Title:
MOBILE DEVICE BUSINESS MODELS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mobile device facilitates customized services for its user. For example, a mobile device can record information about a user using multiple inputs (e.g., sensors, GPS, camera, etc.). The information recorded creates a log of activities and interests of the user. One or more parts of the log are published and the user receives additional information based on the published information, such as other nearby people with similar interests or coupons. Other services of the mobile device can include biometric (e.g., facial) recognition of people, voting/polling, and language translation. The services available on a mobile device can be pre-configured so that the user can use the various services out of the box.



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:
12/055040
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
03/25/2008
Assignee:
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong, CN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
455/556.1, 704/3, 704/E13.011
International Classes:
H04M3/42; G06F17/28; H04M1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090170502Automatic mobile device backupJuly, 2009Levien et al.
20020077062Information service system and operation method thereofJune, 2002An et al.
20070082717Dual prompting device and method for mobile phoneApril, 2007Lee et al.
20010031631Secure area communication arresterOctober, 2001Pitts
20080242348MOBILE PHONE WITH VITAL SIGNS MEASUREMENT AND DISPLAY CAPABILITIESOctober, 2008Hsu
20100029305SMS AND VOICE MESSAGING TO GPSFebruary, 2010Gupta
20030073402Listener or viewer response data logging and reporting systemApril, 2003Herring et al.
20060166704Method for alerting a subscriber of an emergency call requestJuly, 2006Benco et al.
20070237101Heading-dependent routing method and network subsystemOctober, 2007Cohen et al.



Primary Examiner:
ROJAS, HAJIME S
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 sensor information about a user from a plurality of sensor inputs; automatically populating a device log based on the output of the plurality of sensor input; automatically publishing one or more parts of the device log to other mobile device users; and receiving a response based on the published one or more parts.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving of sensor information about a user from a plurality of sensor inputs comprises receiving sensor information about a user's interaction with the mobile device.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving includes receiving sensor information from at least one of a camera, a global positioning satellite (GPS) component, or a microphone.

4. The method of claim 1, further including: identifying at least one face of at least one user of the mobile device including analyzing image information of the at least one user of the device received by the mobile device, wherein the receiving includes receiving the image information.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving includes receiving sensor information from at least one sensor input embedded in at least one of a piece of jewelry, a fashion accessory, or a garment.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving of a response based on the published one or more parts comprises receiving an indication of other nearby mobile device users who have a similarity to the user.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving of a response based on the published one or more parts comprises receiving a coupon from a merchant associated with at least one interest of the user.

8. A general-purpose mobile device comprising: a means for receiving voice input in a first language; a means for translating the voice input in the first language to a second language; and a means for presenting the translated input in the second language.

9. The mobile device of claim 8, wherein the means for presenting the translated input comprises means for outputting audio in the second language based on the translated input.

10. The mobile device of claim 8, further comprising: a means for receiving voice input in the second language; a means for translating the voice input in the second language to the first language; and a means for presenting to the user the translated input in the first language.

11. The mobile device of claim 8, further comprising: a means for translating the voice input in the first language to one or more other languages different from the first and second language; and a means for presenting to the user the translated input in at least one of the one or more other languages.

12. The mobile device of claim 11, further comprising means for automatically selecting a language to translate the voice input into the at least one of the one or more other languages based on a location of the mobile device.

13. The mobile device of claim 8, further comprising: a means for receiving text input in the first language; and a means for translating the text input in the first language to the second language.

14. A method of pre-configuring services available via a mobile device, the method comprising: displaying a list of one or more services that add functionality to the mobile device; receiving at least one selection of one or more services from the list from a user; and making a mobile device with the selected services pre-installed.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the making of the mobile device with the selected services pre-installed comprises: generating a customized memory image at a retail store for the mobile device; and flashing the mobile device with the generated memory image.

16. The method of claim 14, further comprising shipping the mobile device made according to the making with the selected services pre-installed to the user.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the receiving of the at least one selection of one or more services from the list comprises receiving a selection of a service that distributes functionality between the mobile device and at least one remote computer.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the displaying of the list of one or more services that add functionality to the mobile device comprises displaying the list of one of more services on a kiosk or other computing device at a retail store for interfacing with the user.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein the displaying of the list of one or more services that add functionality to the mobile device comprises displaying the list of one of more services on a web page presented to the user.

