Enhanced contextual user assistance

Enhanced contextual user assistance
US008341522B2
(12) Unlted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.2
Jung et al.
US 8,341,522 B2
(45) Date of Patent:
(54) ENHANCED CONTEXTUAL USER
2
,
ASSISTANCE
(75) Inventors: Edward K. Y. Jung, Bellevue, WA (US);
Royce A. Levien, Lexington, MA (US);
upps et
6,256,378 B1
7/2001 Iggulden et al.
6,230,170 B1
6,385,541 B1
6,462,660 B1
’
l’
.
8/2000 Du et al.
8/2000 Sh
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6,107,938 A
6,112,181 A
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(Us)
Dec. 25, 2012
5/2001 Z5355; et a1‘
5/2002 Blumberg et al.
10/2002 Cannon et al.
’
(Continued)
(73) Assignee: The Invention Science Fund I, LLC,
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
Bellevue WA (Us)
JP
2002-123349
4/2002
(Continued)
(*)
Notice:
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U'S'C' 154(1)) by 829 days‘
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Heywood, Drew; “Drew Heywood’s Windows 2000 Network Ser
vices”; bearing a date of Feb. 28, 2001; pp. 1-17; Sam’s; located at
(21) Appl' NO‘: 10/9741561
http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/print?xm1id:0672317419/
(22)
ch01lev1sec4; printed on Mar. 13, 2008.
F11 e d :
0 ct . 27 2004
’
(65)
(Continued)
Prior Publication Data
/
Primary Examiner * Omar Abdul-Ali
Us 2006 0086781 A1
Apr‘ 27’ 2006
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * Suiter SwantZ pc 110
(51)
Int‘ Cl‘
(52)
us. Cl. ...................................... .. 715/705; 715/709
In an approach, an exemplary method includes receiving a
(58) Field of Classi?cation Search ................ .. 715/709,
Query related F0 an @lectromc devlFe ‘mugh a ,?rst user
G06F 3/00
57
(2006.01)
( )
715/71 1 705 708
See application ?le for Complete Search hist’ory ’
correlating to the query and the sensed context through a
References Cited
second user interface associated with the electronic device. In
another approach, an exemplary system includes an elec
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
tronic device having a context sensor, a ?rst and a second user
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text of the electronic device, and providing an assistance
'
(56)
ABSTRACT
A
A
A
A
A
A
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to the query and the context of the electronic device through
a second user interface associated with the electronic device.
32 Claims, 10 Drawing Sheets
g)
lnpm a query through a ?rst imarfioe
wan while an summon ?le seamhad
Receive prwsemaliun 0| assislinne response
mmuqn a sewnd lmartaue
ED
US 8,341,522 B2
Page 2
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* cited by examiner
US. Patent
_..91on
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 1 or 10
US 8,341,522 B2
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 2 or 10
US 8,341,522 B2
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 3 0f 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 3
200
Activate an assistance manager
Receive a query through a ?rst interface
\ 21o
\
220
Search an assistance ?le for assistance
correlating with the query
\/
230
Provide assistance corresponding to the query
through a second interface
\
240
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 4 or 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 4
220
Receive selection corresponding to an aspect \ 250
through a ?rst interface
Receive a selection corresponding to an
assistance request through a third interface \
260
US. Patent
Dec. 25,2012
Sheet 5 0f 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 5
270 \
Provide assistance corresponding to the query
\/ 24o
Receive an input responsive to the provided
assistance
Search the assistance ?le for another
assistance
Provide another assistance corresponding to
the input responsive to the provided assistance
K
280
/
285
_/ 290
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 6 0f 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 6
32o
338
/
344E
$ /332
344D
f
/
m
344C
Q( Q?
< <
334
352
354
/ km,
344A
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 7 or 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 7
400 \
Input a query through a ?rst interface
Wait while an assistance ?le searched
\\ 410
\/
430
Receive presentation of assistance response
through a second interface
\
440
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 8 0f 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 8
450
Input a selection corresponding to an aspect of \_/ 460
an electronic device through a ?rst interface
Input an assistance request related to the
aspect through a second user interface
Wait while an assistance ?le searched
\_/ 465
V
Receive presentation of assistance through a
third user interface
470
47
V
5
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 9 0f 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 9
500
@D
i
Activate an assistance manager
l
Receive a query related to an electronic device
through a ?rst user interface
510
l
Sense a context of the electronic device
515
l
Search an assistance ?le for an assistance
corresponding to the query and the sensed
520
context
l
Provide an assistance correlating to the query
and the sensed context through a second user
interface
525
US. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012
Sheet 10 or 10
US 8,341,522 B2
FIG. 10
550
Activate an assistance manager
V 555
l
Receive a selection corresponding to an aspect
of an electronic device through a ?rst user V
interface
560
l
Receive a selection corresponding to an
assistance request related to the aspect of the
electronic device through a second user
interface
\/
565
l
Sense a context of the electronic device
V 570
l
Search an assistance ?le for an assistance
correlating to the assistance request and the
sensed context
\/ 575
1
Provide the assistance correlating _to the
assistance request and the sensed context
through a third user interface
¢
@D
\
580
US 8,341,522 B2
1
2
ENHANCED CONTEXTUAL USER
ASSISTANCE
correlating to the query and the sensed context through a
second user interface associated With the electronic device.
