ENHANCING TOUCH AND FEEL ON THE
This application is a divisional of Ser. No. 09/505,646 filed Feb. 16, 2000. 5
The present application relates to improvements in the user interface that enables enhancing simulation of real touch and feel over a remote information server.
More specifically, the present application describes enhancing the realism of product descriptions over the Inter- 10 net, to make Internet shopping more like real life shopping.
Shopping over the Internet has become very popular. A 15 primary reason is convenience. A user can sit at their computer and shop from a number of different Internet web sites. Without physically moving, the user can select from different items in different sites. The prices are often lower than, or at least comparable to, what one would pay in retail stores. The 20 shopping is very convenient.
Internet browsing provides a limited amount of information about the product. In a store, if a user wants to select between multiple items, the user consults the packaging that accompanies the product. They can read the packages, look at 25 information on the package, and touch the package. The packaging often sells the product. Large amounts of money are spent on packaging for the products.
Internet web pages often reflect minimal information about the product packaging. Hence, shopping on the Internet is 30 most effective when the user already knows what they want.
Software such as Apple Quicktime VR (TM) allows some limited pseudo three-dimensional viewing.
The present application teaches a new paradigm of selling over the Internet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 40
These and other aspects will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1A shows a screen shot of an exemplary web page for selling a product; 45
FIGS. IB and 1C show views of the simulated 3D product, respectively from the front and the rear;
FIG. ID shows an image formed of varying resolution portions;
FIG. 2 shows a flowchart of operation of the first embodi- 50 ment;
FIGS. 3A and 3B show different vantage points used to view an object to enable simulated three dimensional view;
FIG. 3C shows a flowchart of operation with these simulated viewpoints; 55
FIGS. 4A and 4B show a book display embodiment, showing the book from front and rear respectively;
FIG. 4C shows the inside of the book; and
FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of operation of this embodiment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
According to the present application, a user interface is described which provides the same information to a user that 65 could be provided if the user could physically pick up and handle the product.
According to one aspect of the present application, the entire product package is rendered in three dimensions. The rendering includes the shape and color of the product from at least a plurality of different angles, and specifically from at least enough angles to enable reading each label on the package. The user interface includes controls that enable moving the product within the user interface, in a way that enables viewing from each of these different angles.
One special application of this system is for use in books, music and videos. Bookstores are used by people who browse through the book selection, reading pages, looking at pictures, and trying to get the feel of the different books. The present system teaches an interface to the book contents that enables viewing the outside portion of the book, specified pages of the book, and leafing through random pages of the book. An embodiment limits the amount of reading that the user can do, to prevent the entire book from simply being read on line.
Another aspect of the above applies the same kind of operation to videos and music. The liner notes can be perused, and the packaging of the video/music element can be viewed from different angles.
According to one aspect of this system, a special extension to hypertext markup language is defined. A hypertext mark up language extension/object is defined which can be hold the information that is contained in the three dimensions of the package being viewed. Another aspect allows the information to be used within other programs, e.g., Powerpoint, or an executable file.
A graduated view system which displays different amounts of information while loading additional information. The system starts by displaying a two-dimensional image, or "splash". The two-dimensional image itself is formed in a graduated manner, using a low resolution image, which is progressively increased in resolution as more information is received. The two dimensional image is shown while the three-dimensional image information is loading.
The final image can also be graduated. It can include lower resolution portions which show the ornamental portions of the object, and higher-resolution portions which show the readable portions of the object. In one embodiment, the higher-resolution portions are formed from ASCII text.
According to another aspect, an HTML extension is defined which enables the three dimensional viewing.
Another aspect defines a reduced data set for the system described above which enables separate views from different angles to simulate three dimensional viewing without actually using a continuous three dimensional view.
Another aspect teaches a new paradigm for selling products in which the products are exhibited on the Internet using information that is obtained from a three-dimensional view of the product that includes at least enough resolution to read each of a plurality of labels of the product, and to see the shape of the product from each of a plurality of different views. Another part of the paradigm has the seller of the product providing electronic images representing packaging information for the product. The web sites that sell the product can use that packaging information as parts of their website. Like stores, where every store gets a package for the product from the vendor, each Internet seller gets an electronic package for their product from the vendor.
The preferred embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 which shows an exemplary web page using the present system. While the preferred embodiment describes this system being used on the Internet, it should be understood that this can be used on any remote information server that is used to sell products.