US20150019332A1 - Systems and Methods for Providing User Interface Features Associated with Distribution of Media Programs by Way of a Network of Media Vending Kiosks - Google Patents

Systems and Methods for Providing User Interface Features Associated with Distribution of Media Programs by Way of a Network of Media Vending Kiosks Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150019332A1
US20150019332A1 US14/141,945 US201314141945A US2015019332A1 US 20150019332 A1 US20150019332 A1 US 20150019332A1 US 201314141945 A US201314141945 A US 201314141945A US 2015019332 A1 US2015019332 A1 US 2015019332A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
media
user
vending kiosk
kiosk
media vending
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14/141,945
Inventor
Brian F. Roberts
Christina S. Siegfried
Ann Gordon Prather
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc
Original Assignee
Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services LLC
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201361846603P priority Critical
Application filed by Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services LLC filed Critical Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services LLC
Priority to US14/141,945 priority patent/US20150019332A1/en
Assigned to Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services, LLC reassignment Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PRATHER, ANN GORDON, ROBERTS, BRIAN F., SIEGFRIED, CHRISTINA S.
Publication of US20150019332A1 publication Critical patent/US20150019332A1/en
Assigned to VERIZON PATENT AND LICENSING INC. reassignment VERIZON PATENT AND LICENSING INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services, LLC
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Abstract

An exemplary method includes a media service system detecting an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk at which physical copies of a plurality of media programs are distributed, determining, based on a user activity history, a potential activity of the user, determining an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk, and providing, for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization. Corresponding systems and methods are also described.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/846,603, filed Jul. 15, 2013. The contents of the provisional patent application are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  • There are diverse ways for people to find and consume media programs. For example, a user wanting to watch a media program such as a movie may utilize a traditional video distribution service such as a video rental or purchase service (“video service”) to find, access, and watch the movie. The video service may allow the user to rent or purchase a physical copy of the movie from a local video store or media vending kiosk, or to rent or purchase a digital copy of the movie through an online video service, which may stream or download the digital copy of the movie to a user computing device for playback to the user.
  • A video service typically provides a set of service features and tools for use by an end user of the video service to interact with the video service to discover and utilize the features of the video service, such as features for discovering and accessing video programs for user consumption. While a conventional video service provides useful features and tools, there remains room for new and/or improved features and/or tools that may further benefit users of the service, a provider of the service, and/or third parties such as content providers and/or advertisers.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples and do not limit the scope of the disclosure. Throughout the drawings, identical or similar reference numbers designate identical or similar elements.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary media service system according to principles described herein.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary media distribution configuration according to principles described herein.
  • FIGS. 3-6 illustrate exemplary user interface views according to principles described herein.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary method for providing user interface features associated with distribution of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks according to principles described herein.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates another exemplary method for providing user interface features associated with distribution of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks according to principles described herein.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary computing device according to principles described herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Exemplary systems and methods for providing user interface features associated with distribution of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks are disclosed. In certain examples, such features may include one or more features configured to facilitate optimization of a user experience with the network of media vending kiosks. As used herein, an “optimization” may refer to any type of efficiency that may be incorporated into and/or associated with a user experience with the network of media vending kiosks. For example, an optimization may include a way to optimize a trip to a media vending kiosk. Examples of optimizations are described herein.
  • Systems and methods described herein may determine an optimization and notify a user of the optimization in any of the ways described herein. For example, an exemplary system may detect an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk at which physical copies of a plurality of media programs are distributed, determine a potential activity of the user, determine an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk, and provide, for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization.
  • The exemplary optimization features and/or other features described herein may facilitate a convenient, intuitive, and/or efficient assessment by a user of one or more available options associated with interaction with the network of media vending kiosks and may help the user make efficient use of time and/or other resources. These and/or additional or alternative benefits that may be provided by one or more of the exemplary systems and methods described herein will be made apparent herein. Exemplary systems and methods for providing user interface features associated with distribution of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks and implementations thereof, as well as exemplary graphical user interface (“GUI”) views will now be described in reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary media service system 100 (“system 100”). System 100 may be configured to provide a media service and/or one or more features of a media service to one or more end users of the media service (e.g., one or more customers of the media service). The media service may include any service that provides end users of the service with one or more features and/or tools configured to facilitate user discovery, access, and/or consumption of media programs. The media service may utilize or be associated with any suitable media distribution configuration. In some examples, the media service may include a media distribution system that distributes media programs by way of a physical media distribution channel (e.g., a mail-based physical media distribution channel, a media-vending-kiosk-based physical and/or digital media distribution channel, etc.). In certain examples, the media service may utilize or be associated with a media distribution system that distributes physical copies of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks. In certain examples, the media service may additionally or alternatively utilize or be associated with a media distribution system that distributes digital copies of media programs by way of a digital media distribution channel (e.g., by downloading and/or streaming media programs over a network such as the Internet). System 100 may be associated with (e.g., operated by) a provider of the media service (“service provider”).
  • As used herein, the term “media program” may refer to any television program, on-demand media program, pay-per-view media program, broadcast media program (e.g., broadcast television program), multicast media program (e.g., multicast television program), narrowcast media program (e.g., narrowcast video-on-demand program), IPTV media program, advertisement, video, movie, audio program, radio program, or any other media program that a user may access by way of the media service. Such media programs that are made available for user consumption by way of the media service may be accessed and/or played back by an appropriately configured user computing device (e.g., a media player device) for presentation to the user.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, system 100 may include, without limitation, a kiosk feature management facility 102 (“management facility 102”), a user interface facility 104, and a storage facility 106 selectively and communicatively coupled to one another. The facilities may be communicatively coupled one to another by any suitable communication technologies.
  • While facilities 102-106 are shown to be separate facilities in FIG. 1, any of those facilities may be combined into a single facility or split into additional facilities as may serve a particular implementation. Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the facilities 102-106 may be omitted from and external to system 100 in other implementations. Facilities 102-106 of system 100 may include or be otherwise implemented by one or more computing devices configured to perform one or more of the operations described herein. In such implementations, system 100 may be referred to as a computer-implemented system 100. Facilities 102-106 will now be described in more detail.
  • Storage facility 106 may be configured to store data generated and/or used by management facility 102 and/or user interface facility 104. For example, storage facility 106 may store media data 108 representative of media programs that are discoverable and/or accessible through a media service (e.g., media programs distributed by way of a network of media vending kiosks). Media data 108 may represent information about the media programs. For example, media data 108 may include metadata (e.g., information about genre, cast, title, playback duration, release date, etc.) and/or enriched metadata (e.g., user-defined tags, ratings, etc.) for the media programs.
  • Storage facility 106 may store user data 110 associated with one or more end users of a media service, such as data representing user profiles of the users. The user profiles may include any information associated with a user's interaction with the media service as well as any other information regarding activities of the user. Such information may include information regarding media programs currently rented and/or reserved by the user, media programs marked as being of interest to the user, user requests and/or searches for media programs, current and/or past locations of the user, personalized media vending kiosk selection settings defined by the user (e.g., preferred kiosks, suitable distance settings, preferred travel routes, etc.).
  • Storage facility 106 may also store kiosk data 112 representing information associated with a plurality of media vending kiosks. Kiosk data 112 may include any information associated with media vending kiosks included in a network of media vending kiosks. For example, kiosk data 112 may include information associated with geographic locations of each of the plurality of media vending kiosks, current inventories of each of the plurality of media vending kiosks, new release information associated with media programs distributed by way of the media vending kiosks, and/or due date information associated with the media vending kiosks (e.g., information indicating when a rented media program is due to be returned to a media vending kiosk). Storage facility 106 may maintain additional or alternative data as may serve a particular implementation.
