GB2393066A - Camera and/or fingerprint recognition device located on sliding portion of portable communication device - Google Patents

Camera and/or fingerprint recognition device located on sliding portion of portable communication device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2393066A
GB2393066A GB0327746A GB0327746A GB2393066A GB 2393066 A GB2393066 A GB 2393066A GB 0327746 A GB0327746 A GB 0327746A GB 0327746 A GB0327746 A GB 0327746A GB 2393066 A GB2393066 A GB 2393066A
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GB
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
unit
section
operation
state
side
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
GB0327746A
Other versions
GB0327746D0 (en )
GB2393066B (en )
Inventor
Masatomo Mizuta
Kazuo Ohtsuta
Kiyoshi Kohayakawa
Michio Nagai
Mika Fujii
Masaki Shimamura
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NEC Corp
Original Assignee
NEC Corp
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Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/0206Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings
    • H04M1/0208Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings characterized by the relative motions of the body parts
    • H04M1/0235Slidable or telescopic telephones, i.e. with a relative translation movement of the body parts; Telephones using a combination of translation and other relative motions of the body parts
    • H04M1/0237Sliding mechanism with one degree of freedom
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/0206Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings
    • H04M1/0241Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings using relative motion of the body parts to change the operational status of the telephone set, e.g. switching on/off, answering incoming call
    • H04M1/0243Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings using relative motion of the body parts to change the operational status of the telephone set, e.g. switching on/off, answering incoming call using the relative angle between housings
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/0206Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings
    • H04M1/0241Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings using relative motion of the body parts to change the operational status of the telephone set, e.g. switching on/off, answering incoming call
    • H04M1/0245Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings using relative motion of the body parts to change the operational status of the telephone set, e.g. switching on/off, answering incoming call using open/close detection
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/0206Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings
    • H04M1/0247Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings comprising more than two body parts
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/14Systems for two-way working
    • H04N7/141Systems for two-way working between two video terminals, e.g. videophone
    • H04N7/147Communication arrangements, e.g. identifying the communication as a video-communication, intermediate storage of the signals
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/0206Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings
    • H04M1/0208Portable telephones comprising a plurality of mechanically joined movable body parts, e.g. hinged housings characterized by the relative motions of the body parts
    • H04M1/0214Foldable telephones, i.e. with body parts pivoting to an open position around an axis parallel to the plane they define in closed position
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/52Details of telephonic subscriber devices including functional features of a camera
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/14Systems for two-way working
    • H04N7/141Systems for two-way working between two video terminals, e.g. videophone
    • H04N7/142Constructional details of the terminal equipment, e.g. arrangements of the camera and the display
    • H04N2007/145Handheld terminals

Abstract

A portable communication device (mobile phone) has a first unit with a display 101 and a second unit 200 with a keypad 201. The first and second units are slidably coupled and can slide between an extended and a retracted state (fig 1A, 1B). An optical device in the form of a camera 104 and/or a fingerprint sensor 105 is provided on a surface 100B of one of the two slidable units which is concealed when the device is in the retracted state. Thus the optical device is protected from dirt and damage when the device is retracted, but made operable when the device is extended.

Description

GB 2393066 A continuation (72) cont Kiyoshi Kohayakawa Michio Nagai Mika

Fujii Masaki Shimamura (74) Agent and/or Address for Service: Reddie & Grose 16 Theabalds Road, LONDON, WC1X 8PL, United Kingdom

/ SLIDE-TYPE PORTABLE COMMUNICATION APPARATUS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

5 1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a portable communication apparatus, such as a portable telephone, and more particularly, to a portable communication apparatus having a slide-type structure.

10 2. Description of the Related Art

In addition to a straight-type portable telephone apparatus, foldable or slidable structures have been employed to meet the needs for miniaturization. The foldable structure allows two units of a main body to be folded by a connecting member rotatably connecting the two units. The slidable structure is provided with a main housing (first unit) and a movable housing (second unit), which is mounted with a part of functions and is coupled with the main housing so as to be slidable in the longitudinal direction.

20 Such a structure allows the two units to be retracted with overlapping one another when carried and to be extended by sliding them in the longitudinal direction when communicating or the like.

For example, Japanese Unexamined Patent Application 2s Publication No. 591015 discloses a small-size portable radio apparatus, which comprises a housing that has a transmitter, a key operation section and a display section and has a recess portion formed extending in the longitudinal direction, and a movable housing that is 30 equipped with a receiver and incorporated into the recess portion so as to be freely slidable. When being out of use, the movable housing can be inserted into the recess portion to compact the whole; and the movable housing can be pulled out to a desired length to be used.

- Also, Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No.7-312631 discloses a portable radio apparatus, which comprises a first housing having at least a receiver and a display section, and a second housing, 5 which is accommodated within the first housing so as to be freely slidable and rotatable with respect to the first housing and is provided with an operation section and a transmitter on the front surface thereof. By sliding and rotating the second housing to be accommodated into the lo first housing, two states are realized: a state that operation and speech communication are available; and a state that the operation face is protected with facing in.

Further, in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No.200124762, a portable telephone apparatus is 15 composed of a main body thereof having a display section provided on one side thereof, and a keypad having operation buttons provided on its surface, which is slidable to cover the display section of the main body therewith. When the main body accommodates the keypad, a part of the display 20 section is exposed from the keypad. When the keypad is slid downward, the entire screen of the display section is exposed. The keypad slides up and down along guide rails provided at both right and left sides of the main body. In the portable telephone apparatus, it is possible to enlarge 25 the displayable screen without injuring the portability and the operability to achieve the displaying of a large amount of information such as mail and data. In the accommodation state, information necessary for audio communication is displayed, and by exposing the entire screen, it is possible 30 to read character information such as mail.

