Title:
MEDIA CONTENT AND MOBILE DEVICES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Methodologies and related devices and systems are provided that facilitate provision, usage, publication, and/or rating of media content by providers and/or users media content. According to one aspect, content preloaded on a mobile device can be activated based on user fulfillment of an access requirement. According to another aspect, a user of a mobile device can publish user associated information to locate substantially matching users. According to a further aspect, users of mobile devices can share and rate content to create a community of aggregated content. Various modifications are provided that facilitate monetizing or incentivizing the described methodologies and related devices and systems.



Inventors:
Tsui, Chi Ying (Hong Kong, CN)
Murch, Ross David (Hong Kong, CN)
Cheng, Roger Shu Kwan (Hong Kong, CN)
Mow, Wai Ho (Hong Kong, CN)
Lau, Vincent Kin Nang (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
12/054910
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
03/25/2008
Assignee:
THE HONG KONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Hong Kong, CN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
455/414.2
International Classes:
H04M3/42; H04M15/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GOODBODY, JOAN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AMIN, TUROCY & WATSON, LLP (Beachwood, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for use in connection with a mobile device, comprising: receiving a request to access a content item in memory of the mobile device preloaded with a plurality of content items that are inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills at least one requirement for accessing the content items; determining whether the user has fulfilled the at least one requirement for accessing the content item; and if the user has fulfilled the at least one requirement, automatically making the content item substantially immediately accessible to the user of the mobile device.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining includes determining whether the user has made payment of a fixed price specified at a time the user acquires the mobile device.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining includes determining whether the user has entered a redemption code obtained by the user in response to an offer published by or on behalf of an owner of an other content item, the other content item being other than one of the plurality of content items preloaded on the mobile device.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining includes determining whether the user has maintained a subscription associated with at least one of the mobile device or the plurality of content items.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising making the content item substantially immediately inaccessible based at least upon occurrence of a specific condition.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the making the content item substantially immediately inaccessible includes making the content item inaccessible after the occurrence at least one of expiration of a time period, an integral content item usage limit, the nonpayment of a subscription fee, a report to a service provider that the mobile device has been stolen or misplaced, detection of unauthorized modifications to the mobile device, or reset of the mobile device by an authorized entity.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving an update to the content based at least in part making the content item substantially immediately accessible.

8. A system comprising computer executable components for performing the method of claim 1.

9. A method for use in connection with a mobile device, comprising: specifying, by a first user of a first mobile device, information associated with the first user to be wirelessly published by the first mobile device for consumption by at least one additional user of at least a second mobile device; receiving an offer of an incentive to publish at least a portion of the information; and wirelessly publishing the at least a portion of the information based at least upon the offer and preferences indicated by the first user of the first mobile device.

10. The method of claim 9, the specifying includes specifying at least one of first user age, first user sex, and first user relationship availability status, and at least one of first user hobbies, first user interests, and first user athletic activity preferences.

11. The method of claim 9, the receiving an offer includes at least one of receiving an offer wirelessly over the first mobile device and receiving the offer via a physical advertisement.

12. The method of claim 9, the incentive includes financial incentives, in-kind exchange incentives, and non-monetary incentives.

13. The method of claim 9, further comprising: consuming, by the at least one additional user of the at least a second mobile device, the at least a portion of the information; and determining that the at least one additional user is a substantial match for the first user based on the at least a portion of the information.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising: wirelessly providing an indication of the substantial match to at least the first user.

15. A system comprising computer executable components for performing the method of claim 9.

16. A method for aggregating content from mobile devices, comprising: correlating a plurality of users, each user associated with a mobile device having at least one item of user-generated content to be aggregated; wirelessly sharing among correlated users an item of the at least one item of user-generated content; aggregating the user-generated content of the correlated users to create aggregated content; and determining a community rating for the item of the at least one item of user-generated content.

17. The method of claim 16, the correlating includes correlating the plurality of users based at least in part on one of a geographic location, network topology, information derived from network topology, associated global positioning system information, or shared characteristics of the aggregated content.

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising: obtaining a license from at least one user of the plurality of users to store and relicense the at least one item of user-generated content, the at least one item of user-generated content having a relatively high determined community rating.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising: storing a collection of user-generated content, each item of the user-generated content having a relatively high determined community rating; and providing access to the collection for a fee to relicense an item of the collection.

20. A communications device comprising a memory for retaining and a processor for executing computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 16.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C Section 119 from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/910,109 entitled “ADVANCEMENTS FOR WIRELESS DEVICES AND WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS”, filed on Apr. 4, 2007, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject disclosure relates to mobile devices, systems, and methodologies, and more particularly to facilitating the provision, usage, publication, and/or rating of media content by providers and/or users of mobile devices, systems, and methodologies.

BACKGROUND

Conventional mobile devices, such as cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players and the like have also generally been provided as integrated electronics and circuits in standalone devices. Thus, these devices have included power, processing, storage, display, input capabilities (e.g., keypad, touchpad, buttons, etc.), and output capabilities (sound, display, etc.) all in the same handheld device. However, such hardware is continually decreasing in size while increasing performance.

For example, although memory constraints of conventional mobile devices are significant, which can result in reliance on communication bandwidth (e.g., data downloads and media streaming) to bridge the user experience gap, it is anticipated that massive amounts of storage (e.g., terabytes of storage capacity) will become available in very small physical components as storage components become more and more compact (e.g., as storage density improves).

Moreover, improvements in storage density, as well as processing power, tend to outpace improvements in communications bandwidth. For example, improvements in communications bandwidth can evolve over several years as communications standards develop among many competing participants, supporting hardware is developed, tested, and brought to market, spectrum is licensed, and as hardware deployed by communications providers and mobile devices are brought to market and adopted by consumers. Conversely, a typical semiconductor manufacturing process shrink can reduce chip footprint (e.g., size of a flash memory device) by about one third, in turn increasing storage density, and can be implemented in a much shorter time frame (e.g., typically on the order of one to two years).

Thus, the improvements in storage density, as well as processing power, are expected to outpace improvements in communications bandwidth for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, it is desirable to design solutions that take advantage of such potentially limitless storage capabilities.

In addition, improvements and alternatives to existing wireless capabilities are (e.g., Bluetooth™, WiMax™) are becoming more available in a variety of devices. For example, conventional mobile devices typically operate independently of one another based on a set of network services from a network provider. Thus, historically, there has been no need to share capabilities across devices when an integrated set of functionality is already available within a single device, or available (e.g., with or without cost to the device end user or subscriber) from the network provider.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to leverage increasing availability of such improvements and alternative capabilities to aggregate heretofore separate capabilities from multiple disparate devices that can be communicatively coupled by wired or wireless means.

In addition, with the exception of streaming media technologies, when a user stores media content transfer to a mobile device takes place as a permanent storage event. As a result, if the content is later changed or versioned, the content of the mobile device is not maintained up to date without user recognition of the situation and further user interaction.

The above-described deficiencies are merely intended to provide an overview of some of the opportunities made available by advances in mobile devices, and are not intended to be exhaustive. Other problems with the state of the art may become further apparent upon review of the description of the various non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter that follows.

SUMMARY

In consideration of the above-described deficiencies of the state of the art, the disclosed subject matter provides devices, systems, and methods that facilitate provision, usage, publication, and/or rating of media content by providers and/or users of mobile devices, systems, and methodologies.

Accordingly, the disclosed subject matter, in one aspect thereof, can facilitate accessing content items (e.g., media content items) preloaded in a memory of a mobile device, which can be made inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills a requirement for accessing the content items. To that end, the disclosed subject matter facilitates determining whether the user has fulfilled a specified requirement for accessing the content item. Thus, if the user has fulfilled a specified requirement (e.g., purchasing the item from a content provider or intermediary acting on behalf of a content provider), the disclosed subject matter facilitates automatically unlocking the content item making the content item substantially immediately accessible to the user of the mobile device.

According to a further aspect, the disclosed subject matter provides a mobile device that can include a memory that can be preloaded with content items (e.g., media content items). According to a further aspect, the content items can be made inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills a specified requirement for accessing the content items (e.g., purchasing the item from a content provider or intermediary acting on behalf of a content provider). For example, a mobile device according to the disclosed subject matter can include a user interface for selecting a content item and for fulfilling a specified requirement for accessing the content item. Once fulfilling the specified requirement, the disclosed subject matter facilitates automatically unlocking and making available substantially immediately for use by the user of the mobile device.

In one aspect, the content item can be updated over a wireless network provided by a wireless service provider, (e.g., simultaneous to making the content item accessible, or otherwise). In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, mobile devices can automatically determine if there is a shorter path to a nearby mobile device for the requested content via a peer-to-peer network of mobile devices.

Thus, in various non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, content for mobile devices can be automatically updated in a secure manner, for example, using digital rights management (DRM) technologies to facilitate ensuring rightful owners of underlying content, or authorized intermediaries thereof, maintain update privileges.

In further non-limiting embodiments, instead of retrieving content, over a wireless network via a mobile device, a peer-to-peer network of mobile devices, can be exploited by automatically determining whether there exists a shorter path to a nearby mobile device for the requested content. Accordingly, the requested content can be retrieved faster, while facilitating lower energy consumption by the mobile device.

