WO2009096978A1 - Card-based radio devices - Google Patents

Card-based radio devices Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009096978A1
WO2009096978A1 PCT/US2008/052667 US2008052667W WO2009096978A1 WO 2009096978 A1 WO2009096978 A1 WO 2009096978A1 US 2008052667 W US2008052667 W US 2008052667W WO 2009096978 A1 WO2009096978 A1 WO 2009096978A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
card
radio device
based radio
configured
based
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2008/052667
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Bart M. Downing
Original Assignee
Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. filed Critical Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Priority to PCT/US2008/052667 priority Critical patent/WO2009096978A1/en
Publication of WO2009096978A1 publication Critical patent/WO2009096978A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1633Constructional details or arrangements of portable computers not specific to the type of enclosures covered by groups G06F1/1615 - G06F1/1626
    • G06F1/1684Constructional details or arrangements related to integrated I/O peripherals not covered by groups G06F1/1635 - G06F1/1675
    • G06F1/1698Constructional details or arrangements related to integrated I/O peripherals not covered by groups G06F1/1635 - G06F1/1675 the I/O peripheral being a sending/receiving arrangement to establish a cordless communication link, e.g. radio or infrared link, integrated cellular phone
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1615Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers with several enclosures having relative motions, each enclosure supporting at least one I/O or computing function
    • G06F1/1616Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers with several enclosures having relative motions, each enclosure supporting at least one I/O or computing function with folding flat displays, e.g. laptop computers or notebooks having a clamshell configuration, with body parts pivoting to an open position around an axis parallel to the plane they define in closed position
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1632External expansion units, e.g. docking stations
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1633Constructional details or arrangements of portable computers not specific to the type of enclosures covered by groups G06F1/1615 - G06F1/1626
    • G06F1/1656Details related to functional adaptations of the enclosure, e.g. to provide protection against EMI, shock, water, or to host detachable peripherals like a mouse or removable expansions units like PCMCIA cards, or to provide access to internal components for maintenance or to removable storage supports like CDs or DVDs, or to mechanically mount accessories

Abstract

A card-based radio device including an outer housing that defines an outer surface, a user interface integrated with the outer surface of the outer housing, and a radio tuner provided within the outer housing, the radio tuner being configured to receive radio signals, wherein the card-based radio is configured to fit within a card slot of a host computer.

Description

CARD-BASED RADIO DEVICES

BACKGROUND

[001] Although radio is an old technology, many people now access radio programming in new ways. One such way is listening to the radio using a desktop or laptop computer. For example, people often listen to streaming radio transmissions over the Internet, sometimes referred to as Internet radio.

[002] Although Internet radio is desirable from the standpoint of enabling persons to listen to radio programming without the need for a separate radio, Internet radio undesirably consumes network bandwidth that could be used for other purposes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[003] The disclosed card-based radio devices can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale. [004] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a computer and a card-based radio device that can be used in conjunction with the computer. [005] FIG. 2 is a top view of a first example embodiment of a card-based radio device. [006] FIG. 3 is a top view of a second example embodiment of a card-based radio device. [007] FIG. 4 is a top view of a third example embodiment of a card-based radio device. [008] FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an example architecture for a card-based radio device.

[009] FIG. 6A illustrates a first example of use of a card-based radio device.

[0010] FIG. 6B illustrates a second example of use of a card-based radio device. [0011] FIG. 7 is a front view of a fourth example embodiment of a card-based radio device. [0012] FIG. 8 is a front view of a fifth example embodiment of a card-based radio device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] As is described above, although it may be convenient to listen to the radio using a desktop or laptop computer, the streaming of radio programming undesirably consumes network bandwidth. As described in the following, however, such radio programming can be listened to using a computer without consuming network bandwidth when a card-type radio device is used. In some embodiments, the radio device is configured to slide into an external card slot provided on the computer such that radio signals captured by the device can be played on computer's speakers. In some embodiments, the radio device comprises a user interface and its own power source such that the radio device can also be used as a radio independent of the computer.