In addition, many slide-type structures, which are adapted so that a movable housing is accommodated within a main housing, have been known. For example, in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 10271192, a 35 portable phone terminal has been disclosed, in which an operation panel portion having a microphone and a group of dial operation keys can slide into the main body having a

- 3 - speaker and a display. In this portable phone terminal, when being accommodated in the main body, the operation panel section is covered with the main body and therefore cannot be used, preventing it from operating. Also, in a slide-type 5 portable terminal of Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 9-205476, a main body can be accommodated into the inside of a slidable housing.

Further, a portable telephone having an optical function has been also provided according to the trend of 10 multi-function and high performance. For example, it may be mounted with an electronic camera for capturing image data.

Furthermore, a portable telephone mounted with a fingerprint recognition system has been provided so that only authorized users can operate the portable telephone itself or 15 identification of a caller can be verified. Such an optical function has an optical aperture section exposed to the outside and any dirt or flaw may prevent it from functioning normally. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

20 The invention is defined in claim 1 below, to which reference should now be made. Advantageous features are set forth in the appendant claims.

A preferred portable communication apparatus embodying the present invention, described in more detail below, 25 includes a first unit having at least a display section and a second unit having at least a main operation section. The first unit and the second unit are coupled by a slide coupling and are freely slidable in a longitudinal direction between a retracted state and an extended state. An optical so aperture for optical function is provided in one of surfaces of the first and second units that face one another in the retracted state. The optical function section is made operable when the first and second units are positioned in the extended state. The optical function may be e.g. a 15 camera or a fingerprint sensor.

- 4 - BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of example, with reference to the drawings, in which: Fig. 1A is a side view of a portable telephone 5 apparatus in a retracted state where a front-side unit and a back-side unit overlap one another, according to a first embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 1B is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. lA; Fig. 2A is a rear view of the portable telephone apparatus in an extended state where the front-side unit and the back-side unit extendedly slide in a longitudinal direction, according to the first embodiment of the present invention; 15 Fig. 2B is a side view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 2A; Fig. 2C is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 2A; Fig. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a slide 20 mechanism in the first embodiment when viewed from above; Fig. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the slide mechanism in the first embodiment when viewed from below; Fig. 5 is a schematic block diagram showing an electric circuit of the portable telephone apparatus according to the 25 first embodiment; Fig. 6 is a schematic block diagram showing an electric circuit of the portable telephone apparatus according to a second embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 7A is a flowchart showing a control operation of so a touch panel in the second embodiment; Fig. 7B is a diagram showing an example of a correspondence table between stop positions of the frontside and back-side units and the touch panel enabled area on the display in the second embodiment; 35 Fig. 8A is a rear view of the portable telephone apparatus in an extended state where the front-side unit and

the back-side unit extendedly slide in a longitudinal direction, according to a third embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 8B is a side view of the portable telephone s apparatus of Fig. 8A; Fig. 8C is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 8A; Fig. 9A is a rear view of the portable telephone apparatus in an extended state where the front-side unit and lo the back-side unit extendedly slide in a longitudinal direction, according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 9B is a side view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 9A; is Fig. 9C is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 9A; Fig. lOA is a side view of the portable telephone apparatus in a retracted state where a front-side unit and a back-side unit overlap one another, according to the so fourth embodiment of the present invention; Fig. lOB is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. lOA; Fig. llA is a rear view of a portable telephone apparatus in an extended state where the front-side unit and is the back-side unit extendedly slide in a longitudinal direction, according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention; Fig. llB is a side sectional view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 9A for explanation of the so placement of an optical function section provided in the fifth embodiment; Fig. llC is a side view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. llA; Fig. llD is a plan view of the portable telephone as apparatus of Fig. llA; Fig. 12A is a rear view of the portable telephone apparatus in an extended state where the front-side unit and

the back-side unit extendedly slide in a longitudinal direction, according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention; Fig. 12B is a side view of the portable telephone 5 apparatus of Fig. 12A; Fig. 12C is a plan view of the portable telephone apparatus of Fig. 12A; and Fig. 13 is a schematic block diagram showing an electric circuit of the portable telephone apparatus 10 according to the sixth embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

First Embodiment As shown in Figs. 1A, 1B, and 2A-2C, a portable telephone set according to a first embodiment of the present 15 invention is composed mainly of a front-side unit (first unit) 100 and a back-side unit (second unit) 200, which are connected by a slide mechanism so that they are able to freely slide in a longitudinal direction. Figs. 1A and 1B show a retracted state and Figs. 2A-2C show an extended 20 state. The slide mechanism will be described in Figs. 3 and 4.

The front-side unit 100 is flat and roughly rectangular in form having a predetermined thickness, and has a first main surface 100A that is a front surface of the front-side 25 unit 100 and a first sub-surface 100B that is a back surface thereof. The front-side unit 100 has a large-size display section (LCD device) 101, a secondary operation section 102 and a receiver section (speaker) 103 provided on the first main surface 100A. On the first sub-surface 100B, the 30 front-side unit 100 has an optical function section provided, for example, with an optical aperture section (sensor section) of an electronic image pick-up device (e.g. COD camera) 104 and a fingerprint recognition section 105 as shown in Figs. 2A-2C. Further, a magnet 106 (Fig 5; not 35 shown on Figs. lA-2C) is disposed at an appropriate position

! on the first sub-surface lOOB. In the display section 101, a touch panel mechanism 107 may be incorporated.

