Title:
Systems and Methods for Controlling Navigation on a Wearable Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system includes a mobile unit (“MU”) including a display; and a peripheral device, in communication with the MU, transmitting a directional input signal to the MU. The MU adjusts the display based on the directional input signal.



Inventors:
Conticello, Thomas (St. James, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/056658
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/27/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOTOROLA, INC. (1303 EAST ALGONQUIN ROAD, IL01/3RD, SCHAUMBURG, IL, 60196, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method, comprising: receiving a directional input signal from a peripheral device, the peripheral device being in communication with a mobile unit (“MU”); and adjusting a display of the MU based on the received directional input signal.

2. The method according to claim 1, further comprising: receiving a selection of an item within the display, the item corresponding to an application; and executing the application corresponding to the selection of the item.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the directional input signal is generated from a user interaction with one of a joystick, a trackball, and a set of directional keys.

4. The method according to claim 2, wherein the selection of the item is generated by one of a depressible joystick, a depressible trackball, and a trigger on the peripheral device.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the peripheral device and the MU are connected via a wire connection.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the MU is wearable on a user, and the peripheral device is a wearable data acquisition device.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein the wearable data acquisition device includes at least one of a barcode scanner, a radio frequency identification reader, a smart card reader, and a proximity card reader.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the MU is one of a handheld computing device, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”), a voice over Internet protocol (“VoIP”) telephone, and a wireless communication device.

9. A system comprising: a mobile unit (“MU”) including a display; and a peripheral device, in communication with the MU, transmitting a directional input signal to the MU, wherein the MU adjusts the display based on the directional input signal.

10. The system according to claim 9, wherein the MU receives, from the peripheral device, a selection of an item within the display, and the MU executes an application corresponding to the selection of the item.

11. The system according to claim 9, wherein the directional input signal is generated from a user interaction with one of a joystick, a trackball, and a set of directional keys.

12. The system according to claim 10, wherein the selection of the item is generated by one of a depressible joystick, a depressible trackball, and a trigger on the peripheral device.

13. The system according to claim 9, wherein the peripheral device and the MU are connected via a wire connection.

14. The system according to claim 9, wherein the MU is wearable on a user, and the peripheral device is a wearable data acquisition device.

15. The system according to claim 14, wherein the wearable data acquisition device includes at least one of a barcode scanner, a radio frequency identification reader, a smart card reader, and a proximity card reader.

16. The system according to claim 9, wherein the MU is one of a handheld computing device, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”), a voice over Internet protocol (“VoIP”) telephone, and a wireless communication device.

17. A system, comprising: directional input receiving means for receiving a directional input signal from a peripheral device, the peripheral device being in communication with a mobile unit (“MU”); and a display adjusting means for adjusting a display of the MU based on the received directional input signal.

18. The system according to claim 17, further comprising: selection receiving means for receiving a selection of an item within the display, the item corresponding to an application; and executing means for executing the application corresponding to the selection of the item.

19. The system according to claim 17, wherein the directional input receiving means is one of a joystick, a trackball, and a set of directional keys.

20. The system according to claim 18, wherein the selection receiving means is one of a depressible joystick, a depressible trackball, and a trigger on the peripheral device.

21. The system according to claim 17, wherein the MU is wearable on a user, and the peripheral device is a wearable data acquisition device.

22. The system according to claim 21, wherein the wearable data acquisition device includes at least one of a barcode scanner, a radio frequency identification reader, a smart card reader, and a proximity card reader.

23. The system according to claim 17, wherein the MU is one of a handheld computing device, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”), a voice over Internet protocol (“VoIP”) telephone, and a wireless communication device.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to systems and methods for controlling navigation on a wearable device. Specifically, the invention allows for an increase in user productivity by including a navigation control on a peripheral component.

BACKGROUND

Optical scanning systems, such as those used in warehouse, retail location, and package delivery, are in widespread use. The use of handheld and user-wearable scanning systems has increased the mobility and productivity of the scanning operations. Specifically, wearable systems have been designed to free a user's hands from terminal operation so the user may focus on any tasks requiring their hands. As opposed to a system occupying one of the user's hands, the wearable system may remain readily accessible to the user while his hands are available for use. A conventional wearable system generally comprises a scanning unit, such as a ring scanner, coupled to a computing unit. However, conventional wearable systems only allow for limited hands-free interaction with the computing unit. For example, navigation of an application on the computing unit requires the user to interact with a keypad or touch screen on the computing unit. Therefore, operation of the conventional wearable system limits user interaction with the computing unit until the user has his hands free.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a system which includes a mobile unit (“MU”) including a display; and a peripheral device, in communication with the MU, transmitting a directional input signal to the MU. The MU adjusts the display based on the directional input signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a wearable computing system according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary embodiment of a peripheral device (e.g., a data acquisition device such as the ring scanner) according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an exemplary method for controlling a user's navigation on a display of the wearable computing system according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows exemplary user interactions with the peripheral device and the corresponding navigation on the display of the MU according to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention may be further understood with reference to the following description of exemplary embodiments and the related appended drawings, wherein like elements are provided with the same reference numerals. The present application generally relates to systems and methods for controlling navigation on a wearable system. Specifically, the systems and methods allow for an increase is user productivity by including a navigation control on a peripheral device.