[0014] Referring now in more detail to the drawings, in which like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 illustrates a card-based radio device 100 that is adapted for use with a host computer 102, such as a notebook or laptop computer. More particularly, the radio device 100 is adapted to be received within an external card slot 106 of the computer. In some embodiments, both the radio device 100 and the card slot 106 comply with standards established by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA). For example, the radio device 100 and the card slot 106 may be configured in accordance with the PC Card or ExpressCard standards. Although the computer 102 is illustrated in FIG. 1 as comprising a laptop computer, it is noted that the computer could comprise a desktop or terminal computer. Furthermore, the computer 102 could alternatively comprise a handheld computer, such as a personal digital assistant (PDA), tablet computer, portable gaming unit, or mobile telephone, assuming it is equipped to receive the radio device 100.

[0015] FIGs. 2-4 illustrate example embodiments of a card-based radio device of the type described above. Beginning with FIG. 2, illustrated is a card- based radio device 200 having the dimensions of a PC Card (54 mm x 85.6 mm). As indicated in FIG. 2, the radio device 200 comprises an outer housing 202 that includes a generally planar outer surface 204. Integrated into the surface 204 is a user interface 206 that includes a display 208 and one or more buttons 210. In some embodiments, the display 208 comprises a liquid crystal display. Irrespective of its type, the display 208 is used to present information to the user relevant to the operation and control of the radio device 200. For example, the display 208 may identify a frequency to which the radio device 200 is currently tuned and a volume level to which the radio device is currently set.

[0016] The buttons 210 include, for example, tuning buttons 212 and volume buttons 214 that are used to control radio tuning and audio volume, respectively. As indicated in FIG. 2, the tuning buttons 212 may comprise left and right arrows or indicators and the volume buttons 214 may comprise up and down arrows or indicators.

[0017] Notably, both the display 208 and the buttons 210 are substantially flush with the surface 204 such that they do not protrude to a significant degree, or at all, beyond a plane in which the surface lies. Such a configuration enables the radio device 200 to slide unobstructed into a card slot of a host computer (e.g., slot 106 in FIG. 1). In some embodiments, the buttons 210 comprise capacitive switches such that the buttons can be completely flush with the surface 204.

[0018] It is further noted that, although the user interface 206 has been described and illustrated as comprising both a display 208 and buttons 210, buttons may not be necessary in cases in which the display is touch sensitive and therefore can be used to receive and register user inputs or selections.

FIGs. 3 and 4 illustrate card-based radio devices 300 and 400 having alternative dimensions relative to radio device 200. In particular, the radio device 300 has the dimensions of the ExpressCard/54 standard (54 mm x 75 mm) and the radio device 400 has the dimensions of the ExpressCard/34 standard (34 mm x 75 mm). Like the radio device 200, the radio devices 300 and 400 each comprise an outer housing 302, 402 that includes a generally planar surface 304, 404 into which is integrated a user interface 306, 406 that includes a display 308, 408 and one or more buttons 310, 410. As with the radio device 200, the display 308, 408 and the buttons 310, 410 are substantially flush with the surface 304, 404.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating an example architecture for a card-based radio device 500 of the type described in the foregoing. It is noted that the block diagram presents the radio device 500 in a simplified form for purposes of facilitating discussion of its overall operation. Therefore, the radio device 500 may comprise components not identified in FIG. 5. Furthermore, it is noted that the configuration and components shown in FIG. 5 are merely exemplary and that alternative arrangements are possible.

[0020] As is indicated in FIG. 5, the radio device 500 generally comprises a processing device 502, memory 504, a user interface 506, a radio module 508, an audio processor 510, and an internal power source 512. The processing device 502 is adapted to execute instructions stored within its own memory and/or within memory 504 to control the operation of the radio device 500, and can comprise a microprocessor and/or or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The memory 504 comprises any one or a combination of volatile memory elements (e.g., random access memory (RAM)) and nonvolatile memory elements (e.g., read-only memory (ROM), flash memory). As indicated above, the memory 504 can store instructions that are used to control operation of the radio device 500. Such instructions may be considered to comprise what may be called an operating system of the radio device 500. Alternatively or in addition, the memory 504 can store data that can be used during radio device operation (e.g., digital audio files).

[0021] The user interface 506 enables users to interact with and control the radio device 500. As described in the foregoing, the user interface 506 can, at least in some embodiments, include a display and one or more buttons.