The ?rst user interface may include an element of the elec
tronic device in a ?rst state and the second user interface may
include the element of the electronic device in a second state.
The ?rst user interface may include an element of the elec
tronic device in a ?rst mode and the second user interface may
include the element of the electronic device in a second mode.
The ?rst user interface associated With an aspect of the elec
tronic device may include a ?rst user interface physically
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
The present application is related to, claims the earliest
available effective ?ling date(s) from (e.g., claims earliest
available priority dates for other than provisional patent
applications; claims bene?ts under 35 USC § 119(e) for
provisional patent applications), and incorporates by refer
associated With an aspect of the electronic device. The ?rst
user interface associated With an aspect of the electronic
device may include a ?rst user interface virtually associated
ence in its entirety all subject matter of the herein listed
application(s); the present application also claims the earliest
available effective ?ling date(s) from, and also incorporates
by reference in its entirety all subject matter of any and all
With the aspect of the electronic device.
The receiving a selection of an aspect of the electronic
device through a ?rst user interface associated With the elec
tronic device may include detecting a touch through a ?rst
parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of
the herein listed application(s). The United States Patent
O?ice (USPTO) has published a notice to the effect that the
user interface associated With the electronic device. The sens
USPTO’s computer programs require that patent applicants
reference both a serial number and indicate Whether an appli
cation is a continuation or continuation in part. The present
applicant entity has provided beloW a speci?c reference to the
application(s) from Which priority is being claimed as recited
by statute. Applicant entity understands that the statute is
unambiguous in its speci?c reference language and does not
20
25
ing a context of the electronic device may include sensing a
context extrinsic to the electronic device. The sensing a con
text of the electronic device may include sensing an environ
ment extrinsic to the electronic device. The sensing a context
of the electronic device may include sensing a context intrin
sic to the electronic device. The sensing a content intrinsic to
the electronic device may include sensing a con?guration
context, a softWare context intrinsic to the electronic device,
and/or a hardWare context. The receiving a query through a
?rst user interface may include detecting a touch to the ?rst
user interface. The receiving a query through a ?rst user
require either a serial number or any characteriZation such as
“continuation” or “continuation-in-part.” Notwithstanding
the foregoing, applicant entity understands that the USPTO’ s
computer programs have certain data entry requirements, and
as a continuation in part of its parent applications, but
interface may include detecting a sound through the ?rst user
interface. The detecting a sound may include detecting a
expressly points out that such designations are not to be
spoken Word.
hence applicant entity is designating the present application
30
The electronic device may include a computing device and
construed in any Way as any type of commentary and/or
the receiving a query may include receiving a query related to
admission as to Whether or not the present application con
tains any neW matter in addition to the matter of its parent 35 an aspect of the computing device. The electronic device may
application(s).
1. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory require
ments, the present application constitutes a continuation in
part of currently co-pending United States patent application
entitled PROVIDING ASSISTANCE, naming EdWard K. Y.
Jung, Royce A. Levien, Mark A. Malamud, and John D.
Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, ?led Sep. 30, 2004, Ser. No. 10/955,
40
966.
2. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory require
ments, the present application constitutes a continuation in
include an electrical appliance and the receiving a query may
include receiving a query related to an aspect of the electrical
appliance. The electronic device may include a limited
resource computing device and the receiving query may
include receiving a query related to an aspect of the limited
resource computing device. The electronic device may
include a pervasive computing device and the receiving a
query may include receiving a query related to an aspect of the
pervasive computing device.
45
The providing an assistance may include providing a user
part of currently co-pending United States patent application
assistance, visually providing an assistance, audibly provid
entitled ENHANCED USER ASSISTANCE, naming
EdWard K. Y. Jung, Royce A. Levien, MarkA. Malamud, and
John D. Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, ?led Oct. 26, 2004, serial
providing an assistance, providing a guided response assis
tance, and/or providing an interactive tutorial assistance. The
No. 10/974476.
ing an assistance, providing a spoken assistance, tactilely
50
3. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory require
ments, the present application constitutes a continuation in
part of currently co-pending United States patent application
entitled ENHANCED USER ASSISTANCE, naming
EdWard K. Y. Jung, Royce A. Levien, MarkA. Malamud, and
John D. Rinaldo, Jr., as inventors, ?led Oct. 26, 2004, Ser. No.