According to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the peripheral device of the exemplary wearable system may include a data acquisition component in communication with a computing component. As will be described in greater detail below, the peripheral device may further include a navigation control, thereby providing a user of the wearable system with the ability to navigate in any direction within a display of the computing component. Specifically, the navigation control may allow the user to interact with items of a graphical user interface (“GUI”), such as browsing and selecting a specific item within the GUI. Accordingly, the exemplary embodiments may increase the productivity of the user through reducing the manual interaction with the computing component. In other words, the implementation of the navigation control on the peripheral component may decrease the amount of time a user must use a free hand to interact with a keypad or touch screen of the computing component.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a wearable computing system 100. As shown, the system 100 may include a wearable peripheral device, such as ring scanner 110, coupled to a computing device, such as MU 120. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the ring scanner 110 may be worn on the user's finger while the MU 120 may be worn on the user's wrist. While the ring scanner 110 may communicate with to the MU 120 via a corded connection (i.e., via cord 125), it should be noted that the communication may be wireless. In other words, alternative embodiments of the wearable computing system 100 may incorporate wireless communication between the ring scanner 110 and the MU 120. For example, the ring scanner 110 and MU 120 may utilize localized wireless communication between such as a personal area network (“PAN”) (e.g., Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc.).

While the exemplary wearable computing system 100 may be used in conjunction with data acquisition devices, the system 100 may also be directed toward use in data processing devices, data transmission devices, audio/video devices, etc. In addition, an exemplary embodiment of the wearable peripheral device of the system may be described with reference to a barcode scanner (e.g., laser and/or imager-based scanners) fitted to a user's finger (e.g., the ring scanner 110). However those skilled in the art will understand that the present invention may be implemented with any type of automatic identification system (e.g., radio frequency identification (“RFID”) readers, smart card readers, proximity card readers, etc.).

According to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the peripheral device (e.g., the ring scanner 110) may include one or more input components for controlling the user's navigation on the computing device. The input device may include a trigger 115 and a joystick 116. Further and/or alternative exemplary input components (not shown) may include, but are not limited to, buttons, switches, directional keys, trackballs, as well as depressible joysticks/trackballs, etc. For example, the exemplary joystick 116 depicted in FIG. 1. may be a depressible joystick, wherein the user may navigate control of a cursor using rotating the joystick 116 and may indicate a selection by depressing the joystick 116.

The MU 120, as illustrate in FIG. 1, may include adjustable straps (not shown) for securing the MU 120 to the user's wrist or forearm. In addition, the MU 120 may include a display 122, a keypad 123, a power supply (not shown), speakers and microphone (not shown), light emitting diodes (“LEDs”) (not shown), etc. According to one embodiment, the display 122 may be a liquid crystal display (“LCD”), and may utilize touch screen technology in which the keypad 123 may be incorporated into the display 122. Alternatively, the keypad 123 may be a standard keypad, including a set of arranged buttons on the MU 120.

The MU 120 may be described as any one of a variety of wearable mobile computers, such as, but not limited to, a wrist-mounted MU, a glove or palm-mounted MU, a portable media player (e.g., mp3 player, video player, compact disc player, etc.), a global positioning system, a two-way communication device (e.g., a push-to-talk device or a “walkie-talkie”), a mobile telephone, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”), portable barcode scanners, radio frequency identification (“RFID”) readers, portable gaming consoles, etc. Regardless of which type of computing device is implemented with the exemplary methods and systems of the present invention, the MU 120 may include an interactive GUI for displaying browsable items for selection by the user.

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary embodiment of a peripheral device 200 (e.g., a data acquisition device such as the ring scanner 110) according to the present invention. According to one embodiment, the peripheral device 200 may include a barcode scanning arrangement 221 coupled to a triggering arrangement 222 and a joystick 223. Therefore, the scanning arrangement 221 may include various components for data acquisition, such as, but not limited to a photodetector, a processor, a memory, etc. In addition, the peripheral device 200 may be attached to a user's finger using an attachment arrangement 224. Furthermore, the peripheral device 200 may include a cord 225 for communicating with the MU 120. Accordingly, a proximal end of the cord 225 may be coupled to the MU 120.

