input device is one of a keypad and a backlit graphics tablet, and wherein the processor causes the appearance of said at least one of the Plurality of input elements to alter by illumination of said at least one of the plurality of input elements.
    3.
    The man-machine interface of claim 2, wherein the processor causes pulsed illumination of the at least one of the plurality of input elements.
    5. The man-machine interface of claim 2, 3 or 4, wherein the illumination is proximate to the at least one of the plurality of input 30 elements.
    6. The man-machine interface of claim 2, 3 or 4, wherein the illumination is within the at least one of the plurality of input elements 7. The man-machine interface of any one of claims 2 to 6, wherein the arrangement of pixels displayed and the appearance of the at least one of the plurality of input elements correspond.
    8. The man-machine interface of any preceding claim, wherein the electronic device is a cellular phone.
    9. A man-machine interface of an electronic device having:
    a colour display for displaying characters in differing colours; an input device containing a plurality of input elements for entry of instructions to the electronic device, at least one of said input elements having a colour-coding scheme associated therewith and being arranged to perform a soft-key function whereby a plurality of operations are executed by the electronic device in response to entry of an instruction via said at least one of the input elements; and a processor responsive to the instructions and arranged to generate the characters to be displayed on the display, wherein the processor is arranged to generate at least some of the characters in the colour-coding scheme associated with said at least one of the input elements to stimulate entry of an instruction via said at least one of the input elements.
    10. The man-machine interface of claim 9, wherein the characters comprise a symbol.
    2D 11. The man-machine interface of claim 9, wherein the characters comprise a word.
    12. A man-machine interface substantially as hereinbefore described 25 with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB9704938A 1997-03-10 1997-03-10 Man-machine interface Expired - Lifetime GB2323193B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9704938A GB2323193B (en) 1997-03-10 1997-03-10 Man-machine interface

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9704938A GB2323193B (en) 1997-03-10 1997-03-10 Man-machine interface
DE29800031U DE29800031U1 (en) 1997-03-10 1998-01-02 Human-machine interface

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9704938D0 GB9704938D0 (en) 1997-04-30
GB2323193A true GB2323193A (en) 1998-09-16
GB2323193B GB2323193B (en) 1999-09-01

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GB9704938A Expired - Lifetime GB2323193B (en) 1997-03-10 1997-03-10 Man-machine interface

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GB (1) GB2323193B (en)

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0999681A1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2000-05-10 Lucent Technologies Inc. Display terminal
WO2000028717A1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2000-05-18 Lucent Technologies Inc. Display terminal
EP1187437A2 (en) * 2000-09-12 2002-03-13 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba A radio communication terminal having a lighting control mechanism
GB2369536A (en) * 2000-08-23 2002-05-29 Nec Corp Mobile communications terminal with independently illuminated input buttons
EP1615115A2 (en) 2004-02-27 2006-01-11 Microsoft Corporation Method and system for using a color scheme to communicate information in a computer
WO2007106143A2 (en) * 2006-02-24 2007-09-20 Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ab A method and apparatus for matching a control with an icon
GB2457435A (en) * 2008-02-08 2009-08-19 Laurence John Rose Mobile telephone with simplified user interface

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE19830564C1 (en) * 1998-07-08 2000-03-09 Siemens Ag telecommunication terminal
US8035621B2 (en) * 2006-09-29 2011-10-11 Lg Electronics Inc. Input device and mobile communication terminal having the same

Family Cites Families (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5598523A (en) * 1994-03-31 1997-01-28 Panasonic Technologies, Inc. Method and system for displayed menu activation using a matching distinctive arrangement of keypad actuators

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0999681A1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2000-05-10 Lucent Technologies Inc. Display terminal
WO2000028717A1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2000-05-18 Lucent Technologies Inc. Display terminal
GB2369536A (en) * 2000-08-23 2002-05-29 Nec Corp Mobile communications terminal with independently illuminated input buttons
GB2369536B (en) * 2000-08-23 2005-01-26 Nec Corp Mobile communications terminal and method
EP1187437A2 (en) * 2000-09-12 2002-03-13 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba A radio communication terminal having a lighting control mechanism
EP1187437A3 (en) * 2000-09-12 2003-11-12 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba A radio communication terminal having a lighting control mechanism
EP1615115A3 (en) * 2004-02-27 2012-02-22 Microsoft Corporation Method and system for using a color scheme to communicate information in a computer
EP1615115A2 (en) 2004-02-27 2006-01-11 Microsoft Corporation Method and system for using a color scheme to communicate information in a computer
WO2007106143A3 (en) * 2006-02-24 2008-04-17 Shuang Guo A method and apparatus for matching a control with an icon
US7546555B2 (en) 2006-02-24 2009-06-09 Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ab Method and apparatus for matching a control with an icon
WO2007106143A2 (en) * 2006-02-24 2007-09-20 Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ab A method and apparatus for matching a control with an icon
GB2457435A (en) * 2008-02-08 2009-08-19 Laurence John Rose Mobile telephone with simplified user interface
GB2457435B (en) * 2008-02-08 2012-03-21 Laurence John Rose The go phone

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
DE29800031U1 (en) 1998-06-04
GB9704938D0 (en) 1997-04-30
GB2323193B (en) 1999-09-01

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