US20110093598A1 - Display of persona information for peer-to-peer sessions - Google Patents

Display of persona information for peer-to-peer sessions Download PDF

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US20110093598A1
US20110093598A1 US12/836,793 US83679310A US2011093598A1 US 20110093598 A1 US20110093598 A1 US 20110093598A1 US 83679310 A US83679310 A US 83679310A US 2011093598 A1 US2011093598 A1 US 2011093598A1
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session
communication device
communication
participant
entity
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US12/836,793
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Alan Edward Baratz
Anthony Frank Bartolo
Jayesh Govindarajan
Anwar A. Siddiqui
John F. Buford
Vyankatesh Balaji Deshpande
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Avaya Inc
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Avaya Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/104Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for peer-to-peer [P2P] networking; Functionalities or architectural details of P2P networks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00
    • H04L29/12Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00 characterised by the data terminal
    • H04L29/12009Arrangements for addressing and naming in data networks
    • H04L29/12047Directories; name-to-address mapping
    • H04L29/12056Directories; name-to-address mapping involving standard directories and standard directory access protocols
    • H04L29/12094Directories; name-to-address mapping involving standard directories and standard directory access protocols using Voice over IP [VoIP] directories, e.g. Session Initiation Protocol [SIP] registrar or H.323 gatekeeper
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L61/00Network arrangements or network protocols for addressing or naming
    • H04L61/15Directories; Name-to-address mapping
    • H04L61/1505Directories; Name-to-address mapping involving standard directories or standard directory access protocols
    • H04L61/1529Directories; Name-to-address mapping involving standard directories or standard directory access protocols using voice over internet protocol [VoIP] directories, e.g. session initiation protocol [SIP] registrar or H.323 gatekeeper
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L65/00Network arrangements or protocols for real-time communications
    • H04L65/10Signalling, control or architecture
    • H04L65/1013Network architectures, gateways, control or user entities
    • H04L65/102Gateways
    • H04L65/1033Signalling gateways
    • H04L65/104Signalling gateways in the network
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L65/00Network arrangements or protocols for real-time communications
    • H04L65/10Signalling, control or architecture
    • H04L65/1066Session control
    • H04L65/1069Setup
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L65/00Network arrangements or protocols for real-time communications
    • H04L65/10Signalling, control or architecture
    • H04L65/1066Session control
    • H04L65/1096Features, e.g. call-forwarding or call hold
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42025Calling or Called party identification service
    • H04M3/42034Calling party identification service
    • H04M3/42042Notifying the called party of information on the calling party
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00
    • H04L29/12Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00 characterised by the data terminal
    • H04L29/12009Arrangements for addressing and naming in data networks
    • H04L29/12047Directories; name-to-address mapping
    • H04L29/12122Directories; name-to-address mapping for personal communications, i.e. using a personal identifier
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L61/00Network arrangements or network protocols for addressing or naming
    • H04L61/15Directories; Name-to-address mapping
    • H04L61/1547Directories; Name-to-address mapping for personal communications, i.e. using a personal identifier
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/306User profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M7/00Interconnection arrangements between switching centres
    • H04M7/006Networks other than PSTN/ISDN providing telephone service, e.g. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including next generation networks with a packet-switched transport layer
    • H04M7/0063Networks other than PSTN/ISDN providing telephone service, e.g. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including next generation networks with a packet-switched transport layer where the network is a peer-to-peer network

Abstract

A method of operating a communication system comprises registering a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity and registering a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant. The method further comprises initiating a communication session between the first node and the second node, transferring for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity, and exchanging user communications for the communication session between the first communication device and the second communication device.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is related to and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/253,303, entitled “VoP2P and Hybrid VoIP/VoP2P for Business Persona,” filed on Oct. 20, 2009, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • TECHNICAL BACKGROUND
  • In the rapidly changing field of telecommunications, non-traditional phone products are increasing in popularity. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone calling is one example that both enterprise class and residential class consumers enjoy in ever larger numbers due to its affordability and features. In addition to voice calling, VoIP products frequently provide chat and video calling capabilities.
  • While many VoIP products rely on centrally managed network architectures to function, VoIP can be delivered using peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies. A peer-to-peer network, aside from a limited number of root nodes, typically lacks the centralized elements and control of traditional, non-P2P networks. P2P networks can be considered overlay networks that operate at least a layer above an underlying communication network or collection of networks. Skype and Peerio are just two examples of P2P VoIP products among many presently available that provide voice, chat, and video services using peer-to-peer technology.
  • Initially, the low quality of service of P2P VoIP products dissuaded customers from adopting these services. But over time, the quality of P2P VoIP products has increased sufficiently that they now enjoy widespread acceptance and use by residential and other non-enterprise class consumers. Unfortunately, present P2P VoIP products still have not attracted widespread acceptance by enterprise class consumers to a great extent because they lack many of the features required for enterprise class service.
  • OVERVIEW
  • Embodiments disclosed herein include systems, methods, and software for providing an enhanced P2P VoIP experience whereby persona information for one session participant is delivered for display to another session participant. The persona information identifies the session participant and an entity with which that session participant is associated.