As described above, the scanning arrangement 221 may be a bar code scanner, an infrared sensor, an RFID reader, etc. The triggering arrangement 222 may include a depressible button for selectively activating the scanning arrangement 221. Alternatively, the triggering arrangement 222 may include a slide switch, a rocker switch, or any other mechanical and/or electrical triggering mechanism known to those skilled in the art. In addition, the button of the triggering arrangement 222 may allow for the user to select an item displayed on a GUI of the display 122 of the MU 120. As will be described in greater detail, the joystick 223 may allow the user to browse, scroll, or otherwise navigate between selections of a menu item, an icon, a tab, a line of text, or any other area within the display 122 of the MU 120. Similar to the depressible button of the triggering arrangement 222, the joystick 223 may also be depressible to allow for the user to select a highlighted item displayed on a GUI of the display 122 of the MU 120.

According to one embodiment, the attaching arrangement 224 may be fixed structure, such as a ring or a hollow cylinder (shown), and thus, may simply slide on the user's finger. Alternatively, attaching arrangement 224 may be an adjustable strap to allow for the peripheral device 220 to be securely fastened to the user's finger. For example, the attaching arrangement 224 may be fitted over the index finger and positioned on the medial side thereof, allowing both for the triggering arrangement 222 and the joystick 223 to be accessible to the user's thumb. Accordingly, the attaching arrangement 224 may include a fastening component such as elastic, a buckle, a snap, Velcro® material, etc. Therefore, the peripheral device 220 may conform to the shape of any user's hands and may allow the user to adjust the device 220 according to desired levels of comfort, operative convenience, etc.

FIG. 3 shows an exemplary method 300 for controlling a user's navigation on a display of the wearable computing system 100 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The exemplary method 300 will be described with reference to the exemplary wearable computing system 100 and the exemplary peripheral device 200 of FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively. As described above, the peripheral device 200 may include an input interface, such as the joystick 223, allowing the user to control the navigation throughout the display 122 of the MU 120. Other examples of the input interface may include a directional pad, a trackball, etc. In addition, the peripheral device 200 may include a microphone for detecting voice commands from the user, thereby allowing the device 200 to recognize speech commands from the user and respond accordingly.

Those skilled in the art would understand that a navigation operation may describe the act of scrolling, sliding, or otherwise adjusting a horizontal or vertical presentation of content, such as application icons, across the display 122 of the MU 120. For example, the navigation operation may be used to show large amounts of data that would otherwise not fit on the display 122 all at the same time. Accordingly, when the user wants to scroll the data on the display 122, the user may interact with the joystick 223 to control the direction of the navigation operation and/or highlighting function. In addition, the user may select and/or activate a highlighted icon via the peripheral device 200. For example, the user may depress the joystick 223 or depress the triggering arrangement 222 while a desired icon is highlighted.

While the exemplary embodiment of the method 300 may describe the selection of an application icon, it should be noted that the exemplary navigation operation may browse and select additional selectable items, such as drop-down lists, menu bars, buttons, tabs, text, a portion of text, dialogue box, etc.

In step 310, the method 300 may receive a directional input signal from the peripheral device 200. According to the exemplary embodiment, the user may manipulate the joystick 223 on the device 200 by pushing the joystick 223 in a direction based on a desired navigation on the display 122. For example, a GUI on the display may include a plurality of icons, wherein each icon represents a program application. In order to the user to select a specific icon on the right side of the GUI, the user may push the joystick 223 right to navigate a highlighting function to the appropriate icon.

In step 320, the method 300 may adjust the display 122 based on the received directional input signal from the peripheral device 200. Specifically, the method 300 may activate the highlighting function on the display 131 in order to provide the user with a visual cue as to the initial location. Furthermore, based on the received directional input signal from the peripheral 200, the MU 120 may associate the directional input signal with scrolling operation of the highlighting function (e.g., scrolling the highlighting function up/down/laterally, scrolling the highlighting function down a drop-down menu, scrolling up/down a portion of text, highlighting a specific icon on a GUI, etc.).

In step 330, the method 300 may receive a selection of an item on the GUI of the display 122, such as the icon relating to at least one associated program application executable by the processor of the MU 120. For example, the selectable icon may represent a “shortcut” to a specific file, folder, program or device available for execution by the processor. As described above, the selection may be an additional input signal, such as a selection input signal, received from the joystick 223 and/or from the triggering arrangement 222. In other words, if the joystick 223 is a depressible joystick, the user may transmit a selection instruction from the peripheral device 200 by depressing the joystick 223. Alternatively, or additionally, the user may transmit a selection instruction by activating the triggering arrangement 222.