  • Data stored by storage facility 106 may be accessed by system 100 from any suitable source, including a source internal or external to system 100. Storage facility 106 may permanently or temporarily store data. In certain examples, system 100 may access certain data from a source external to system 100 and temporarily store the data in storage facility 106 for use by management facility 102 and/or user interface facility 104. In certain examples, data generated by management facility 102 and/or user interface facility 104 may be stored permanently or temporarily to storage facility 106.
  • In certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to facilitate distribution of media programs to users of the media service provided by system 100. Management facility 102 may be configured to facilitate distribution of media programs in any way and/or form that is suitable to facilitate access and consumption of the media programs by users of the media service. For example, management facility 102 may be configured to facilitate distribution of media programs by way of a physical media distribution channel. The physical media distribution channel may include distribution of physical media that hold data representative of the media programs. For example, the physical media distribution channel may include a media vending kiosk-based distribution channel through which physical media, such as digital versatile discs (“DVDs”), BLU-RAY discs (“BDs”), and/or other physical computer-readable copies of media programs are distributed to users.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary media distribution configuration 200. Components of system 100 may be implemented by and/or interface with one or more of the elements of the configuration 200 shown in FIG. 2. As shown, the configuration 200 may include a user computing system 202 associated with a user 204, who may be an end user of the media service provided by system 100. User computing system 202 may be in communication with a service provider system 206 (“provider system 206”), which may include one or more computing devices (e.g., server devices remotely located from user computing system 202 and/or operated by a provider of the media service).
  • User computing system 202 and server system 206 may communicate using any communication platforms and technologies suitable for transporting data (e.g., media programs data) and/or communication signals, including known communication technologies, devices, media, and protocols supportive of remote communications, examples of which include, but are not limited to, data transmission media, communications devices, Transmission Control Protocol (“TCP”), Internet Protocol (“IP”), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“HTTP”), Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (“HTTPS”), Session Initiation Protocol (“SIP”), Simple Object Access Protocol (“SOAP”), Extensible Mark-up Language (“XML”) and variations thereof, Real-Time Transport Protocol (“RTP”), User Datagram Protocol (“UDP”), Global System for Mobile Communications (“GSM”) technologies, Code Division Multiple Access (“CDMA”) technologies, Time Division Multiple Access (“TDMA”) technologies, Short Message Service (“SMS”), Multimedia Message Service (“MMS”), radio frequency (“RF”) signaling technologies, wireless communication technologies, Internet communication technologies, media streaming technologies, media download technologies, and other suitable communications technologies.
  • In certain embodiments, user computing system 202 and provider system 206 may communicate by way of a network 208. Network 208 may include one or more networks, such as one or more wireless networks (Wi-Fi networks), wireless communication networks, mobile telephone networks (e.g., cellular telephone networks), closed media networks, open media networks, closed communication networks, open communication networks, wide area networks (e.g., the Internet), local area networks, and any other networks capable of carrying data (e.g., streaming and/or downloading media programs) and/or communications signals between user computing system 202 and provider system 206. Communications between user computing system 202 and provider system 206 may be transported using any one of the above-listed networks, or any combination or sub-combination of the above-listed networks. Alternatively, user computing system 202 and provider system 206 may communicate in another way such as by direct connections between user computing system 202 and provider system 206.
  • The configuration 200 may support distribution of media programs by way of multiple different media distribution channels, such as a digital media distribution channel and a physical media distribution channel. As shown, provider system 206 may distribute media programs such as by distributing digital data 210 representative of a media program to user computing system 202 by way of a digital media distribution channel 212. This distribution may utilize any suitable media streaming and/or downloading technologies (e.g., Internet media streaming and/or downloading technologies) to support delivery of digital data representative of media programs to user computing system 202 by way of network 208.
  • As further shown in FIG. 2, provider system 206 may be in communication with a media vending kiosk system 214, which may include one or more geographically distributed media vending kiosks 216 (e.g., media vending kiosks 216-1 and 216-2) configured to vend physical copies of media programs, such as a physical copy 218 of a media program, to user 204 by way of a physical media distribution channel 220. For example, user 204 may visit a geographic location of media vending kiosk 216-1 and, through the media vending kiosk 216-1, obtain the physical copy 218 of the media program, which may be experienced by the user in a variety of different ways such as by inserting the physical copy 218 into a media disc player device such as a DVD or BD player device configured to read the physical copy 218 and play back the media program. In certain examples, one or more of the vending kiosks 216 may include automated media vending machines.
  • Media vending kiosk system 214 may comprise a network of media vending kiosks that may be in communication with each other and/or provider system 206. Each of the media vending kiosks 216 in media kiosk vending system 214 may have different and continually changing inventories of media programs that vary at any given time as a result of users renting and returning physical copies of media programs. In view of the continually changing inventories, each of the media vending kiosks 216 may send periodic inventory updates to provider system 206 so that such information may be used by management facility 102 and/or user interface facility 104 to provide information, notifications, suggestions, and/or recommendations associated with one or more media programs accessible at the media vending kiosks 216.
  • User computing system 202 may include one or more user computing devices associated with the user 204. Examples of such devices include, without limitation, a media player computing device (e.g., a media disc player device such as a DVD or BD player device), a display device, a set-top box device, a digital video recording (“DVR”) device, a computer, a tablet computer, a smart phone device, and any other device capable of accessing the media service and/or media programs provided by system 100 by way of the media service.
  • In certain examples, user computing system 202 may include a first user computing device (e.g., a primary display device) configured to play back media programs and a second user computing device (e.g., a secondary or companion display device) configured to display a graphical user interface that may compliment or be used together with the playback of the media programs by the first user computing device. For instance, a television may provide a primary display screen on which a video program may be displayed, and a tablet computer may provide a secondary display screen on which a graphical user interface (e.g., a graphical user interface related to the video program, the playback of the video program, and/or the media service) may be displayed. Such an example is illustrative only. Other examples of a user computing system 202 may include any combination of user computing devices or a single user computing device configured to perform any of the user computing system and/or device operations described herein.
  • User computing system 202 may be configured for use by user 204 associated with (e.g., operating) the user computing system 202 to access the media service provided by system 100. For example, the user 204 may utilize the user computing system 202 to access one or more user interfaces provided by system 100 as part of and/or for accessing the media service.
  • Returning to FIG. 1, user interface facility 104 may be configured to provide a user interface through which users may access and interface with the media service provided by system 100 to access and use features of the media service and/or to discover, access, and/or consume media programs. The user interface may be in any suitable form. For example, user interface facility 104 may be configured to provide a website, a client application user interface (e.g., a user interface provided by a client application such as a “mobile app” installed and running on user computing system 202), a media player user interface, a GUI, and/or any other form of user interface configured to facilitate user interaction with the media service. User interface facility 104 may be configured to provide, for display, any of the exemplary GUIs illustrated herein, including one or more media service user interface views that include user interface features associated with discovering and/or accessing media programs through a media vending kiosk system (e.g., through media vending kiosk system 214 by way of physical media distribution channel 220).
  • As part of a user's interaction with the media vending kiosk system 214, the user (e.g., user 204) may travel to and from media vending kiosks 216 to rent and return physical copies of media programs. To facilitate efficient use of the user's time and/or other resources associated with this interaction, system 100 may determine one or more optimizations and notify the user of the optimizations, which may help the user optimize trips to/from media vending kiosks 216. Examples of such optimizations are described herein.
  • Management facility 102 may determine optimizations in any suitable way. For example, management facility 102 may detect an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk, determine a potential activity of the user based on a user activity history, and determine an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk. Examples of each of these operations will now be described.