55
In an event of any inconsistencies betWeen the instant
60
SUMMARY
An embodiment provides a method. The method includes
receiving a query related to an electronic device through a ?rst
user interface associated With the electronic device, sensing a
context of the electronic device, and providing an assistance
physical element of the device may include blinking a light
emitter associated With the physical element. The providing
an assistance may include providing a guidance correspond
ing With a process associated With the electronic device. The
providing an assistance may include providing a description
of an aspect of the electronic device. The providing an assis
10/974555.
application and an application incorporated by reference, the
instant application controls.
providing an assistance may include providing an assistance
corresponding With a physical element of the electronic
device. The providing an assistance corresponding With the
65
tance may include providing an assistance shoWing hoW an
aspect of the device Works. The method may further include
searching an assistance ?le for an assistance correlating With
the query and the sensed context. The receiving a query
related to an electronic device may include receiving a query
related to an electronic device and a sensed context of the
electronic device. The method may further include a com
puter-readable medium containing computer instructions
Which, When run on a computing device, cause the computing
US 8,341,522 B2
3
4
device to perform the method. The computer-readable
include the element of the electronic device in a second state,
and the third user interface may include the element of the
medium may include a computer storage medium. The com
puter storage medium may be carried by a computer-readable
electronic device in a third state. One of the ?rst user inter
carrier. The computer-readable medium may include a com
face, the second user interface, and the third user interface
may include an element of the electronic device in a ?rst state,
and another of the ?rst user interface, the second user inter
face, and the third user interface may include the element of
munications medium.
Another embodiment provides a system. The system
includes an electronic device including a context sensor, a
the electronic device in a second state. The ?rst user interface
may include an element of the electronic device in a ?rst
mode and the second user interface may include the element
of the electronic device in a second mode. The ?rst user
interface may include an element of the electronic device in a
?rst user interface, and a second user interface, and instruc
tions. The instructions When implemented in the electronic
device cause the electronic device to receive a query related to
the electronic device through a ?rst user interface associated
With the electronic device, and receive a context of the elec
tronic device from the context sensor. The instructions also
?rst mode, the second user interface may include the element
of the electronic device in a second mode, and the third user
interface may include the element of the electronic device in
cause the electronic device to provide an assistance corre
sponding to the query and the context of the electronic device
through a second user interface associated With the electronic
device.
The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst state and the second user interface
may include the element of the electronic device in a second
state. The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst mode and the second user interface
may include the element of the electronic device in a second
mode. The second user interface may include the ?rst user
interface. The ?rst user interface may include a button. The
button may include a tangible button. The button may include
20
a second mode.
The receiving a selection corresponding to an aspect of an
electronic device through a ?rst user interface of the elec
tronic device may include receiving a selection correspond
25
a virtual button. The second user interface may include a
The context sensor may include a context sensor con?gured 30
to sense a context extrinsic to the electronic device. The
context sensor may include a sensor con?gured to sense an
environment extrinsic to the electronic device. The context
sensor may include a sensor con?gured to sense a context
35
tus includes a means associated With an electronic device for
receiving a query related to the electronic device, and a means
associated With the electronic device for sensing a context of
the electronic device. The apparatus further includes means
sponding to the query and the context of the electronic device
through a second user interface associated With the electronic
device.
45
and/or detecting a touch to the second user interface. The
receiving a selection corresponding to an assistance request
related to the aspect of the electronic device through a second
user interface of the electronic device may include receiving
a selection corresponding to a predetermined assistance
The method may further include searching an assistance
?le for the assistance correlating to the assistance request and
the sensed context. The searching the assistance ?le may
include searching an assistance ?le stored in association With
the electronic device.
The method may further include receiving an input respon
sive to the provided assistance. The input responsive to the
provided assistance may include a request for an additional
50
assistance correlating to the provided assistance. The method
may further include providing another assistance correspond
ing to the received input responsive to the provided assis
tance. The method may further include a computer-readable
medium containing computer instructions Which, When run
includes receiving a selection corresponding to an aspect of
on a computing device, cause the computing device to per
an electronic device through a ?rst user interface of the elec
The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst state, and the second user interface
may include the element of the electronic device in a second
state. The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst state, the second user interface may
through the ?rst user interface, detecting a spoken Word,
a second user interface of the electronic device.
40
Another embodiment provides method. The method
tronic device, and receiving a selection corresponding to an
assistance request related to the aspect of the electronic
device through a second user interface of the electronic
device. The method also includes sensing an environmental
context of the electronic device, and providing an assistance
correlating to the assistance request related to the aspect of the
electronic device and the environmental context through a
third user interface of the electronic device.