20. The method of claim 14, further comprising receiving configuration information for at least one of the selected services; and providing to the user a mobile device with the at least one selected service pre-configured with the configuration information.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This non-provisional application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. provisional Application No. 60/910,109, filed Apr. 4, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject disclosure relates to electronic commerce, and more particularly, mobile electronic commerce.

BACKGROUND

Electronic commerce has revolutionized the way business is conducted. Usually, electronic commerce is conducted from a desktop or laptop computer connected to the Internet. Yet, mobile devices, such as cell phones, portable media players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), messaging devices, portable game players, are becoming ubiquitous.

The resources for using a mobile device, such as display size and keypad input, are often too limited to handle the powerful electronic commerce scenarios that are present and still evolving today with the Internet. For example, most mobile devices lack a full QWERTY keyboard with keys big enough for touch typing.

Moreover, current electronic commerce scenarios fail to take into account a user's current location or nearby users of other computers. For example, local retailers are often unable to target their marketing efforts to a specific local market. While search terms or IP address can be used to identify a location, the location can be either too geographically broad (e.g., a search for New York may refer to New York City or the entire state) or too geographically narrow (e.g., a search for a particular neighborhood may not include other nearby neighborhoods).

The above-described deficiencies of performing electronic commerce with mobile devices are merely intended to provide an overview of some of the problems of conducting electronic commerce on today's 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 various non-limiting embodiments that follows.

SUMMARY

The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of the invention nor delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

Advances in processing, storage and network capabilities of mobile devices make mobile devices viable sensors, gatherers and publishers of user information in a way that automatically takes further action based on a user's context. Demographic information and other user information is collected in a log, called a dlog from one or more sensor inputs, such as a microphone, camera, or global positioning system (GPS) hardware. One or more parts of the dlog can be published to the public while other parts are kept private or shared with specified users.

In at least one embodiment, since not everyone might wish to publish his or her demographic information as part of a dlog or other publishing mechanism of the mobile device that reveals information about the user, the invention provides a way to incentive opting in to publish a user's personal information with an incentive based model. For instance, in exchange for allowing others, including marketers, to extract demographic information from a mobile device, credit, payment, license, etc. may be granted to the user to help encourage the user's sharing of information.

In other embodiments, the invention implements instant public opinion voting from mobile devices. The invention provides a networked service, or a distributed service across mobile devices that share and aggregate data by peer-to-peer techniques, that enables public opinion to be gathered from user's mobile devices. In one embodiment, users opt-in to be part of a public opinion poll by choosing to make their vote, or users opt-in if they do not wish to make their opinion known. After all votes for a given group are collected/counted, the results of the opinion poll may be published to the voters, or everyone, or optionally, where necessary to protect privacy or for other reasons, the results can be maintained in confidence by the originator of the poll.

In accordance with one embodiments of the invention, an image based face recognition query service is enabled for a mobile device, such as a cell phone. A camera can feed an image or images of a person's face, and a query is automatically or explicitly formed that provides a service of identifying the person, and potentially related things about the person (news articles, web sites, family members, etc.), based on facial recognition techniques applied by the service.

In accordance with another aspect, language translation is provided for the mobile device. Input can be made in a first language, such as English, via voice recognition or text-entry. The translation of the input to a second language is facilitated by the mobile device, such as by performing the translation itself or sending the input to a remote computer to be translated. Then, the translated input can be presented the user using text-to-speech or displaying the translated text on the display.

In accordance with yet another aspect, services available on a mobile device can be pre-installed to allow services to be used out-of-the-box. Other services that a user does not want may not be installed, thus saving memory and processing time for running unneeded services. In one embodiment, the pre-installed services are installed and then the mobile device is shipped to the user while in another embodiment a memory image comprising the services selected by the user is generated and installed on the mobile device at a retail store.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, certain illustrative aspects of the invention are described herein in connection with the following description and the annexed drawings. These aspects are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed and the present invention is intended to include all such aspects and their equivalents. Other advantages and novel features of the invention may become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary non-limiting block diagram illustrating aspects of creating a dlog according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 illustrates exemplary sensors used to receive information about the user according to one aspect.

FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate exemplary items that one or more sensors can be embedded in or attached to according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary mobile device according to one embodiment.