The back-side unit 200 is flat in form, which has the approximately same shape as the front-side unit 100, and is 5 mounted to the rear side of the front-side unit 100 so as to be freely slidable. A second main surface 200A that is a front surface of the back-side unit 200 has a main operation section 201 and a transmitter section (microphone) 202 provided on the lower portion thereof. A stop-release lo operation member (onetouch slide button) 301 is provided on one side surface of the back-side unit 200. Within the back-side unit 200, other electronic circuits are accommodated, which will be described later.

Both units 100 and 200 are urged in an extending Is direction by an urging means 302 disposed within the portable telephone set so as to keep the extended state as shown in Figs. 2A-2C. In addition, a stop means (locking mechanism) is provided to lock the units 100 and 200 so as to keep the retracted state of the units against the urging 20 means 302. The locking of the stop means can be released by operating the stop- release operation member 301 disposed on one of the side surfaces of the back-side unit 200.

In this embodiment, when the stop-release operation member 301 slides, the lock mechanism of the front-side unit 25 100 and back-side unit 200 is released to cause the front-side unit 100 to automatically slide upward with respect to the back-side unit 200 by the urging means 302 to set the telephone set in a usable state that the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 are opened. Instead of JO sliding the stop-release operation member 301, the stop-release operation member 301 may be depressed to release the lock mechanism.

As shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, the upper portion of the front-side unit 100 (left side in the figure) is formed in 35 a swelling shape toward the back-side, and this swelling portion lOOa has guide rails 300a and 300b mounted to respective ones of both side surfaces lOOb so that the lower

- - 8 - portions the guide rails extend from the swelling portion 100a downwardly (to right direction in the figure). The end of the lower portion of the guide rail 300a has a roughly L-shaped bracket 300c fixed thereto. At the centre of the s bracket in the axial direction, the edge of the bracket 300c is bent downward in the figure to form an engagement piece 300d. At the central portion of the lower end of the swelling portion 100a, a stop protrusion piece 303 is provided as a stopper in the extension direction. At the c centre of the one side edge of the swelling portion, a stop recess portion 100c is formed. One end of a coil spring 302 is fixed to the engagement piece 300d, and the other end is fixed to the bottom surface of the back case 219 such that the coil spring 302 is disposed in parallel with the guide rail 300a.

The back-side unit 200 is composed of an intermediate frame 218 and the back case 219 coupled with the intermediate frame 218. Guide grooves 218b for guiding respective ones of the guide rails 300a and 300b are formed So in the inner sides of the respective side walls 218a, of the intermediate frame 218. The lower portion of the front surface of the intermediate frame 218 is provided for the second main surface 200A where the main operation section 201 is formed. The back case 219 has a stop spring 304 of :5 roughly "<"-like shape fixed at the position corresponding to the stop recess portion 100c and, when the units 100 and 200 are retracted, the free end of the stop spring 304 enters into the stop recess portion 100c to restrain the front-side unit 100 from moving in the extension direction.

so A notch portion 219b is formed in the sidewall 219a of the back case 219 at a position corresponding to the mounting position of the stop spring 304. The stop-release operation member 301 is engaged with this notch portion 219b so as to be slidable by a minute distance in the axial direction. The as inwardly protruding piece 301a of the stop-release operation member 301 is adapted so as to come in contact with the upper slope of the stop spring 304, and tension by the stop

\ - 9 spring 304 urges the stop-release operation member 301 toward the upper end of the portable telephone set.

The front-side unit 100 and back-side unit 200 are urged in the extension direction by the coil spring 302 at 5 all times. When both units are slid in the retraction direction against the tension of the coil spring 302, the front edge of the free end of the stop spring 304 is inserted into the stop recess portion 100c to restrain both units from moving toward the extension direction, thereby keeping the retracted state. It is more preferable that an appropriate braking means is provided to act in parallel with the coil spring 302, or an appropriate braking element is incorporated into the urging means itself so that the units slide slowly.

15 When downwardly sliding the stop-release operation member 301 in the retracted state, the inwardly protruding piece 301a moves while keeping the contact with the upper slope of the stop spring 304 to lower the front edge of the free end of the stop spring 304. When the front edge of the 20 free end of the stop spring 304 is disengaged from the stop recess portion 100c, the tension of the coil spring 302 causes the both units to slide in the extension direction.

In this manner, the portable telephone set is automatically extended from the retraction state to the extension state by 25 only sliding the stoprelease operation member 301.

In the present embodiment, a magnet 106 (Fig. 5; not shown in Figs. lA-2C) is disposed at an appropriate portion in the front-side unit 100 in order to determine whether the two units are in the retracted state or in the extended JO state. On the other hand, a magnetic sensor 210 such as a Hall element or the like is disposed in the back-side unit 200, for example, at the position facing the magnet 106 in the retracted state. Since a predetermined output of the magnetic sensor 210 is obtained by the magnetic field of the

35 magnet 106, the retracted state can be detected.