  • In an embodiment, a method of operating a communication system comprises registering a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity and registering a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant. The method further comprises initiating a communication session between the first node and the second node, transferring for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity, and exchanging user communications for the communication session between the first communication device and the second communication device.
  • In another embodiment, a communication system comprises a registration system, a persona system, and at least a first communication device. The registration system is configured to register the first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity, and register a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant. The persona system is configured to transfer over the peer-to-peer network for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity. The first communication device is configured to exchange user communications for a communication session with the second communication device.
  • In yet another embodiment, program instructions stored on a computer readable medium, when executed by a communication system, direct the communication system to register a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity, register a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant, initiate a communication session between the first node and the second node, transfer over the peer-to-peer network for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity, and exchange user communications for the communication session between the first communication device and the second communication device.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a method of operating a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a communication device in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a flow diagram of a chat session and a block diagram of a user interface and a chat screen in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a call flow diagram and a block diagram of a user interface and a call screen in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a flow diagram of a multi-party chat session.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a block diagram of a user interface and a chat screen.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates an operation of a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates an operation of a communication system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a persona system in an exemplary embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The following description and associated figures teach the best mode of the invention. For the purpose of teaching inventive principles, some conventional aspects of the best mode may be simplified or omitted. The following claims specify the scope of the invention. Note that some aspects of the best mode may not fall within the scope of the invention as specified by the claims. Thus, those skilled in the art will appreciate variations from the best mode that fall within the scope of the invention. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the features described below can be combined in various ways to form multiple variations of the invention. As a result, the invention is not limited to the specific examples described below, but only by the claims and their equivalents.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates communication system 100 in an embodiment. Communication system 100 includes peer-to-peer (P2P) network 110, communication network 130, communication devices 111, 121, 131, and 132, and nodes 113, 123, and 133. Communication devices 111, 121, and 132 are operated by participants 115, 125, and 135 respectively. Participants 115 and 135 are associated with entities 117 and 137 respectively.
  • P2P network 110 comprises a network of nodes linked to network participants that together form a distributed network architecture. P2P network 110 can be considered an overlay network that operates at least a layer above an underlying communication network or collection of networks. For instance, P2P network 110 can overlay an internet network.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, communication devices 111, 121, and 131, once registered as nodes with P2P network 110, include nodes 113, 123, and 133 respectively. Nodes 113, 123, and 133 respectively, may be software elements running on communication devices 111, 121, and 131 that allow participants 115, 125, and 135 to participate in P2P network 110. For example, nodes 113, 123, and 133 may be communication software that provides chat, voice calling, or video calling capability, including variations or combinations thereof.
  • Communication devices 111, 121, and 132 may comprise any type of device operable by participants 115, 125, and 135 respectively in order to participate in communication sessions over P2P network 110. Examples of such communication devices include computers, phones, or video phones, as well as any combination or variation thereof. Communication device 131 comprises any device capable of interfacing between communication network 130 and P2P network 110 and registering as a node 133 with P2P network 110. Gateways, private branch exchanges, switches, routers, and other network elements are examples of communication device 131.
  • As illustrated, participant 115 is associated with entity 117. Likewise, participant 135 is associated with entity 137. An entity could be a group, association, or other such enterprise with which participant 115 may be linked. For instance, entity 117 may be a company owned or operated by participant 115. Similarly, entity 137 may be a company that employs participant 135. It should be understood that a variety of other types of associative relationships between participants and entities are contemplated. It should also be understood that entities 117 and 137 could be distinct or the same entities.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a method 200 of operating communication system 100. To begin, a communication device registers with P2P network 110 as a node associated with a session participant and an entity (Step 202). In this illustration, it can be assumed that communication device 111, operated by participant 115, registers as node 113 with P2P network 110.
  • Another communication device also registers with P2P network 110 as another node associated with another session participant (Step 204). Here, it can be assumed that communication device 121, operated by participant 125, registers as node 123 with P2P network 110.
  • Upon both communication devices having registered, a communication session is initiated between at least the two nodes (Step 206). For example, either participant 115 or participant 125 could initiate a session with the other by way of operating communication devices 111 and 121 and nodes 113 and 123.
  • Either prior to or during the session between the two nodes, persona information identifying at least one of the participants and an entity associated with the participants is transferred to the other participant for display by the device operated by that other participant (Step 208). It should be understood that the persona information could be transferred in discrete transfers or could be streamed continuously. Other delivery mechanisms are possible. In this illustration, persona information identifying participant 115 and entity 117 is transferred to communication device 121 for display to participant 125. It should be understood that a corresponding transfer and display of persona information related to participant 125 on communication device 111 could occur.
  • Once the session is established, participants 115 and 125 can exchange user communications with each other, such as voice, chat, or video communications (Step 210). It should be understood that the exchange of user communications could occur prior to, during, or after the transfer and display of persona information.
  • In an example illustrating a variation of method 200, participant 135 may engage in a session with participant 125. In this example, communication device 131 registers as node 133 with P2P network 110. In the meantime, it is assumed that communication device 121 has registered as node 123 with P2P network 110.
