|Numéro de publication||WO1993023933 A1|
|Type de publication||Demande|
|Numéro de demande||PCT/US1993/003691|
|Date de publication||25 nov. 1993|
|Date de dépôt||19 avr. 1993|
|Date de priorité||8 mai 1992|
|Numéro de publication||PCT/1993/3691, PCT/US/1993/003691, PCT/US/1993/03691, PCT/US/93/003691, PCT/US/93/03691, PCT/US1993/003691, PCT/US1993/03691, PCT/US1993003691, PCT/US199303691, PCT/US93/003691, PCT/US93/03691, PCT/US93003691, PCT/US9303691, WO 1993/023933 A1, WO 1993023933 A1, WO 1993023933A1, WO 9323933 A1, WO 9323933A1, WO-A1-1993023933, WO-A1-9323933, WO1993/023933A1, WO1993023933 A1, WO1993023933A1, WO9323933 A1, WO9323933A1|
|Inventeurs||Heuvel Dean Paul Vanden, Craig Halley, Charles J. Ganucheau, Jr.|
|Exporter la citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citations de brevets (2), Référencé par (3), Classifications (3), Événements juridiques (4)|
|Liens externes: Patentscope, Espacenet|
SELECTIVE CALL RECEIVER WITH NON-INTRUSIVE MESSAGE
This invention relates in general to selective call receivers, and in particular to selective call receivers for receiving information services.
Background Selective call receivers are radio frequency receivers which selectively receive messages. Conventionally, a selective call receiver examines a selective call signal to determine whether the receiver has been addressed. When an address assigned to the receiver is detected, the selective call receiver decodes a selective call message. The user is alerted that a message has been received and the message can thereafter be presented, either as a voice message or a numeric or alphanumeric displayed message. The message may be displayed on a conventional display such as a liquid crystal display (LCD). It is desirable that selective call receivers be portable and, consequently, most selective call receivers have Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD's) of limited size. Additionally, most selective call receivers have limited room for user input controls.
More recently, users of selective call receivers desire additional features, such as reception of information services, while maintaining the desire for small portable receivers. Information services are services which provide regularly updated database messages, such as news services
(UPI), financial sen/ices (Dow Jones Stock Reports), or sports services. One such information services selective call system is described in United States Patent No. 4,845,491.
A user can subscribe to several information services and receive information on many topics. Each topic may consist of several screens (i.e. information capable of being displayed on the display at one time). To view a screen of information, the user manipulates the limited number of user input controls to reach the screen. This manipulation could consist of numerous activations of user controls. Present selective call receivers that can receive information services are interrupted each time they receive a personal message (a beep or a page as is well known in the art). The interruption of the screen to service and display the personal message could put a significant burden on the user which must now navigate through the screens in order to reach the last screen he was reviewing. This is frustrating and very time consuming. It can be seen that a need exists for a selective call receiver that would allow a user to receive personal messages that do not interrupt database messages.
Summary of the Invention Briefly, according to the invention, a selective call receiver is provided including means for receiving a selective call message and a memory means for storing the selective call message as a plurality of screens. Also included in the selective call receiver is a control means for navigating through the plurality of screens to locate a desired screen and a display means for displaying the desired screen. A means for processing a new selective call message without interrupting the navigation of the control means or the displaying of the desired screen is also included in the selective call receiver.
Brief Description of the Drawings
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a selective call system in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a planar view of the information services pager of FIG. 1 in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 is a planar view of the information services pager of FIG.2 wherein a function menu overlays a screen of displayed information in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 and 5 are flow charts of the operation of the information services pager of FIG. 2 in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment
Referring to FIG. 1 , a selective call system in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention transmits two types of signals: information services signals and personal message signals. As is well known to those skilled in the art, an originator of a personal selective call message inputs message information via a telephone input 10 to a paging terminal 12. The paging terminal 12 comprises an encoder 14 for encoding the message information into selective call signals and a transmitter 16 for broadcasting the selective call signals via an antenna 18. Information services signals are derived from information services 20 which compile financial, sports, news, etc. information and forward the information to a data center 22. The data center 22 compiles the information provided by the information services 20 into appropriate messages which are provided through a paging terminal 12' for transmission as selective call signals therefrom. The paging terminal 12' similarly comprises an encoder 14', a transmitter 16", and an antenna 18'.
Thus, a selective call system in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention broadcast signals comprising personal message selective call messages and information services selective call messages, or otherwise data messages, for reception by a receiver 30. The receiver 30 receives the selective call signals at the antenna 32 which generates electrical signals in response to the radio frequency information received and forwards the signals to receiver circuitry 34 for demodulation. The demodulated signal is provided to a microprocessor 36 for processing thereby. The microprocessor 36 is coupled to an alert device 38, via an alert handler 37. Also coupled to the microprocessor 36 are user input controls 40, and a display 42 for interfacing with a user of the selective call receiver 30. Additionally, the microprocessor 36 is coupled to an external random access memory (RAM) 44 for storing information therein and for retrieving information therefrom.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the external RAM 44 has designated areas for storing personal messages 46 and for storing information services databases 48. The databases are stored in a portion 48 of the external RAM 44 in a manner which allows a user to access the information services data stored therein. In addition, personal messages are stored in the personal messages section 46 in a manner which allows the user to continue with operation already in progress without interruption. The management of the two sections of the external memory 44 is handled by a memory manager 60. When a selective call signal is received and demodulated by the receiver circuitry 34, an address detection block 50 of the microprocessor 36 examines the selective calf signal to determine if an address assigned to the selective call receiver 30 is present within the signal. The address assigned to the selective call receiver may be stored in non-volatile memory, not shown. When an address assigned to the selective call receiver 30 is detected by the address detection block 50, a controller 52 is signaled to start a decoder block 54 decoding the received and demodulated selective call signal. The decoded signal is provided from the decoder block 54 to the controller 52 for processing thereby. The controller 52, through the memory manager 60, stores the decoded selective call message in the appropriate portion 46, or 48 of the external RAM 44 in accordance with the contents of the selective call message. Selective call messages are stored in the RAM 44 as a number of screens. In other words, selective call messages, particularly data messages, may include more information than can be displayed on the display 42 as a single screen. These messages are, therefore, stored in the RAM 44 as a plurality of screens in order to provide the user with means to review them in their entirety. In the preferred embodiment, these messages are transmitted from the paging terminals 12 and 12' as a plurality of preformatted screens. It is understood, however, that screen formatting of the received selective call messages may be accomplished locally. Messages stored in the external RAM 44 are retrieved by the user upon manipulation of the user input controls 40. Upon such manipulation the controller 52 provides the decoded selective call message to a display driver 56 for generation of a user readable display upon the display 42. A clock 58 is coupled to the controller 52 to provide conventional clocking functions allowing for proper operation of the controller 52 and the microprocessor 36.