FIG. 5 illustrates various components of a mobile device according to one embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of exemplary subcomponents of translation component according to one aspect.

FIG. 7 is an exemplary user interface for selecting services to be pre-installed on the mobile device.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of utilizing a dlog according to one aspect.

FIG. 9 is a flow diagram of translation according to one embodiment.

FIG. 10 is a flow diagram of voting/polling according to one embodiment.

FIG. 11 is a flow diagram of using a facial recognition service according to one aspect.

FIG. 12 is a flow diagram of selecting services to be pre-installed on a mobile device according to one embodiment.

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary networked or distributed computing environment.

FIG. 14 is a block diagram of an exemplary packet-based mobile cellular network environment in which the invention may be practiced.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention is now described with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It may be evident, however, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order to facilitate describing the present invention.

As discussed in the background, today, the resources for using a mobile device, such as display size and keypad input, are too limited to handle the powerful electronic commerce scenarios that are present and still evolving today with the Internet. However, electronic commerce business models will evolve in the mobile device space, making the mobile device a powerful tool for a variety of business scenarios. Thus, in various non-limiting embodiments, a variety of end user and mobile device scenarios are identified that are consistent with such evolution and advances in technology.

Today, for instance, there are a variety of Internet hosted services that allow users to publish a variety of information (text, photos, audio, links, video) about the user and receive information (comments, feedback, auto-email forms, etc.) from third parties in a way that captures personal information about the user in the form of a Web blog (“blog”). However, due to the general limitations on the keypad and display of current handsets, and limitations on network data speed, blogging is still an application that is too complex and time consuming to interact with a mobile device platform in the same way a user can from a PC. Thus, in one embodiment, the invention auto-populates a mobile device log (“dlog”) associated with a mobile device, which may be merged with or be independent to, a traditional blog. The dlog is user specific, and encrypted on the mobile device for secure storage of sensitive data. One can appreciate that if the mobile device is shared among different users, each user can have his or her own profile.

In one embodiment, the dlog is populated with sensory information communicatively coupled to the phone, e.g., automatically as the sensory data is received by the phone to publish to third parties information about the user at that time. In other embodiments, a distinction is made between personal and public dlog information. Public dlog information is made available for any nearby devices (e.g., mobile devices) to observe, whereas private dlog information must be authorized prior to viewing.

The auto-population of a mobile device log 110 is illustrated in FIG. 1. The dlog 110 information is stored on the mobile device 100, although alternatively, the information can be uploaded to services in one or more networks for further application, e.g., merging the information with a user blog, or otherwise publishing subsets of the information to advertisers for credit, etc. As shown, various images 102, audio 104, sensory information 106, input 108 and any other information received by mobile device 100 can form the basis for auto-population of a dlog 110. In one embodiment, dlog 110 includes different dlog pages or views D1 to DN depending on the desired view over the data included in dlog 110.

FIG. 2 illustrates a variety of sensor inputs I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, etc., including but not limited to sensor input on body parts of the user 200, making input to device 210. Device 210 logs the input from the sensor inputs I1 to I7 to the dlog. In one embodiment, the sensors include a global positioning system component, which can be used on the mobile device to track the location of the user, a camera to visually record what the user is experiencing, and a microphone to record audio. The device 210 can be a wearable computer or a more traditional handheld mobile device that is carrier in a purse, pocket, or belt holder/holster.

Any one or more of the functions of the mobile device, and any input to the mobile device, can form the basis for auto-populating the dlog. For instance, the camera, the microphone, sensory input, actions taken, etc. can all form part of information that is dlogged to the mobile device. Accordingly, as the user of the mobile device travels around, the dlog is being auto-populated with events, context, occurrences, etc. from the user's life, which information is then made available to authorized viewers in dlog format. Instant communities can be formed, e.g., when a variety of coffee drinkers in a restaurant all discover they all have the same tastes in movies, or random strangers can fall in love based on a particularly common set of public interests shared from dlogs made publicly available by two users, i.e., mobile device to mobile device.