  • A communication session is established between communication device 132 and communication device 121. This session may be accomplished by establishing a P2P link between node 133 and node 123, and a non-P2P link between communication device 131 and communication device 132. In this manner, communication device 131 can serve as a gateway to P2P network 110 for communication device 132. The non-P2P link may be, for example, a session initiation protocol (SIP) link.
  • Once the session is initiated between communication device 132 and communication device 121, persona information is transferred for display by communication device 121. The persona information identifies participant 135 and entity 137. It should be understood that a corresponding transfer and display of persona information by communication device 132 related to participant 125 could occur.
  • Once the session is established, participants 135 and 125 can exchange user communications with each other, such as voice, chat, or video communications. It should be understood that the exchange of communications could occur prior to, during, or after the transfer and display of persona information.
  • In another example illustrating an additional variation of method 200, persona information may be delivered for display by both session participants. For example—and as described above—persona information for participants 115 and 135 can be delivered for display to participant 125. However, persona information for participant 125 may also be delivered for display to participants 115 and 135.
  • Moreover, the persona information for participant 125 may identify an entity associated with participant 125. However, participant 125 may be associated with multiple entities, such as a business, a social entity, or some other enterprise. In such instances, one of the entities can be identified. Once identified, persona information for participant 125 can be delivered for display to participant 115 or 135 that identifies the participant 125 and the selected entity.
  • Advantageously, communication system 100 and its operation provide for the transfer and delivery of persona information for display to a session participant. This allows the persona of one participant to be displayed to another participant in a manner that distinguishes the one participant from general users on a peer-to-peer network. For example, a business persona for an initiating party can be displayed to a destination party, even though the destination party is reached via a peer-to-peer network. The display of the business persona may enhance the session experience of both the destination and initiating parties.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates communication device 300 in an embodiment. Communication device 300 may be representative of communication devices 111, 121, 131, and 132, although devices 111, 121, 131, and 132 could use alternative configurations. Communication device 300 includes processing system 301, storage system 303, software 304, user interface 305, and communication interface 307. It should be understood that some elements could be omitted, such as user interface 305. Processing system 301 is linked to storage system 303, user interface 305, and communication interface 307. Storage system 303 stores software 304, executable in operation by processing system 301.
  • Communication interface 307 comprises a network card, network interface, port, or interface circuitry that allows communication device 300 to communicate with other communication devices over a variety of networks. Communication interface 307 may also include a memory device, software, processing circuitry, or some other device. Communication interface 307 may use various communication protocols, such as time division multiplex, internet, Ethernet, wireless, or some other communication format—including combinations thereof—to exchange communications as described herein for communication devices, such as user communications and persona information.
  • User interface 305 comprises components that interact with a user to receive user inputs and user communications and to present media and/or information. User interface 305 may include a speaker, microphone, buttons, lights, display screen, mouse, keyboard, or some other user input/output apparatus—including combinations thereof.
  • In this embodiment, user interface 305 includes peripheral device 309, audio device 311, and visual device 313. Peripheral device 309 could be any device that can receive or output user communications, such as a keyboard, mouse, or other such device. Likewise, audio device 311 is any device capable of receiving or outputting user communications, such as voice communications. Examples of audio device 311 include speakers, headphones, earphones, and microphones. Visual device 313 is any device capable of displaying images to a user, including persona information and user communications. An example of a visual device 313 is a display screen.
  • Processing system 301 may comprise a microprocessor and other circuitry that retrieves and executes software 304 from storage system 303. Storage system 303 comprises a disk drive, flash drive, data storage circuitry, or some other memory apparatus. Processing system 301 is typically mounted on a circuit board that may also hold storage system 303 and portions of communication interface 307 and user interface 305.
  • Software 304 comprises computer programs, firmware, or some other form of machine-readable processing instructions. Software 304 may include an operating system, utilities, drivers, network interfaces, applications, virtual machines, or some other type of software. When executed by processing system 301, software 304 directs processing system 301 to operate communication device 300 to perform as described herein for communication devices, including communication devices 111, 121, 131, and 132.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates communication system 400 in an embodiment. Communication system 400 includes peer-to-peer (P2P) network 410, communication network 430, communication devices 411, 421, and 432, gateway system 431, nodes 404, 408, 413, 423, and 433, persona systems 405 and 435, and registration system 409.
  • In this illustrative embodiment, communication devices 411, 421, and 432 are operated by participants Jake, Sally, and Mike respectively. Each participant may be associated with an entity, as can be seen from persona records 407 and 437. Persona record 407 includes information describing participant Sally, while persona record 437 contains information describing participant Mike. Persona record 407 is stored within persona system 405. Persona record 437 is stored within persona system 435.
  • Persona records 407 and 437 contain information about the entity associated with each participant. Thus, it should be understood that the entity may have control over many or all aspects of the persona information. In this manner, the recipient of the persona information will have confidence in the association of the other party with the entity. This may be accomplished by signing the persona information with the entity's digital certificate. It should be understood that other techniques are possible and are contemplated herein.