As described above, when the stop-release operation member is simply slid in the retracted state in which the

- 10 front-side and back-side units overlap one another as shown in Figs. 1A and 1B, the front-side unit slides upwardly from the back-side unit into the extended state in which the main operation section is exposed and the space between the 5 microphone and the receiver becomes appropriate as shown in Figs. 2A-2C, allowing various operation and audio communication. Next, an electric circuit of the portable telephone according to the present embodiment will be described.

loAs shown in FIG. 5, the portable telephone according to the present embodiment is structured to include a display section (LCD) 101, a secondary operation section (secondary operation keys) 102, a receiver (speaker) 103, an electronic image pickup device (CCD camera) 104, a fingerprint input 15device (sensor) 105, a magnet 106 used to detect a relative position of the front-side unit and the back-side unit, and a touch panel 107 incorporated in the display section 101, which are mounted in the front-side unit 100.

In addition, the portable telephone according to the 20 present embodiment is structured to include an antenna 203, an RF circuit 204, a modem 205, a baseband processing circuit 206, a codec circuit 207, a control unit 208, a microphone 202, operation keys 201, a alert means 209, image processor 215, authentication processor 216, and magnetic :5 sensor (Hall element) 210 corresponding to the magnet 106, which are mounted in the back-side unit 200.

The control unit 208 includes a extension detector 211 that detects the retracted/extended state of the units 100 and 200 based on the output of the magnetic sensor 210, a So display controller 212 that controls the displaying of the display section 101, a call arrival and termination controller 213 that can carry out a call arrival control operation corresponding to the retracted/extended state of the units 100 and 200, an alert controller 214 that can 35 control a call arrival notification corresponding to the retracted/extended state of the units 100 and 200, and a signal converter 217 that performs conversion of signals

) - 11 -

from the image processor 215 and the authentication processor 216.

The RF circuit 204 has a receiving circuit, a transmitting circuit, and a frequency synthesizer, which are 5 not shown. The operation keys 201 includes a transmission key, conversion keys for alphabet/Kane/Kanji/numeral, a power source on/off key, a cross key for cursor operation, and an end key. These functional sections are mounted within the back-side unit 200 or on the surface thereof. Each circuit block as shown in Fig. 5 may use a known one and therefore the detailed descriptions will be omitted.

An optical aperture section of the electronic image pickup device 104 disposed on the first sub-surface 100B of the front-side unit 100, an optical aperture section of the 15 fingerprint input device 105 and the operation section 201 of the back-side unit 200 are exposed and operable only when the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 are extended. Accordingly, only when the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 are extended, the image capturing and 20 fingerprint input functions can be available and speech communication is further allowed because the microphone and the receiver are appropriately separated from one another.

On the other hand, in the retracted state, the first sub-surface of the front-side unit 100 and the main 25 operation section 201 of the backside unit 200 faces each other and therefore they are covered with each other.

Accordingly, the optical aperture sections of the image pickup device and the fingerprint input device of the main face side unit are protected and the main operation section 30 of the back-side unit 200 is prevented from operating.

In this embodiment, the sub-operation section 102 is provided on the first main surface 100A of the front-side unit 100, allow various operations including mail operation, image operation and call arrival operation while confirming 35 visually the displayed contents on the display section in the retracted state.

/ - - 12 An operation of the portable telephone according to the embodiment will be described hereinafter.

First, in the case where the portable telephone acts as a telephone, an operation of transmitting and receiving a 5 speech signal will be explained. The antenna 203 receives a radio signal from a base station, and transmits a radio signal. A radio signal received by the antenna 203 is output to a receiving circuit of the RF circuit 204. The receiving circuit selects a signal of a frequency indicated by a lo frequency synthesizer, and determines whether the selected signal includes a signal notifying of an incoming call to its own terminal (standby reception).

When the receiving circuit has detected a signal that notifies a call arrival to the own terminal, the receiving 15 circuit notifies the call arrival to the control unit 208.

The control unit 208 receives the notification from the receiving circuit that there is a call arrival to the own terminal, and drives the alert means 209 such as a beeper, a vibrator and/or a light-emitting diode to notify the user 20 by sound, vibration and/or light blinking of the occurrence of an incoming call to the own terminal.

A user can set the portable telephone to a mode such that, when an incoming call occurs in the retracted state and then the extension detector 211 detects that the 25 front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 are extended in a normal communication position, the call arrival and termination controller 213 automatically sets the operation to an off-hook state to connect the telephone line. In this setting, the reception signal transmitted from a call so originating terminal is output to the modem 205 via the RF circuit 204. At the same time, the call arrival and termination controller 213 instructs the alert controller 214 to stop the alert operation.

Then, the modem 205 demodulates the reception signal to 35 produce a baseband reception signal and output it to the baseband processing circuit 206. The baseband processing circuit 206 processes the baseband reception signal and

/ - - 13 outputs it to the codec circuit 207. The codec circuit 207 decodes the baseband reception signal to output a sound signal to the speaker (telephone receiver) 103, which outputs sound waves. The coder circuit 207 also encodes a 5 sound signal received by the microphone 202 to output a transmission signal to the baseband processing circuit 206 and the transmission signal is transmitted to the destination through the modem 205 and the RF circuit 204.

With this arrangement, the user can carry out communications lo immediately after the front-side 100 and back-side 200 units have been extended.

This portable telephone is capable of transmitting and receiving character data or graphics data. The portable telephone monitors whether the selected signal includes a 15 signal indicating transmission of character data to its own terminal (standby reception). When character data or graphics data has been received, the control unit 208 automatically receives the transmitted character data without waiting for the off-hook operation, and displays So information in the display section 101 based on the received data. In other words, a signal carrying character data received from the call originating terminal is output to the modem 205 via the RF circuit 204, and is demodulated by the 25 modem 205. The demodulated signal enters the baseband processing circuit 206, which extracts character data from the demodulated signal, to output it to the control unit 208. The display controller 212 of the control unit 208 forms character information or graphic information to be 30 displayed on the display section 101 based on data received from the baseband processing circuit 107. At the same time, the alert controller 214 drives the alert means 209 such as a beeper or a vibrator in a predetermined fashion different from that at the occurrence of an incoming call to notify 35 the user that character data or graphics data has been received.