  • Management facility 102 may detect an upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216. The upcoming trip may correspond to any predictable trip that the user may make to a media vending kiosk 216 in the near future (e.g., within the same day, the next day, the week, the weekend, etc.). The upcoming trip may be detected in any suitable way. For example, management facility 102 may access information associated with the user, such as by accessing user information 110 and kiosk information 112, and use that information to detect the upcoming trip. To illustrate one example, management facility 102 may access user information 110 and detect the upcoming trip based on a current location of the user that is indicative of a potential user trip to a media vending kiosk 216. For instance, the current location of the user, which location may be detected in any suitable way such as by way of location services associated with a mobile device, a location check-in on social media, etc., may be geographically proximate to a media vending kiosk 216 and/or may follow a travel pattern associated with past trips of the user to the media vending kiosk 216. In another example, management facility 102 may access kiosk information 112 and detect the upcoming trip based on the user having reserved a media program to be picked up from a media vending kiosk 216. In another example, management facility 102 may access kiosk information 112 and detect the upcoming trip based on the user having an upcoming due date for return of a rented media program to a media vending kiosk 216. In another example, management facility 102 may detect an upcoming trip based on the user having any other predictable upcoming media-service-related activity at a media vending kiosk 216.
  • Management facility 102 may determine a potential activity of the user. As used herein, a “potential activity of the user” may refer to any activity that the user may foreseeably perform or may foreseeably be interested in performing. Management facility 102 may determine the potential activity in any suitable way, such as based on a user activity history. As used herein, a “user activity history” may include any information associated with past actions taken by a user of the media service. Such information may include information associated with past interactions of the user with the media service, including, for example, interactions such as marking media programs as being of interest to the user. The user may mark media programs as being of interest to the user in a variety of ways, including by directly indicating that the media programs are of interest to the user (e.g., by bookmarking media programs, tagging media programs as being of interest to the user, adding media programs to a personalized list, etc.).
  • Additionally or alternatively, the user activity history may include information about past actions performed by the user as part of normal day-to-day interaction with the media service and that may indirectly indicate that media programs are of interest to the user. For example, the user may add media programs to a virtual shopping cart, search for media programs, view information about media programs, rate media programs, consume media programs, rent or otherwise access media programs, and perform any other incidental interactions with media programs through with the media service.
  • In certain examples, user activity history information may additionally or alternatively include information associated with past actions taken by the user that are not directly associated with the media service, including, for example, actions such as creating calendaring events, creating task lists (e.g., “to-do” lists), traveling, shopping, and/or any other user actions for which information may be accessible for use by management facility 102.
  • To illustrate an example of determining a potential activity of a user based on a user activity history, management facility 102 may access the user activity history in user data 110 and determine that the user activity history indicates that the user recently initiated a search for “scary” movies. Based on this user activity history, management facility 102 may determine that a potential activity of the user may be to rent one or more horror movies from a media vending kiosk 216. In another example, management facility 102 may access, in any suitable manner, a to-do list created by the user and that includes an entry indicating that the user has a scheduled appointment at a doctor's office. Based on such information, management facility 102 may determine that a potential activity of the user may be to travel to the doctor's office by way of one or more potential routes.
  • To illustrate another example of determining a potential activity of a user based on a user activity history, management facility 102 may access the user activity history and determine, from a personalized list of media programs created by the user, a particular media program that has been marked by the user as being of interest to the user. Based on this determination, management facility 102 may determine that a potential activity of the user may include the user accessing the particular media program from a media vending kiosk 216.
  • To illustrate another example of determining a potential activity of a user based on a user activity history, management facility 102 may access the user activity history and determine a history of the user renting action movies. Based on this determination, management facility 102 may determine that a potential activity of the user may include the user accessing one or more action movies from a media vending kiosk 216.
  • Management facility 102 may determine an optimization associated with a determined potential activity of the user and a detected upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216. The optimization may be determined in any suitable way, including by management facility 102 determining that an optimization relationship exists between the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk and the potential activity of the user. As used herein, an “optimization relationship” may refer to any relationship between an upcoming trip by a user to a media vending kiosk and a potential activity of the user that may be leveraged by the user to optimize the upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk.
  • Management facility 102 may determine that an optimization relationship exists between an upcoming trip by a user to a media vending kiosk and a potential activity of the user in any suitable way. In certain examples, for instance, management facility 102 may maintain data representative of an optimization relationship determination heuristic that specifies one or more predefined criteria of an optimization relationship. Management facility 102 may compare one or more attributes of a detected upcoming trip of a user and one or more attributes of a determined potential activity of the user with the predefined criteria to determine whether there is a relationship between the upcoming trip and the potential activity of the user that satisfies the predefined criteria and thus qualifies as an optimization relationship.
  • The optimization relationship determination heuristic, which may be defined by a provider of the media service and/or customized by an end user of the media service, may specify any criteria to be satisfied for an optimization relationship to exist. The criteria may specify that an optimization relationship exists when a potential activity of a user may be performed by the user in conjunction with an upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216 in a manner that may produce an efficient use of the user's time and/or other resources. As an example, the criteria may specify that an optimization relationship exists when a potential activity of a user may be performed by the user at a media vending kiosk 216 (e.g., at a particular media vending kiosk 216 associated with the upcoming trip or at another media vending kiosk 216) during the upcoming trip. As another example, the criteria may specify that an optimization relationship exists when a potential activity of a user may be performed by the user within a geographic area that is within a predefined geographic proximity of a media vending kiosk 216 (e.g., within the same store, shopping complex, distance, etc. of a media vending kiosk 216). As another example, the criteria may specify that an optimization relationship exists when a potential activity of a user may be performed by the user en route to or from a media vending kiosk 216. Examples of specific optimizations and optimization relationships are described herein.
  • After management facility 102 determines an optimization associated with a potential activity of a user and an upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216, user interface facility 104 may provide, for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization. The user interface content may be configured to notify the user of the optimization in any suitable way. For example, the user interface content may include a notification provided in any GUI view that is provided for display by user interface facility 104, such as in a homepage view when a user first accesses a media service interface through user computing system 202, an information view, a media browse view, a pop-up window in a GUI view, and/or any other of GUI view associated with the media service. Additionally or alternatively, the notification may be provided as a text message, an email message, a social networking message, and/or any other form of communication. Examples of notifications of optimizations are provided herein.
  • In some examples, the optimization may be associated with facilitating access by the user to a media program during an upcoming trip to a media vending kiosk 216. As an example, management facility 102 may determine an upcoming trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216 based on, for example, an upcoming due date of a rented media program. In addition, management facility 102 may determine, based on a user activity history, that a potential activity of the user is for the user to access a media program that is of interest to the user. To facilitate access to the media program, management facility 102 may search the inventory of the media vending kiosk 216 to determine whether the media vending kiosk 216 currently contains the media program. If the media program is currently available at the media vending kiosk 216, management facility 102 may determine that the upcoming trip may be optimized by facilitating user access to the media program at the media vending kiosk 216 during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. User interface facility 104 may provide a notification, in any suitable manner, that the media program is currently available at the media vending kiosk 216. In certain examples, the notification may suggest that the user reserve a copy of the media program to be retrieved by the user during the upcoming trip.
  • To illustrate, FIG. 3 depicts a graphical user interface view 300 (“view 300”) that may be provided for display by user interface facility 104. View 300 may be provided for display on a display screen 302 that may be associated with user computing system 202. As seen in FIG. 3, the view 300 may include a notification 304 that informs the user of an optimization. Notification 304 may be provided as a pop-up window, as illustrated in FIG. 3, or in any other suitable manner.