Advantageously, according to various aspects of the disclosed subject matter, any type of content or information that can be shared among users can be shared in this fashion. For example, given a network of devices that are capable of sharing content, in further embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, a mobile device can become a publisher and consumer of nearby user interests and focuses. For example, if a user is in a coffee shop in a city that the user is not familiar with, a mobile device configured according to various aspects of the disclosed subject matter can facilitate detecting a user with a set of common interests from user-information-publishers. As a result, aspects of the disclosed subject matter facilitates learning about other users, and can facilitate collaborating and sharing information among people. Accordingly, in a further embodiment of the disclosed subject matter, a user of a mobile device can choose to publish and/or receive only a subset of the information stored on a mobile device.

In addition, incentives (e.g., financial or otherwise) can be provided to mobile device users to encourage opt in for publishing of information in this context (e.g., similar to incentives for participating in user surveys performed physically in the real world). Advantageously, various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter facilitate such information sharing automatically (e.g., automatic electronic surveys, interest sharing, etc.) without any need to fill out a survey. Accordingly, an aspect of the disclosed subject matter facilitates such sharing by a user of a mobile device by approving or disapproving release of information, or portions thereof, to a requesting third party in exchange for what is offered, according to user specified preferences.

In other non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, content on mobile devices can be aggregated based correlation of users. In further embodiments, sharing and rating can be facilitated for such aggregated content. In addition, the disclosed subject matter, in one aspect thereof, can facilitate creating a market for content of high quality based on the content generated by the community, and which can be monetized in the form of financial or advertising returns. Thus, in a sense, the disclosed subject matter can facilitate content aggregation by mobile device users and rating the aggregated content by the community, which can in turn facilitate identifying and capitalizing on trends regarding the content in the given context, while maintaining a high quality of the aggregated content.

A simplified summary is provided herein to help enable a basic or general understanding of various aspects of exemplary, non-limiting embodiments that follow in the more detailed description and the accompanying drawings. This summary is not intended, however, as an extensive or exhaustive overview. Instead, the sole purpose of this summary is to present some concepts related to some exemplary non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description of the various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter that follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Methods facilitating the provision, usage, publication, and/or rating of media content by providers and/or users of mobile devices, and related systems and devices are further described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A illustrates an overview of a wireless communication environment suitable for incorporation of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 1B illustrates an overview of an exemplary computing environment suitable for incorporation of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram showing illustrative aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of media content and mobile devices;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram of a system according to various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram of a system according to further embodiments of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of media content and mobile devices;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of sharing user associated information among mobile devices;

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of aggregating and rating content among correlated mobile devices;

FIG. 11 is a block diagram representing an exemplary non-limiting networked environment in which the disclosed subject matter may be implemented;

FIG. 12 is a block diagram representing an exemplary non-limiting computing system or operating environment in which the disclosed subject matter may be implemented; and

FIG. 13 illustrates an overview of a network environment suitable for service by embodiments of the disclosed subject matter.

OVERVIEW

Simplified overviews are provided in the present section to help enable a basic or general understanding of various aspects of exemplary, non-limiting embodiments that follow in the more detailed description and the accompanying drawings. This overview section is not intended, however, to be considered extensive or exhaustive. Instead, the sole purpose of the following embodiment overviews is to present some concepts related to some exemplary non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description of these and various other embodiments of the disclosed subject matter that follow. It is understood that various modifications may be made by one skilled in the relevant art without departing from the scope of the disclosed subject matter. Accordingly, it is the intent to include within the scope of the disclosed subject matter those modifications, substitutions, and variations as may come to those skilled in the art based on the teachings herein.

As used in this application, the terms “component,” “module,” “system,” and the like are intended to refer to a computer-related entity, either hardware, firmware, a combination of hardware and software, software, software in execution, firmware, middle ware, microcode, and/or any combination thereof. For example, a component can be, but is not limited to being, a process running on a processor, a processor, an object, an executable, a thread of execution, a program, and/or a computer. By way of illustration, not limitation, both an application running on a computing device and the computing device can be a component. One or more components can reside within a process and/or thread of execution and a component can be localized on one computer and/or distributed between two or more computers.

In addition, these components can execute from various computer readable media having various data structures stored thereon. The components may communicate by way of local and/or remote processes such as in accordance with a signal having one or more data packets (e.g., data from one component interacting with another component in a local system, distributed system, and/or across a network such as the Internet with other systems by way of the signal). Additionally, components of systems described herein may be rearranged and/or complemented by additional components in order to facilitate achieving the various aspects, goals, advantages, etc., described with regard thereto, and are not limited to the precise configurations set forth in a given figure, as will be appreciated by one skilled in the art.

Moreover, while particular embodiments of the disclosed subject matter are described in the context of pre-storing locked content such as audio (e.g., songs), video/images (e.g., movies, photos), software (e.g., applications and services), and/or storing unlocked versions thereof, it is to be appreciate that the terms “content” and/or “media content” can refer to any other form of digital representation of information that a user may wish to obtain, provide, use, publish, share, rate, and so on. As an example, content can include digital representation(s) of information in the form of text file(s), binary file(s), compressed file(s), encrypted file(s), any other forms commonly used to store and/or represent information in digital form, and/or portions thereof, and so on, whether user-generated or otherwise and whether in a proprietary format or otherwise. As a further example, such files can include executable file(s), application(s), multimedia file(s), configuration file(s), web page(s), software radio configuration(s), presentation(s), document(s), database file(s), data file(s), metadata file(s), and so on, and/or portions thereof. Thus, any type of content or information that can be used according to various aspects of the disclosed subject matter users can advantageously be used as described in the context of “content” and/or “media content.”

Furthermore, various embodiments are described herein in connection with a mobile device, wireless terminal, or user equipment (UE). These can also be called a system, subscriber unit, node, subscriber station, mobile station, mobile, remote station, remote terminal, access terminal, user terminal, terminal, wireless communication device, user agent, or user device. A mobile device, wireless terminal, or UE can be a cellular telephone, a cordless telephone, a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phone, a wireless local loop (WLL) station, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a handheld device having wireless communication capability, computing device, or other processing device connected to a wireless modem. Moreover, various embodiments are described herein in connection with a base station. A base station can be utilized for communicating with wireless terminal(s) and can also be referred to as an access point, access component, Node B, or some other terminology.

Additionally, various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter are directed to methods. It is to be understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the processes disclosed is an example of exemplary approaches. Based upon design preferences, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the processes may be rearranged while remaining within the scope of the present disclosure. The method claims appended hereto present elements of the various steps in a sample order, and are not meant to be limited to the specific order or hierarchy presented.

Accordingly, the disclosed subject matter, in one aspect thereof, can facilitate accessing content items (e.g., media content items) preloaded in a memory of a mobile device, which can be made inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills a requirement for accessing the content items. To that end, the disclosed subject matter facilitates determining whether the user has fulfilled a specified requirement for accessing the content item. Thus, if the user has fulfilled a specified requirement (e.g., purchasing the item from a content provider or intermediary acting on behalf of a content provider), the disclosed subject matter facilitates automatically unlocking the content item making the content item substantially immediately accessible to the user of the mobile device.

According to a further aspect, the disclosed subject matter provides a mobile device that can include a memory that can be preloaded with content items (e.g., media content items). According to a further aspect, the content items can be made inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills a specified requirement for accessing the content items (e.g., purchasing the item from a content provider or intermediary acting on behalf of a content provider). For example, a mobile device according to the disclosed subject matter can include a user interface for selecting a content item and for fulfilling a specified requirement for accessing the content item. Once fulfilling the specified requirement, the disclosed subject matter facilitates automatically unlocking and making available substantially immediately for use by the user of the mobile device.

In one aspect, the content item can be updated over a wireless network provided by a wireless service provider, (e.g., simultaneous to making the content item accessible, or otherwise). In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, mobile devices can automatically determine if there is a shorter path to a nearby mobile device for the requested content via a peer-to-peer network of mobile devices.

In further contemplation of the above-described considerations, various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter provide systems facilitating detecting and/or publishing (e.g., by mobile devices according to user preferences) a set of information such as interests or focuses of the user associated with the mobile device. For instance, users of mobile devices can become publishers of their content, and can learn about other users of mobile devices, and can collaborate on sharing information among people. In one aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a user of a mobile device can choose to publish and/or receive only a subset of the information stored on a mobile device. According to a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, the system can automatically determine and distribute financial and/or other incentives to mobile device users to encourage opt in publishing of information.

According to further embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, systems are provided that can aggregate content among mobile devices based on a correlation of users. For example, in one aspect of the disclosed subject matter, users of mobile devices can be correlated based on geography, based network topology or information statistics derived therefrom, based on characteristics of content, etc. Based on the correlation, users of mobile devices can share content and select from content aggregated from participating mobile devices. In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, user-rating can be enabled for the aggregated content to facilitate improving the quality of the aggregated content.