- - 14 The control unit 208 includes a CPU, a ROM storing programs, data necessary to perform various kinds of processing, and character font data, a RAM used as a work area, a Video RAM to display information on the display 5 section 101, and the display controller 212 that controls the display section 101.

In this portable telephone, the display section 101 is always exposed and therefore the user can look at character data and graphic data on the display section 101 in the 10 retracted state. Since the secondary operation section 102 is also exposed, character data and graphic data can be seen immediately after they have been received, which allows simple response operations in a compact state where the units 100 and 200 are retracted.

15 Further, the portable telephone can create message data and transmit it to a destination. In other words, alphabet letters and Katakana characters are allocated to dial operation keys such as 0 to 9, *, and # that are provided on the operation section 201, and these keys include a 20 conversion key for alphabet/Kane/Kanji/numeral conversion.

It is possible to input message data and transmit it to a destination designated by the user operating these dial operation keys and the conversion key.

Particularly, in this portable telephone, when 25 character data or graphics data is transmitted or received, it is possible to use the display section 101 as a horizontally oriented display unit if the user wishes. At this time, the display controller 212 displays the display contents on the display section 101 by converting the 30 contents so as to match the direction of the horizontally oriented screen. Further, the processing instructed by a predetermined operation key is appropriately changed so as to match the direction of the horizontally oriented screen.

When the above setting has not been done or when the 35 front-side 100 and back-side 200 units have already been extended at the call arrival time, the telephone line is

! connected upon the off-hook operation of the user with a communication start key to allow communication.

When the user retracts the front-side 100 and back-side 200 units to the retracted state after termination of the 5 conversation, the extension detector 211 detects this position change, and the call arrival and termination controller 213 automatically sets the operation state to the on-hook state (communication termination processing). Of course, the same communication termination can be made by lo the user operating a predetermined termination key for off-hook in the normal communication position.

As described above, the portable telephone according to the present embodiment can provide the following advantages.

Since the front-side unit 100 having the display section 101 15 and theback-side 200 unit having the operation section 201 overlap one another in the retracted state, both a large-size display and a reduction in size can be achieved.

When retracted such that the operation section 200 is covered with the front-side unit 100, the display section To 101 and the secondary operation section 102 are always exposed and therefore it is possible to carry it in a compact form while looking at a map or the like on the display section 101. Furthermore, prompt operations of a map, a game or the like are allowed without extending the 25 portable telephone.

When the portable telephone is retracted, it is possible to carry the portable telephone while protecting the operation section and preventing it from operating.

Further, the optical function sections of the CCD camera and so the fingerprint input device can be also protected.

As described before, a one-touch sliding operation of the stop-release operation member allows the portable telephone to be changed from the retracted state to the extended state. Accordingly, the normal use state can be 35 obtained by operating a single button without using both hands every time, resulting in enhanced convenience in use.

- - 16 Furthermore, it is possible to change display contents or switch the function of an operation key (soft-key) so as to meet the detected extended/retracted state of both units.

When a call arrives in the retracted state, the extended 5 state is obtained by only a slide operation of the stop-release operation member, and at the same time, the off-hook operation is automatically performed, resulting in prompt response operations to the call arrival and increased convenience in use. When the portable telephone is retracted lo after completing communication, call termination is automatically performed. This also allows increased convenience in use.

In the present embodiment, although the stop-release operation member is provided to the back-side unit 100, it 15 may be provided to the frontside unit 200. In this case, by operating the stop-release operation member, the back-side unit 100 having the operation section 201 slides downward with respect to the front-side unit 200 having the display section 101 and the main operation section 201 is exposed to 20 the outside, allowing operations by operation keys. In addition, the distance between the microphone 202 and the receiver 103 is suitable for speech communication.

Second Embodiment A portable telephone according to a second embodiment 25 of the present invention has substantially the same structure as the first embodiment as shown in Figs. 1A, 1B, and 2A-2C. Since the shape and the retraction/extension operation of the portable telephone are the same as those of the first embodiment, their descriptions will be omitted.

So As shown in Fig. 6, the second embodiment is characterized by an input operation controller 290 and a touch panel controller 291. The input operation controller 290 enables or disables the input operation with the operation section. The touch panel controller 291 enables or 35 disables the touch panel function of the touch panel 107. A memory (RAM) 292 is further provided to store setting data.

- 17 The other blocks are similar to those of the first embodiment. Accordingly, the other blocks similar to those described in Fig. 5 are denoted by the same reference numerals and the descriptions of the other blocks and the

s slide mechanism will be omitted.

In the present embodiment, when a slide operation between the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 is detected by a combination of the magnet 106, the magnetic sensor 210 and the extension detector 211, the input lo operation controller 290 switches the input operation of the main operation section 201 and/or the secondary operation section 102 between the disabled state and the enabled state. In other words, the function control state is changed depending on a slide stop position. When a slide operation between the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 is detected, the touch panel controller 291 switches the touch panel function of the display section 101 and the touch panel 107 between the disabled state and the enabled state. So As for the control of the touch panel function, the entire panel face may simply switch between enabled and disabled states. In the present embodiment, a plurality of slide stop positions of the front-side unit 100 and the foregoing back- side unit 200 are previously provided, and 25 the touch panel controller 291 may increase/decrease the enabled area of the touch panel function on the display section 101 depending on a slide stop position of the front- side unit 100 and the foregoing back-side unit 200.