Sensor inputs that sense body position or other user context information can be advantageously placed in or attached to jewelry, such as a rings, watches or necklaces, fashion accessories, such as belts, headbands, or hats, or garments, such as shoes. FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate block diagrams of various sensors embedded in various jewelry and fashion accessories. In particular, FIG. 3A illustrates a sensor input I4 placed into a ring 300. FIG. 3B illustrates a sensor input I2 embedded in a watch 320. FIG. 3C illustrates sensor input I6 embedded in a belt buckle of a belt 340. These sensors can be embedded upon manufacture of the jewelry or fashion accessories or can be attached subsequently, such as by the user or a retailer (e.g., jewelry retailer, clothing retailer, or mobile device retailer).

One can also appreciate that one or more sensor inputs can be embedded or attached to traditional input/output devices for mobile devices that are worn by the user. For example, one or more sensor inputs can be embedded into a Bluetooth or other wired/wireless headset or wireless/wired headphones.

Turning to FIG. 4, an exemplary non-limiting mobile computing system environment in which the present invention may be implemented is illustrated. Even though a general-purpose mobile computing device is illustrated, one can appreciate that any mobile computing device, including mobile computing devices implemented using multiple processors or a System on a chip or wearable mobile devices are contemplated. Although not required, the invention can partly be implemented via software (e.g., firmware). Software may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by one or more computers.

FIG. 4 thus illustrates an example of a mobile computing device. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention may be practiced with any suitable computing system environment 400 in which the invention may be implemented but the computing system environment 400 is only one example of a suitable computing environment and is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality of the invention. Neither should the computing environment 400 be interpreted as having any dependency or requirement relating to any one or combination of components illustrated in the exemplary operating environment 400.

With reference to FIG. 4, an example of a computing device for implementing the invention includes a general-purpose mobile computing device in the form of a computer 410. Components of computer 410 may include, but are not limited to, a processing unit 420, a system memory 430, and a system bus 421 that couples various system components including the system memory to the processing unit 420. The system bus 421 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 410 typically includes a variety of computer readable media. Computer readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by computer 410. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may comprise computer storage media and communication media. Computer storage media includes volatile and nonvolatile as well as 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 410. 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 430 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 410, such as during start-up, may be stored in memory 430. Memory 430 typically also contains data and/or program modules that are immediately accessible to and/or presently being operated on by processing unit 420. By way of example, and not limitation, memory 430 may also include an operating system, application programs, other program modules, and program data.

The computer 410 may also include other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. For example, computer 410 could include a flash memory that reads from or writes to non-removable, nonvolatile 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, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM and the like.

A user may enter commands and information into the computer 410 through input devices. Input devices are often connected to the processing unit 420 through user input 440 and associated interface(s) that are coupled to the system bus 414, but may be connected by other interface and bus structures, in a wired or wireless manner, such as a parallel port, game port, a universal serial bus (USB), wireless USB, or Bluetooth. A graphics subsystem may also be connected to the system bus 421. One or remote sensors, including orientation sensors 445 are also connected to system bus 421 via input interface 440. At least one of the sensors is attached or proximate to the user's body and each sensor is communicatively coupled to computer via wired or wireless means. A monitor or other type of remote output devices may also connected to the system bus 421 via an interface, such as output interface 450, which may in turn communicate with video memory. In addition to a monitor, computer 410 may also include other peripheral output devices, which may be connected through output interface 450.

The computer 410 may operate in a networked or distributed environment using logical connections to one or more other remote computers, such as remote computer 470, which may in turn have capabilities different from device 440. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 4 include a network 471. The network 471 can include both the wireless network described herein as well as other networks, such a personal area network (PAN), a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).

When used in a PAN networking environment, the computer 440 is connected to the PAN through a network interface or adapter, such as a Bluetooth or Wireless USB adapter. When used in a LAN networking environment, the computer 440 is connected to the LAN through a network interface or adapter. When used in a WAN networking environment, the computer 440 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 network interface card, which may be internal or external, wired or wireless, may be connected to the system bus 421 via the user input interface of input 440, or other appropriate mechanism. In a networked environment, program modules, or portions thereof, may be stored in a remote memory storage device.

FIG. 5 illustrates various exemplary components of a mobile device 500. For the sake of clarity, hardware components commonly associated with a mobile device are not shown. The mobile device includes a sensory input component 504 that receives information about a user's context from the sensor inputs and creates a user profile including demographic information, as part of the dlog. Publishing component 508 publishes the dlog in accordance with any privacy instructions maintained by privacy component 502, which restricts the parts of the dlog that are made public and which users, if any, can receive private parts of the dlog. For example, parents may set the privacy component for their child and allow only limited dlog information to be publicly shared but allow complete access to themselves.