Media Content and Mobile Devices

FIG. 1A is an exemplary, non-limiting block diagram generally illustrating a wireless communication environment 100A suitable for incorporation of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter. Wireless communication environment 100A contains a number of nodes 104 operable to communicate with a wireless access component 102 over a wireless communication medium and according to an agreed protocol. As described in further detail below, such nodes and access components typically contain a receiver and transmitter configured to receive and transmit communications signals from and to other nodes and/or access components.

FIG. 1A illustrates that there can be any arbitrary integral number of nodes. Additionally, the access component 102 may be accompanied by one or more additional access components and may be connected to other suitable networks and/or wireless communication systems as described below. For example, access component 102 can comprise a WiFi® access point, a cellular telephone network base station, etc. Additionally, it is contemplated that, for nodes suitably configured to allow such communication, the nodes can communicate wirelessly, between and among nodes in a peer-to-peer fashion.

According to various non-limiting embodiments, computing environment 100A can comprise user mobile device such as nodes 104 connected by a communications network. Although for purposes of illustration, the network is shown as comprised of nodes 104 connected via access component 102 to other network segments such as network 106, it is to be appreciated that the structure and components of the network can be modified according to system design requirements and without departing from the scope of the disclosed subject matter and the claims appended hereto. For example, access component 102 can interconnect to other network segments (e.g., networks 106) comprising further interconnections to additional networks and network devices.

Additionally, mobile devices can conceivably connect to the system to facilitate techniques of the disclosed subject matter via other networking technologies and devices (not shown), such as local area networks (LANs), personal area networks (PANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), wide area networks (WANs), cellular and telephone networks, and so on, using technologies such as, but not limited to, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) 802.3 (Ethernet), IEEE 802.11 (WiFi®), IEEE 802.15 (Zigbee®), IEEE 802.16 (WiMax™), Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), and so on.

FIG. 1B illustrates an overview of an exemplary computing environment 100B suitable for incorporation of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter. Computing environment 100B can comprise a number of components to facilitate the provision, usage, publication, and/or rating of media content by providers and/or users 108 of mobile devices according to various aspects of the disclosed subject matter, among other related functions. While various embodiments are described with respect to the components of computing environment 100B and the further embodiments more fully described below, one having ordinary skill in the art would recognize that various modifications could be made without departing from the spirit of the disclosed subject matter. Thus, it should be understood that the description herein is but one of many embodiments that may be possible while keeping within the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Additionally, while user mobile device 110 is shown as a generic network capable mobile device, user mobile device 110 is intended to refer to a class of network capable mobile devices that can pre-store content and that user 108 can use to facilitate various techniques of the disclosed subject matter. While for purposes of illustration, the user 108 is described as performing certain actions, it is to be understood that device 110 (e.g., via an operating system and/or application software) can perform such actions on behalf of the user.

Accordingly, exemplary user mobile device 110 can include, without limitation, a cellular phone 112 connected to the network via access component 102 or otherwise, a laptop computer 114, a tablet personal computer (PC) device 116, and/or a personal digital assistant (PDA) 118, and so on. As further examples, user mobile device 110 can include such devices as a network capable camera 120 and other such devices (not shown) as a pen computing device, portable digital music player, home entertainment devices, network capable appliances and sensors, and so on. It is to be appreciated that user mobile device 110 can comprise more or less functionality than those exemplary devices described above as the context requires and as further described below in connection with FIGS. 2-6.

According to various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, the user mobile device 110 can connect to other user mobile devices to facilitate accomplishing various functions as further described below. In addition, user mobile device 110 can connect via one or more communications networks to a content provider network 122 (e.g., directly, via the internet, or otherwise).

Content provider network 122 can comprise any number of content computers, servers, intermediate network devices, and the like to facilitate providing access to media content. For example, content provider network 122 can include a content owner server 124 to facilitate accessing pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content and associated updates to user 108. Content owner server 124 can further include any number of intermediaries acting on behalf of one or more content owners to facilitate accessing pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content and associated updates to user 108. For example, an intermediary acting on behalf a publishing company could store and provide access to associated content updates on a server 126 to user 108 upon user 108 fulfilling a pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content access requirement.

In addition, content provider network 122 can facilitate performing ancillary functions to accomplish various techniques described herein. For example, computer 128 can provide functions such as authentication and authorization of user 108, facilitate purchase transaction, etc. According to various non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, computing environment 100B can further comprise additional network components (not shown). For example, user mobile device 110 and/or other components can be relatively simplistic and lacking certain features to facilitate various techniques of the disclosed subject matter. Accordingly, particular aspects of the disclosed subject matter can be facilitated by additional network components (not shown) in communication with user mobile device 110 and/or other components.

For instance, a content owner server 124 can be capable of facilitating accessing pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content and associated updates to user 108, but be unable to authenticate a user 108 or verify that access is authorized (e.g., verifying fulfillment of a specified requirement). Accordingly, computing environment 100B can comprise such further components (not shown) (e.g., authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) servers, e-commerce servers, database servers, application servers, etc.) in communication with content owner server 124 and/or user 108 to accomplish the desired functions.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram showing illustrative aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of media content and mobile devices. According to an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, in consideration of the increasing storage capacity of mobile devices, system 200 provides an infrastructure where a variety content, such as content associated with digital rights management (DRM), can be pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) (e.g., but not activated) 202 on a mobile device 110 when user 108 begins using the device 110. For example, such content can include, but is not limited to copyrighted content, such as songs, movies, books, articles, software, images, and the like, and/or portions thereof.

As a further example, such content can be stored in a non-active configuration 202 such as by encrypting the content, or a portion thereof. Alternatively, the content can be obscured or otherwise rendered unusable until activated such as by obfuscating the data, providing portions of the data while withholding amount that render use of the non-activated content undesirable (e.g., exceedingly slow, degrading the audio visual aspects sufficiently to deter use until activated, etc.), or any other suitable manner of discouraging unauthorized access.

In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, the system 200 facilitates activating the pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content according to a requirement specified by the content owner or an intermediary acting on behalf of the content owner. Accordingly, when user 108 opts for (e.g., purchases under license) an item of the pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, system 200 facilitates unlocking (e.g., decrypting, etc.) the item 202 of the pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content for use. As a further example, system 200 facilitates specifying by a content owner, or an intermediary acting on behalf of the content owner, that activation of the content 202 (e.g., on a temporary basis or otherwise) is allowed based on the occurrence of a specified action by user 108. For instance, a content owner may desire that users watch a trailer for an upcoming movie. Thus, on occurrence of the specified requirement, the content 202 can be unlocked resulting in unlocked content 204.

As a further example, a content owner may desire to boost patronage of its latest theatrical release and use the ability to unlock content on device 110 as an incentive to user 108. In that instance, the content owner of the theatrical release can, for example, have a unique code printed on a movie ticket stub that can then be used by user 108 on device 110 to unlock further content 202 on the mobile device 110. In one aspect of this embodiment, the content owner of the theatrical release can specify what can be unlocked. In a further aspect, the content owner can delegate the choice of what content can be unlocked to a user 108.

It is to be appreciated that while various activities and functions are described with respect to a user or content owner, it is to be appreciate that any number of such activities, or portions thereof, can be delegated to intermediaries authorized to act on behalf of the respective entities. It is further appreciated that any of the specified functions, or portions thereof can be performed by authorized computing process either in an automated or interactive manner or any combination thereof.

According to a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, system 200 can facilitate automatically identifying any updates to the content 202, which can then be automatically retrieved from the network, thereby avoiding the need to retrieve the entire file. For example, a portion of a software package can be pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) in a mobile device 110. When user 108 opts for the software package 206, and the software package is activated 206_U, any updates can be automatically identified and retrieved.

As an example, upon receiving a mobile device 110 with large amounts of storage, a portion of that storage can be pre-loaded with locked content 202 such as audio 208 (e.g., songs), video/images 210 (e.g., movies, photos), software 206 (e.g., applications and services) and/or any other form of content 212 that a user may wish to obtain, provide, use, publish, share, and/or rate, and so on, as described above. In accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a user 108 of mobile device 110 can designate an item of the content 202 such as a song of audio content 208 and can fulfill the requirements for access to the song. As a result, the song from the pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content 202 can be unlocked. In one aspect of the disclosed subject matter, fulfilling the requirements includes purchasing the song. As described above, any updates to the content can also be retrieved from one or more communications networks as described above. Advantageously, this update process facilitates ensuring that the content is the latest version, while minimizing network download time since the bulk of the content is already on mobile device 1 10.

In addition, with the exception of conventional streaming media technologies, when a user stores media content, such as songs, pictures, videos, and the like, the transfer to the mobile device 110 takes place as a permanent storage event. For example, if content is later changed or versioned, the content of the mobile device does not update. Thus, according to an aspect of various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, content for mobile devices can be automatically updated in a secure manner. Accordingly, system 200 can facilitate using DRM techniques to ensure that only content owners of underlying content, or intermediaries acting on behalf of content owners, are given update privileges.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram of a system 300 according to various embodiments of the disclosed subject matter. According to a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, system 300 can facilitate automatically determining a shorter path to a nearby mobile device (e.g., 110-120) for requested content 302, to facilitate faster and more energy efficient content retrieval. To that end, a shorter data transmission path can be indicated to the user 108 for the purpose of selecting a desired content source (e.g., peer user mobile device 116). Thus, a user 108 of a mobile device 110 desiring content or an update thereto, can be directed automatically, with or without user 108 intervention, to a local copy 302 on a peer mobile device 116 containing the update, rather than from content owner network 122.

