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Content display system

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20130019190 patent thumbnailZoom

Content display system


A content display system includes a communication device and an information display device. The communication device may store location information of summarized content information, acquire the summarized content information based on the location information, display titles included in the summarized content information, allow a user to select at least one title from the titles, specify first location information of a first content corresponding to a first title selected by the user, and send a command for displaying the first content corresponding to the first location information. The information display device may receive the command, and activate a browser in accordance with a first type of command when the browser has been closed which had been activated in accordance with another first type of command sent from the communication device before receiving the first type of command.
Related Terms: Browse Browser

USPTO Applicaton #: #20130019190 - Class: 715760 (USPTO) - 01/17/13 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >Mark Up Language Interface (e.g., Html)

Inventors: Munehisa Matsuda

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130019190, Content display system.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2008-302657, filed on Nov. 27, 2008, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference into the present application.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present specification discloses a system for displaying contents published on a network.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

A variety of contents is published on a network. A server that publishes summarized content information including a URL and a title of each content is connected to the network. One example of the summarized content information is feed information. Formats for the feed information include, for example, RSS and Atom. A software for acquiring the feed information from the server and displaying a plurality of contents based on the feed information is disclosed on a website (http://www. forest.impress.co.jp/article/2004/05/26/dirtynewsreader.html) located on the Internet on Jul. 29, 2008, titled “Dirty News Reader displays titles of distributed articles on RSS sites like an electronic signboard”, published May 26, 2004 by Impress Corporation and written by Tomoyuki Otsu. When this software is installed on a PC, a user can view the title of each content. When the user clicks on one of the titles, the PC activates a browser, and accesses the URL of the content corresponding to that title. The content is thereby displayed on the PC.

SUMMARY

Summarized content information can be viewed without any problem even on a comparatively small display unit, because the summarized content information is information (title, etc.) in which the content is summarized. However, unlike the summarized content information, the content may include a large number of letter strings. In addition, the content may also include image data. When the content is displayed on a small display unit, the user must scroll through several screens in order to see all of the content. This operation is cumbersome for the user, and moreover, it would be difficult to view the entire information. The present specification discloses technology that can eliminate these types of inconveniences.

One type of technology disclosed in the present specification is a content display system. The content display system may comprise a communication device and an information display device configured to be connected with the communication device in a communicable manner. The information display device may be configured to display a content by utilizing a browser. The aforementioned term “communication device” is a concept including any device that can be connected with the information display device in a communicable manner. The communication device may be, but not limited to, a printer, scanner, multi-function device, or portable terminal (mobile phone, PDL, etc.). The aforementioned term “information display device” is a concept including any device that can display information. The information display device may be, but not limited to, a PC, or television.

The communication device may comprise a location information storage unit, a summarized content information acquiring unit, a title display unit, a title selection allowing unit, a location information specifying unit, and a command sending unit. The location information storage unit may be configured to store location information of summarized content information. The aforementioned term “location information” is a concept including any information that can specify a location of content. The location information may be, but not limited to, URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The summarized content information may include location information of each content and a title of each content. The summarized content information acquiring unit may be configured to acquire the summarized content information based on the location information of the summarized content information. The title display unit may be configured to display titles included in the summarized content information, The title selection allowing unit may be configured to allow a user to select at least one title from the titles. The location information specifying unit may be configured to specify, from the summarized content information, first location information of a first content corresponding to a first title selected by the user. The command sending unit may be configured to send, to the information display device, a command for displaying the first content corresponding to the first location information. The information display device may comprise a command receiving unit and a browser activating unit The command receiving unit may be configured to receive the command. The browser activating unit may be configured to newly activate the browser in accordance with a first type of command in a specific case where the browser has been closed which had been activated in accordance with an other first type of command having been sent from the communication device before receiving the first type of command.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the configuration of a multi-function device system. FIG. 2 shows the configuration of a multi-function device. FIG. 3 shows an example of the stored contents of a URL storage area. FIG. 4 shows an example of the stored contents of a display information storage area. FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of a feed information analyzing process executed by the multi-function device. FIG. 6 shows a flowchart of a display process executed by the multi-function device. FIG. 7 shows a continuation of the flowchart of FIG. 6. FIG. 8 shows a flowchart of a list display process executed by the multi-function device. FIG. 9 shows a flowchart of a content display process executed by the multi-function device. FIG. 10 shows a continuation of the flowchart of FIG. 9. FIG. 11 shows a continuation of the flowchart of FIG. 10. FIG. 12 shows how the displayed contents of a display panel change. FIG. 13 shows a flowchart of a browser activating software process executed by a PC. FIG. 14 shows a flowchart of a browser process executed by the PC. FIG. 15 shows a continuation of the flowchart of FIG. 14. FIG. 16 shows an example of a window displayed by the PC. FIG. 17 is a sequence diagram of processes executed by the multi-function device and the PC. FIG. 18 shows a continuation of the sequence diagram of FIG. 17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT First Embodiment