  • In the illustrated example, the optimization indicated by notification 304 may be based on an optimization relationship between an upcoming trip by the user to a media vending kiosk 216 labeled “Trader Joes on Greary” based on a due date for the return of a media program titled “Media Program A” and an availability, at the media vending kiosk 216, of a media program titled “Media Program B” that is of interest to the user. Notification 304 may remind the user of the due date of Media Program A. Notification 304 may also inform the user that Media Program B is available for rental at the media vending kiosk 216 (e.g., that Media Program B has recently been returned to the media vending kiosk 216). Accordingly, notification 304 may recommend that the user rent Media Program B from the media vending kiosk 216 when the user returns Media Program A to the media vending kiosk 216. In certain examples, the displaying of notification 304 may be triggered by the determination of the optimization, which optimization may be created by the return of Media Program B to the media vending kiosk 216 and/or the determination that an optimization relationship exists between the upcoming the return of Media Program A to the media vending kiosk 216 and a potential rental of Media Program B from the media vending kiosk 216.
  • Notification 304 may be configured to prompt the user to reserve Media Program B for pickup at the media vending kiosk 216 during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. For example, notification 304 may include a “Reserve” icon 306 that may be selected by the user to reserve Media Program B to ensure that a physical copy of Media Program B will be available when the user returns Media Program A to the media vending kiosk 216. As illustrated in FIG. 3, notification 304 may also include timing information (e.g., “1 min ago”) indicating how long Media Program B has been available at the media vending kiosk 216.
  • In certain examples, the optimization may be associated with recommending that the user return a rented media program to a different media vending kiosk 216 than originally intended by the user. To illustrate, the user may have rented Media Program A from a media vending kiosk 216 and may intend to return Media Program A to the same media vending kiosk 216. In view of the upcoming due date for return of Media Program A, management facility 102 may search media vending kiosk inventories and identify one or more additional media vending kiosks 216 that currently contain Media Program B. Based on this identification, user interface facility 104 may provide, for display in any suitable manner, a recommendation that the user return Media Program A to any of a number of the additional media vending kiosks 216 that contain Media Program B. As an example, if Media Program B is not in the inventory of the media vending kiosk 216 located at “Trader Joes on Greary,” notification 304 may be modified to notify the user of the optimization and recommend that the user instead travel to another media vending kiosk 216 to return Media Program A and rent Media Program B.
  • In certain examples, the optimization may be associated with recommending a specific number of media programs for the user to rent during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. Management facility 102 may determine the specific number of media programs to recommend to the user in any suitable way. In some examples, management facility 102 may access kiosk data 212 and use information indicating how many media programs the user accessed from media vending kiosk 216 during a past trip to media vending kiosk 216 to select the specific number of media programs to recommend to the user for rental during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. Additionally or alternatively, management facility 102 may access kiosk data 112 and use information indicating an average number of media programs that the user typically rents from a media vending kiosk 216 during a given trip to a media vending kiosk 216 to select the specific number of media programs to recommend to the user for rental during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. Thus, in this or a similar manner, management facility 102 may determine a specific number of media programs to recommend to the user for rental during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216 based on past rental activities of the user indicated in a user activity history.
  • In certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to increment a determined past number of media programs typically rented during a visit to a media vending kiosk 216 by a predefined number to determine a specific number of media programs to recommend to the user for rental during the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk 216. For example, management facility 102 may recommend two or three media programs to the user if the user typically rents one media program at a time from a media vending kiosk 216. For another user that typically rents three media programs at a time from a media vending kiosk 216, management facility 102 may elect to recommend a higher number of media programs to the user (e.g., by recommending five media programs to the user, which may facilitate the user renting more than three media programs at a time). In this manner or a similar manner, management facility 102 may provide an appropriate number of options to the user (e.g., and avoid providing too few or too many options to the user) based on a rental history of the user while at the same time encouraging the user to increase the number of rentals compared to the user's typical per-kiosk-visit rental number.
  • User interface facility 104 may provide, for display in any suitable manner, a notification recommending the specific number media programs to the user to rent during an upcoming trip to a media vending kiosk 216. For example, such a notification may be provided for display in any user interface view, in a text message, and/or in an email message.
  • In certain examples, the optimization may be associated with a potential activity that may not be directly associated with a trip to a media vending kiosk, such as a potential activity that does not include interaction with a media vending kiosk 216. For example, the potential activity may be associated with a trip to a particular location (e.g., a store, a restaurant, a place of business, a transportation facility, a shopping mall, etc.). To illustrate, management facility 102 may determine that the user plans to go grocery shopping based on the user having marked such an event on a calendar. Management facility 102 may use this information to identify one or more media vending kiosks 216 located in a geographic proximity to a grocery store at which the planned grocery shopping activity may be performed (e.g., within a specific grocery store selected by the user or by management facility 102). Management facility 102 may then suggest an optimized trip to an identified media vending kiosk 216 that would allow the user to conveniently shop for groceries in close geographic proximity to the identified media vending kiosk 216.
  • In another example, management facility 102 may access, in a user activity history, data representative of historical travel patterns of the user to identify one or more potential activities of the user. To illustrate, management facility 102 may access, in any suitable manner, information associated with daily travel patterns of the user. Such information may include an indication that the user may travel to a particular train station during a daily commute of the user. Management facility 102 may use this information to identify one or more media vending kiosks 216 located in a geographic proximity to the train station (e.g., a media vending kiosk 216 located along a travel route to the train station or within the train station). Management facility 102 may then suggest an optimized trip to an identified media vending kiosk 216 that would allow the user to conveniently access the identified media vending kiosk 216 during the user's daily commute.
  • In certain examples, the optimization may be associated with a recommendation that the user go to a specific geographic location to conduct a potential activity. The specific geographic location may include a place of business (e.g., a store, a restaurant, a transportation facility, a shopping mall, etc.) associated with the potential activity and located within a predefined proximity of a geographic location of a media vending kiosk 216. Management facility 102 may suggest that the user go to the specific geographic location as opposed to a geographic location originally intended by the user based on an availability of one or more media programs at a particular media vending kiosk location. To illustrate, management facility 102 may determine that the user plans to go grocery shopping at a first grocery store. Management facility 102 may also determine that one or more media programs that are of interest to the user are currently available at a media vending kiosk 216 located in a geographic proximity of a second grocery store. Accordingly, management facility 102 may suggest, in any suitable manner, that the user go grocery shopping at the second grocery store instead of the first grocery store to facilitate access to the available one or more media programs to optimize a trip of the user to a media vending kiosk 216.
  • The exemplary optimization features as well as other features described herein may be provided to a user in any suitable way, including by providing information, notifications, suggestions, and/or recommendations configured to facilitate efficiencies in user interactions with one or more media vending kiosks 216. User interface facility 104 may provide such information, notifications, suggestions, and/or recommendations for display in one or more user interfaces.
  • To illustrate, FIG. 4 depicts a graphical user interface view 400 (“kiosk information view 400” or “view 400”) that may be provided by the user interface facility 104 for display on a display screen. In certain examples, user interface facility 104 may provide view 400 for display in response to a user selection of an “At the Box” menu icon 402 illustrated in FIG. 4. As seen in FIG. 4, view 400 may include a graphical depiction of a geographical map that includes kiosk icons 404 (e.g., kiosk icons 404-1 through 404-6) visually representing media vending kiosks 216 that are located within a geographic area represented by the map (e.g., media vending kiosks 216 located within a predefined geographic range of, for example, a zip code, a street address, a location of a particular media vending kiosk 216, or a current location of the user). The geographic area represented by the geographical map may be selected in any suitable manner. In certain examples, a location to be used to determine the geographic area may be selected by the user entering, for example, a zip code in a search section 406 illustrated in FIG. 4.