Since not everyone might wish to publish his or her demographic information as part of a dlog or other publishing mechanism of the mobile device that reveals information about the user, an incentivizing component 506 provides a way to incentive opting in to publish a user's personal information with an incentive based model. For instance, in exchange for allowing others, including marketers, to extract demographic information from a mobile device, credit, payment, license, etc. may be granted to the user to help encourage the user's sharing of information. For instance, in exchange for letting Starbucks know that you are a coffee drinker, making you a prime customer for their products and advertisements, Starbucks can credit the user of the mobile device when the user buys coffee products based on the advertising to which the user of the mobile device assented to receive. An advertising code could serve as proof of receipt of the advertising that motivated the purchase.

Other services can be available by additional components on the mobile device. Accordingly, the illustrated mobile device also implements instant public opinion voting from mobile devices via the voting component 510. The voting component 510 facilitates a networked service, or a distributed service across mobile devices that share and aggregate data by peer-to-peer techniques, that enables public opinion to be gathered from user's mobile devices. In one embodiment, users opt-in to be part of a public opinion poll by choosing to make their vote, or users opt-in if they do not wish to make their opinion known.

Localized opinion gathering may also be implemented where a smaller group of mobile device users are generally co-located. As such, the localized users form a collection of mobile devices that will vote on an issue presented by one mobile device of the collection. In this way, an opinion can be expressed by any number of people by defining a geographical location. Another way to form a group of people for voting purposes is to define a mobile device voting entry code so that each mobile device wishing to participate in the vote enters the entry code. After all votes for a given group are collected/counted, the results of the opinion poll may be published to the voters, or everyone, or optionally, where necessary to protect privacy or for other reasons, the results can be maintained in confidence by the originator of the poll.

In addition, there are also a variety of social and business scenarios where for some reason, a user of a mobile device may wish to know more about another person in the setting. Accordingly, a facial recognition component 512 is provided that enables an image based face recognition query service for a mobile device, such as a cell phone, wherein a camera of the mobile device feeds an image or images of a person's face to a remote computer, and a query is automatically or explicitly formed that provides a service of identifying the person, and potentially related things about the person (news articles, family members, web sites, etc.), based on facial recognition techniques applied by the service. One can appreciate that other forms of biometric recognition, such as voice recognition or fingerprint identification are also contemplated. Other services can also distribute some or all of the processing to a remote computer.

The illustrated mobile device also comprises a translation component that translates input between different languages. FIG. 6 illustrates the translation component 514 in greater detail. A mobile device is provided with an auto translate function wherein a first user speaks into the mobile device. The input voice is converted using speech to text via the voice input component 602. The text is then translated to another language using the translation component 604. One can appreciate that in other embodiments, the translation can occur on a remote computer (not shown) via a translation web service. The translated result is presented by the translation presentation component 606. For example, audio of the translated text can be spoken using on a text to speech algorithm. Thus, speech in one language from a first user is translated to speech in another language to another user. This can be performed for multiple language pairs and each component can have one or more language-specific libraries, such as the libraries (612, 614) of the voice input component.

The components can also be used to translate in the opposite direction so that a conversation can be facilitated by use of the translation service. One can appreciate that although the word language is used, translation can also be performed across dialects, such as American English and United Kingdom English.

Alternatively, the translation presentation component can display the translated text. This latter scenario would be helpful to speak to taxi or bus drivers of other countries when a traveler does not speak their language. The traveler could still communicate the name of a hotel, and street address which can be translated for the other language speaker in text for viewing. In such a case, input is performed via the text input component 608.

An automatic language selection component 610 can automatically detect the language pair to utilize in the translation. For example, the input language could be assumed to be the user's native language and the language to translate into could be determined based on the user's current location. Thus, if an American were traveling in Mexico, the input language can be automatically set to English and the output language set to Mexican Spanish.