An embodiment will be described with reference to the drawings. The multi-function device system 2 as shown in FIG. 1 comprises a multi-function device 10, a PC 70, and a plurality of content servers 90, 91. Although only one multi-function device 10, one PC 70, and two content servers 90, 91 are shown in FIG. 1, the exact numbers of these can be changed as desired. The multi-function device 10 is connected to a LAN line 4. PC 70 is connected to the LAN line 4. The LAN line 4 is connected to the Internet 8 via a router 6. Each content server 90, 91 is connected to the Internet 8. In the present embodiment, the content server 90 publishes one site, and the content server 91 publishes another site. Each site includes a plurality of contents. Furthermore, each content server (e.g., 90) stores feed information (e.g., RSS type feed information) which is summarized information of the plurality of contents that the content server includes.

Configuration of the PC

FIG. 1 shows the schematic configuration of PC 70. The PC 70 has a CPU 72, a hard disk 74, a display portion 82, an operation portion 84, etc. Although not shown in FIG. 1, the PC 70 has a network interface that configures itself to be connected to the LAN line 4.

The CPU 72 executes various processes in accordance with programs 76, 78 stored in the hard disk 74. The processes executed by the CPU 72 will be described in detail later. A basic program 76 is a program for controlling basic operations of the PC 70. The basic program 76 includes, e.g., a browser 76a for downloading and displaying one or more contents from one or more sites on the Internet 8. A user can activate the browser 76a by, e.g., performing a predetermined operation on the operation portion 84. A program for activating the browser 76a by the user\'s operation on the operation portion 84 is not a browser activating software 78 (to be described), but is included in the basic program 76. The browser activating software 78 is a program to activate the browser 76a in accordance with a command from the multi-function device 10. The browser activating software 78 is installed on the PC 70 from, e.g., a computer-readable medium. The browser activating software 78 may, e.g., be downloaded from a site on the Internet 8 for installation.

The hard disk 74 has an other storage area 80. The other storage area 80 stores a Java Script instruction 86. The browser 76a activated by the browser activating software 78 executes processes in accordance with the Java Script instruction 86. The Java Script instruction 86 includes instructions 86a to 86e described using Java Script (registered trademark). A request sending instruction 86a commands the browser 76a to send a request to the multi-function device 10 when the browser activating software 78 has activated the browser 76a. A request re-sending instruction 86b commands the browser 76a to re-send the request to the multi-function device 10 if a response to the former request has been received. A list display instruction 86c commands the browser 76a to display a list 204 in a list display area 202 (to be described: see FIG. 16) and to add a content title to the list 204. A content display instruction 86d commands the browser 76a to display contents in a content display area 206 (to be described: see FIG. 16). Another instruction 86e commands the browser 76a to, e.g., delete the content title from the list 204 and to clear the list 204 in accordance with a command from the multi-function device 10. The processes executed by the browser 76a in accordance with the Java Script instruction 86 will be described in detail later. The Java Script instruction 86 is installed on the PC 70 front, e.g., a computer readable medium. Further, the Java Script instruction 86 may, e.g. be downloaded from a site on the Internet 8 for installation.