  • P2P network 410 comprises a network of nodes linked to network participants that together form a distributed network architecture. P2P network 410 can be considered an overlay network that operates at least a layer above an underlying communication network or collection of networks. For instance, P2P network 410 can overlay an internet network. The overlay network may utilize its own addressing scheme to further bind a participant to an entity, such as by using a handle that is linked to an entity. An example is whereby a user handle contains a domain with the name of an entity within it. The entity could be given ownership or control over a portion of the address space used by the overlay network so that only approved or authorized participants use handles that include the name of or a reference to the entity.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, communication devices 411, 421, and gateway system 431, once registered as nodes with P2P network 410, include nodes 413, 423, and 433 respectively. Registration system 409 may include node 408 and may be previously registered with P2P network 410. Likewise, persona system 405 may include node 404. It should be understood that node 404 is optional. For instance, persona system 405 could be reachable via alternate communications paths other than via node communication through P2P network 410.
  • Nodes 413, 423, and 433 may be software elements running on communication devices 411, 421, and 431 that allow participants to participate in P2P network 410. For example, nodes 413, 423, and 433 may be communication software that provides chat, voice calling, or video calling capability, including variations or combinations thereof. A Skype program application or a Peerio program application are examples of communication software that could be employed on a communication device to provide P2P chat, voice, or video services.
  • Communication devices 411, 421, and 432 may comprise any type of device operable by participants in order to participate in communication sessions over P2P network 410. Communication device 300, illustrated in FIG. 3, is an example of communication device 411, 421, and 432. Examples of such communication devices include computers, phones, or video phones, as well as any combination or variation thereof. Gateway system 431 comprises any device capable of interfacing between communication network 430 and P2P network 410 and registering as node 433 with P2P network 410. Gateways, private branch exchanges, switches, routers, and other network elements are examples of gateway system 431.
  • As illustrated by persona record 407, participant Sally has two personas: a social person and a business persona associated with an entity comprising a business, “Sally's IT.” It should be assumed for illustrative purposes that Sally's IT is a business related to information technology. Sally's social persona includes a communication handle “sally@p2p.com” that may share characteristics with P2P network 410, such as a domain name.
  • Sally's business persona includes characteristics that distinguish her business persona from her social persona. For instance, Sally can be identified by a communication handle “sally@ sallysIT.com” that is unrelated to P2P network 410. Other aspects of her business persona include the name of her business, Sally's IT, as well as a logo for her business, SIT.
  • As illustrated by persona record 437, participant Mike has a single persona: a business persona related to his company, Mike's IT. It can be assumed for illustrative purposes that Mike's IT is a business also related to information technology. Mike's business persona includes characteristics that distinguish him when communicating over P2P network 410, such as a communication handle “mike@mikesIT.com.” Other aspects of his business persona include the name of his business, Mike's IT, as well as a logo for his business, MIT.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary embodiment whereby Jake, a customer or potential customer of Sally, engages in a communication session with Sally. In this example, the communication session is a chat session. In FIG. 5, two diagrams are shown: a session flow diagram and a block diagram. The session flow diagram illustrates the information flow of the session. The block diagram demonstrates a user experience.
  • Referring to the session flow diagram of FIG. 5, communication device 411 registers as node 413 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409. Likewise, communication device 421 registers as node 423 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409. Once registered, a session is initiated between the two nodes. It should be understood that the session could be initiated in a variety of ways. For instance, Jake could initiate the session by directing node 423 to engage node 413. Likewise, Sally could initiate the session by directing node 413 to engage node 423.
  • Upon the initiation of the session, persona information for Sally is transferred by persona system 405 for display to Jake by communication device 421. The persona information is selected from persona record 407 by persona system 405. In the meantime, user communications may be exchanged between communication devices 411 and 421 operated by Sally and Jake respectively.
  • Referring to the block diagram of FIG. 5, the experience of Jake when operating communication device 421 is shown. Communication device 300 of FIG. 3 is representative of communication device 421. Thus, communication device 421 may include a user interface 305, visual device 313, audio device 311, and peripheral device 309. During the session, visual device 313 displays chat screen 315.
  • Chat screen 315 displays a variety of information, including a chat history, a chat input box for displaying user communications input by a user, and the persona information selected by persona system 405. The portion of chat screen 315 that displays the persona information includes the communication handle, status, business name, and logo associated with Sally's business persona. In an additional example, a license number associated with Sally's business is displayed. It should be understood that some items included in the persona information could be omitted while other types of persona information could be included.
  • In an alternative example, it may be determined that Jake is a personal contact of Sally's, rather than a business contact. In such an example, Sally's social persona may be delivered for display to Jake, rather than her business persona. Under these circumstances, the communication handle “sally@p2p.com” would be displayed, rather than Sally's business handle. Other personal information could be delivered and displayed commensurate with the social context of the session. This determination may be made in a variety of ways. For example, persona system 405 may store a list of social contacts that can be queried when sessions are initiated with node 413 or based on prior interactions with Jake.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates another exemplary embodiment whereby Jake, a customer or potential customer of Mike, engages in a communication session with Mike. In this example, the communication session is a voice call. In FIG. 6, two diagrams are shown: a session flow diagram and a block diagram. The session flow diagram illustrates the information flow of the session. The block diagram demonstrates a user experience.
