Knowledge-based access system for control functions

USOO5652579A
United States Patent [191
[11]
Patent Number:
Yamada et al.
[45]
Date of Patent:
[54] KNOWLEDGE-BASED ACCESS SYSTEM
FOR CONTROL FUNCTIONS
[56]
References Cited
4,827,440
5,097,260
5,241,583
[73] Assignee: Sony Corporation. Tokyo. Japan
5/1989 Wathor
....... .. 341/23
3/1992 Ahn ........... ..
348/734 X
8/1993 Martensson ............................. .. 379/58
Primary Examiner-Jeffery Hofsass
Assistant Examiner—AndIeW Hill
Attomey, Agent, or Firm——William S. Frommer; Alvin
Sinderbrand
Related US. Application Data
[63]
Jul. 29, 1997
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
[75] Inventors: Fumiya Yamada. Aichi; Satoshi
Ishiguro. Kanagawa. both of Japan
[21] Appl. No.: 698,466
[22] Filed:
Aug. 15, 1996
5,652,579
Continuation of Ser. No. 400,452, Mar. 7, 1995, abandoned,
[57]
which is a continuation of Ser. No. 993,835, Dec. 21, 1992,
abandoned.
ABSTRACT
An electronic apparatus having two or more functions
Foreign Application Priority Data
includes a nonvolatile store in which the identities of two or
more keys are stored and two or more functions are classi
[51]
Dec. 27,
Int.1991
01.6 ...................................................
[JP] Japan
.. H03K 17/94
?ed into groups, each group being distinguished by two or
more of the keys. A controller is coupled with the nonvola
tile store and enables a function that is selected by operating
[30]
[52]
[58]
US. Cl. ........................ .. 341/23; 341/176; 340/825.3
Field of Search ................................ .. 341/22, 23. 26.
341/176; 348/734; 340/825.22. 825.24.
825.25. 825.3. 825.31. 825.32. 825.33,
a key. which function matches an identi?cation number to be
entered by a user.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets
825.34
[2
CPU
RAM
l
l
l/F
l/F
5a
5b
KEY
>/OPERATION
6
ROM
l/F
50;
CIRCUIT
NONVOLATILE
BLOCK
MEMORY
L8
US. Patent
Jul. 29, 1997
Sheet 1 0f 3
Qt
H
5,652,579
US. Patent
Jul. 29, 1997
Sheet 2 0f 3
5,652,579
Fig. 2
IS AN
IDENTI F I CATIDN NUMBER
ENTERED '?
I01
READ OUT THE IDENTIFICATION
NUMBER FROM THE MEMORY
LI02
IS THE
IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
CORRECT ‘.7
103
ENABLE THE FUNOT ION
I
I 0 4
US.‘ Patent
Jul. 29, 1997
Sheet 3 of 3
5,652,579
Fig.3
IS
A CUWAND ENTERED
'?
2 0 1
Y
IS FUNCTIOPgDISABLED
2 0 2
N
COMMAND PROCESSING
I
203
5,652,579
1
2
FIG. 2 is a ?ow chart concerning enabling disabled
KNOWLEDGE-BASED ACCESS SYSTEM
FOR CONTROL FUNCTIONS
functions; and
FIG. 3 is a ?ow chart of the processing order when a
command is entered by user.
This application is a continuation of application Ser. No.
08/400,452. ?led Mar. 7, 1995, abandoned which is a
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
continuation of application Ser. No. 07/993,835 ?led Dec.
21. 1992 abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an electronic apparatus and,
10
more particularly, to a multifunctional electronic apparatus.
3. ROM 4, and interface blocks 5a. 5b, 50, etc.
Interface block 5a is connected with key operation portion
6 having keys or push buttons, and interface block 5b is
2. Description of the Prior Art
Typically. electronic apparatuses are in general provided
with various functions and features. To operate these elec
tronic apparatuses, it is essential for users to have enough
connected with circuit block 8 such as a BS tuner circuit, a
DSP (Digital Signal Processor), a video processor, an audio
processor and a multivoice block (though not speci?cally
shown in the ?gure). Interface block 5c is connected with
knowledge and ability to use such functions. There are a
variety of users from the point of view of the user’s
knowledge and ability to use these functions.
Such tendency is remarkable in particular in the users of
television receivers, V'I'R’s and other consumer electronic
apparatuses. In other words, some users have full knowledge
of the operation of the apparatus while the majority of
general users have but a little knowledge of that operation.