The selective call receiver 30 operates in two modes in accordance with the preferred embodiment.of the present invention: a personal message mode, and a database mode. When operating in the personal message mode, the selective call receiver 30 can function as a conventional pager whereby the user can manipulate the user input controls 40 to select and read various personal messages stored in the personal message portion 48 of the RAM 44. During database mode operation, the user can manipulate the user input controls 40 to navigate through the plurality of screens to select and read various screens of the databases stored in the database portion 46 of the RAM 44.
In accordance with the present invention, a personal message received while the user is working with database message screens causes the controller 52 to store the received personal message in the personal message section 46 and send an alert to the alert device 38 without interrupting the display of the database screen or the manipulation of the user input controls 40. Upon completion of the present task, the user has the option to review the received personal message. Referring next to FIG. 2, a preferred embodiment of the multi-function selective call receiver 30 of FIG. 1 is depicted. The user input controls 40 (FIG. 1 ) comprises a plurality of user activatable keys 40a, 40b, 40c, 40d, 40e, 40f, and 40g. The alert device 38 is a visual indicator such as an icon on the display 42 or a light emitting diode (LED) for alerting the user of the receiver 30. An audible enunciator could also be mounted just inside the housing of the receiver 30 to operate in conjunction with or in place of the LED 38 for alerting the user.
On the display 42 of FIG. 2, a typical database screen showing date information, time information, and financial stock information is shown. Upon activation of the function key 40b, the bottom line of the four line display 42 is overwritten, as shown in FIG. 3, with a functions menu 70 showing a plurality of icons, each of the plurality of icons identifying a particular function. The left/right cursor keys 40e, 40f allow the user to scroll among the various functions of the functions menu 70 and to select one of the icons therein. Upon selection of the proper icon, the user depresses the function key 40b to activate that function.
Referring to FIG. 4, a flowchart is shown of the operation of the selective call receiver 30 in accordance with the present invention. Initially, operation of the selective call receiver 30 is in the database operation mode wherein a database status display is active, block 300. User input 302 initiates subsequent action. For example, the user may press a function key 40b and a menu of functions similar to that shown as menu 70 in FIG. 3 will be presented, block 304.
Activation of the down cursor key 40d or the read key 40a from the database status display 300 will allow the user to navigate, block 306, to a desired database screen. The current screen is displayed, block 308, for user perusal until the desired screen has been located and displayed. From the condition block 310, the function key 40b may be selected, block 312, to cause display of a database functions menu as shown in FIG. 3. If the user has selected an undesired database screen while the functions menu is off (FIG. 2), the user may activate any other key, from the condition block 310, to return to navigate toward a different database screen, block 306. If, however, functions menu is displayed, FIG. 3, the key must be pressed twice. The first key press removes the functions menu (FIG. 2). The second key press returns to navigate the screens, block 306. Activation of side key from the condition block 310 returns the operation to database status and the screen will display the database status display 300.
While the database functions menu is displayed, block 312, the user may select any of the icons displayed by manipulating the left and right cursor keys 40e, 40f . When the appropriate icon is highlighted, activation of the function key 40b chooses the function associated with that icon. From the functions menu, operation returns to display the current database screen, block 308.
Referring to FIG. 5, a flow chart shows the operation of the selective call receiver 30 when a personal message is received in accordance with the present invention. This flow chart may be called upon during the execution of any of the blocks of the flow chart of FIG. 4. For the purposes of this description, the flow chart of FIG. 5 is called upon, when the operation is displaying a current database screen, block 308. It is well understood that similar steps are taken when this flow chart is called upon from any other state of the flow chart of FIG. 4. An incoming personal message, block 514, is stored in the RAM 44, via block 516. Following the storing of the message, an alert request is sent from the controller 52 to the alert handler 37 which subsequently sends an alert signal to the alert device 38. This operation is shown via block 518. Following this block a condition block 522 decides whether a silent alert 524 or an audible alert 520 is desired. The selection of the type of alert is done via the functions menu 70 or sub-menues. Upon providing an alert signal, the operation is resumed at where it was left.
It can be seen that by storing a new message independent of the state of the display and by providing an alert signal, indicating the receipt of the new message, the user can continue using the database screens undisturbed and uninterrupted. A selective call receiver in accordance with the present invention no longer interrupts an operation already in progress in order to display a new message. The alert signal provides the user with a significant tool, particularly when the present screen has been reached as the result of a deep navigation of the database screens.
What is claimed is:
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|25 nov. 1993||AK||Designated states|
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|9 mars 1994||121||Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application|
|19 oct. 1994||122||Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase|