The present application is a continuation-in-part application to U.S. application Ser. No. 09/767,587, entitled “A Wireless Mobile Phone With Morse Code and Related Capabilities”, and filed on Jan. 22, 2001
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OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the field of wireless mobile phones. More specifically, the present invention relates to complementary features that enhance the usability of wireless mobile phones.
2. Background Information
Advances in integrated circuit and telecommunication technology have led to the development and wide spread adoption of wireless mobile client devices, in particular, wireless mobile telephones. Wireless mobile phones offer the advantage of enabling their users to be communicatively reachable by their business associates, friends and family members, wherever the users may be, as long as they are within the reach of the service networks. Thus, even non-professionals are increasingly dependent on their wireless mobile phones to meet their communication needs.
With increased usage and reliance, often times, wireless mobile phone users would find themselves in the dilemma of having to engage in potentially sensitive conversations in a setting that is less than desirable, privacy-wise. For examples, a user may find himself/herself having to engage in an urgent personal or business conversation at a bus stop while waiting for the next bus, or at an airport terminal while waiting to board his/her flight. Under the prior art, a user may have to elect to continue the private/sensitive conversation in a less than private manner, switch to another form of communication, such as email, or delay the communication. Each of these options has disadvantages. Electing to proceed with the conversation in a less than private manner may unduly expose private/sensitive information to the public. Switching communication form is inconvenient. That is true even if the user is in possession of a wireless mobile phone capable of sending and receiving emails. The reason being, any switching would likely at a minimum, disrupts the continuity of the communication.
Therefore, a more user-friendly approach to accommodating privacy sensitive communication is desired. As will be described in detail bellow, the present invention provides a data entry method that improves the ease of data entry in general, and the ease of conducting privacy sensitive communication in particular.
Note: The term “wireless mobile phone” as used in herein (in the specification and in the claims) refers to the class of telephone devices equipped to enable a user to make and receive calls wirelessly, notwithstanding the user's movement, as long as the user is within the communication reach of a service or base station. The term “wireless mobile phone” is to include the analog subclass as well as the digital subclass (of all signaling protocols).
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OF THE INVENTION
A wireless mobile phone is provided with one or more extra buttons (in addition to the standard input keypad) and complementary logic to facilitate entry of alphanumeric data via entry of their variable length encoded representations.
In one embodiment, the variable length encoded representations are Morse codes comprising combinations of “dit” and “dah” encoding. In another embodiment, the variable length encoded representations are custom designed codes comprising modified as well as newly formed “dit” and “dah” encoding combinations. In yet other embodiments, multiple variable length encoding schemes are supported with one of the supported encoding schemes selectable to be the operational encoding scheme.
In one embodiment, only one button is provided, with the “dit” and “dah” encoding being differentiated based on the duration the button is depressed. In another embodiment, two buttons are provided, one for the “dit” encoding, and the other for the “dah” encoding. In yet another embodiment, a third button is provided to facilitate quick entry of a frequently used encoding, e.g. the encoding for a “space”.
In one application, the entered alphanumeric data form part of a textual message to be transmitted. As a result, a user may more naturally use the provided facilities to engage in non-verbal communication for sensitive subject matters in the middle of a call. In another application, the entered alphanumeric data form part of an address book entry.
In one embodiment, the complementary logic further facilitates echoing on a local display, alphanumeric data corresponding to the entered encoded representations.
Additionally, in various embodiments, each of the code entry buttons includes one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs), and the LEDs are lit to visually echo the encoded representations of letters, numbers and punctuations entered through the standard input keypad, in accordance with the selected operational encoding scheme.
Further, in one embodiment, the wireless mobile phone includes an adapter interface designed to be able to have a device capable of vibrating removably attached to the wireless mobile phone to facilitate the complementary logic to vibrationally output a text message received, through vibrational manifestation of the text message in encoded representations per the selected operational encoding scheme.
Note: The term alphanumeric data as used in the present application, including the claims, include letters, numbers, punctuations, symbols, and/or words/phrases formed with letters, numbers, punctuations and/or symbols.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
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The present invention will be described by way of exemplary embodiments, but not limitations, illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like references denote similar elements, and in which:
FIGS. 1a-1b illustrate a wireless mobile phone of the present invention, incorporated with encoded data entry facilities in accordance with the present invention, in accordance with two embodiments;
FIGS. 2a-2b illustrate the operational flow of the relevant aspects of the supporting logic provided to the wireless mobile phone of FIGS. 1a/1b, in accordance with one embodiment; and
FIG. 3 illustrates an internal component view of the wireless mobile phone of FIG. 1a/1b, in accordance with one embodiment.
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OF THE INVENTION
In the following description, various aspects of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, the present invention may be practiced with only some of the described aspects, and without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the present invention.
The phrase “in one embodiment” will be used repeatedly, however the phrase does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although it may. Further, the terms “comprising”, “having”, “including” and the like are synonymous.
Referring now to FIGS. 1a-1b, wherein two embodiments of a wireless mobile phone 100 and 100′, incorporated with the teachings of the present invention are shown. As illustrated, in accordance with the present invention, wireless mobile phone 100/100′ is provided with two extra buttons 120 and complementary logic (shown as ref. 330 in FIG. 3) to facilitate a user of phone 100/100′ to enter alphanumeric data, e.g. data that are part of a text message to be transmitted or data to be stored into an address book inside phone 100/100′. More specifically, buttons 120 in conjunction with the complementary logic facilitate a user in entering alphanumeric data through entry of their variable length encoded representations of an operational encoding scheme. Thereafter, the user may cause the entered alphanumeric data (internally represented in e.g. ASCII or other fixed length binary representations) to be sent and/or stored. [ASCII=American Standard Coding for Information Interchange.]
For the illustrated embodiment, one of buttons 120 is provided to allow a user to enter a first basis code, while the other is provided to allow the user to enter a second basis code (the “dit” and “dah” representations, in Morse terminology). The “dit” and “dah” representations entered are interpreted in accordance with the selected operational encoding scheme. In one embodiment, the encoding scheme may be a selected one of a custom encoding scheme (Tables I-IV) or the Morse codes (Tables V-VII). Note that the example custom codes reserve the two shortest code “dit” and “dah” for two user programmable words or phrases, such as yes/no, morning/evening, sweetie/jerk. Entry of the user preferred words or phrases for the two shortest codes may be facilitated in like manners as other system preferences. Further, example custom codes remapped some of the Morse codes, as well as introduced other new codes in anticipation of certain usage characteristics by a particular type of user populations. Custom codes that are different from the Morse codes are shown in italics in Table I-IV. In like manner, selection of either the example custom codes or the Morse codes as the operational codes may be facilitated as other operational preferences. In alternate embodiments, more than two encoding schemes may be supported.
The above described encoded data entry facilities may be employed in particular during a call, thereby enabling the user to conduct all or a portion of a call in a non-audible and more private manner. The encoded data entry may also be employed to improve entering data to be stored into a database or a file of phone 100/100′, such as an address book.