The display portion 82 is capable of displaying a variety of information. The display portion 82 has a comparatively large display screen. The display portion 82 has a display screen larger than a display panel 50 (see FIG. 2) of the multi-function device 10. The operation portion 84 includes a keyboard and a mouse. The user can input commands and information to the PC 70 by operating the operation portion 84.

Configuration of the Multi-Function Device

FIG. 2 shows the configuration of the multi-function device 10. The multi-function device 10 has a control portion 12, a display panel 50, a key pad 52, a print portion 54, a scan portion 56, a fax portion 58, a network interface 60, a PSTN interface 62, etc. The control portion 12 has a CPU 14, ROM 16, RAM 30, NVRAM 40, etc.

The CPU 14 executes various processes in accordance with programs 18 to 26 stored in the ROM 16. The processes executed by the CPU 14 will be described in detail later. The ROM 16 stores various programs 18 to 26. A basic function program 18 is a program for controlling basic operations of the multi-function device 10. The basic function program 18 includes, e.g., a program for creating display data displayed on the display panel 50. Further, the basic function program 18 includes programs for controlling, e.g., the print portion 54, the scan portion 56, the fax portion 58, etc. An Internet connecting program 20 is a program for connecting to the Internet 8. A feed information analyzing program 22 is a program for analyzing feed information acquired from the content servers 90, 92 and for creating information (termed “display information” below) to be displayed on the display panel 50. A feed information display program 24 is a program for displaying the display information. A program 26 is a program other than the programs 18 to 24. Although the program 26 is shown as including the Java Script instruction 86 in FIG. 2, this configuration will be utilized in the second embodiment (to be described).

RAM 30 has various storage areas 32 to 36. A basic function working area 32 is a storage area for storing various types of data generated during the execution of processes in accordance with the basic function program 18. A feed information analyzing area 34 is a storage area for storing various types of data generated during the execution of processes in accordance with the feed information analyzing program 22. A display information storage area 36 is a storage area for storing the display information generated in accordance with the feed information analyzing program 22.

NVRAM 40 has various storage areas 42 to 46. A basic function parameter storage area 42 is a storage area for storing various parameters (e.g., print settings, scan settings,) used when the CPU 14 executes processes in accordance with the basic function program 18. A URL storage area 44 is a storage area for storing URLs for feed information in each content server 90, 91. For example, the user must register in order to receive contents from each content server 90, 91. This registration may be performed by using the multi-function device 10, or may be performed by using the PC 70. For example, if the user has used the PC 70 to register in order to receive contents from the content server 90, the URL of the feed information in the content server 90 will be sent from the PC 70 to the multi-function device 10. In this way, the URL of the feed information in the content server 90 will be stored in the URL storage area 44. A default PC information storage area 46 stores information for identifying the IP address of a PC or the host name of a PC, etc. The user can input the IP address of a desired PC (PC 70 in the present embodiment) into the multi-function device 10. The default PC information storage area 46 stores the IP address and host name input by the user.

The display portion 50 can display various information. The display screen of the display panel 50 is smaller than the display screen of the PC 70. The display panel 50 functions as a touch panel. The key pad 52 includes a plurality of keys. The user can input various commands and information into the multi-function device 10 by operating the key pad 52. The print portion 54 has a print mechanism such as ink jet type, laser type, etc. The scan portion 56 has a reading mechanism such as CCD, CIS, etc. The fax portion 58 performs various operations in order to perform fax communications. The network interface 60 is connected to the LAN line 4. The multi-function device 10 can communicate with the PC 70 and access the Internet 8. The PSTN interface 62 is connected to a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) not illustrated in the drawings. The PSTN is used when performing fax or telephone communications.

Storage Details of the URL Storage Area

Next, the storage details of the URL storage area 44 of the NVRAM 40 (see FIG. 2) will be explained. As shown in FIG. 3, the URL storage area 44 can store URLs 102 of feed information in each content server 90, 91. In other words, the URL storage area 44 can store URLs 102 of the feed information for each site. In the example of FIG. 3, n items of URL 102 are stored. An identification number 100 is assigned to each URL 102. In the present embodiment, the identification number 100 is represented with the symbol “i”.

