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System and method for discovering and publishing of presence information on a network

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System and method for discovering and publishing of presence information on a network

A system and method is provided for publication and discovery of the presence of nearby users on a network. When the system is enabled, the presence of the local user is published on the network. Nearby users that also have a similar system enabled can discover the local user's presence on the network. Furthermore, the local user may discovery the presence of the other nearby users that are currently publishing their presence on the network.

Browse recent Microsoft Corporation patents - Redmond, WA, US
Inventors: Kevin R. Moore, Peyman Oreizy, Sean O. Blagsvedt, Melissa W. Dunn, Arvind Kumar, Marcus S.H. Harvey
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120304091 - Class: 715764 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >On-screen Workspace Or Object

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120304091, System and method for discovering and publishing of presence information on a network.

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This application is a continuation of and claims priority to application Ser. No. 10/836,566, filed May 1, 2004, entitled SYSTEMS AND METHOD FOR DISCOVERY AND PUBLISHING OF PRESENCE INFORMATION ON A NETWORK, indicated to be granted as U.S. Pat. No. 8,239,452, on Aug. 7, 2012, which is hereby incorporated in its entirety by reference.


The concept of presence has increasingly come to the foreground of networking applications and real-time communications. Presence often refers to the ability to detect whether a user is online and available. One example of an application that takes advantage of presence information is an Instant Messenger (IM) program. An IM program provides a method for a user to send instant messages to other IM users on the Internet or on a network. IM is a type of communications service that enables a user to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the Internet. IM is analogous to a telephone conversation, but uses text-based, not voice-based, communication. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts a user whenever somebody on the user\'s private list is online. The user may then initiate a chat session with that particular individual.

However, presence for IM and other similar applications has been limited to presence information that is directly associated with a contact already established by the user. Presence of other users outside of the user\'s listed contacts has been unobtainable. Other applications have allowed for discovery of what devices are on a network, but not of the users.



The present invention is generally directed towards providing a system and method for publishing and discovery of presence information for nearby users on a network. In accordance with the present invention when a local user enables a PNM (people near me) system on their computing device, the local user\'s presence is published on the network. Other users with a similar PNM system enabled that are nearby to the local user are able to discover the local user\'s presence on the network as it is published. Furthermore, the local user is also able to discover the other users on the network that have their PNM system enabled. The discovered presence information for nearby users is displayed such that the local user may monitor the presence of others nearby on the network. The PNM system provides a method for moving beyond mere discovery of devices to discovery of people on the network. For businesses that usually have a project group working together in close proximity to each other, the present invention provides a method of interaction with the members of the group without the necessity of pre-generating the contacts to establish a relationship among the project group.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a computer-implemented method for publishing and discovering presence information on a network is provided. A contact is published that represents a local user on the network. The network is also monitored for presence of a contact representing a nearby user on the network. An output notifying of the presence of the nearby user on the network is produced.


FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary computing device that may be used according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an alternative operating environment for a mobile device substantially for use in the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary sidebar within a desktop;

FIG. 4 illustrates a functional block diagram of a system for discovery and publication of nearby presence information on a network;

FIG. 5 illustrates another functional block diagram of a system for discovery and publication of nearby presence information on a network;

FIG. 6 illustrates exemplary file structures corresponding to a file system for storing presence information;

FIG. 7 illustrates exemplary sidebar tiles associated with publication and discovery of presence of nearby user\'s on a network;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary state table for implementing the user interface for the publication and discovery of presence information on the network; and

FIG. 9 illustrates exemplary identity verification with relation to a presence notification of a nearby user, in accordance with the present invention.


The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and which show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments for practicing the invention. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Among other things, the present invention may be embodied as methods or devices. Accordingly, the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

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