Advantageously, any type of content or information that can be shared among users can be shared in this peer-to-peer fashion. For example, alternatively or additionally, the user mobile device 110 can facilitate publishing of information 304 associated with user 108 (e.g., such as user focuses and/or interests). In addition, the user mobile device 110 can facilitate consuming information 306 (e.g., focuses and/or interests) as published by nearby mobile devices (e.g., 112-120) associated with other disparate users. In an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a user 108 of a mobile device 110 can choose to publish and/or receive only a subset of the information stored on a mobile device. In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, an incentive (e.g., financial or otherwise) can be provided to a mobile device user 108 to encourage opt in to the system for publishing information (e.g., 304, 306). For example, a user 108 in a coffee shop can be encouraged to publish information via mobile device 110 by a component of system 300 (e.g., mobile device 114 or other mobile or fixed device (not shown)) offering a free cup of coffee to user 108.

As a result, system 300 can facilitate automatically filling out a survey without any user 108 interaction other than approving (e.g., to various extent) or withholding approval for release of the information to a requesting third party (e.g. mobile device 114) in exchange for what is offered.

In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, user 108 can leave mobile device 110 in a promiscuous mode (e.g., in response to an incentive received or offered or on user's 108 own accord), which can facilitate mobile device 110 publishing information as determined by user 108 over of short-range communications medium (e.g., Bluetooth™, etc.). In turn, as the community of information-sharers grows at the location of system 300, the location of the community of information sharers can become an attraction for the sake of discovering users with common interests. To that end, mobile device 110 can facilitate linking disparate users with common interests. For example, a user 108 can publish information (e.g., a picture, a few user interests, age, etc.) which can be consumed by nearby mobile devices (e.g., mobile device 116) based in part on a substantial match between user interests specified by user 108 and other the users of the nearby mobile device(s) (e.g., mobile device 116).

On the basis of a substantial match, the system 300 can facilitate a person to person introduction based further on user preferences, for example. For instance, while a user 108 may be looking to associate with people having common interests, user 108 may be uninterested in finding people to date. Thus, a match based on interests alone could be inappropriate without allowing user 108 interaction or intervention.

In one aspect, a substantial match can be determined by a mediating component of system 300. For example, to prevent unscrupulous users from discovering another users interests and falsely publishing similar preferences to “discover” a targeted user (e.g., user 108), it may be necessary to encrypt information to a mediating server (not shown), or other trusted entity such as a trusted proprietor of a business location associated with mobile device 1 14. Thus, information matching can be handled by such a “trusted” intermediary. In this manner, rather than trusting a group of strangers to specify and publish their information honestly, the random chance of creating false matches in system 300 can provide and a disincentive to defraud and scam the system 300.

According to further aspects of the disclosed subject matter, once a substantial match is determined, mobile device 110, and or other devices (e.g., a device associated with the substantial match) can create an output to identify that a substantial match is determined. For example, an indication that is uniquely identifiable by the user (e.g., vibrations, playing a song, lights flashing, etc.) can be emitted by mobile device 110 or a substantially matching user's mobile device to facilitate affirmation of the match and the discovery of the matching user. In further examples of identifying a match, mobile device 110 and the associated device of the matching user can be identified substantially simultaneously so as to surprise the users with the determined substantial match. Such simultaneous identification can include making the same or substantially similar sound (e.g., audible or non-audible) that is user detectable or detectable by a device carried by the user (e.g., a cellular phone or PDA), complementary portions of a song (e.g., such as alternating portions of a song), flashing a light (e.g., whether or not the light is in visible spectrum), and/or initiating a radio frequency (RF) beacon that a device user 108 is carrying (e.g., mobile device 110) can home in on to help locate and identify the matched user.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram of a system according to further embodiments of the disclosed subject matter. As a further example of sharing content or information in a peer-to-peer fashion, according to further embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, system 200 can facilitate aggregating content (e.g., 402-406) among mobile devices (e.g., 110-120) based on a correlation of users. For example, in one aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a user 108 of a mobile device 120 can be correlated based on geography, based on network topology or information statistics derived therefrom, based on characteristics of content, etc.

For example, users of mobile devices 112, 118, and 120 can be correlated based on, for example, associating with the same access component 102. Another example could include correlating users based on location information based in part on global positioning system (GPS) information available from capable devices. Thus, while users of mobile devices 112, 118, and 120 can be correlated, users of neighboring network 408 mobile device 410 can be excluded from the correlation.

As a further example, according to an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a user 108 at Yellowstone National Park, based on content 402 stored on a mobile device 120 (e.g., such as a photograph or video taken of a park feature with the user's mobile device) can share such content 402 or partake in other content 404 (e.g., great footage of the park) on enabled mobile devices 118 also at Yellowstone or taken at some other related point in time to facilitate providing an integrated experience with other mobile device users in the park.

Thus, based on the correlation, system 400 can facilitate users of mobile devices sharing content and selecting from content aggregated from participating mobile devices. In a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, system 200 facilitates submitting user-ratings (412-416) of shared and aggregated content (402-406) to facilitate improving the quality of the aggregated content. Thus, system 400 can indicate aggregated user ratings information to user of mobile devices 112, 118, and 120 to facilitate making content selections by users on the basis thereof.

For instance, a first device 120 might store a sunset at Yellowstone 402 and another device 118 might store an amazing photo of a geyser rushing forth from Earth 404, while still a third device 112 store an out of focus picture of poor quality 406. Thus, system 400, by facilitating sharing and rating of content by other users in the vicinity of the first device 120 (e.g., also in Yellowstone park as determined by associating with the same access component 102), the first two images (e.g., taken by device 118 and device 120) will become apparent as quality content (high ratings) participating mobile devices (e.g., mobile devices 112, 118, and 120) at Yellowstone park, while the third image 406 (e.g., taken by device 112) will not be rated highly for quality by other users and will fall out of favored listing.

Advantageously, a community of mobile device users (e.g., system 400) can collectively develop a set of high quality media reflecting the day's events at Yellowstone or for any other context (e.g., graduation, the Super bowl, etc.), creating, for example, a rich record of the sunrise, the geyser rush, some lava flow, and the sunset at Yellowstone for the best or most popularly viewed day's events for all participating mobile devices. According to a further aspect of the disclosed subject matter, a market for content of high quality can be maintained and exploited, for example by providing an intermediate ratings and/or content server (not shown) at the locale of the user correlation or otherwise, that could be monetized in the form of dollars, advertising models, and so on.

It should be appreciated that mobile devices (e.g., user mobile device 110, etc.) can be relatively simplistic devices lacking certain features to facilitate aspects of the disclosed subject matter. Thus, particular aspects of the disclosed subject matter can be facilitated by various network components (not shown) in a client-server model and/or peer-to-peer model in communication with user mobile device 110.

It is to be appreciated that various functions, components, or process steps as described herein can be combined or distributed via techniques known in the art or can be eliminated or reorganized according to system design considerations without departing from the scope of the claims appended hereto. For example, while some of the functions (e.g., authenticating mobile devices and/or, sharing and rating content, identifying substantial matches, opting for content and receiving updates, etc.) are described as occurring in discrete elements or devices for purposes of illustration, it should be understood that such functions can be combined or distributed as desired. As an example, for receiving an indication of a user opting for unlocking an item of pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, some or all of the described functions can be facilitated between a content owner server 124 over a communications network with or without involving an intermediary. Further examples of such modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the various embodiments disclosed and claimed herein.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device 500 suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. The mobile device 500 can be a stand-alone device or a portion thereof or a specially programmed computing device or a portion thereof (e.g., a memory retaining instructions for performing the techniques as described herein coupled to a processor). Mobile device 500 can include a memory 502 that retains various instructions with respect to facilitating pre-storing content, user selection of pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, receiving and transmitting user-fulfillment of a specified requirement to unlock the pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, decryption and communications routines such as networking and peer-to-peer communications routines, and/or the like.

For instance, mobile device 500 can include a memory 502 that retains instructions for selecting and attempting to access a content item in memory of the mobile device 500 that is preloaded with content items that are inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills at least one requirement for accessing the content items. The memory 502 can further retain instructions for determining whether the user has fulfilled a requirement for accessing the content item. Additionally, memory 502 can retains instructions for automatically unlocking the content item making the content item accessible to the user of the mobile device if the user has fulfilled the requirement. The above example instructions and other suitable instructions can be retained within memory 502, and a processor 504 can be utilized in connection with executing the instructions.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device 600 suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. As briefly described above with reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B, various non-limiting embodiments of the disclosed subject matter can comprise more or less functionality than those exemplary devices therein, depending on the context. In addition, a mobile device 600 as described can be any of the mobile devices as the context requires and as further described above in connection with FIGS. 1-5. It is to be appreciated that while the functionality of mobile device 600 is described in a general sense, more or less of the described functionality may be implemented, combined, and/or distributed (e.g., among network components, servers, databases, and the like), according to context, system design considerations, and/or marketing factors, and the like.