  • Referring to the session flow diagram of FIG. 6, communication device 421 registers as node 423 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409. Likewise, gateway system 431 registers as node 433 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409. Gateway system 431 communicates with communication device 432 to facilitate a session between communication device 432 and communication device 421. Once registered, a session is initiated between the devices, including a P2P session established between the two nodes 423 and 433. It should be understood that the session could be initiated in a variety of ways. For instance, Jake could initiate the session by directing node 423 to call Mike via node 433. Likewise, Mike could initiate the session by directing communication device 432, via gateway system 431 and node 433, to call node 423.
  • Upon the initiation of the session, persona information for Mike is transferred by persona system 435 for delivery to and display by communication device 421 to Jake. It should be understood that the persona information need not be routed through gateway system 431, but rather could be transferred via another path or network. In the meantime, user communications may be exchanged between communication devices 432 and 421 operated by Mike and Jake respectively.
  • Referring to the block diagram of FIG. 6, the experience of Jake when operating communication device 421 is shown. As mentioned above, communication device 300 of FIG. 3 is representative of communication device 421. Thus, communication device 421 may include a user interface 305, visual device 313, audio device 311, and peripheral device 309. During the session, visual device 313 displays call screen 317.
  • Call screen 317 displays a variety of information, such as a call menu having call history, dialing, contacts, and call options. Other options are available within the call menu, including hang up, mute, and transfer options. In this instance, the call option is shown in bold to indicate that it has been selected. When selected, the call option displays that an outgoing call has been placed from node 423 to a destination. The call screen indicates that the call to Mike is ringing. In addition, the call screen displays the persona information for Mike delivered for display to Jake. The persona information includes the communication handle, status, business name, and logo associated with Mike's business persona. In an additional example, a license number associated with Mike's business is displayed. It should be understood that some items included in the persona information could be omitted, while other types of persona information could be included.
  • FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an exemplary embodiment whereby Jake, a customer or potential customer of both Mike and Sally, engages in a joint communication session with both Mike and Sally. In this example, the communication session is a chat session. FIG. 7 is a session flow diagram illustrating the information flow of the session. FIG. 8 is a block diagram that demonstrates a user experience.
  • Referring to the session flow diagram of FIG. 7, communication device 411 registers as node 413 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409, and communication device 421 registers as node 423 with P2P network 410, also via registration system 409. Likewise, gateway system 431 registers as node 433 with P2P network 410 via registration system 409. Gateway system 431 communicates with communication device 432 to facilitate a session between communication device 432, communication device 411, and communication device 421. Once registered, a session is initiated between the devices, including a P2P session established between the three nodes 413, 423, and 433, and a non-P2P link between communication device 431 and communication device 432.
  • Upon the initiation of the session, persona information for Sally is transferred by persona system 405 for display to Jake by communication device 421. Similarly, persona information for Mike is transferred by persona system 435 for display to Jake by communication device 421. In the meantime, user communications may be exchanged between communication devices 411, 421, and 432 operated by Sally, Jake, and Mike respectively.
  • Referring to the block diagram of FIG. 8, the experience of Jake when operating communication device 421 is shown. As mentioned above, communication device 300 of FIG. 3 is representative of communication device 421. Thus, communication device 421 may include a user interface 305, visual device 313, audio device 311, and peripheral device 309. During the session, visual device 313 displays chat screen 315.
  • In this embodiment, chat screen 315 again displays a variety of information, including a chat history, a chat input box for displaying user communications input by a user, and persona information. The portion of chat screen 315 that displays the persona information includes the communication handle, status, business name, and logo associated with both Mike and Sally's business personas. It should be understood that some items included in the persona information could be omitted.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates communication system 900 in an embodiment. Communication system 900 includes peer-to-peer (P2P) network 910, communication network 930, communication devices 911, 921, 932, and 934, gateway system 931, nodes 904, 908, 913, 923, and 933, persona systems 905 and 935, and registration system 909. Communication device 932 and 934, gateway system 931, and persona system 935 are illustrated as contained within a contact center environment 991.
  • It should be understood that contact center environment 991 may be a physical or virtual environment, including combinations thereof. For example, contact center environment 991 may be a call center whether concentrated at a single site or distributed among several sites. It should also be understood that the elements shown within contact center environment 991 need not be physically located within a call center or other such physical structure. Rather, the elements shown within contact center environment 991, such as communication devices 932 and 934 and gateway system 931, may be located external to or remote from other elements that together comprise contact center environment 991.
  • In this illustrative embodiment, communication devices 911, 921, 932, and 934 are operated by participants Sally, Jake, Judy, and Jim respectively. Each participant may be associated with an entity. In this embodiment, Judy and Jim are associated with an entity that operates or otherwise is associated with contact center environment 991. In this example, “Company C” is the entity with which Judy and Jim are associated, as can be seen from persona records 937 and 938. Persona records 937 and 938 are stored within persona system 935.
  • Persona records 937 and 938 contain information about the entity associated with each participant. Thus, it should be understood that the entity may have control over many or all aspects of the persona information. In this manner, the recipient of the persona information will have confidence in the association of the other party with the entity. This may be accomplished by signing the persona information with the entity's digital certificate. It should be understood that other techniques are possible and are contemplated herein.
  • P2P network 910 comprises a network of nodes linked to network participants that together form a distributed network architecture. P2P network 910 can be considered an overlay network that operates at least a layer above an underlying communication network or collection of networks. For instance, P2P network 910 can overlay an internet network. The overlay network may utilize its own addressing scheme to further bind a participant to an entity, such as by using a handle that is liked to an entity. An example is whereby a user handle contains a domain with the name of an entity within it. The entity could be given ownership or control over a portion of the address space used by the overlay network so that only approved or authorized participants use handles that include the name of or a reference to the entity.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, communication devices 911, 921, and gateway system 931, once registered as nodes with P2P network 910, include nodes 913, 923, and 933 respectively. Registration system 909 may include node 908 and may be previously registered with P2P network 910. Likewise, persona system 905 may include node 904. It should be understood that node 904 is optional. For instance, persona system 905 could be reachable via alternate communications paths other than via node communication through P2P network 910.
  • Nodes 913, 923, and 933 may be software elements running on communication devices 911, 921, and 931 that allow participants to participate in P2P network 910. For example, nodes 913, 923, and 933 may be communication software that provides chat, voice calling, or video calling capability, including variations or combinations thereof. A Skype program application or a Peerio program application are examples of communication software that could be employed on a communication device to provide P2P chat, voice, or video services.
  • Communication devices 911, 921, 932, and 934 may comprise any type of device operable by participants in order to participate in communication sessions over P2P network 910. Communication device 300, illustrated in FIG. 3, is an example of communication devices 911, 921, 932, and 934. Examples of such communication devices include computers, phones, or video phones, as well as any combination or variation thereof. Gateway system 931 comprises any device capable of interfacing between communication network 930 and P2P network 910 and registering as node 933 with P2P network 910. Gateways, private branch exchanges, switches, routers, and other network elements are examples of gateway system 931.
  • As illustrated by persona record 937, participant Judy has a single persona: a business persona related to Company C. Judy's business persona includes characteristics that distinguish her when communicating over P2P network 910, such as a communication handle “Judy@CompanyC.com,” as well as an indication of her position, “Sales.” Other aspects of his business persona include the name of the company, Company C, as well as a logo for the company, “CC.”
  • As illustrated by persona record 938, participant Jim has a single persona: a business persona related to Company C. Jim's business persona includes characteristics that distinguish him when communicating over P2P network 910, such as a communication handle “Jim@CompanyC.com,” as well as an indication of his position, “Service.” Other aspects of his business persona include the name of the company, Company C, as well as a logo for the company, “CC.”
  • Referring back to FIG. 4, as illustrated by persona record 407, participant Sally has two personas: a social person and a business persona associated with an entity comprising a business, “Sally's IT.” It should be assumed for illustrative purposes that Sally's IT is a business related to information technology. Sally's social persona includes a communication handle “sally@p2p.com” that may share characteristics with a P2P network, such as a domain name.
  • Sally's business persona includes characteristics that distinguish her business persona from her social persona. For instance, Sally can be identified by a communication handle “sally@ sallysIT.com” that is unrelated to a P2P network. Other aspects of her business persona include the name of her business, Sally's IT, as well as a logo for her business, SIT.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates the operation of communication system 900. In this embodiment, first a session is established between two participants, and persona information is delivered and displayed on behalf of at least one of the participants within contact center environment 991. Further on, the session becomes a multi-party session involving three participants. Additional persona information for the additional participant is delivered for display to one of the participants.
  • To begin, communication device 921 registers as a node with P2P network 910, as does gateway system 931. Next communication device 921, operated by Jake, initiates a session to establish communications with an agent within contact center environment 991. For illustrative purposes, it is assumed herein that Jake desires to reach a participant in “Sales.” Gateway system 931 receives the session initiation and responsively selects a best agent for the session. In this example, gateway system 931 selects Judy to handle the session.
  • Upon selecting the agent, gateway system 931 transfers the identities of the selected agent and the customer to persona system 935. For instance, the handle for each participant may be sent to persona system 935. Persona system 935 first examines the identity of each participant to determine if this session qualifies for receiving business persona information. If not, the session is handled without pushing persona information to communication device 921 for presentation to Jake.
  • Assuming this session does allow for persona information, persona system 935 transfers persona information for Judy to communication device 921. Communication device 921 displays the persona information for viewing by Jake.
  • It should be understood that the persona information could be delivered to communication device 921 in a number of ways, including via P2P network 910, but without utilizing P2P network 910. For example, a link may be sent to communication device 921 directed to persona system 935 so that communication device 921 can retrieve the persona information from persona system 935. In another example, the persona information could be transferred “in band” within session communications to communication device 921. In this case, it could be considered that the persona information is delivered over P2P network 910 to communication device 921.