More specifically, the touch panel function on the full JO screen of the display section 101 is enabled or disabled on the basis of a predetermined area. An example of the control of the touch panel controller 291 will be described with reference to Figs. 7A and 7B.

As shown in Fig. 7B, the memory (RAM) 292 previously 35 stores the settings of a touch panel function enabled area on the display section 202, the settings each corresponding to a closed (retracted) state, a half-open state, and an

- 18 open (extended) state of the stop position between the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200. For example, depending on which is set: the closed state; half-open state; or open state, full-screen, onethird, or one-fifth 5 of the lower portion of the display section is, respectively, set to a touch panel function enabled area.

As shown in Fig. 7A, the control unit 208 monitors sensor output of the magnetic sensor to detect a current slide position of the front-side and back-side units (step lo S101). When the current position has been detected (YES at step S101), it is determined whether the detected position is a stop position (1) (step S102). When it is the stop position (1) (YES at step S102), a touch panel enabled area is changed to the setting (1) indicating the full screen 15 (step S104). When it is not the stop position (1) (NO at step S102), it is determined whether the detected position is a stop position (2) (step S103). When it is the stop position (2) (YES at step S103), a touch panel enabled area is changed to the setting (2) indicating one-third of the so lower portion of the display section (step S105). When it is not the stop position (2) (NO at step S103), a touch panel enabled area is set to the setting (3) indicating one-fifth of the lower portion of the display section (step S106).

In this manner, the touch panel enabled area of the 25 display section 101 is set to a selected one of full-screen, one-third, or one-fifth of the lower portion of the display section depending on which one of the plurality of stop positions is detected. The enabled area may be expressed as a number of rows in a predetermined character size display, JO instead of a zone (area) of the display section 101. The settings stored in the memory (RAM) 292 may be arbitrarily determined by a user. According to the present embodiment, a slide operation of the front-side and back-side units allows control of the touch panel function, key locking 35 function, and other functions, resulting in enhanced convenience in use.

- 19 Third Embodiment As shown in Figs. 8A-8C, a portable telephone set 400A according to a third embodiment of the present invention has almost same structure as the above described first 5 embodiment, except that an electronic image pick-up device (CCD camera) 104 is mounted as an optical function section on a back-side unit 200 and its optical aperture section is formed in the front surface (second main surface) 200A of the backside unit 200, and a video telephone function is lo added to the electric circuit.

The other members are the same as those of the first embodiment. Therefore, in the retracted state in which the front-side unit 100 and the back-side unit 200 overlap one another, the external appearance is the same as that 15 previously shown in Figs. 1A and 1B. Description of the

structure of each unit, the slide mechanism, the electric circuit and the like will be omitted to avoid repetition.

In the third embodiment, the optical aperture section of the electronic image pick-up device (CCD camera) 104 is 20 formed in the front surface (second main surface) 200A of the back-side unit 200. When extended (in use state), the main operation section 201 on the second main surface 200A and the display section 101 provided to the first main surface lOOA of the front-side unit 100 are all disposed in 25 the front-side. Therefore, all of the electronic image pick-up device (CCD camera) 104, the main operation section 201 and the display section 101 face to the front-side (user-side). This results in a further advantage of allowing a video telephone communication or video telephone 30 conference using the present portable telephone.

Fourth embodiment A fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 9A-9C and Figs. lOA 35 and lOB.

A portable telephone set 400' according to the present embodiment is composed of two units: a first unit 100'

al - 20 shaped like a hollow sheath having an opening directed downward and is provided with a display section and the like on its surface; and a second unit 200' provided with a main operation section and the like, which can be accommodated 5 within the hollow space of the first unit 100'. These units 100' and 200' are coupled via an appropriate slide mechanism so as to be freely slidable in the longitudinal direction.

The first unit 100' is flat and roughly rectangular in form having a predetermined thickness, and has a first main surface 100A that is a front surface of the first unit 100' and a first sub-surface 100B that is a back surface thereof.

The first unit 100' has a display section (LCD device) 101, a secondary operation section 102 and a receiver section (speaker) 103 provided on the first main surface 100A. A 15 stop-release operation member (one- touch slide button) 301' is provided on one side surface of the first unit 100'.

Further, a magnet 106 (not shown on these Figures) is disposed at an appropriate position on the first sub-surface 100B. In the display section 101, a touch panel mechanism 20 107 may be incorporated as necessary.

The second unit 200' allowed to be accommodated into the first unit 100' is shaped like a flat box corresponding to an inner space of the first unit 100' and is mounted so as to be slidable into the inner space of the first unit 25 TOO'. A second main surface 200A that is a front surface of the second unit 200' has a main operation section 201 and a transmitter section (microphone) 202 provided on the lower portion thereof. On a second sub-surface 200B opposite to the second main surface 200A, the second unit 200' has an JO optical function section provided, for example, for optical aperture sections (sensor sections) of an electronic image pick-up device (e.g. CCD camera) 104' and a fingerprint input device 105' as shown in Fig. 9A.