Storage Details of the Display Information Storage Area

Next, the storage details of the display information storage area 36 of the RAM 30 (see FIG. 2) will be explained. As shown in FIG. 4, the display information storage area 36 can store display information 112 for each URL stored in the URL storage area 44. In other words, the display information storage area 36 can store display information 112 for each site stored in the URL storage area 44. As noted above, n items of URL 102 (n is an integer equal to 1 or more) are stored in the URL storage area 44 (see FIG. 3). Because of this, n items of display information 112 are stored in the display information storage area 36. An identification number 110 is assigned to each item of display information 112. In the present embodiment, the identification number 110 is represented with the symbol “i”.

The data structure of each individual item of display information 112 will be explained. The display information 112 includes site information 120. The site information 120 includes a site title letter string 122 and feed update information 124. The site title letter string 122 is a letter string of the title of a site. This title can also be restated as “the name of a site”. Feed update information 124 is information relating to the time at which the feed information in a content server was updated (time-related information of the latest update).

The display information 112 includes updated content information 132. The number of updated content information 132 is equal to the number of contents in a site. For example, in FIG. 4, the display information 112 corresponding to “i=0” has m items of updated content information 132 (m is an integer equal to 1 or more). This means that the site corresponding to “i=0” has m items of content. For example, if there is a content related to a weather forecast and a content related to sports in a predetermined site, the display information 112 related to that site will have two items of updated content information 132. An identification number 130 is assigned to each updated content information 132. In the present embodiment, the identification number 130 is represented with the symbol “j”.

Each updated content information 132 includes a content title letter string 140, content update time 142, a summarized content letter string 144, and a content URL 146. In the aforementioned example, the updated content information 132 corresponding to the item of content related to a weather forecast includes information 140 to 146, and the updated content information 132 corresponding to the content related to sports also includes the information 140 to 146. The content title letter string 140 is a letter string of the title of a content. This title can also be restated as “the name of a content”. The title of content is a letter string that is smaller than the entire letter string of the content, and is a letter string that reflects the details of the content. The content update time 142 is information relating to a time at which the content in a content server was updated (time-related information of the latest update). The summarized content letter string 144 is a letter string in which the content has been summarized. In other words, the summarized content letter string 144 is a letter string that is larger than the title of the content, but is smaller than the entire letter string of the content, and is a letter string that reflects the details of the content. The content URL 346 is the URL of the item of content.

Processes Executed by Multi-Function Device 10 (Feed Information Analyzing Process)

Next, processes executed by the CPU 14 of the multi-function device 10 will be explained with reference to FIG. 5. First, a feed information analyzing process for the CPU 14 of the multi-function device 10 to acquire and analyze feed information will be explained, The feed information analyzing process will run as an independent task, and is executed in accordance with the internet connecting program 20 and the feed information analyzing program 22 (see FIG. 2) from since when the multi-function device 10 is activated.

The CPU 14 waits until an update time has arrived (S40). The update time may, for example, be set by the user, or may be determined by a program. When the update time arrives, the CPU 14 proceeds to S42. In S42, the CPU 14 acquires the number of URLs (number of sites) stored in the URL storage area 44 of the NVRAM (see FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 3, in the present embodiment, n items of URL are stored in the URL storage area 44. Because of this, the CPU 14 acquires the number “n” in S42. Next, the CPU 14 initializes the counter i (S44). The CPU 14 then determines whether the counter i is smaller than n (S46). In the event that the answer is YES here, the CPU 14 proceeds to S48.

In S48, the CPU 14 acquires the URL of the i-th site from the URL storage area 44, For example, if the URL of the 0-th site is to be acquired, in the example of FIG. 3, “http://www.example0.com” will be acquired. Next, the CPU 14 accesses, in accordance with the internet connecting program 20, the URL acquired in S48 and acquires feed information (S50). The feed information includes the site information 120 and updated content information 132 shown in FIG. 4. The CPU 14 then generates the display information 112 shown in FIG. 4 by analyzing the feed information (S52). The CPU 14 stores the display information 112 generated in S52 in the display information storage area 36 (S54). For example, when display information 112 is generated for the 0-th site, the CPU 14 clears the old display information 112 associated with the number “i=0”, and stores new display information 112 associated with the number “1=0”. Next, the CPU 14 adds “1” to the counter i (S56), and returns to S46. By executing the process of FIG. 5, the latest feed information for each site is stored in the display information storage area 36.