25
For the general users, consumer electronic apparatuses as
mentioned above have been difficult to use and therefore not
Concerning picture quality control . . . Hue, color density,
In general, electronic apparatuses having various func
30
not so comfortable to general users. For these reasons,
general users. Once malfunction occurs, the electronic appa
ratuses do not operate as intended by the users.
In addition. a user’s manual for such electronic appara 35
tuses is often a thick volume to explain the variety of
functions available. The general users are hardly able to read
such a detailed user’s manual in order to understand the
operation.
ability.
According to an aspect of the present invention. there is
provided an electronic apparatus having two or more func
tions comprising:
nonvolatile storage means in which the identities of two
or more keys are stored;
function control means in which two or more functions
are classi?ed into groups, each group being distin
guished by two or more of the keys; and
control means which is coupled with the nonvolatile
storage means and the function control means and
enables a function that is selected by operating a key,
which function matches an identi?cation number to be
entered by a user.
The above, and other, objects, features and advantage of
the present invention will become readily apparent from the
following detailed description thereof which is to be read in
connection with the accompanying drawings.
brightness, sharpness, color temperature, notch ?lter, noise
reduction, etc.
Concerning tone quality control . . . Balance between
malfunction often occurs because of incorrect use by the
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE
INVENTION
An object of the invention is, therefore, to provide an
electronic apparatus permitting the effective use thereof in
accordance with a level of each user’s lmowledge and
nonvolatile memory 7.
Nonvolatile memory 7 stores identi?cation numbers for
each of the functions or for each of two or more grouped
functions. The identi?cation numbers are individual to each
apparatus, and not common between apparatuses. The iden
ti?cation numbers are stored in nonvolatile memory 7 at the
time of shipment of the apparatus from the manufacturer.
The functions mentioned above include the following:
comfortable to use.
tions and advanced features have been hard to operate and
Hereunder, one embodiment of the invention will be
described referring to FIGS. 1 to 3. In this embodiment, the
invention is applied to a television receiver.
As shown in FIG. 1, bus 1 is connected with CPU 2, RAM
high-pitched and low-pitched tone, balance between the rear
speakers of four speakers, surround sound (including Dolby
Surround. Hall Surround, and Simulated Stereo), equalizing
using DSP, etc.
Others . . . Booking, current time, channel blocking
function, daylight saving, channel caption, etc.
It is possible to assign a diiferent identi?cation number to
each function or each group of functions.
The operation will now be described hereunder with
reference to FIGS. 2 and 3.
In the ?ow chart as shown in FIG. 2, in step 101, it is
determined whether an identi?cation number is entered by
45
the user from key operation portion 6 into CPU 2 through
interface block 511.
If the identi?cation number is not entered, the step returns
to the start. If the identi?cation number is entered, the
operation goes to step 102.
In step 102, the identi?cation numbers stored in nonvola
tile memory 7 are read through interface block 50 and bus 1.
Then, the operation goes to step 103.
In step 103, CPU 2 determines whether the entered
55 identi?cation number is the same as one of the identi?cation
numbers stored in nonvolatile memory 7. If the entered
identi?cation number does not match any one of the stored
numbers, the operation returns to the start. If the entered
identi?cation number matches one of them, the operation
goes to step 104.
In step 104, a function corresponding to the matched
identi?cation number is enabled and becomes available to
the user. In step 104, at least data such as the matched
identi?cation number and functions corresponding to that
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
65 number are under the control of the CPU 2.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram describing one embodiment of
In the embodiment, enabling the functions is initiated by
an electronic apparatus according to the invention;
entry and matching of the identi?cation number, but not
5,652,579
4
3
What is claimed is:
1. An electronic apparatus operable to select a plurality of
limited to this. For example. the functions can be enabled by
simultaneously pushing two or more buttons provided in key
operation portion 6. or by pushing them in a speci?ed order.
For the other functions which remain disabled. CPU 2
controls a program of those functions to prevent them from
running. or to prevent power supply to the circuit blocks
functions implemented in conjunction with a circuit block.
comprising:
5
said functions initially being impermanently disabled
by said CPU means by preventing at least one of an
operation of a software program and a supply of power
to said circuit block;
memory means for storing identi?cation numbers
performing the functions.