[0022] The radio module 508 comprises the hardware with which radio signals are received. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the radio module 508 includes a frequency modulation (FM) tuner 514 and an amplitude modulation (AM) tuner 516 that receive FM and AM radio transmissions, respectively. Notably, however, the radio module 508 can instead comprise only the FM tuner 514. In other embodiments, the radio module 508 can alternatively or additionally include a high definition (HD) radio tuner. To assist the radio module 508 in receiving radio signals, of whatever nature, the radio device 500 can include an internal antenna 518. In alternative embodiments, however, the antenna 518 can be partially or completely external to the radio device 500. For example, the radio device 500 can be sized and configured such that a portion of the device extends beyond the opening of a computer's card slot in which it is inserted such that the antenna can extend outside of the computer.

[0023] The audio processor 510 processes the audio signals received by the radio module 508 for output through one or both of a card interface 520 and an audio output jack 522. By way of example, the card interface 520 comprises a PC Card interface or an ExpressCard interface. By further way of example, the output jack 522 comprises a universal serial bus (USB) connector. When the radio device 500 is used in conjunction with a host computer, however, the audio signals can be output from the radio device to the computer via the card interface 520. When the radio device 500 is used independent of a computer, the audio signals can be transmitted from the radio device to headphones, earphones, or independent speakers via the output jack 522.

Finally, the power source 512 powers various components of the radio device 500. In some embodiments, the power source 512 comprises a disposable battery. In other embodiments, the power source 512 comprises a rechargeable battery. In the latter case, the power source 512 can be automatically charged when it is connected to a host computer.

[0024] Various logic has been described above in relation to FIG. 5. It is noted that the logic can be stored on any computer-readable medium for use by or in connection with any computer-related system or method. In the context of this document, a computer-readable medium is an electronic, magnetic, optical, or other physical device or means that contains or stores instructions for use by or in connection with a computer or a computer-like device.

[0025] Referring next to FIGS. 6A and 6B, illustrated are first and second examples of use of a card-based radio device 600. Beginning with FIG. 6A, the radio device 600 is shown fully inserted within card slot 602 of a host computer 604. As is apparent in FIG. 6A, substantially no portion of the radio device 600 protrudes from the slot 602 or the side of the computer 604 in which the slot 602 is provided. As described above, however, a portion of the radio device 600 could extend beyond the opening of the slot 602 if it is desired to accommodate an external antenna.

[0026] Once the radio device 600 has been inserted within the card slot 602 and has been detected by the computer 604 (e.g., by its operating system), an audio player application that executes on the computer can be used to control operation of the radio device, including adjusting the tuning and volume of the device. The audio player application is identified in FIG. 6A by a window 606 that is presented in a display 608 of the computer 604. Audio signals related to radio transmissions received by the radio device 600 can then be output by speakers 610 of the computer 604.

[0027] Turning to FIG. 6B, the card-based radio device 600 has been removed from the computer 604 so that it may be used as a portable personal radio. In particular, due to the provision of the internal power source and the integrated user interface, a user can control the radio device 600 to receive radio transmissions and output them to earphones 610 that connect to the output jack of the radio device. FIGs. 7 and 8 illustrate alternative user interfaces for card-based radio devices. In FIG. 7, a card-based radio device 700 includes a display 702 with a multi-direction button 704 and a select button 706. Such an interface may be particularly desirable to support menu-driven control. In FIG. 8, a card-based radio device 800 includes a display 802 with a wheel-type control 804 and a select button 806. Again, such an interface may be particularly desirable to support menu-driven control.