Thus, as described above, mobile device 600 can include host processor 602 and that can be associated with a storage component 604 to facilitate storage of data (e.g., pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content whether locked or unlocked\activated and whether updated or not, user content, user associated information, community content ratings, etc.) and/or instructions for performing functions associated with an incident to the disclosed subject matter as described herein.

In addition, the host processor 602 can be associated with a cryptographic component 606. In accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, cryptographic component 606 can provide symmetric cryptographic tools and accelerators (e.g., Twofish, Blowfish, AES, TDES, IDEA, CAST5, RC4, etc.) to facilitate encrypting and/or decrypting data. Thus, cryptographic component 606 can facilitate securing data being written to, stored in, and/or read from the storage component 604 (e.g., such as for pre-storing content to create pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, etc.), transmitted to or received from a connected network (e.g., such as for transmitting user associated information to a trusted intermediary, etc.), and/or creating a secure communication channel as part of a secure association of mobile device 600 with a user or systems facilitating various aspects of the disclosed subject matter to ensure that protected data can only be accessed by those entities authorized and/or authenticated to do so. To the same ends, cryptographic component 606 can also provide asymmetric cryptographic accelerators and tools (e.g., RSA, Digital Signature Standard (DSS), and the like) in addition to accelerators and tools (e.g., Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) and its variants such as, for example, SHA-0, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512).

Mobile device 600 can further include an authentication component 608 that can solicit authentication data from a user 108 or other device (e.g., an operating system and/or application software) on behalf of user 108, and, upon receiving the proper authentication data so solicited, can be employed, individually and/or in conjunction with information acquired and ascertained as a result of biometric modalities employed, to facilitate associating network device with user 108. The authentication data can be in the form of a password (e.g., a sequence of humanly cognizable characters), a pass phrase (e.g., a sequence of alphanumeric characters that can be similar to a typical password but is conventionally of greater length and contains non-humanly cognizable characters in addition to humanly cognizable characters), a pass code (e.g., Personal Identification Number (PIN)), and the like, for example.

Additionally and/or alternatively, public key infrastructure (PKI) data can also be employed by authentication component 608. PKI arrangements can provide for trusted third parties to vet, and affirm, entity identity through the use of public keys that typically can be certificates issued by trusted third parties. Such arrangements can enable entities to be authenticated to each other, and to use information in certificates (e.g., public keys) and private keys, session keys, Traffic Encryption Keys (TEKs), cryptographic-system-specific keys, and/or other keys, to encrypt and decrypt messages communicated between entities.

For example, a properly authenticated user 108, in one aspect of the disclosed subject matter, upon proper authentication could, without further action other than selection of a pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content for activation, be trusted by content owners with which user 108 has a pre-existing account (e.g., credit account, debit account, or otherwise). Thus, the authentication component 608 can further expedite activation of pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content by facilitating trust verification by the mobile device 600.

Accordingly, authentication component 608 can implement one or more machine-implemented techniques to identify a user 108 or other device (e.g., an operating system and/or application software) on behalf of user 108, by the user's unique physical and behavioral characteristics and attributes. Biometric modalities that can be employed can include, for example, face recognition wherein measurements of key points on an entity's face can provide a unique pattern that can be associated with the entity, iris recognition that measures from the outer edge towards the pupil the patterns associated with the colored part of the eye—the iris—to detect unique features associated with an entity's iris, and finger print identification that scans the corrugated ridges of skin that are non-continuous and form a pattern that can provide distinguishing features to identify an entity.

Referring again to FIG. 6, mobile device 600 can also include a presentation component 610, which can be associated with the host processor 602, and which can facilitate various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. For instance, the presentation component 610 can provide various types of user interfaces to facilitate interaction between a user 108 and any component coupled to the host processor 602. In addition to providing one or more indications to facilitate selection of pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content, indicating a substantial match of user associated information, and so on, as described above, presentation component 610 can provide one or more graphical user interfaces (GUIs), command line interfaces, structured and/or customized menus, and the like.

For example, a GUI can be rendered that provides a user with a region or means to load, import, read, etc., data, and can include a region to present such results. These regions can comprise known text and/or graphic regions comprising dialogue boxes, static controls, drop-down-menus, list boxes, pop-up menus, as edit controls, combo boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, push buttons, and graphic boxes. In addition, utilities to facilitate the presentation such as vertical and/or horizontal scroll bars for navigation and toolbar buttons to determine whether a region will be viewable can be employed. For example, the user can interact with one or more of the components coupled to and/or incorporated into the host processor 602.

The user can also interact with the regions to select and provide information via various devices such as a mouse, a roller ball, a keypad, a keyboard, touchpad, touch screen, a pen and/or voice activation, for example. Typically, a mechanism such as a push button or the enter key on the keyboard can be employed to facilitate entering information in mobile device 600. However, it is to be appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not so limited. For example, merely highlighting a check box can initiate information conveyance.

In another example, a command line interface can be employed. For example, the command line interface can prompt (e.g., via a text message on a display and an audio tone) the user for information via providing a text message. The user can then provide suitable information, such as alpha-numeric input corresponding to an option provided in the interface prompt or an answer to a question posed in the prompt. It is to be appreciated that a command line interface can be employed in connection with a GUI and/or API. In addition, the command line interface can be employed in connection with hardware (e.g., video cards of a computer) and/or displays (e.g., black and white, EGA, or other video display unit of a standalone device such as an LCD display on a network printer) with limited graphic support, and/or low bandwidth communication channels.

As a further example, mobile device 600 can include one or more motion sensors and associate software components and/or voice activation components that can be used by user 108 to facilitate entering information in mobile device 600.

As depicted, mobile device 600 is described as a monolithic device. However, it is to be appreciated that the various components and/or the functionality provided thereby can be incorporated into the host processor 602 or provided by other connected devices. Accordingly, it is to be appreciated that more or less of the described functionality may be implemented, combined, and/or distributed (e.g., among network devices, servers, databases, and the like), according to context, system design considerations, and/or marketing factors.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting mobile device 700 suitable for performing various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. System 700 comprises an input component 702 that receives data or signals, and performs typical actions thereon (e.g., transmits to storage component 604) the received data or signal. A storage component 604 can store the received data (e.g., pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content whether locked or unlocked\activated and whether updated or not, user content, user associated information, community content ratings, etc.) or signal for later processing or can provide it to a decoding component 706, or a processor 704, via memory 502 over a suitable communications bus or otherwise, or to the output component 708.

Processor 704 can be a processor dedicated to analyzing information received by input component 702 and/or generating information for transmission by an output component 708. Processor 704 can be a processor that controls one or more portions of system 700, and/or a processor that analyzes information received by input component 702, generates information for transmission by output component 708, and performs various decoding algorithms of decoding component 708. Decoding component 706 can include various algorithms and routines to facilitate communication according specified network protocols and coding algorithms.

While decoding component 706 is shown external to the processor 704 and memory 502, it is to be appreciated that decoding component 706 can include decoding code stored in storage component 604 and subsequently retained in memory 502 for execution by processor 704. It is to be appreciated that various routines performed by mobile device 700 can utilize artificial intelligence based methods in connection with performing inference and/or probabilistic determinations and/or statistical-based determinations in connection with various aspects of the disclosed subject matter.

System 700 can additionally comprise memory 502 that is operatively coupled to processor 704 and that stores information such as described above, parameters, information, and the like, wherein such information can be employed in connection with implementing various aspects as described herein. Memory 502 can additionally store received data (e.g., pre-stored (e.g., preloaded) content whether locked or unlocked\activated and whether updated or not, user content, user associated information, community content ratings, etc.) as well as software routines and instructions as described above in reference to FIGS. 5-6.

It will be appreciated that storage component 604 and memory 502 and/or any combination thereof as described herein can be either volatile memory or nonvolatile memory, or can include both volatile and nonvolatile memory. By way of illustration, and not limitation, nonvolatile memory can include read only memory (ROM), programmable ROM (PROM), electrically programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable ROM (EEPROM), or flash memory. Volatile memory can include random access memory (RAM), which acts as cache memory. By way of illustration and not limitation, RAM is available in many forms such as synchronous RAM (SRAM), dynamic RAM (DRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), double data rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM), enhanced SDRAM (ESDRAM), Synchlink DRAM (SLDRAM), and direct Rambus RAM (DRRAM). The memory 502 is intended to comprise, without being limited to, these and any other suitable types of memory, including processor registers and the like. In addition, by way of illustration and not limitation, storage component 604 can include conventional storage media as in known in the art (e.g., hard disk drive).