A user may sometimes enter a command to perform a
particular function. In this case. it is necessary to con?rm
whether the particular function or a group of functions to
assigned to said disabled functions. said identi?cation
numbers not being secret codes;
key code input means operable by a user for generating a
which the particular function belongs is enabled or not. The
procedure in this regard will be given below. with reference
to FIG. 3.
key code;
In step 201 in the ?ow chart shown in FIG. 3. CPU 2
determines whether a command is entered by the user or not. 15
If a command is not entered in step 201. the operation
returns to the start. If a command is entered, the operation
goes to step 202.
an interface block coupled to said key code input means
and to said CPU means; and
wherein said CPU means further comprises function
enabling means for comparing said key code generated
by the user and said identi?cation numbers stored in
said memory means and for enabling a corresponding
one of said imperrnanently disabled functions if said
key code matches one of said identi?cation numbers.
In step 202. CPU 2 determines whether a particular
function corresponding to the command or a group of
functions including the particular function speci?ed by the
user is enabled or not. If the function remains disabled. the
operation returns to the start. If the function is enabled. the
whereby a particular combination of said imperma
nently disabled functions becomes available for selec
operation goes to step 203.
In step 203. the command is executed so that the particu
lar function is carried out. Then. the operation is terminated.
In the embodiment. an identi?cation number is given to
CPU means for controlling said functions, at least one of
25
tion and control by the user.
2. The electronic apparatus according to claim 1. wherein
said impermanently disabled functions are classi?ed into
groups and a single identi?cation number is assigned to each
group of said irnperrnanently disabled functions so that said
impermanently disabled functions in a particular group are
enabled upon entry of a single key code.
each function or each group of functions which are disabled
The disabled functions are not enabled until an identi?cation
number entered by the user from key operation portion 6
matches an identi?cation number which is previously allot
ted to each of the disabled functions and stored in nonvola
tile memory 7. In other words. if the entered identi?cation
number matches the stored identi?ed number. then the
disabled function corresponding to the matched identi?ca
3. The electronic apparatus according to claim 1. wherein
said key code input means comprises at least two push
buttons for generating said key code when said push buttons
attains a higher level of knowledge and ability of the
are operated simultaneously by the user.
4. The electronic apparatus according to claim 1. wherein
said key code input means comprises at least two push
buttons for generating said key code when said push buttons
are operated by the user in a speci?c order.
5. An electronic apparatus operable to select a plurality of
operation. the user can use more functions after enabling 40
functions. comprising:
tion number is enabled and becomes available to the user.
Therefore. it becomes possible for a user to operate an
35
electronic apparatus with safety according to the user’s level
of knowledge and ability to use the apparatus. If the user
those functions by entry of the corresponding identi?cation
function control means for controlling said functions,
wherein said functions comprise at least a ?rst group
numbers.
Thereby. it is possible to protect the user from wrong
and a second group. at least said second group of
operation.
functions initially being imperrnanently disabled;
Furthermore. a user’s manual associated with an elec
memory means for storing identi?cation numbers
tronic apparatus can be thin and simple with a minimum of
assigned to said irnpermanently disabled groups of
information necessary to the general users so that such a
functions;
simple manual becomes more acceptable to the general
key code input means operable by a user for generating a
users. For users hoping to use advanced or varied functions.
an advanced user’s manual and identi?cation numbers will 50
be assigned to the advanced functions.
Having described a speci?c preferred embodiment of the
present invention with reference to the accompanying
drawings. it is to be understood that the invention is not
limited to that precise embodiment. and that various changes
and modi?cations may be effected therein by one skilled in
the art without departing from the scope or the spirit of the
invention as de?ned in the appended claims.
stored in said memory means and for enabling a
corresponding one of said impermanently disabled
groups of functions if said key code matches one of said
55
For example. in the above embodiment. all the functions
for a television receiver are provided in advance. and a
function corresponding to an identi?cation number becomes 60
available once the identi?cation number is entered by a user.
However. the present invention is not limited to this. For
example. a packaged circuit board prepared according to the
levels of user’s operation knowledge and ability. can be
key code;
function enabling means for comparing said key code
generated by the user and said identi?cation numbers
identi?cation numbers. whereby a particular combina
tion of said imperrnanently disabled functions becomes
available for selection and control by said user.
6. The electronic apparatus according to claim 5, wherein
said key code input means comprises at least two push
buttons for generating said key code when said push buttons
are operated simultaneously by the user.
7. The electronic apparatus according to claim 5. wherein
said key code input means comprises at least two push
buttons for generating said key code when said push buttons
mounted in an apparatus and as a user’s level in operation 65 are operated by the user in a speci?c order.
knowledge and ability increases. the functions of the appa
ratus are made more advanced and more varied.