  • The scale of the geographical map provided in the view 400 may be adjusted with a slidable distance selector 408 (“selector 408”) that is configured to be slidably manipulated by the user. The user may slide (e.g., drag) selector 408 to the left or to the right in FIG. 4 to either decrease or increase a distance that a media vending kiosk 216 can be from a particular location such as the zip code entered in search section 406 and still be represented on the geographical map. In the example illustrated in FIG. 4, six media vending kiosks 216 are respectively represented by six kiosk icons 404 on the geographical map as a result of selector 408 indicating a range of up to ten miles from the “94118” zip code. A smaller number or a greater number of media vending kiosks 216 may be represented on the geographical map depending on the position of selector 408 and whether other media vending kiosks 216 are located within the range indicated by the position of selector 408. For example, if selector 408 indicates up to five miles from the specified zip code, less than six media vending kiosks 216 may be represented on the geographical map. Alternatively, if selector 408 indicates up to twenty miles from the specified zip code, more than six media vending kiosks may be represented on the geographical map depending on whether additional media ending kiosks 216 are located outside the ten mile range and within the twenty mile range. In certain implementations, user interface facility 104 may be configured to dynamically change the graphical representation of the geographical map in view 400 as selector 408 is slid to change the selected distance range for the geographical map.
  • In certain examples, user interface facility 104 may provide a listing of at least some of the media vending kiosks 216 that are represented by kiosk icons 404 on the geographical map. Such a listing may provide a convenient and intuitive way for the user to concurrently view kiosk icons 404 in a map format and information about the media vending kiosks 216 (e.g., street addresses of the media vending kiosks 216) in a list format. User interface facility 104 may provide a listing of media vending kiosks 216 for display on a display screen in any suitable manner. For example, FIG. 4 includes a listing section 410 that is provided for display in a pop-up window in view 400. Listing section 410 lists street addresses of at least some of the media vending kiosks 216
  • For one or more of the features described herein, management facility 102 may allow a user to designate settings to govern which media vending kiosks 216 will be considered by management facility 102 in relation to providing the features. For example, the user may designate, in any suitable way, a particular media vending kiosk 216 as a preferred media vending kiosk 216 of the user, and management facility 102 may use the designated media vending kiosk 216 to provide one or more of the features. In another example, the user may designate a geographic space (e.g., a geographic area within a user-selected distance of a location associated with the user, such as the user's current location, house, workplace, or preferred media vending kiosk 216) in any suitable way (e.g., by using selector 408 to adjust a radial distance of a geographic area), and management facility 102 may use the geographic space to identify one or more media vending kiosks within the geographic space to use to provide one or more of the features. Information indicating one or more preferred media vending kiosks 216 of the user may be included in a user activity history associated with the user.
  • In certain examples, listing section 410 may include a preferred kiosk indicator 412 that, when selected by the user, identifies a media vending kiosk 216 as a preferred media vending kiosk. Multiple media vending kiosks may be selected as preferred media vending kiosks of the user at a given time. In the example illustrated in FIG. 4, a media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1 and labeled “Trader Joes on Geary” is selected as a preferred kiosk as indicated by an attribute of the preferred kiosk indicator 412 (e.g., a heart icon is filled in). Based on this selection, user interface facility 104 may provide, for display in view 400, user interface content (e.g., information, notifications, suggestions, and/or recommendations, such as those described herein) configured to facilitate the user accessing media programs from the preferred media vending kiosk 216.
  • In certain examples, the user interface content may include one or more notifications regarding media programs accessible by way of kiosk system 214. Management facility 102 may be configured to provide such notifications as a default setting or only after a user has opted in to receiving such notifications. A notification may include one or more user selectable options configured to facilitate user discovery of and/or access to media programs (e.g., an option to reserve a media program). In certain examples, a notification may include providing one or more cover art image objects representing one or more media programs accessible at a media vending kiosk 216. As used herein, the term “cover art image object” may refer to any image or icon that represents a media program. Such an image or icon may include a thumbnail image of a cover of a physical copy of a media program, an image from a particular scene of, for example, a movie, or any other image or icon that may be used to represent the media program.
  • To illustrate, FIG. 4 shows an exemplary information fly-out window 414 that may be associated with the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1. In the example illustrated in FIG. 4, information fly-out window 414 includes cover art image objects 416 (e.g., cover art image objects 416-1 through 416-3) representing media programs that may be of interest to the user and that may be currently available at the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1. In the illustrated example, information fly-out window 414 includes three cover art image objects 416. The specific number of media programs represented in information fly-out window 414 may be determined by management facility 102 based on the user typically renting one media program at a time from a media vending kiosk 216, such as described herein.
  • In some examples, user interface facility 104 may emphasize a media vending kiosk 216 that contains a particular media program identified as being of interest to a user or that contains a higher number of media programs that are identified as being of interest to the user, as compared to the inventory of another media vending kiosk 216. For example, the media vending kiosk 216 may be emphasized by placing data representative of the media vending kiosk 216 in a prioritized manner on display screen 302. To illustrate, the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-5 in FIG. 4 may have a particular media program of interest to the user in inventory or may have a higher number of media programs of interest currently available than the other media vending kiosks 216. As such, an address of the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-5 may be prioritized as the first entry (e.g., on the top) in listing section 410. Additionally or alternatively, a media vending kiosk 216 may be associated with fly-out window 414 to prioritize the media vending kiosk 216 in view 400.
  • In certain examples, user interface facility 102 may be configured to provide, for display, notifications of media vending kiosk activity to a user. The media vending kiosk activity may include, but is not limited to, a media program return activity, a media program rental activity, a media program availability activity, and/or a promotional activity for a media program accessible through a media vending kiosk 216. The notifications of media vending kiosk activity may be provided in any suitable manner, such as by text message, email message, and/or for display on display screen 302. For example, user interface facility 104 may be configured to notify the user that a rented media program (e.g., a media program rented by the user or by another user) has been returned to a media vending kiosk 216. To illustrate, information fly-out window 414 in FIG. 4 includes a notification 418 that “Someone just returned Media Program B to this box!” Notification 418 provides an indication to the user that another user recently returned the media program titled Media Program B to the media vending kiosk 216 labeled “Trader Joes on Greary.”
  • In another example, a “Now Available” notification may be provided as an indication that a particular media program previously identified as being of interest to the user is available at a media vending kiosk 216. In another example, a “Newly-Released” notification may be provided as an indication that a media program has been newly released for distribution by the media vending kiosk system 214. Another example may include a “Coming Soon” notification indicating that a media program is scheduled for new release for distribution by the media vending kiosk system 214. In another example, a “Low Inventory” notification may be provided as an indication that there is low inventory of a media program at a media vending kiosk 216 (e.g., that there is only one copy of a media program left at a preferred media vending kiosk 216 of the user), etc.
  • In some examples, one or more notifications of media vending kiosk activity may be provided for display by user interface facility 104 at a given time. The notifications of media vending kiosk activity described herein are provided for illustrative purposes only. Other notifications of media vending kiosk activity may be provided in other implementations.
  • In certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to notify a user of a status of a media program accessible by way of a media vending kiosk 216 in kiosk system 214. The status of the media program may be provided in any suitable manner, such as by text message, email message, and/or by user interface facility 104 for display on display screen 302.
  • The status of the media program may be determined based on any information associated with the media program. For instance, management facility 102 may be configured to determine an age of a media program within kiosk system 214 (e.g., the length of time since the media program was introduced into the inventory of kiosk system 214) by accessing kiosk data 112. Management facility 102 may also determine rental activities for the media program by accessing kiosk data 112. If the media program reaches a predefined age (e.g., 90 days) in inventory that satisfies a predefined time threshold and has a rental rate (e.g., more than 10,000 rentals across all media vending kiosks 216 in kiosk system 214) that is high enough to satisfy a predetermined rental activity threshold (i.e., a popularity threshold), management facility 102 may detect this combination of attributes of the media program and notify the user in any suitable manner that the media program is getting old and is a popular rental. The notification may promote the media program to the user by suggesting that the user rent the media program before the media program is removed from the inventory of the kiosk system 214. In some examples, the notification may include providing a select order of media programs in a list of media programs presented in a user interface, with the aging, popular media program pushed to or toward the top of the list based on its status to make it more prevalent to the user.