Display Process

Next, a display process for the CPU 14 of the multi-function device 10 to display the feed information will be explained with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7. The display process will run as an independent task, and is executed in accordance with the feed information display program 24 (see FIG. 2) from since when the multi-function device 10 is activated.

The multi-function device 10 has a plurality of states, such as a power saving state, a waiting state, a function execution state, etc. In the power saving state, nothing will be displayed on the display panel 50 (the display panel 50 is turned off), When an operation for instructing a process is performed on the key pad 52 during the power saving state, the multi-function device 10 shifts to the waiting state. In the waiting state, information for selecting a function will be displayed on the display panel 50 (the display panel 50 is turned on). The uppermost illustration shown in FIG. 12 shows an example of the display panel SO in which a button 160 for selecting a function is displayed. The user can input a function execution command into the multi-function device 10 by operating the button 160. In this case, the multi-function device 10 shifts to the function execution state. In the function execution state, information relating to the function being executed will be displayed on the display panel 50 (e.g. the number of copies, etc.). Note that a function execution command can also be input into the multi-function device 10 during the power saving state. For example, a print command from the PC 70 can be input into the multi-function device 10 in the power saving state. In this case as well, the multi-function device 10 shifts to the function execution state.

When the function being executed in the multi-function device 10 is completed, the multi-function device 10 shifts to the waiting state (but may instead shift to the power saving state). In addition, if an event has not occurred in a predetermined time period during the waiting state (operation of the display panel 50 or the key pad 52, a print command from the PC 70, etc.), the multi-function device 10 shifts to the power saving state.

The CPU 14 waits until the multi-function device 10 has shifted from the power saving state or the function execution state to the waiting state (S70). When the multi-function device 10 has shifted to the waiting state, the CPU 14 proceeds to S72. In S72, the CPU 14 acquires the URL number (site number) stored in the URL storage area 44 (see FIG. 2) of the NVRAM (S72). This process is identical to the process of S42 in FIG. 5. In the present embodiment, the CPU 14 acquires “n” in S72. Next, the CPU 14 initializes the counter i (S74). The CPU 14 then determines whether the counter i is smaller than n (S76). In the event that the answer is YES here, the CPU 14 proceeds to S78.

In S78, the CPU 14 acquires the site information included in the display information for the i-th site from the display information storage area 36 of the RAM 30. For example, with the 0-th site, in the example of FIG. 4, the site information 120 is acquired (the site title letter string 122 and the feed update information 124). Next, the CPU 14 specifies the content number of the i-th site (S80). For example, with the 0-th site in FIG. 4, there are m items of content. In this case, the CPU 14 specifies “m” in S80. Next, the CPU 14 initializes the counter j (S82). The CPU 14 determines whether the counter j is smaller than m (S84). In the event that the answer is YES here, the CPU 14 proceeds to S88.

In S88, the CPU 14 acquires the j-th updated content information for the i-th site from the display information storage area 36 of the RAM 30. In this way, a content title letter string 140, content update time 142, a summarized content letter string 144, and a content URL 146 for one item of content is acquired. Next, the CPU 14 sends the site title letter string 122 acquired in. S78, the content title letter string 140 acquired in S88, and the content update time 142 acquired in S88 to the display panel 50 (S90). As a result, as shown in the uppermost illustration of FIG. 12, the content title letter string 162 is displayed on the display panel 50. Note that the content title letter string 162 moves (e.g., from right to left). In other words, the content title letter string 162 is displayed in a scrolling manner. Note that the site title letter string 122 and the content update time 142 may be displayed on the display panel 50, or may not be displayed thereon. The CPU 14 proceeds to S100 of FIG. 7 when S90 is completed.