In view of the exemplary systems and devices described supra, methodologies that can be implemented in accordance with the disclosed subject matter will be better appreciated with reference to the flowcharts of FIGS. 8-10. While for purposes of simplicity of explanation, the methodologies are shown and described as a series of blocks, it is to be understood and appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not limited by the order of the blocks, as some blocks may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other blocks from what is depicted and described herein. Where non-sequential, or branched, flow is illustrated via flowchart, it can be appreciated that various other branches, flow paths, and orders of the blocks, can be implemented which achieve the same or a similar result. Moreover, not all illustrated blocks may be required to implement the methodologies described hereinafter.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of media content and mobile devices. At 802, a request can be received to access a content item in memory of the mobile device preloaded (e.g., pre-stored) with content items that are inaccessible by a user of the mobile device unless the user fulfills requirement(s) for accessing the content items.

At 804, it is determined whether the user has fulfilled the requirement(s) for accessing the content item. For example, it can be determined whether the user has made payment of a fixed price specified at a time the user acquires the mobile device. In addition, it can be determined whether the user has maintained a subscription associated with at least one of the mobile device and/or the plurality of content items.

As a further example, it can be determined whether the user has entered a redemption code obtained by the user in response to an offer published by or on behalf of an owner of an other content item, the other content item being other than one of the plurality of content items preloaded on the mobile device. For instance, a content owner may desire to boost patronage of its latest theatrical release and use the ability to unlock content on a mobile device as an incentive to the user. In that instance, the content owner of the theatrical release can, for example, have a unique code printed on a movie ticket stub that can then be used by user on the mobile device to unlock further content on the mobile device. In one aspect of this embodiment, the content owner of the theatrical release can specify what items can be can be unlocked. In a further aspect, the content owner can delegate the choice of what content can be unlocked to a user.

At 806, if it is determined that the user has fulfilled the requirement(s), the content item is automatically unlocked making the content item substantially immediately accessible to the user of the mobile device. At 808, the user can take any action available by the mobile device on the unlocked content item.

In addition, various non-limiting embodiments of methodologies 800 can make the content item substantially immediately inaccessible based at least upon occurrence of a specific condition. As an example, the content item can be made substantially immediately inaccessible specific based upon an expiration of a time period, an integral content item usage limit (e.g., a number of times that the content item can be accessed), the nonpayment of a subscription fee, a report to a service provider that the mobile device has been stolen or misplaced, the detection of unauthorized modifications to the mobile device, and/or resetting the mobile device by an authorized entity.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies 900 for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of sharing user associated information among mobile devices. At 902, a first user of a first mobile device can specify information (e.g., information associated with the first user) to be wirelessly published by the first mobile device for consumption by additional user(s) of other mobile device(s). For example, the information can include information about the user such as user age, user sex, and user relationship availability status, user hobbies, user interests and focuses (e.g., user athletic activity preferences), and or the like, and any combination thereof.

At 904, the first user can receive an offer of an incentive to publish at least a portion of the information. For example, the offer can be specified by transmitting wirelessly the offer to the first user via the first mobile device. Alternatively, the offer can be transmitted via an advertisement such as a sign (e.g., electronic or otherwise, digital or analog, on a physical medium such as paper or over a transmission medium via electromagnetic radiation, and/or any combination thereof), a billboard, an audible or visual indication either broadcast or directed transmission (e.g., directed to a specific user or specific group of users), on a receipt, and so on. In addition, the incentive can include such incentives as: financial incentives (e.g., either direct payment of monetary benefit or derivative through an intermediary such as a middleman or referrer, or derivative through discounts, rebates, coupons, and the like, and whether or not the benefit will ultimately accrue to the user such as the case for a failed attempt at matching user interests with another user or expiration of a rebate); in-kind exchange incentives (e.g., an exchange of user information for information associated with another user or a group users); and other non-monetary incentives.

At 906, the first user can wirelessly publish at least a portion of the information based upon the offer and preferences indicated by the first user of the first mobile device. For example, while a user may allow release of such non-identifying information as personal athletic activity interests and the like, the user may prefer to keep personally-identifying information private, at least until greater promise of a substantial match is indicated.

In addition, methodologies 900 can further include determining whether there is a substantial match of the wirelessly published information. For example, at 908 a second user can consume the wirelessly published information. Based on a determination of whether there is a substantial match of the wirelessly published information, at 910 an indication of the substantial match can be provided to the first user as described above, for example with reference to FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram of methodologies 1000 for performing aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in the context of aggregating and rating content among correlated mobile devices. At 1002, users associated with respective mobile device(s) each having item(s) of user-generated content to be aggregated can be correlated. For example, users generating content (e.g., taking pictures at a tourist destination, filming movies at a sports event, recording an outdoor concert, etc.) can be correlated. As a further example, users can be correlated based on a geographic location, network topology, information derived from network topology, associated global positioning system information, and shared characteristics of the aggregated content, and so on, and/or any combination thereof.

At 1004, users can wirelessly share item(s) of user-generated content among correlated users, which can be aggregated at 1006 to create aggregated content. For example, the aggregated content can be made available to the correlated users on a peer-to-peer basis or in a client server model, or any combination thereof.

At 1008, a community rating for item(s) of user-generated content can be determined. For example, users of the correlated users can participate in providing individual ratings for the content item(s). As a further example, the individual ratings can be communicated among the users on a peer-to-peer basis or in a client server model, or any combination thereof, similar to the dissemination of the item(s) of user generated content. Accordingly, the mobile device can display a community rating to a respective user to provide an indication of the community adjudged quality of the content item.

In addition, methodologies 1000 can further include incentivizing and/or monetization of the user generated content. For example, at 1008, methodologies 1000 can facilitate obtaining license(s) to store and relicense respective item(s) of user generated content, for example for those items having a relatively high determined community rating. In addition, at 1012, a collection of user-generated content can be stored for item(s) of the user-generated content having a relatively high determined community rating, access to which can be offered for a fee for relicensing item(s) of the collection.

Exemplary Computer Networks and Environments

One of ordinary skill in the art can appreciate that the disclosed subject matter can be implemented in connection with any computer or other client or server device, which can be deployed as part of a computer network, or in a distributed computing environment, connected to any kind of data store. In this regard, the disclosed subject matter pertains to any computer system or environment having any number of memory or storage units, and any number of applications and processes occurring across any number of storage units or volumes, which may be used in connection with wireless devices and wireless communications in accordance with the disclosed subject matter. The disclosed subject matter may apply to an environment with server computers and client computers deployed in a network environment or a distributed computing environment, having remote or local storage. The disclosed subject matter may also be applied to standalone computing devices, having programming language functionality, interpretation and execution capabilities for generating, receiving and transmitting information in connection with remote or local services and processes.

Distributed computing provides sharing of computer resources and services by exchange between computing devices and systems. These resources and services include the exchange of information, cache storage and disk storage for objects, such as files. Distributed computing takes advantage of network connectivity, allowing clients to leverage their collective power to benefit the entire enterprise. In this regard, a variety of devices may have applications, objects or resources that may implicate the wireless devices and wireless communications of the disclosed subject matter.

FIG. 11 provides a schematic diagram of an exemplary networked or distributed computing environment. The distributed computing environment comprises computing objects 1110a, 1110b, etc. and computing objects or devices 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. These objects may comprise programs, methods, data stores, programmable logic, etc. The objects may comprise portions of the same or different devices such as PDAs, audio/video devices, MP3 players, personal computers, etc. Each object can communicate with another object by way of the communications network 1140. This network may itself comprise other computing objects and computing devices that provide services to the system of FIG. 11, and may itself represent multiple interconnected networks. In accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter, each object 1110a, 1110b, etc. or 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. may contain an application that might make use of an API, or other object, software, firmware and/or hardware, suitable for use with the wireless devices and wireless communications in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

It can also be appreciated that an object, such as 1120c, may be hosted on another computing device 1110a, 1110b, etc. or 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. Thus, although the physical environment depicted may show the connected devices as computers, such illustration is merely exemplary and the physical environment may alternatively be depicted or described comprising various digital devices such as PDAs, televisions, MP3 players, etc., any of which may employ a variety of wired and wireless services, software objects such as interfaces, COM objects, and the like.

There are a variety of systems, components, and network configurations that support distributed computing environments. For example, computing systems may be connected together by wired or wireless systems, by local networks or widely distributed networks. Currently, many of the networks are coupled to the Internet, which provides an infrastructure for widely distributed computing and encompasses many different networks. Any of the infrastructures may be used for exemplary communications made incident to wireless devices and wireless communications according to the disclosed subject matter.

In home networking environments, there are at least four disparate network transport media that may each support a unique protocol, such as Power line, data (both wireless and wired), voice (e.g., telephone) and entertainment media. Most home control devices such as light switches and appliances may use power lines for connectivity. Data Services may enter the home as broadband (e.g., either DSL or Cable modem) and are accessible within the home using either wireless (e.g., HomeRF or 802.11B) or wired (e.g., Home PNA, Cat 5, Ethernet, even power line) connectivity. Voice traffic may enter the home either as wired (e.g., Cat 3) or wireless (e.g., cell phones) and may be distributed within the home using Cat 3 wiring. Entertainment media, or other graphical data, may enter the home either through satellite or cable and is typically distributed in the home using coaxial cable. IEEE 1394 and DVI are also digital interconnects for clusters of media devices. All of these network environments and others that may emerge, or already have emerged, as protocol standards may be interconnected to form a network, such as an intranet, that may be connected to the outside world by way of a wide area network, such as the Internet. In short, a variety of disparate sources exist for the storage and transmission of data, and consequently, any of the computing devices of the disclosed subject matter may share and communicate data in any existing manner, and no one way described in the embodiments herein is intended to be limiting.