  • In the example illustrated in FIG. 4, the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1 has been indicated as a preferred media vending kiosk 216 by the user. However, in certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to intelligently select a particular media vending kiosk 216 to recommend to the user and/or to represent in a user interface. To this end, management facility 102 may maintain a media vending kiosk selection heuristic that specifies conditions on which to base a selection of a media vending kiosk 216. The heuristic may specify any conditions that may be used by management facility 102 to select a particular media vending kiosk 216. For example, the conditions may include, without limitation, conditions related to a flow of user interface operations, user interface context, selection of a media program represented in a user interface, media programs currently rented by a user, media programs currently of interest to the user, inventory of media vending kiosks 216, user requests and/or searches for media programs, current location of a user, personalized media vending kiosk selection settings defined by a user of the media service (e.g., suitable distance settings, preferred travel routes, etc.), and/or any other suitable media vending kiosk selection conditions.
  • User interface facility 104 may provide, for display, user interface content representative of a selected media vending kiosk 216 for display in any suitable way, such as within the context of a geographical map that indicates a geographic location of the selected media vending kiosk 216 and/or highlights the selected media vending kiosk 216 compared to other media vending kiosks 216 represented on the geographical map, within a list of media vending kiosks 216, and/or in any other suitable way (see, e.g., FIG. 4). In some examples, the selected media vending kiosk 216 may be presented as a default media vending kiosk 216 in a user interface.
  • In certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to dynamically update the selected media vending kiosk 216 based on normal interaction of a user of the media service with a user interface. For example, management facility 102 may select and present a first media vending kiosk 216 as a default media vending kiosk 216 in a user interface. A user interacting with the user interface may provide input to select a particular media program. In response, management facility 102 may automatically update the selection of the default media vending kiosk 216 based on the user selection of the media program, such as by selecting and presenting a second media vending kiosk 216 as the default or emphasized media vending kiosk 216. The change in the selection of the default media vending kiosk 216 may be due at least in part to the selected media program being currently available at the second media vending kiosk 216 but not at the first media vending kiosk 216.
  • The presenting of the second media vending kiosk 216 as the default media vending kiosk 216 may include adjusting a geographical map view on which the default media vending kiosk 216 is represented, such as by animatedly moving the perspective view of the geographical map from the location of the first vending kiosk 216 to the location of the second vending kiosk 216. For example, the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-4 in FIG. 4 may be selected and focused in on as the default media vending kiosk 216. If the user selects a different media vending kiosk 216 in the list of media vending kiosks 216 presented in a user interface (e.g., in the listing section 410 shown in FIG. 4), the selected media vending kiosk 216 may be set to be the default media vending kiosk 216 and the geographical map may animatedly pan from the current location to a location associated with the selected media vending kiosk 216. In this manner, the list of media vending kiosks 216 may be used to navigate the geographical map.
  • In certain examples, user interface facility 104 may be configured to provide, for display, a listing of media programs that are accessible and/or currently available through a single media vending kiosk 216. The listing of media programs may be provided in any suitable manner. For example, information fly-out window 414 in FIG. 4 illustrates a “Browse Box” icon 420 that may be selected by the user to present a media program listing or browse view specific to, for example, the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1.
  • To illustrate, FIG. 5 is an exemplary media program listing view 500 (“view 500”) that may be provided for display by user interface facility 104 in response to a selection by the user of the “Browse Box” icon 420. As shown in FIG. 5, view 500 may include cover art image objects 502 (e.g., 502-1 through 502-4) representing media programs that may be currently available at the media vending kiosk 216 represented by kiosk icon 404-1. For example, cover art image object 502-1 represents a media program titled “Media Program C,” cover art image object 502-2 represents a media program titled “Media Program D,” cover art image object 502-3 represents a media program titled “Media Program E,” and cover art image object 502-4 represents a media program titled “Media Program F.” As shown in FIG. 5, view 500 may include a “Reserve” icon 504 that may be selected by the user to reserve a copy of, for example, the media program represented by the cover art image object 502-2.
  • In certain examples, management facility 102 may be configured to provide, for display, a proposed checkout cart populated with one or more media programs identified as being of interest to the user. The checkout cart may be provided in any suitable way. For example, the checkout cart may be provided in a pop-up window, in a separate user interface view, in a text message, and/or in an email message. In certain examples, management facility 102 may automatically pre-populate and propose a checkout cart that includes one or more media programs that are identified as being of interest to the user. Accordingly, the user may be able to simply confirm a reservation of the media programs in the checkout cart.
  • To illustrate, FIG. 5 includes a proposed checkout cart window 506 that may be presented to the user in response to a selection of the media vending kiosk 216 represented by the kiosk icon 404-1. In the example illustrated in FIG. 5, the proposed checkout cart window 506 is pre-populated with the media programs represented by cover art image objects 502-1, 502-3, and 502-4 that may be currently available at the media vending kiosk 216 and may be of interest to the user. The user may then be able to reserve the media programs represented by cover art image objects 502-1, 502-3, and 502-4 by selecting the “Reserve Selected” icon 508 illustrated in FIG. 5.
  • In certain examples, the listing of media programs that may be provided for display by user interface 104 may include media programs that are available at two or more media vending kiosks 216. For example, the user may select a “Browse All Nearby” icon 424 in FIG. 4 to view an inventory of all nearby media vending kiosks 216. Whether a media vending kiosk 216 corresponds to a nearby media vending kiosk 216 may be determined based on a setting of selector 408. As a result of a user selection of “Browse All Nearby” icon 424, user interface facility 104 may provide, for display, in a combined, single media program listing or browse view, a listing of the media programs currently available at all of the nearby media vending kiosks 216 (e.g., the media vending kiosks 216 represented by kiosk icons 404-1 through 404-6).
  • To illustrate, FIG. 6 shows an exemplary combined media program listing view 600 (“view 600”) that displays cover art image objects 602 (e.g., cover art image objects 602-1 through 602-4) representing media programs that may be currently available at all of the nearby media vending kiosks 216. As shown, the cover art image objects displayed in view 600 have been updated from those listed, for example in view 500, to include cover art image objects 602 representative of media programs currently available at all of the nearby media vending kiosks 216. In particular, the cover art image objects 602 displayed in view 600 have been updated to include cover art image objects 602-3 and 602-4, representative of media programs entitled “Media Program G” and “Media Program H”, respectively, which may be available at one or more of the nearby media vending kiosks 216 other than the media vending kiosk 216 labeled “Trader Joes on Greary.”
  • In certain examples, the user may be able to select a particular media program represented in the view 600 and discover the media vending kiosks 216 where that media program is currently available. For example, the user may select a “Find” icon 604 that is provided for display together with cover art image object 602-2 in FIG. 6. After selecting the “Find” icon 604, information may be presented to indicate one or more media vending kiosks 216 where the media program represented by cover art image object 602-2 is currently available. In certain examples, combined media program listing view 600 may display cover art image objects 602 representing media programs currently available from a subset of the nearby media vending kiosks (e.g., two or more preferred media vending kiosks 216 as opposed to all of the nearby media vending kiosks 216).
  • In certain examples, system 100 may provide one or more features and/or tools for use by a user to define parameters for an ideal visit to a media vending kiosk 216. System 100 may use the defined parameters to detect when conditions of the kiosk system 214 support the user-defined ideal visit to a media vending kiosk 216. In response to this detection, system 100 may perform one or more operations to facilitate the ideal visit and/or to otherwise optimize the experience of the user with the kiosk system 214.