In step 340, the method 300 may activate the selected item. In other words, the processor of the MU 120 may execute the application associated with the icon selected by the user. For example, the processor may open the specified file or folder or may perform the selected program, etc. As another example, the processor may toggle a button or tab within the GUI of the display 122, thereby activating or deactivating a feature of the MU 120. As a further example, the processor may select a highlighted setting from a drop-down menu and adjust a processing setting accordingly. Those skilled in the art would understand that any number of functions may be performed by the processor based on the selection instruction received from the peripheral device 200.

FIG. 4 shows the exemplary user interactions 400 with the peripheral device 200 and the corresponding navigation on the display 122 of the MU 120 according to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. The exemplary interactions 400 will be described with reference to the exemplary wearable computing system 100 and the exemplary peripheral device 200 of FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively. As described above, the exemplary input interface on the peripheral device 200 may be joystick 223. Accordingly, the user may manipulate the joystick 223 in any direction about a central position. It should be noted that the operation and functionalities of the peripheral device 200 are not limited to the embodiments illustrated in FIG. 4. The illustration merely serves as examples of any number of operations and functionalities for optimizing the scrolling and selection activity on the display 122 through the use of an input interface on the peripheral device 200.

As described above, the joystick 223 may control the user's navigation (i.e., highlighting functions, scrolling operations, etc.) within a GUI of the display 122. Specifically, the direction in which the user navigates depends on an orientation and/or a motion of the joystick 223. The first set of illustrations 401-403 describes a method for scrolling in a lateral direction within a GUI of selectable items, such as icons. While the second set of illustrations 404-406 describe a method for scrolling in a downward direction within a drop-down menu of selectable items on a GUI.

Accordingly, the peripheral device 200 depicted in the illustrations may be equipped with a depressible button such as the triggering arrangement 222. Alternatively, the joystick 223 may be depressible to allow the user to select an item.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the display 122 of the MU 122 may include a selection of items or icons on the GUI of the display 122. In illustration 401, the joystick 223 may be resting in the central position and a highlighting function of the display 122 may be held stationary (e.g., highlighting the top item of the menu).

In illustration 402, the user may pull the joystick 223 in a lateral motion, as indicated by the directional arrow to the right. While the joystick 223 is positioned to the right, the scrolling operation may be activated. Accordingly, the processor of the MU 120 may detect the lateral motion of the joystick 223 and the highlighting function may be instructed to scroll across the GUI (as depicted by the arrow). Therefore, the user is allowed to highlight different icons displayed within the GUI. In addition, the joystick 223 may be pressure sensitive. Thus, as the user applies more pressure to the joystick 223 (i.e., push the joystick 223 further across), the highlighting function may scroll at a faster rate. Conversely, the user may slow down the rate the highlighting function scrolls by decreasing the amount of pressure applied to the joystick 223.

Finally, in illustration 403, the user may input a selection of item or icon within the GUI of the display 122. As described above, the selection may be activated via an additional input signal received from the joystick 223 and/or from the triggering arrangement 222. For example, the user may depress the joystick 223, as illustrated, while the desired item on the GUI is highlighted. Therefore, the user is allowed to control the navigation within the GUI, as well as make a selection of an item within the GUI, from the peripheral device 200.

According to another exemplary embodiment, the peripheral device 200 depicted in illustrations 404-406 may be equipped with a trackball 410 as the input interface. Furthermore, the display 122 of the MU 120 may include a selection of items from a drop-down menu on a GUI. In illustration 404, the trackball 410 may remain unmoved in an initial position and the highlighting function of the display 122 may be held stationary (e.g., highlighting the left-most icon on the GUI).

In illustration 405, the user may rotate the trackball 410 in a downward direction, as indicated by the directional arrow inward. The processor of the MU 120 may sense the downward movement of the trackball 410 and the highlighting function may scroll from a top-to-bottom (as depicted by the arrow), thereby allowing the user to browse each of the items displayed within the down-down menu.

Finally, in illustration 406, the user may input a selection of item in the drop-down menu. Similar to the description of the joystick 223, the selection may be activated via an additional input signal received from the trackball 410 by depressing the trackball 410. Alternatively, the additional input signal may be receive by depressing the triggering arrangement 222. Therefore, the user may depress the trackball 410, as illustrated, while the desired item within the menu is highlighted. Therefore, the user is allowed to control the navigation within the GUI, as well as make a selection of an item within the GUI, from the peripheral device 200. Thus, the user is provided with greater single-handed control over the scrolling operation and selection of the item. Specifically, the exemplary embodiments of the present invention may simplify methods for selecting items on the display 122 while significantly improving one-handed operation of the MU 120.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made in the present invention, without departing from the spirit or the scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claimed and their equivalents.