The Internet commonly refers to the collection of networks and gateways that utilize the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite of protocols, which are well-known in the art of computer networking. The Internet can be described as a system of geographically distributed remote computer networks interconnected by computers executing networking protocols that allow users to interact and share information over network(s). Because of such wide-spread information sharing, remote networks such as the Internet have thus far generally evolved into an open system with which developers can design software applications for performing specialized operations or services, essentially without restriction.

Thus, the network infrastructure enables a host of network topologies such as client/server, peer-to-peer, or hybrid architectures. The “client” is a member of a class or group that uses the services of another class or group to which it is not related. Thus, in computing, a client is a process, i.e., roughly a set of instructions or tasks, that requests a service provided by another program. The client process utilizes the requested service without having to “know” any working details about the other program or the service itself. In a client/server architecture, particularly a networked system, a client is usually a computer that accesses shared network resources provided by another computer, e.g., a server. In the illustration of FIG. 11, as an example, computers 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. can be thought of as clients and computers 1110a, 1110b, etc. can be thought of as servers where servers 1110a, 1110b, etc. maintain the data that is then replicated to client computers 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc., although any computer can be considered a client, a server, or both, depending on the circumstances. Any of these computing devices may be processing data or requesting services or tasks that may implicate the wireless devices and wireless communications in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

A server is typically a remote computer system accessible over a remote or local network, such as the Internet or wireless network infrastructures. The client process may be active in a first computer system, and the server process may be active in a second computer system, communicating with one another over a communications medium, thus providing distributed functionality and allowing multiple clients to take advantage of the information-gathering capabilities of the server. Any software objects utilized pursuant to the wireless devices and wireless communications of the disclosed subject matter may be distributed across multiple computing devices or objects.

Client(s) and server(s) communicate with one another utilizing the functionality provided by protocol layer(s). For example, HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a common protocol that is used in conjunction with the World Wide Web (WWW), or “the Web.” Typically, a computer network address such as an Internet Protocol (IP) address or other reference such as a Universal Resource Locator (URL) can be used to identify the server or client computers to each other. The network address can be referred to as a URL address. Communication can be provided over a communications medium, e.g., client(s) and server(s) may be coupled to one another via TCP/IP connection(s) for high-capacity communication.

Thus, FIG. 11 illustrates an exemplary networked or distributed environment, with server(s) in communication with client computer (s) via a network/bus, in which the disclosed subject matter may be employed. In more detail, a number of servers 1110a, 1110b, etc. are interconnected via a communications network/bus 1140, which may be a LAN, WAN, intranet, GSM network, the Internet, etc., with a number of client or remote computing devices 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc., such as a portable computer, handheld computer, thin client, networked appliance, or other device, such as a VCR, TV, oven, light, heater and the like in accordance with the disclosed subject matter. It is thus contemplated that the disclosed subject matter may apply to any computing device in connection with which it is desirable to mobile.

In a network environment in which the communications network/bus 1140 is the Internet, for example, the servers 1110a, 1110b, etc. can be Web servers with which the clients 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. communicate via any of a number of known protocols such as HTTP. Servers 1110a, 1110b, etc. may also serve as clients 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc., as may be characteristic of a distributed computing environment.

As mentioned, communications may be wired or wireless, or a combination, where appropriate. Client devices 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. may or may not communicate via communications network/bus 14, and may have independent communications associated therewith. For example, in the case of a TV or VCR, there may or may not be a networked aspect to the control thereof. Each client computer 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. and server computer 1110a, 1110b, etc. may be equipped with various application program modules or objects 1135a, 1135b, 1135c, etc. and with connections or access to various types of storage elements or objects, across which files or data streams may be stored or to which portion(s) of files or data streams may be downloaded, transmitted or migrated. Any one or more of computers 1110a, 1110b, 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. may be responsible for the maintenance and updating of a database 1130 or other storage element, such as a database or memory 1130 for storing data processed or saved according to the disclosed subject matter. Thus, the disclosed subject matter can be utilized in a computer network environment having client computers 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. that can access and interact with a computer network/bus 1140 and server computers 1110a, 1110b, etc. that may interact with client computers 1120a, 1120b, 1120c, 1120d, 1120e, etc. and other like devices, and databases 1130.

Exemplary Computing Device

As mentioned, the disclosed subject matter applies to any device wherein it may be desirable to be mobile. It should be understood, therefore, that handheld, portable and other computing devices and computing objects of all kinds are contemplated for use in connection with the disclosed subject matter, i.e., anywhere that a device may be wireless or otherwise receive, process or store data. Accordingly, the below general purpose remote computer described below in FIG. 12 is but one example, and the disclosed subject matter may be implemented with any client having network/bus interoperability and interaction. Thus, the disclosed subject matter may be implemented in an environment of networked hosted services in which very little or minimal client resources are implicated, e.g., a networked environment in which the client device serves merely as an interface to the network/bus, such as an object placed in an appliance.

Although not required, the disclosed subject matter can partly be implemented via an operating system, for use by a developer of services for a device or object, and/or included within application software that operates in connection with the component(s) of the disclosed subject matter. Software may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by one or more computers, such as client workstations, servers or other devices. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the disclosed subject matter may be practiced with other computer system configurations and protocols.

FIG. 12 thus illustrates an example of a suitable computing system environment 1200a in which the disclosed subject matter may be implemented, although as made clear above, the computing system environment 1200a is only one example of a suitable computing environment for a media device and is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality of the disclosed subject matter. Neither should the computing environment 1200a be interpreted as having any dependency or requirement relating to any one or combination of components illustrated in the exemplary operating environment 1200a.

With reference to FIG. 12, an exemplary remote device for implementing the disclosed subject matter includes a general purpose computing device in the form of a computer 1210a. Components of computer 1210a may include, but are not limited to, a processing unit 1220a, a system memory 1230a, and a system bus 1221a that couples various system components including the system memory to the processing unit 1220a. The system bus 1221a may be any of several types of bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures.

Computer 1210a typically includes a variety of computer readable media. Computer readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by computer 1210a. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may comprise computer storage media and communication media. Computer storage media includes both volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CDROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by computer 1210a. Communication media typically embodies computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media.

The system memory 1230a may include computer storage media in the form of volatile and/or nonvolatile memory such as read only memory (ROM) and/or random access memory (RAM). A basic input/output system (BIOS), containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within computer 1210a, such as during start-up, may be stored in memory 1230a. Memory 1230a typically also contains data and/or program modules that are immediately accessible to and/or presently being operated on by processing unit 1220a. By way of example, and not limitation, memory 1230a may also include an operating system, application programs, other program modules, and program data.

The computer 1210a may also include other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. For example, computer 1210a could include a hard disk drive that reads from or writes to non-removable, nonvolatile magnetic media, a magnetic disk drive that reads from or writes to a removable, nonvolatile magnetic disk, and/or an optical disk drive that reads from or writes to a removable, nonvolatile optical disk, such as a CD-ROM or other optical media. Other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media that can be used in the exemplary operating environment include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape cassettes, flash memory cards, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM and the like. A hard disk drive is typically connected to the system bus 1221a through a non-removable memory interface such as an interface, and a magnetic disk drive or optical disk drive is typically connected to the system bus 1221a by a removable memory interface, such as an interface.

A user may enter commands and information into the computer 1210a through input devices such as a keyboard and pointing device, commonly referred to as a mouse, trackball or touch pad. Other input devices may include a microphone, joystick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner, or the like. These and other input devices are often connected to the processing unit 1220a through user input 1240a and associated interface(s) that are coupled to the system bus 1221a, but may be connected by other interface and bus structures, such as a parallel port, game port or a universal serial bus (USB). A graphics subsystem may also be connected to the system bus 1221a. A monitor or other type of display device is also connected to the system bus 1221a via an interface, such as output interface 1250a, which may in turn communicate with video memory. In addition to a monitor, computers may also include other peripheral output devices such as speakers and a printer, which may be connected through output interface 1250a.

The computer 1210a may operate in a networked or distributed environment using logical connections to one or more other remote computers, such as remote computer 1270a, which may in turn have media capabilities different from device 1210a. The remote computer 1270a may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, or any other remote media consumption or transmission device, and may include any or all of the elements described above relative to the computer 1210a. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 12 include a network 1271a, such local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN), but may also include other networks/buses. Such networking environments are commonplace in homes, offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets and the Internet.

When used in a LAN networking environment, the computer 1210a is connected to the LAN 1271a through a network interface or adapter. When used in a WAN networking environment, the computer 1210a typically includes a communications component, such as a modem, or other means for establishing communications over the WAN, such as the Internet. A communications component, such as a modem, which may be internal or external, may be connected to the system bus 1221 a via the user input interface of input 1240a, or other appropriate mechanism. In a networked environment, program modules depicted relative to the computer 1210a, or portions thereof, may be stored in a remote memory storage device. It will be appreciated that the network connections shown and described are exemplary and other means of establishing a communications link between the computers may be used.