  • To illustrate, a user may want to rent four specific media programs for consumption on a weekend. The user may define the specific media programs as parameters for an ideal visit to a media vending kiosk 216. System 100 may monitor for and detect when all four of the specific media programs are available for rental at a single media vending kiosk 216 and provide a notification (e.g., a text message, email message, or other form of notification) to inform the user that all four of the media programs are available at the media vending kiosk 216. The notification may include an option configured to be selected by the user (e.g., with a single click input or a reply text message or email message) to reserve the four media programs for pickup. For example, the notification may include or be part of a virtual shopping cart populated with the four media programs in response to the detection that all four of the media programs are available at the media vending kiosk 216. In other examples, system 100 may automatically reserve the four media programs in response to the detection that all four of the media programs are available at the media vending kiosk 216, without requiring further user input to make the reservation.
  • System 100 may provide one or more features and/or tools for use by the user to specify, along with the four media programs, additional parameters associated with an ideal visit to a media vending kiosk 216. As an example, the user may define a concentration parameter for the ideal visit, such as by providing input indicating that the user is willing to make a trip to a media vending kiosk 216 when a specific number (e.g., all four or any three) of the four media programs and/or specific subset of the four media programs are available at a media vending kiosk, As another example, the user may define a location parameter for the ideal visit, such as by providing input indicating that the user is willing to pick up the media programs at a media vending kiosk 216 that is within a certain geographic area (e.g., within a five-mile radius of the current location of the user or a zip code associated with the user). As another example, the user may define a time/date parameter for the ideal visit, such as by providing input indicating a target pickup date or date range, as well as input indicating that the user is willing to pick up the media programs at a media vending kiosk 216 within a certain number of days of the target date (e.g., up to one day earlier than the start of the weekend).
  • These parameters are illustrative only. System 100 may provide features and/or tools configured for use by the user to define any suitable set of parameters for an ideal visit to a media vending kiosk 216, and system 100 may be configured to monitor conditions of the kiosk system 214 and inform the user when the conditions are such that the defined parameters are satisfied such that the ideal visit is available to the user.
  • FIGS. 7-8 illustrate exemplary methods 700-800 for providing user interface features associated with distribution of media programs by way of a network of media vending kiosks according to principles described herein. While FIGS. 7-8 illustrate exemplary steps according to certain embodiments, other embodiments may omit, add to, reorder, combine, and/or modify any of the steps shown in FIGS. 7-8. In certain embodiments, one or more of the steps shown in FIGS. 7-8 may be performed by system 100 and/or one or more components or implementations of system 100.
  • Turning to method 700 illustrated in FIG. 7, in step 702, a system (e.g., system 100) detects an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk, such as described herein.
  • In step 704, the system determines a potential activity of the user, such as described herein. For example, the system may determine the potential activity based on a user activity history in any of the ways described herein.
  • In step 706, the system determines an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk. Step 706 may be performed in any of the ways described herein, including by the system 100 determining that an optimization relationship exists between the upcoming trip and the potential activity of the user, such as described herein.
  • In step 708, the system provides user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization, such as described herein. The user interface content may be provided for display by the system in any suitable manner. For example, system 100 may provide the user interface content for display on a display screen.
  • Turning to the method 800 illustrated in FIG. 8, in step 802, a system (e.g., system 100) detects an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk, such as described herein.
  • In step 804, the system determines a potential activity of the user, such as described herein. For example, the system may determine the potential activity based on a user activity history in any of the ways described herein.
  • In step 806, the system determines an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk. Step 806 may be performed in any of the ways described herein, including by the system 100 determining that an optimization relationship exists between the upcoming trip and the potential activity of the user, such as described herein.
  • In step 808, the system provides user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization and recommend that the user go to a specific geographic location to conduct the potential activity, such as described herein. The user interface content may be provided for display by the system in any suitable manner. For example, system 100 may provide the user interface content for display on a display screen.
  • In certain embodiments, one or more of the components and/or processes described herein may be implemented and/or performed by one or more appropriately configured computing devices. To this end, one or more of the systems and/or components described above may include or be implemented as one or more computing systems and/or components by any computer hardware, computer-implemented instructions (e.g., software) embodied in a non-transitory computer-readable medium, or combinations of computer-implemented instructions and hardware, configured to execute one or more of the processes described herein. In particular, system components may be implemented on one physical computing device or may be implemented on more than one physical computing device. Accordingly, system components may include any number of physical computing devices, and may employ any of a number of computer operating systems.
  • In certain embodiments, one or more of the processes described herein may be implemented at least in part as instructions embodied in a non-transitory computer-readable medium and executable by one or more computing devices. In general, a processor (e.g., a microprocessor) receives instructions, from a non-transitory computer-readable medium, (e.g., a memory, etc.), and executes those instructions, thereby performing one or more processes, including one or more of the processes described herein. Such instructions may be stored and/or transmitted using any of a variety of known computer-readable media.
  • A computer-readable medium (also referred to as a processor-readable medium) includes any non-transitory medium that participates in providing data (e.g., instructions) that may be read by a computer (e.g., by a processor of a computer). Such a medium may take many forms, including, but not limited to, non-volatile media and/or volatile media. Non-volatile media may include, for example, optical or magnetic disks and other persistent memory. Volatile media may include, for example, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which typically constitutes a main memory. Common forms of computer-readable media include, for example, a floppy disk, flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, any other magnetic medium, a Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (CD-ROM), DVD, any other optical medium, a Random-Access Memory (RAM), a Programmable ROM (PROM), an Erasable PROM (EPROM), a Flash Electrically EPROM (FLASH-EEPROM), any other memory chip or cartridge, or any other tangible medium from which a computer may read.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary computing device 900 that may be configured to perform one or more of the processes described herein. As shown in FIG. 9, computing device 900 may include a communication interface 902, a processor 904, a storage device 906, and an input/output (I/O) module 908 communicatively connected by way of a communication infrastructure 910. While an exemplary computing device 900 is shown in FIG. 9, the components illustrated in FIG. 9 are not intended to be limiting. Additional or alternative components may be used in other embodiments. Components of computing device 900 shown in FIG. 9 will now be described in additional detail.
  • Communication interface 902 may be configured to communicate with one or more computing devices. Examples of communication interface 902 include, without limitation, a wired network interface (such as a network interface card), a wireless network interface (such as a wireless network interface card), a modem, and any other suitable interface. In at least one embodiment, communication interface 902 may provide a direct connection between system 100 and one or more of provisioning systems by way of a direct link to a network, such as the Internet. Communication interface 902 may additionally or alternatively provide such a connection through, for example, a local area network (such as an Ethernet network), a personal area network, a telephone or cable network, a satellite data connection, a dedicated URL, or any other suitable connection. Communication interface 902 may be configured to interface with any suitable communication media, protocols, and formats, including any of those mentioned above.
  • Processor 904 generally represents any type or form of processing unit capable of processing data or interpreting, executing, and/or directing execution of one or more of the instructions, processes, and/or operations described herein. Processor 904 may direct execution of operations in accordance with one or more applications 912 or other computer-executable instructions such as may be stored in storage device 906 or another computer-readable medium.
  • Storage device 906 may include one or more data storage media, devices, or configurations and may employ any type, form, and combination of data storage media and/or device. For example, storage device 906 may include, but is not limited to, a hard drive, network drive, flash drive, magnetic disc, optical disc, random access memory (RAM), dynamic RAM (DRAM), other non-volatile and/or volatile data storage units, or a combination or sub-combination thereof. Electronic data, including data described herein, may be temporarily and/or permanently stored in storage device 906. For example, data representative of one or more executable applications 912 (which may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the software applications described herein) configured to direct processor 904 to perform any of the operations described herein may be stored within storage device 906. In some examples, data may be arranged in one or more databases residing within storage device 906.