Both units 100' and 200' are urged in an extending 35 direction by an urging means (not shown) disposed within the portable telephone set so as to keep the extended state as shown in Figs. 9A-9C. In addition, a stop means (locking

r>, - 21 mechanism) is provided to lock the units 100' and 200' so as to keep the retracted state of the units against the urging means. The locking of the stop means can be released by operating the stop-release operation member 301' disposed on 5 one of the side surfaces of the first unit 100'.

In this embodiment, when the stop-release operation member 301' slides, the lock mechanism of the first unit 100 and second unit 200 is released to cause the first unit 100 to automatically slide upward with respect to the second unit 200 by the urging means to set the telephone set in a usable state that the first unit 100 and the second unit 200 are opened. Instead of sliding the stop-release operation member 301', the stoprelease operation member 301' may be depressed to release the lock mechanism.

15 The portable telephone according to the present embodiment has the same function sections as those of the electric circuit as shown in FIG. 5. The first unit 100' includes the display section (LCD) 101, the touch panel 107, the secondary operation section 102, the receiver (speaker) So 103, the inner magnet 106 and further includes an antenna 203, an RF circuit 204, a modem 205, a baseband processing circuit 206, a coder circuit 207, a control unit 208, an alert means 209 and the like. The second unit 200' includes the main operation section 201 and the microphone 202 on the 25 second main surface 200A and the electronic image pickup device (CCD camera) 104' and the fingerprint input device (sensor) 105' on the second sub-surface 200B.

The units 100' and 200' are coupled with each other so as to be freely slidable in the axial direction by the slide So mechanism. Operating the main operation section 201 and speech communication can be carried out in the extended state that the second unit 200' is pulled out from the first unit 100'. When the second unit 200' slides into the first unit 100' (in the retracted state), the main operation 35 section 201 and the optical aperture sections of the electronic image pick-up device 104' and the fingerprint recognition section 105' are covered with the back surface

/ - 22 of the first unit 100' and thereby protected. As described above, the portable telephone set according to the present embodiment has the same advantages as those of the first embodiment. 5 In the portable telephone set according to the present embodiment, it may be adapted so that the optical aperture section of the electronic image pick-up device (CCD camera) 104' is mounted on the front surface (second main surface) 200A of the second unit 200' and a video telephone function lo is implemented in the electric circuit as in the case of the third embodiment.

Fifth embodiment Referring to Figs. llA-llD, a portable telephone set 400B according to a fifth embodiment of the present 15 invention has a structure similar to that of the above-described fourth embodiment, and only the following two points are different. First, an electronic image pick-up device (CCD camera) 104, which is the optical function section, is provided in an inside surface (first 20 sub-surface) lOOB that faces the inner space and is opposite to the first main surface lOOA of the first unit 100'.

Second, a light transmission section lOOb is formed in a back surface section lOOC of the sheath-like unit 100' at a position corresponding to the electronic image pick-up 25 device (CCD camera) 104.

The other portions are the same as those of the fourth embodiment. Accordingly, in the retracted state in which the first unit 100' and the second unit 200' overlap one another, the external appearance is the same as shown in so Figs. lOA and lOB. Description of each unit, the slide

mechanism, the electric circuit and the like will be omitted to avoid repetition.

The light transmission section lOOb of the portable telephone set 400B is a through hole that is formed at a 75 predetermined position of the backface section lOOC and is slightly larger than the aperture section 104' of the CCD

- 23 camera 104. In the present embodiment, as shown in Fig. llB, in the extended state (usable state) the second unit 200' has popped out from the first unit 100', light from outside transmitted through the light transmission section 100b and 5 enters into the aperture section 109' of the CCD camera 104 and therefore the CCD camera 104 captures an image, which can be utilized. On the other hand, when both units are slid into a retracted state, the second unit 200' is accommodated within the first unit 100', the aperture section of the CCD 10 camera 104 is covered and protected by the second unit 200'.

As for the light transmission section 100b, at least the relevant portion of the back-face section 100C may be formed using a transparent material, or may be realized by providing a transparent protection plate to the relevant 15 portion. Such a structure further increases the air tightness and thereby the entry of any foreign matter such as dust into the inside space is prevented, which is further preferred. As for the light transmission section 100b, if light from outside can be transmitted through it, any 20 structure may be adopted.

The fifth embodiment also has various advantages as above mentioned. For example, a single action of operating the stop-release operation member 301' while holding the portable telephone set by one hand can extend the portable 25 telephone set into the usable state. In particular, the protection performance of the CCD camera 104 becomes higher.

Sixth Embodiment A sixth embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 12A-12C and Fig. 13.

30 As shown in Figs. 12A-12C, a portable telephone set according to the sixth embodiment of the present invention has a similar structure to the above fourth and fifth embodiments. It is composed mainly of a first unit 100' having a display device 101 and a speaker 103, a second unit 35 200' that has a microphone 202 and is engaged with the first unit 100', and a slide engagement means for engaging the

/ ! - 24 first unit 100' with the second unit 200' so as to be freely slidable in the longitudinal direction. In particular, the second unit 200' is provided with an upper first housing 200'b and a second housing 200'a that has a microphone 202 5 and is rotatably coupled to the first housing 200'b. A rotation structure 200'c, which rotatably couples the first housing 200tb and the second housing 200'a, can employ any known structure. As shown in Fig. 12B, the second housing 200'a can rotate around the rotation structure 200'c to make lo the second unit 200' bend at a predetermined angle.