Claims

CLAIMSClaimed are:
1. A card-based radio device comprising: an outer housing that defines an outer surface; a user interface integrated with the outer surface of the outer housing, the user interface being configured to receive user commands that control operation of the card-based radio device; and a radio tuner provided within the outer housing, the radio tuner being configured to receive radio signals; wherein the card-based radio is configured to fit within a card slot of a host computer.
2. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , wherein the user interface comprises a display and at least one button.
3. The card-based radio device of claim 2, wherein the display and at least one button are substantially flush with the outer surface so as to enable insertion of the card-based radio device into the card slot.
4. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , wherein the radio tuner comprises a frequency modulation (FM) tuner.
5. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , wherein the card-based radio device is configured to be received by a PC Card slot of the host computer.
6. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , wherein the card-based radio device is configured to be received by an ExpressCard slot of the host computer.
7. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , further comprising an internal power source contained within the outer housing.
8. The card-based radio device of claim 7, wherein the power source comprises a disposable battery.
9. The card-based radio device of claim 7, wherein the power source comprises a rechargeable battery.
10. The card-based radio device of claim 1, further comprising a card interface with which the card-based radio device communicates with the host computer.
11. The card-based radio device of claim 1 , further comprising a output jack configured to receive a connector of headphones or earphones.
12. A card-based radio device comprising: an outer housing that defines an outer surface; a user interface integrated with the outer surface of the outer housing, the user interface being configured to receive user commands that control operation of the card-based radio device; a frequency modulation (FM) radio tuner provided within the outer housing, the radio tuner being configured to receive FM radio signals; a power source provided within the outer housing, the power source configured to power the user interface and the radio tuner; a card interface with which the card-based radio device can communicate with a host computer; and an output jack configured to receive a connector of headphones or earphones; wherein the card-based radio is configured to fit within a PC Card or ExpressCard card slot of the host computer.
13. The card-based radio device of claim 12, wherein the user interface comprises a display and at least one button.
14. The card-based radio device of claim 13, wherein the display and at least one button are substantially flush with the outer surface so as to enable insertion of the card-based radio device into the card slot.
15. The card-based radio device of claim 12, wherein the power source comprises a disposable battery.
16. The card-based radio device of claim 12, wherein the power source comprises a rechargeable battery.
17. A system comprising: a host computer having an external card slot and speakers; and a card-based radio device configured to be received within the external card slot, the card-based radio device including an outer housing that defines an outer surface, a user interface integrated with the outer surface of the outer housing, the user interface being configured to receive user commands that control operation of the card-based radio device when the card-based radio device is used independent of the host computer, a radio tuner provided within the outer housing, the radio tuner being configured to receive radio signals, and an internal power source that powers the card-based radio device; wherein the card-based radio device is configured communicate radio signals to the host computer for output by the speakers of the host computer when the card-based radio device is received within the external card slot.
18. The system of claim 17, wherein the host computer is a laptop computer.
19. The system of claim 17, wherein the user interface of the card- based radio device comprises a display and at least one button, both of which are substantially flush with the outer surface of the outer housing of the card- based radio device so as to enable insertion of the card-based radio device into the card slot.
20. The system of claim 17, wherein the card slot is a PC Card card slot or an ExpressCard card slot.
PCT/US2008/052667 2008-01-31 2008-01-31 Card-based radio devices WO2009096978A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/US2008/052667 WO2009096978A1 (en) 2008-01-31 2008-01-31 Card-based radio devices

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/US2008/052667 WO2009096978A1 (en) 2008-01-31 2008-01-31 Card-based radio devices

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2009096978A1 true WO2009096978A1 (en) 2009-08-06

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PCT/US2008/052667 WO2009096978A1 (en) 2008-01-31 2008-01-31 Card-based radio devices

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Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH0916491A (en) * 1995-06-27 1997-01-17 Seiko Instr Inc Information terminal system
US5628055A (en) * 1993-03-04 1997-05-06 Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson Publ Modular radio communications system
WO1997049194A1 (en) * 1996-06-19 1997-12-24 Proxim, Inc. Connectorized antenna for wireless lan pcmcia card radios
KR20010035360A (en) * 2001-02-06 2001-05-07 임하진 Mobile computer with versatile functions usable during move
JP2004326332A (en) * 2003-04-23 2004-11-18 Denso Corp Pc card connecting device
WO2006015143A2 (en) * 2004-07-28 2006-02-09 Newton Peripherals, Llc Peripheral devices for portable computer

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5628055A (en) * 1993-03-04 1997-05-06 Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson Publ Modular radio communications system
JPH0916491A (en) * 1995-06-27 1997-01-17 Seiko Instr Inc Information terminal system
WO1997049194A1 (en) * 1996-06-19 1997-12-24 Proxim, Inc. Connectorized antenna for wireless lan pcmcia card radios
KR20010035360A (en) * 2001-02-06 2001-05-07 임하진 Mobile computer with versatile functions usable during move
JP2004326332A (en) * 2003-04-23 2004-11-18 Denso Corp Pc card connecting device
WO2006015143A2 (en) * 2004-07-28 2006-02-09 Newton Peripherals, Llc Peripheral devices for portable computer

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