One can appreciate that the service illustrated on the mobile device are exemplary. Other services can also be used on the mobile device. It is widely anticipated that services will become complex, numerous and largely irrelevant to most users. Today, a user must somehow find out what services are offered by their mobile device, and then negotiate those services one by one, which is a tedious, ad hoc and time consuming process as the user learns about new services. Accordingly, a mobile device purchasing model is contemplated that allows an out of box services experience for the mobile device, such that the user designates from a list of categories and services offered for the mobile device which services the user would like to have, and as a result, the mobile device is shipped pre-equipped with the desired subset of services. As a result, the user interface and set off functionality and services associated with the mobile device are pre-tailored to a user's preferences, maximizing the user experience from the moment the mobile device is powered.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary user 700 for selecting the desired subset of services according to one aspect. The user interface 700 can be displayed to a user via the web or via a store kiosk. The illustrated interface 700 includes checkboxes 710 for selecting the desired services, but one can appreciate other user-selectable controls can be used. After clicking on the continue button 720, a mobile device is made with the selected services pre-installed. One or more services may depend upon other services and those dependent services can be automatically selected when a dependent service is selected. Although not shown, configuration information can also be requested so that a service is pre-configured for a particular user.

Turning briefly to FIGS. 8-12, methodologies that may be implemented in accordance with the present invention are illustrated. 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 present invention is not limited by the order of the blocks, as some blocks may, in accordance with the present invention, occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other blocks from that shown and described herein. Moreover, not all illustrated blocks may be required to implement the methodologies in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an exemplary non-limiting flow diagram showing a method 800 for use in connection with a mobile device in accordance with the invention. At 810, sensor information about a user, such as the user's use of the mobile device, is received from a plurality of sensor inputs. At 820, a device log is automatically populated based on the output of the plurality of sensor input. At 830, one or more parts of the device log are automatically published to other mobile device users. At 840, a response is received based on the published one or more parts of the device log. For example, a coupon can be presented associated with at least one interest of the user or a list of nearby users with similar interests.

FIG. 9 is an exemplary flow diagram of a method 900 of translation according to one embodiment. At 910, voice input is received in a first language. At 920, the voice input is translated into a second language, such as by calling a translation web service. At 930, the translated input is presented to the user, such as by speaking the translated input using text-to-speech or presenting the translation on a display.

FIG. 10 is an exemplary flow diagram of a method 1000 of voting according to one embodiment. At 1010, an indication of a poll is received from a user of the mobile device and transmitted to nearby mobile devices, such as via a peer-to-peer network that avoid carrier charges. At 1020, votes are received from a group of users associated with the nearby mobile devices. At 1030, the results of the poll are displayed. As stated supra, the results can be displayed to the voters, the poll originator, or everyone depending on options set by the poll originator.

FIG. 11 is an exemplary flow diagram of a method 1100 of facial recognition according to one embodiment. At 1110, a picture is taken of a person. At 1120, face recognition is used to determine the identity of the person. For example, the picture could be transmitted to a remote computer that has the person in its facial recognition database, such as the database of employees of an organization. At 1130. information about the recognized user is retrieved. For example, the remote computer could search the Internet or public records for information about the recognized person, such as papers published, names of family members, job title, etc.

FIG. 12 is an exemplary flow diagram of a method 1200 of selecting services to be pre-installed according to one embodiment. At 1210, a list of one or more services that add functionality to a mobile device is displayed. At 1220, a selection of one or more displayed services is selected. At 1230, the mobile device is made with the selected services pre-installed. For example, a store kiosk can generate a memory image with the selected services and flash a mobile device to pre-install that memory image. Alternatively, the mobile device can be shipped out to a user with the selected services pre-installed.

Exemplary Computer Networks and Environments

One of ordinary skill in the art can appreciate that the various embodiments described herein 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, and can be connected to any kind of data store. In this regard, the various embodiments described herein can be implemented in 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. This includes, but is not limited to, an environment with server computers and client computers deployed in a network environment or a distributed computing environment, having remote or local storage.

Distributed computing provides sharing of computer resources and services by communicative exchange among computing devices and systems. These resources and services include the exchange of information, cache storage and disk storage for objects, such as files. These resources and services also include the sharing of processing power across multiple processing units for load balancing, expansion of resources, specialization of processing, and the like. 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 include or implement one or more of the various embodiments of the subject disclosure.

FIG. 13 provides a schematic diagram of an exemplary networked or distributed computing environment. The distributed computing environment comprises computing objects 1310, 1312, etc. and computing objects or devices 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc., which may include programs, methods, data stores, programmable logic, etc., as represented by applications 1330, 1332, 1334, 1336, 1338. It can be appreciated that objects 1310, 1312, etc. and computing objects or devices 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. may comprise different devices, such as PDAs, audio/video devices, mobile phones, MP3 players, personal computers, laptops, etc.