As shown in Fig. 13, the portable telephone set according to the present embodiment includes an electric circuit within the first unit 100' and the second unit 200' composed of the second housing 200'a and the first housing 200'b. The control unit 208 includes an extension detector (not shown) for detecting that the first unit 100' and the second unit 200' are in the extended state by using a magnet 106 and a magnetic sensor 210, a rotation detector (not shown) for detecting that the first housing 200'b and the 20 second housing 200'a of the second unit 200' are in the rotated state by using a switch 901 and a sensor 902, and a function controller (not shown). In the control unit 208, when the extension detector detects the extended state between the first unit 100' and the second unit 200', a 25 predetermined function is enabled or disabled. When the rotation detector detects the rotated state between the first housing 200'b and the second housing 200'a of the second unit 200', a predetermined function can be enabled or disabled. Further, the control unit 208 is also provided 30 with other functions similar to those previously described in the other embodiments. The function controller acts as the above-described input operation controller as well and, based on the extended state between the first unit 100' and the second unit 200', determines whether the input operation 35 via the main operation section and/or the sub-operation section is enabled.

- 25 A desired function control of the function controller can be set depending on the setting. For example, the rotation detector may perform an off-hook operation when detecting a shift from the straight state to the rotated 5 state (see Fig. 12B) between the first housing 200'b and the second housing 200'a of the second unit 200' at call arrival; and perform call termination when detecting a shift from the rotated state to the straight state between the first housing 200'b and the second housing 200'a of the lo second unit 200 after completing the communication. In addition, it is possible to make an alert reduction/mute function or a response holding function operate at the call arrival as a first function in the extended state, and make the off-hook or response hold-release function operate as a 15 second function in the rotated state. Furthermore, it is possible to set the camera image pickup function as a first function, or the flash function at picking-up as a second function. As described above, the portable telephone set according to the present embodiment has, in addition to the so previously described advantages, another advantage such that the touch panel function, the key locking function and other functions can be controlled depending on a state made by a slide operation between the first unit and the second unit and/or a bent state made by rotation between the first 25 housing and the second housing, resulting in increased convenience in use.

The above-described embodiments have been described taking as an example the case where both of the electronic image pick-up device and the fingerprint input device are so provided as the optical function section. Needless to say, the portable telephone may be provided with either the electronic image pick-up device or the fingerprint input device. In the present invention, the other components are not limited to the abovedescribed embodiments. Various as modifications may be possible within the scope of the present invention; for example, an EL display device is utilized for the display device in place of the LCD.

(A - 26 According to the present invention, the following advantages are obtained. Since the first unit, having the display section, and the second unit, having the main operation section, overlap one another when retracted, 5 increasing the size of the display screen and decreasing the size of the telephone set are possible. In the retracted state the main operation section is concealed. However, the display section and the secondary operation section are always exposed allowing easy operation thereof. Accordingly, 10 it is possible to carry around the portable telephone set compactly while watching the display section, and thereby referring to a map or operating a game or the like can be carried out easily.

In the retracted state, the main operation section is 15 protected and prevented from operating. Also, in the case where optical function sections such as a camera and a fingerprint input device are provided, these sections are also accommodated and protected as described before.

Only a sliding operation of the stop-release operation 20 member causes the portable telephone set to slide from the retracted state to the extended state. In other words, the usable state can be obtained by a simple operation of a single button (by one-touch), without extending the portable telephone set by using both hands every time, resulting in 25 increased convenience in use.

It is possible to detect the extended/retracted state of both units and display content or function of an operation key (soft-key) can change depending on the detected state. When a call arrives in the retracted state, 30 the extended state is obtained by a sliding operation only of the stop-release operation member and, at the same time, an off-hook operation is carried out automatically, resulting in prompt response to an incoming call and therefore increased convenience in use. When detecting a 35 shift from the extended state to the retracted state after completing communication, call termination is carried out automatically, resulting in increased convenience in use.

- 27 Attention is drawn to the parent of this divisional application, namely our application No. 0222957.3.

Claims (6)

- 28 Claims:
1. A portable communication apparatus comprising: a first unit having at least a display section; a second unit having at least a main operation section; 5 a slide coupling for coupling said first unit with said second unit such that they are freely slidable in a longitudinal direction between a retracted state and an extended state; and at least one optical function section, the or each of lo which has an optical aperture provided in one of the surfaces of said first unit and said second unit that face one another in the retracted state, wherein said at least one optical function section is made operable when said first unit and said second unit are positioned in the 15 extended state.
2. The portable communication apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said at least one optical function section is at least one of a fingerprint authentication device and an electronic image pickup device.
20
3. The portable communication apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said first unit has an inner space into which said second unit is allowed to slide.
4. The portable communication apparatus according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein an optical aperture of an electronic 25 image pickup device is provided on an inner surface of said first unit facing an opposite inner surface thereof, wherein a portion of said opposite inner surface corresponding to said optical aperture of said electronic image pickup device is made of transparent material to allow image pickup so operation of said electronic image pickup device.
5. The portable communication apparatus according to any preceding claim, further comprising:
/ - 29 an urging member for urging said first unit and said second unit in an extension direction; and a releasable lock mechanism for releasably locking said first unit and said second unit in the retracted state, 5 wherein the locking is released by a predetermined operation.
6. Portable communication apparatus substantially as any of the embodiments herein described with reference to the drawings.
GB0327746A 2001-10-03 2002-10-03 Slide-type portable communication apparatus Active GB2393066B (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2001308015 2001-10-03
JP2002210523A JP2003179678A (en) 2001-10-03 2002-07-19 Portable telephone
GB0222957A GB2381988B (en) 2001-10-03 2002-10-03 Slide-type portable communication apparatus

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