In S100, the CPU 14 waits until an event occurs. If an event occurs, the CPU 14 proceeds to S101 In S102, the CPU 14 determines whether the scrolling (telop) display of one content title letter string 162 has ended. If the answer is YES here, the CPU 14 adds “1” to the counter j (S104), and proceed to S84 of FIG. 6. If it is determined in S84 that the counter j is smaller than in, the CPU 14 executes S88 and S90 again. In this way, the content title letter string 162 is displayed as a scrolling display based upon the next updated content information (e.g., the 1st (j=1) updated content information). When the content title letter string 162 is displayed as a scrolling display based upon the entire updated content information of one site, the answer is determined to be NO in S84. In this case, the CPU 14 adds “1” to the counter i (S86), and the processes of S78 to S90 is executed with respect to the next site (e.g., the 1st (i=1) site). In this way, the content title letter string 162 is displayed as a scrolling display based upon the updated content information of the next Site.

In the event the answer is NO in S102 of FIG. 7, the CPU 14 determines whether a list display request event has been generated (S106). As shown in the uppermost illustration in FIG. 12, when the content title letter string 162 is displayed as a scrolling display, the user can touch the content title letter string 162. When the user touches the content title letter string 162, the CPU 14 determines that the answer is YES in S106. In the event the answer is YES in S106, the CPU 14 executes the list display process (S108). The details of the list display process will be described in detail below.

In the event the answer is NO in S106, the CPU 14 determines whether a function execution operation has been generated (S110). The user can operate any of the buttons 160 shown in the uppermost illustration of FIG. 12. In this case, the CPU 14 determines that the answer is YES in S110. The CPU 104 executes a process corresponding to the button 160 that was operated (e.g., a fax communication process, a scan process, a copy process, etc.). In this case, the multi-function device 10 shifts to the function execution state, and information relating to the function being executed is displayed on the display panel 50. The CPU 14 returns to S70 of FIG. 6, and stands by until the multi-function device 10 has shifted to the waiting state. In contrast, in the event that the answer is NO in S110, the CPU 14 executes a process in accordance with the event, returns to S100, and waits for the occurrence of the next event.

List Display Process

Next, the list display process executed in S108 of FIG. 7 will be explained with reference to FIG. 8. The CPU 14 acquires all the updated content information 132 in the i-th site (the site displayed by the content letter string 162) from the display information storage area 36 of RAM 30 (S120). For example, with the 0-th site in FIG. 4, there are m items of updated content information 132. In this case, m items of updated content information 132 are acquired in S120. Next, the CPU 14 creates list data that includes the site title letter string 122 acquired in S78, each content title letter string 140 acquired in S120, and each content update time 142 acquired in S120 (S122). The CPU 14 sends the list data created in S122 to the display panel 50 (S124). As a result, as shown in the second illustration from the top of FIG. 12, the list 170 is displayed on the display panel 50. The list 170 includes, for each of the plurality of contents (e.g. for each of the m items of contents), content update time for that content and the content title letter string for that content. In the illustration second from the top in FIG. 12, with regard to a content relating to sports, content update time “14:32” and a content title letter string “Sports . . . ” are displayed. In addition, in this example, a site title letter string 172 is also displayed. The CPU 14 proceeds to S126 when S124 is completed.

In S126, the CPU 14 waits until an event occurs. If an event occurs, the CPU 14 proceeds to S128. In S128, the CPU 14 determines whether an event related to a content selection operation has occurred. As shown in the second illustration from the top in FIG. 12, when the list 170 is displayed, the user can touch one content (the content title letter string). When the user touches the content, the CPU 14 determines that the answer is YES in S128. In the event the answer is YES in S128, the CPU 14 executes a content display process (S130). The details of the content display process will be described in detail below.

In the event the answer is NO in S128, the CPU 14 determines whether a command to end the list display has been input (S132). When the list 170 is displayed as shown in the second illustration from the top in FIG. 12, the user can touch the button 174. In this case, the CPU 14 determines that the answer is YES in S132. In the event the answer is YES in S132, the CPU 14 ends the list display process, and returns to S84 of FIG. 6. In contrast, in the event the answer is NO in S132, the CPU 14 executes a process in accordance with the event, returns to S126, and waits until an event occurs.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130019190 A1
Publish Date
01/17/2013
Document #
13559368
File Date
07/26/2012
USPTO Class
715760
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/01
Drawings
17


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