  • FIG. 10 shows that persona information is displayed prior to an exchange of user communications. However, it should be understood that the persona information could be displayed prior to, after, or during the exchange of user communications. The persona information may be static information, such as an image, as well as dynamic information, such as streaming video.
  • Continuing with FIG. 10, eventually it is determined by one of the participants that a multi-party session is necessary. In this example, it is shown that communication device 932 initiates the multi-party session, by way of direction from Judy. For example, Judy may determine that a participant associated with “Service” may be able to assist Jake with his inquiry. Communication device 932 responsively transfers a command to gateway system 931 to involve a service participant on the session. Gateway system 931 identifies Jim as a service participant and responsively transfers Jim's agent handle to persona system 935, along with additional information identifying the other participants on the session. Persona system 935 retrieves persona information for Jim and transfers the persona information to communication device 921. Communication device 921 responsively displays the persona information to Jake.
  • Once the multi-party session is established, user communications are exchanged between all three users, Jake, Judy, and Jim. As shown in FIG. 10, this multi-party session bridges the session within gateway system 931. It should be understood that other configurations are possible.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates the operation of communication system 900 in another embodiment. In this embodiment, a session is initially established between two participants, and persona information is delivered and displayed on behalf of at least one of the participants. Further on, the session becomes a multi-party session involving three participants, with only one located within contact center environment 991. The other two participants are external to contact center environment 991. Additional persona information for the additional participant is delivered for display to one of the participants.
  • To begin, communication device 921 registers as a node with P2P network 910, as do communication device 911 and gateway system 931. Next, communication device 921, operated by Jake, initiates a session to establish communications with an agent within contact center environment 991. For illustrative purposes, it is assumed herein that Jake desires to reach a participant in “Sales.” Gateway system 931 receives the session initiation and responsively selects a best agent for the session. In this example, gateway system 931 selects Judy to handle the session.
  • Upon selecting the agent, gateway system 931 transfers the identity of the selected agent and the customer to persona system 935. For instance, the handle for each participant may be sent to persona system 935. Persona system 935 first examines the identity of each participant to determine if this session qualifies for receiving business persona information. If not, the session is handled without pushing persona information to communication device 921 for presentation to Jake.
  • Assuming this session does allow for persona information, persona system 935 transfers persona information for Judy to communication device 921. Communication device 921 displays the persona information for viewing by Jake.
  • It should be understood that the persona information could be delivered to communication device 921 in a number of ways, including via P2P network 910, but without utilizing P2P network 910. For example, a link may be sent to communication device 921 directed to persona system 935 so that communication device 921 can retrieve the persona information from persona system 935. In another example, the persona information could be transferred “in band” within session communications to communication device 921. In this case, it could be considered that the persona information is delivered over P2P network 910 to communication device 921.
  • FIG. 11 shows that persona information is displayed prior to an exchange of user communications. However, it should be understood that the persona information could be displayed prior to, after, or during the exchange of user communications. The persona information may be static information, such as an image, as well as dynamic information, such as streaming video.
  • Continuing with FIG. 11, eventually it is determined by one of the participants that a multi-party session is necessary. In this example, it is shown that communication device 932 initiates the multi-party session, by way of direction from Judy. For example, Judy may determine that a participant associated with information technology may be able to assist Jake with his inquiry. Communication device 932 responsively transfers a command to gateway system 931 to involve a service participant on the session. Gateway system 931 identifies Sally as a participant with experience in information technology and responsively initiates a session with communication device 911. In response to the session initiated with Sally, persona system 905 retrieves persona information for Sally and transfers the persona information to communication device 921. Communication device 921 responsively displays the persona information for Sally to Jake.
  • Once the multi-party session is established, user communications are exchanged between all three users, Jake, Judy, and Sally. As shown in FIG. 11, the multi-party session is bridged within P2P network 910, but other configurations are possible.
  • Advantageously, communication system 400 and its operation provide for the transfer and delivery of persona information for display to a session participant. This allows the persona of one participant to be displayed to another participant in a manner that distinguishes the one participant from general users on a peer-to-peer network. For example, a business persona for an initiating party can be displayed to a destination party, even though the destination party is reached via a peer-to-peer network. The display of the business persona may enhance the session experience of both the destination and initiating parties.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates persona system 1200 in embodiment. Persona system 1200 may be representative of persona systems 405, 435, 905, and 935, although systems 405, 435, 905, and 935 could use alternative configurations. Persona system 1200 includes processing system 1201, storage system 1203, software 1204, and communication interface 1207. Processing system 1201 is linked to storage system 1203 and communication interface 1207. Storage system 1203 stores software 1204, executable in operation by processing system 1201.
  • Communication interface 1207 comprises a network card, network interface, port, or interface circuitry that allows persona system 1200 to communicate with other communication devices over a variety of networks. Communication interface 1207 may also include a memory device, software, processing circuitry, or some other device. Communication interface 1207 may use various communication protocols, such as time division multiplex, internet, Ethernet, wireless, or some other communication format—including combinations thereof—to exchange communications as described herein for communication devices, such as persona information.