Each object 1310, 1312, etc. and computing objects or devices 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. can communicate with one or more other objects 1310, 1312, etc. and computing objects or devices 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. by way of the communications network 1340, either directly or indirectly. Even though illustrated as a single element in FIG. 13, network 1340 may comprise other computing objects and computing devices that provide services to the system of FIG. 13, and/or may represent multiple interconnected networks, which are not shown. Each object 1310, 1312, etc. or 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. can also contain an application, such as applications 1330, 1332, 1334, 1336, 1338, that might make use of an API, or other object, software, firmware and/or hardware, suitable for communication with or implementation of the various embodiments of the subject disclosure.

There are a variety of systems, components, and network configurations that support distributed computing environments. For example, computing systems can be connected together by wired or wireless systems, by local networks or widely distributed networks. Currently, many networks are coupled to the Internet, which provides an infrastructure for widely distributed computing and encompasses many different networks, though any network infrastructure can be used for exemplary communications made incident to the various embodiments described herein.

Thus, a host of network topologies and network infrastructures, such as client/server, peer-to-peer, or hybrid architectures, can be utilized. 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. A client can be a process, i.e., roughly a set of instructions or tasks, that requests a service provided by another program or process. 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. 13, as a non-limiting example, computers 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. can be thought of as clients and computers 1310, 1312, etc. can be thought of as servers where servers 1310, 1312, etc. provide data services, such as receiving data from client computers 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc., storing of data, processing of data, transmitting data to client computers 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, 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 one or more embodiments described herein.

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 techniques described herein can be provided standalone, or distributed across multiple computing devices or objects.

In a network environment in which the communications network/bus 1340 is the Internet, for example, the servers 1310, 1312, etc. can be Web servers with which the clients 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc. communicate via any of a number of known protocols, such as the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). Servers 1310, 1312, etc. may also serve as clients 1320, 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, etc., as may be characteristic of a distributed computing environment.

Exemplary Communications Networks and Environments

The above-described optimizations may be applied to any network, however, the following description sets forth some exemplary telephony radio networks and non-limiting operating environments for incorporation of the present invention. 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 present invention may be incorporated. One can appreciate, however, that the invention 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 1x Evolution Data Optimized (“EVDO”), Code Division Multiple Access-2000 (“cdma2000 3x”), 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 invention may be applied independently of the method of data transport, and need not depend on any particular network architecture, or underlying protocols, except where specified otherwise.

FIG. 14 depicts an overall block diagram of an exemplary packet-based mobile cellular network environment, such as a GPRS network, in which the invention may be practiced. In such an environment, there are a plurality of Base Station Subsystems (“BSS”) 1400 (only one is shown), each of which comprises a Base Station Controller (“BSC”) 1402 serving a plurality of Base Transceiver Stations (“BTS”) such as BTSs 1404, 1406, and 1408. BTSs 1404, 1406, 1408, 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 1408, and from the BTS 1408 to the BSC 1402. Base station subsystems, such as BSS 1400, are a part of internal frame relay network 1410 that may include Service GPRS Support Nodes (“SGSN”) such as SGSN 1412 and 1414.

Each SGSN is in turn connected to an internal packet network 1420 through which a SGSN 1412, 1414, etc. can route data packets to and from a plurality of gateway GPRS support nodes (GGSN) 1422, 1424, 1426, etc. As illustrated, SGSN 1414 and GGSNs 1422, 1424, and 1426 are part of internal packet network 1420. Gateway GPRS serving nodes 1422, 1424 and 1426 mainly provide an interface to external Internet Protocol (“IP”) networks such as Public Land Mobile Network (“PLMN”) 1445, corporate intranets 1440, or Fixed-End System (“FES”) or the public Internet 1430. As illustrated, subscriber corporate network 1440 may be connected to GGSN 1424 via firewall 1432; and PLMN 1445 is connected to GGSN 1424 via boarder gateway router 1434. The Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (“RADIUS”) server 1442 may be used for caller authentication when a user of a mobile cellular device calls corporate network 1440.

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 invention 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 invention 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 present invention, 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 invention. 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 various flowcharts represented by the Figures. 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 present invention 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 present invention without deviating therefrom.