  • I/O module 908 may be configured to receive user input and provide user output and may include any hardware, firmware, software, or combination thereof supportive of input and output capabilities. For example, I/O module 908 may include hardware and/or software for capturing user input, including, but not limited to, a keyboard or keypad, a touch screen component (e.g., touch screen display), a receiver (e.g., an RF or infrared receiver), and/or one or more input buttons.
  • I/O module 908 may include one or more devices for presenting output to a user, including, but not limited to, a graphics engine, a display (e.g., a display screen, one or more output drivers (e.g., display drivers), one or more audio speakers, and one or more audio drivers. In certain embodiments, I/O module 908 is configured to provide graphical data to a display for presentation to a user. The graphical data may be representative of one or more graphical user interfaces and/or any other graphical content as may serve a particular implementation.
  • In some examples, any of the systems and/or facilities described herein may be implemented by or within one or more components of computing device 900. For example, one or more applications 912 residing within storage device 906 may be configured to direct processor 904 to perform one or more processes or functions associated with system 100 or any components thereof.
  • To the extent the aforementioned embodiments collect, store, and/or employ personal information provided by individuals (or other entities), it should be understood that such information shall be used in accordance with all applicable laws concerning protection of personal information. Additionally, the collection, storage, and use of such information may be subject to consent of the individual to such activity, for example, through well known “opt-in” or “opt-out” processes as may be appropriate for the situation and type of information. Storage and use of personal information may be in an appropriately secure manner reflective of the type of information, for example, through various encryption and anonymization techniques for particularly sensitive information.
  • In the preceding description, various exemplary implementations have been described with reference to the accompanying drawings. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto, and additional implementations may be provided, without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims that follow. For example, certain features of one implementation described herein may be combined with or substituted for features of another implementation described herein. The description and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.

Claims (21)

What is claimed is:
1. A method comprising:
detecting, by a media service system, an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk at which physical copies of a plurality of media programs are distributed;
determining, by the media service system based on a user activity history, a potential activity of the user;
determining, by the media service system, an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk; and
providing, by the media service system for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein:
the user activity history includes information indicating how many media programs the user accessed from the media vending kiosk during a past trip to the media vending kiosk; and
the user interface content includes a notification recommending, to the user, a number of the plurality of media programs available at the media vending kiosk, the number of the plurality of media program selected based on how many media programs the user accessed from the media vending kiosk during the past trip to the media vending kiosk.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein:
the detecting of the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk comprises detecting an upcoming due date for return of a rented media program to the media vending kiosk;
the user activity history includes information indicating an additional media program identified as being of interest to the user; and
the user interface content includes a notification recommending that the user rent the additional media program identified as being of interest to the user from the media vending kiosk when the user returns the rented media program to the media vending kiosk.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein:
the detecting of the upcoming trip to the media vending kiosk comprises detecting an upcoming due date for return of a rented media program to the media vending kiosk;
the user activity history includes information indicating an additional media program identified as being of interest to the user; and
the user interface content includes a notification recommending that the user return the rented media program to an additional media vending kiosk instead of the media vending kiosk based on the additional media program identified as being of interest to the user being available at the additional media vending kiosk.
5. The method of claim 4, further comprising prioritizing, by the media service system for display in a kiosk information view on the display screen, a presentation of information related to the additional media vending kiosk in the kiosk information view based on the additional media program identified as being of interest to the user being available at the additional media vending kiosk.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining of the optimization includes determining that an optimization relationship exists between the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk and the potential activity of the user.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein the determining that the optimization relationship exists includes determining an availability of an additional media program that is of interest to the user at the media vending kiosk.
8. The method of claim 6, wherein the determining that the optimization relationship exists includes determining that the potential activity of the user is associated with a geographic area that is within a predefined proximity of a geographic location of the media vending kiosk.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the user interface content includes a notification recommending that the user conduct the potential activity at a specific geographic location that is within the geographic area.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the user activity history includes information indicating that the media vending kiosk is a preferred media vending kiosk of the user.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein:
the user activity history includes information indicating an additional preferred media vending kiosk of the user; and
the method further comprises providing, by the media service system for concurrent display in a kiosk information view on the display screen, information indicating an inventory of the preferred media vending kiosk and the additional preferred media vending kiosk.
12. The method of claim 1, further comprising providing, by the media service system for display in a kiosk information view on the display screen, a slidable user-selectable distance selector that is configured to be slidably manipulated by the user to indicate a maximum geographic distance that an additional media vending kiosk can be from the media vending kiosk and still be represented on a geographical map provided for display in the kiosk information view.
13. The method of claim 1, wherein:
the user activity history includes information indicating an additional media program identified as being of interest to the user; and
the user interface content includes a proposed checkout cart populated with the additional media program identified as being of interest to the user.
14. The method of claim 1, further comprising providing, by the media service system to the user, a notification of kiosk activity that includes at least one of:
a notification that a media program has been returned to the media vending kiosk by another user;
a notification that a media program identified as being of interest to the user is now available at the media vending kiosk; and
a notification that there is a low inventory of a media program at the media vending kiosk.
15. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
determining, by the media service system, that a media program included in the plurality of media programs has been available at the media vending kiosk for a length of time satisfying a predefined time threshold;
determining, by the media service system, that the media program has a popularity satisfying a predefined popularity threshold; and
providing, by the media service system in response to the determining that the media program has been available at the media vending kiosk for the length of time satisfying the predefined time threshold and the determining that the media program has the popularity satisfying the predefined popularity threshold, a notification of a status of the media program for display on the display screen.
16. The method of claim 1, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.
17. A method comprising:
detecting, by a media service system, an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk at which physical copies of a plurality of media programs are distributed;
determining, by the media service system based on a user activity history, a potential activity of the user;
determining, by the media service system, an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk; and
providing, by the media service system and for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization and recommend that the user go to a specific geographic location to conduct the potential activity.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the determining of the potential activity of the user includes accessing information included in a calendar associated with the user.
19. The method of claim 17, wherein the specific geographic location includes a place of business associated with the potential activity and located within a predefined proximity of a geographic location of the media vending kiosk.
20. The method of claim 17, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.
21. A system comprising:
a physical computer processor;
a kiosk feature management facility that directs the physical computer processor to
detect an upcoming trip of a user to a media vending kiosk at which physical copies of a plurality of media programs are distributed,
determine, based on a user activity history, a potential activity of the user, and
determine an optimization associated with the potential activity of the user and the upcoming trip of the user to the media vending kiosk; and
a user interface facility that directs the physical computer processor to
provide, for display on a display screen, user interface content configured to notify the user of the optimization.
US14/141,945 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Systems and Methods for Providing User Interface Features Associated with Distribution of Media Programs by Way of a Network of Media Vending Kiosks Abandoned US20150019332A1 (en)

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US14/142,003 Active 2035-09-07 US9794631B2 (en) 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Systems and methods for facilitating planning of a future media consumption session by a user of a media program distribution service
US14/141,945 Abandoned US20150019332A1 (en) 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Systems and Methods for Providing User Interface Features Associated with Distribution of Media Programs by Way of a Network of Media Vending Kiosks
US14/141,984 Active US9129656B2 (en) 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Theme-based methods and systems for shifting between user interface views associated with a media service
US14/142,018 Active 2035-05-04 US10110960B2 (en) 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Methods and systems for facilitating media-on-demand-based channel changing
US14/141,895 Active 2034-03-29 US10206004B2 (en) 2013-07-15 2013-12-27 Systems and methods of providing a media-on-demand-based programming channel
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US20150019968A1 (en) 2015-01-15
US20150016800A1 (en) 2015-01-15
US9378770B2 (en) 2016-06-28
US9794631B2 (en) 2017-10-17
US9558788B2 (en) 2017-01-31
US9129656B2 (en) 2015-09-08
US10206004B2 (en) 2019-02-12
US20150020091A1 (en) 2015-01-15
US10110960B2 (en) 2018-10-23

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