  • Processing system 1201 may comprise a microprocessor and other circuitry that retrieves and executes software 1204 from storage system 1203. Storage system 1203 comprises a disk drive, flash drive, data storage circuitry, or some other memory apparatus. Processing system 1201 is typically mounted on a circuit board that may also hold storage system 1203 and portions of communication interface 1207.
  • Software 1204 comprises computer programs, firmware, or some other form of machine-readable processing instructions. Software 1204 may include an operating system, utilities, drivers, network interfaces, applications, virtual machines, or some other type of software. When executed by processing system 1201, software 1204 directs processing system 1201 to operate persona system 1200 as described herein for persona systems 405, 435, 905, and 935.
  • The above description and associated figures teach the best mode of the invention. The following claims specify the scope of the invention. Note that some aspects of the best mode may not fall within the scope of the invention as specified by the claims. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the features described above can be combined in various ways to form multiple variations of the invention. As a result, the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described above, but only by the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims (20)

1. A method of operating a communication system, the method comprising:
registering a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity;
registering a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant;
initiating a communication session between the first node and the second node;
transferring for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity; and
exchanging user communications for the communication session between the first communication device and the second communication device.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising identifying a second entity associated with the second session participant and transferring for display by the first communication device second persona information identifying the second session participant and the second entity.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein initiating the communication session between the first node and the second node comprises initiating the communication session between the first node, the second node, and a third node, and wherein the method further comprises:
registering the third communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a third node associated with a third session participant and a third entity;
transferring for display by the second communication device second persona information identifying the third session participant and the third entity; and
exchanging the user communications for the communication session between the first communication device, the second communication device, and the third communication device.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the communication session comprises a voice call and wherein the user communications comprise voice communications.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the communication session comprises a chat session and wherein the user communications comprise text communications.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the communication session comprises a video call wherein the user communications comprise video communications.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the first persona information comprises a service handle that identifies the first participant and a graphic that identifies the first entity.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the service handle has a format comprising participant_name@entity_name.suffix, wherein participant_name identifies the first participant and wherein entity_name identifies the first entity.
9. The method of claim 6 wherein the graphic comprises a logo for the first entity.
10. A communication system comprising:
a registration system configured to register a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity, and register a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant;
a persona system configured to transfer for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity; and
the first communication device configured to exchange user communications for a communication session with the second communication device.
11. The communication system of claim 10 wherein the persona system is configured to identify a second entity associated with the second session participant and transfer for display by the first communication device second persona information identifying the second session participant and the second entity.
12. The communication system of claim 10 wherein the second communication device is configured to initiate the communication session between the first node and the second node.
13. A computer readable medium having program instructions stored thereon that, when executed by a communication system, direct the communication system to:
register a first communication device with a peer-to-peer network as a first node associated with a first session participant and a first entity;
register a second communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a second node associated with a second session participant;
initiate a communication session between the first node and the second node;
transfer for display by the second communication device first persona information identifying the first session participant and the first entity; and
exchange user communications for the communication session between the first communication device and the second communication device.
14. The computer readable medium of claim 13 wherein the program instructions, when executed by the communication system, further direct the communication system to:
register a third communication device with the peer-to-peer network as a third node associated with a third session participant and a third entity;
initiate the communication session between the first node, the second node, and the third node;
transfer for display by the second communication device second persona information identifying the third session participant and the third entity; and
exchange the user communications for the communication session between the first communication device, the second communication device, and the third communication device.
15. The computer readable medium of claim 13 wherein the communication session comprises a voice call and wherein the user communications comprise voice communications.
16. The computer readable medium of claim 13 wherein the communication session comprises a chat session and wherein the user communications comprise text communications.
17. The computer readable medium of claim 13 wherein the communication session comprises a video call wherein the user communications comprise video communications.
18. The computer readable medium of claim 13 wherein the first persona information comprises a service handle that identifies the first participant and a graphic that identifies the first entity.
19. The computer readable medium of claim 18 wherein the service handle has a format comprising participant_name@entity_name.suffix, wherein participant_name identifies the first participant and wherein entity_name identifies the first entity.
20. The computer readable medium of claim 16 wherein the graphic comprises a logo for the first entity.
US12/836,793 2009-10-20 2010-07-15 Display of persona information for peer-to-peer sessions Abandoned US20110093598A1 (en)

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CN201080029831.1A CN102474548B (en) 2009-10-20 2010-10-20 Persona information for p2p dialogue display
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US12/836,938 Active 2031-08-10 US8706888B2 (en) 2009-10-20 2010-07-15 Hierarchal structuring of nodes in a peer-to-peer network
US12/836,868 Active 2034-09-11 US9614905B2 (en) 2009-10-20 2010-07-15 Determination of persona information availability and delivery on peer-to-peer networks
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US13/381,270 Pending US20120110084A1 (en) 2009-10-20 2010-10-20 Profile information based on participant identity for peer-to-peer sessions

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