Exemplary Communications Networks and Environments

The above-described wireless devices and wireless communications may be applied to any network, however, the following description sets forth some exemplary telephony radio networks and non-limiting operating environments for wireless devices and wireless communications of the disclosed subject matter. The below-described operating environments should be considered non-exhaustive, however, and thus the below-described network architecture merely shows one network architecture into which the disclosed subject matter may be incorporated. One can appreciate, however, that the disclosed subject matter may be incorporated into any now existing or future alternative architectures for communication networks as well.

The global system for mobile communication (“GSM”) is one of the most widely utilized wireless access systems in today's fast growing communication systems. GSM provides circuit-switched data services to subscribers, such as mobile telephone or computer users. General Packet Radio Service (“GPRS”), which is an extension to GSM technology, introduces packet switching to GSM networks. GPRS uses a packet-based wireless communication technology to transfer high and low speed data and signaling in an efficient manner. GPRS optimizes the use of network and radio resources, thus enabling the cost effective and efficient use of GSM network resources for packet mode applications.

As one of ordinary skill in the art can appreciate, the exemplary GSM/GPRS environment and services described herein can also be extended to 3G services, such as Universal Mobile Telephone System (“UMTS”), Frequency Division Duplexing (“FDD”) and Time Division Duplexing (“TDD”), High Speed Packet Data Access (“HSPDA”), cdma2000 1× Evolution Data Optimized (“EVDO”), Code Division Multiple Access-2000 (“cdma2000 3×”), Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (“TD-SCDMA”), Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (“WCDMA”), Enhanced Data GSM Environment (“EDGE”), International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (“IMT-2000”), Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (“DECT”), etc., as well as to other network services that shall become available in time. In this regard, the techniques of the disclosed subject matter may be applied independently of the method of data transport, and does not depend on any particular network architecture, or underlying protocols.

FIG. 13 depicts an overall block diagram of an exemplary packet-based mobile cellular network environment, such as a GPRS network, in which the disclosed subject matter may be practiced. In such an environment, there are a plurality of Base Station Subsystems (“BSS”) 1300 (only one is shown), each of which comprises a Base Station Controller (“BSC”) 1302 serving a plurality of Base Transceiver Stations (“BTS”) such as BTSs 1304, 1306, and 1308. BTSs 1304, 1306, 1308, etc. are the access points where users of packet-based mobile devices become connected to the wireless network. In exemplary fashion, the packet traffic originating from user devices is transported over the air interface to a BTS 1308, and from the BTS 1308 to the BSC 1302. Base station subsystems, such as BSS 1300, are a part of internal frame relay network 1310 that may include Service GPRS Support Nodes (“SGSN”) such as SGSN 1312 and 1314. Each SGSN is in turn connected to an internal packet network 1320 through which a SGSN 1312, 1314, etc. can route data packets to and from a plurality of gateway GPRS support nodes (GGSN) 1322, 1324, 1326, etc. As illustrated, SGSN 1314 and GGSNs 1322, 1324, and 1326 are part of internal packet network 1320. Gateway GPRS serving nodes 1322, 1324 and 1326 mainly provide an interface to external Internet Protocol (“IP”) networks such as Public Land Mobile Network (“PLMN”) 1345, corporate intranets 1340, or Fixed-End System (“FES”) or the public Internet 1330. As illustrated, subscriber corporate network 1340 may be connected to GGSN 1324 via firewall 1332; and PLMN 1345 is connected to GGSN 1324 via boarder gateway router 1334. The Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (“RADIUS”) server 1342 may be used for caller authentication when a user of a mobile cellular device calls corporate network 1340.

Generally, there can be four different cell sizes in a GSM network—macro, micro, pico and umbrella cells. The coverage area of each cell is different in different environments. Macro cells can be regarded as cells where the base station antenna is installed in a mast or a building above average roof top level. Micro cells are cells whose antenna height is under average roof top level; they are typically used in urban areas. Pico cells are small cells having a diameter is a few dozen meters; they are mainly used indoors. On the other hand, umbrella cells are used to cover shadowed regions of smaller cells and fill in gaps in coverage between those cells.

Thus, network elements that may implicate the functionality of the optimization algorithms and processes in accordance with the disclosed subject matter may include but are not limited to Gateway GPRS Support Node tables, Fixed End System router tables, firewall systems, VPN tunnels, and any number of other network elements as required by the particular digital network.

The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. For the avoidance of doubt, the subject matter disclosed herein is not limited by such examples. In addition, any aspect or design described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other aspects or designs, nor is it meant to preclude equivalent exemplary structures and techniques known to those of ordinary skill in the art. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms “includes,” “has,” “contains,” and other similar words are used in either the detailed description or the claims, for the avoidance of doubt, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising” as an open transition word without precluding any additional or other elements.

Various implementations of the disclosed subject matter described herein may have aspects that are wholly in hardware, partly in hardware and partly in software, as well as in software. As used herein, the terms “component,” “system” and the like are likewise intended to refer to a computer-related entity, either hardware, a combination of hardware and software, software, or software in execution. For example, a component may be, but is not limited to being, a process running on a processor, a processor, an object, an executable, a thread of execution, a program, and/or a computer. By way of illustration, both an application running on computer and the computer can be a component. One or more components may reside within a process and/or thread of execution and a component may be localized on one computer and/or distributed between two or more computers.

Thus, the methods and apparatus of the disclosed subject matter, or certain aspects or portions thereof, may take the form of program code (i.e., instructions) embodied in tangible media, such as floppy diskettes, CD-ROMs, hard drives, or any other machine-readable storage medium, wherein, when the program code is loaded into and executed by a machine, such as a computer, the machine becomes an apparatus for practicing the disclosed subject matter. In the case of program code execution on programmable computers, the computing device generally includes a processor, a storage medium readable by the processor (including volatile and non-volatile memory and/or storage elements), at least one input device, and at least one output device.

Furthermore, the disclosed subject matter may be implemented as a system, method, apparatus, or article of manufacture using standard programming and/or engineering techniques to produce software, firmware, hardware, or any combination thereof to control a computer or processor based device to implement aspects detailed herein. The terms “article of manufacture”, “computer program product” or similar terms, where used herein, are intended to encompass a computer program accessible from any computer-readable device, carrier, or media. For example, computer readable media can include but are not limited to magnetic storage devices (e.g., hard disk, floppy disk, magnetic strips . . . ), optical disks (e.g., compact disk (CD), digital versatile disk (DVD) . . . ), smart cards, and flash memory devices (e.g., card, stick). Additionally, it is known that a carrier wave can be employed to carry computer-readable electronic data such as those used in transmitting and receiving electronic mail or in accessing a network such as the Internet or a local area network (LAN).

The aforementioned systems have been described with respect to interaction between several components. It can be appreciated that such systems and components can include those components or specified sub-components, some of the specified components or sub-components, and/or additional components, and according to various permutations and combinations of the foregoing. Sub-components can also be implemented as components communicatively coupled to other components rather than included within parent components, e.g., according to a hierarchical arrangement. Additionally, it should be noted that one or more components may be combined into a single component providing aggregate functionality or divided into several separate sub-components, and any one or more middle layers, such as a management layer, may be provided to communicatively couple to such sub-components in order to provide integrated functionality. Any components described herein may also interact with one or more other components not specifically described herein but generally known by those of skill in the art.

In view of the exemplary systems described supra, methodologies that may be implemented in accordance with the disclosed subject matter will be better appreciated with reference to the flowcharts of FIGS. 8-10. While for purposes of simplicity of explanation, the methodologies are shown and described as a series of blocks, it is to be understood and appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not limited by the order of the blocks, as some blocks may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other blocks from what is depicted and described herein. Where non-sequential, or branched, flow is illustrated via flowchart, it can be appreciated that various other branches, flow paths, and orders of the blocks, may be implemented which achieve the same or a similar result. Moreover, not all illustrated blocks may be required to implement the methodologies described hereinafter.

Furthermore, as will be appreciated various portions of the disclosed systems above and methods below may include or consist of artificial intelligence or knowledge or rule based components, sub-components, processes, means, methodologies, or mechanisms (e.g., support vector machines, neural networks, expert systems, Bayesian belief networks, fuzzy logic, data fusion engines, classifiers . . . ). Such components, inter alia, can automate certain mechanisms or processes performed thereby to make portions of the systems and methods more adaptive as well as efficient and intelligent.

While the disclosed subject matter has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiment for performing the same function of the disclosed subject matter without deviating therefrom.

While exemplary embodiments refer to utilizing the disclosed subject matter in the context of particular programming language constructs, specifications or standards, the disclosed subject matter is not so limited, but rather may be implemented in any language to perform the optimization algorithms and processes. Still further, the disclosed subject matter may be implemented in or across a plurality of processing chips or devices, and storage may similarly be effected across a plurality of devices. Therefore, the disclosed subject matter should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather should be construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the appended claims.