The receiving a selection corresponding to an aspect of an
electronic device through a ?rst user interface may include a
detecting a touch to the ?rst user interface. The receiving a
selection corresponding to an aspect of an electronic device
through a ?rst user interface may include detecting a sound
request related to the aspect of the electronic device through
associated With the electronic device for providing an assis
tance corresponding to the query.
An embodiment provides a system. The system includes a
query module operable to receive a query related to an elec
tronic device through a ?rst user interface associated With an
electronic device, and a sensor module operable to sense a
context of the electronic device. The system also includes an
assistance module operable to provide an assistance corre
ing to an aspect of an electronic device through a ?rst user
interface of the electronic device associated With the aspect.
visual display. The visual display may include a visual dis
play surface. The visual display may include a light emitter.
intrinsic to the electronic device.
A further embodiment provides an apparatus. The appara
a third mode. One of the ?rst user interface, the second user
interface, and the third user interface may include an element
of the electronic device in a ?rst mode, and another of the ?rst
user interface, the second user interface, and the third user
interface may include the element of the electronic device in
55
form the method. The computer-readable medium may
include a computer storage medium. The computer-readable
medium may be carried by a computer-readable carrier.
A further embodiment provides a system. The system
includes an electronic device having a context sensor, a ?rst
user interface, a second user interface, and third user inter
60
face. The system also includes instructions Which When
implemented in the electronic device cause the electronic
device to perform operations. Operations include receive a
65
selection corresponding to an aspect of the electronic device
through a ?rst user interface of the electronic device; and
receive a selection corresponding to an assistance request
related to the aspect of the electronic device through a second
user interface of the electronic device. The operations also
US 8,341,522 B2
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6
include receive a context of the electronic device from the
context sensor; and provide an assistance correlating to the
the electronic device through the sensor, and broadcast a
tutorial that includes information related to the selected
aspect of the electronic device and to the contextual param
eter through an indicator associated With the electronic
device.
In addition to the foregoing, various other method and/or
system aspects are set forth and described in the text (e.g.,
assistance request related to the aspect of the electronic
device and to the context of the electronic device through a
third user interface of the electronic device.
The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst state, and the second user interface
may include the element of the electronic device in a second
state. The ?rst user interface may include an element of the
electronic device in a ?rst state, the second user interface may
include the element of the electronic device in a second state,
and the third user interface may include the element of the
electronic device in a third state. One of the ?rst user inter
face, the second user interface, and the third user interface
may include an element of the electronic device in a ?rst state,
and another of the ?rst user interface, the second user inter
face, and the third user interface may include the element of
the electronic device in a second state. The ?rst user interface
may include an element of the electronic device in a ?rst
mode and the second user interface may include the element
of the electronic device in a second mode. The ?rst user
interface may include an element of the electronic device in a
?rst mode, the second user interface may include the element
of the electronic device in a second mode, and the third user
interface may include the element of the electronic device in
a third mode. One of the ?rst user interface, the second user
interface, and the third user interface include an element of
the electronic device in a ?rst mode, and another of the ?rst
user interface, the second user interface, and the third user
interface may include the element of the electronic device in
a second mode. The ?rst user interface of the electronic
device may include a ?rst user interface of the electronic
claims and/or detailed description) and/or draWings of the
present application.
The foregoing is a summary and thus contains, by neces
sity, simpli?cations, generaliZations and omissions of detail;
consequently, those skilled in the art Will appreciate that the
summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any
Way limiting. Other aspects, inventive features, and advan
tages of the devices and/or processes described herein, as
de?ned solely by the claims, Will become apparent in the
detailed description set forth herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
20
FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary system in Which embodi
ments may be implemented, including a thin computing
device and a functional element of an electronic device;
25
pose computing device;
FIG. 3 is a How diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
tion that provides assistance;
30
tion supplementing the exemplary query operation that pro
vides assistance described in conjunction With FIG. 3;
35
computing device. The instructions may further include an
operation to search an assistance ?le for the assistance corre
lating to the assistance request. The instructions may further
operations that receive an input responsive to the provided
assistance, and provide another assistance corresponding to
the received input responsive to the provided assistance.
An embodiment provides an apparatus. The apparatus
40
45
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
means for sensing a context of the electronic device, and a
means for providing an assistance correlating to the assis
tance request related to the aspect of the electronic device.
Another embodiment provides a method. The method
includes activating a help mode in an electronic device, and
receiving a selection of an aspect of the electronic device
through a receiver associated With the aspect. The method
also includes sensing a contextual parameter related to the
electronic device through a sensor associated With the elec
tronic device, and broadcasting a tutorial that includes infor
mation related to the selected aspect of the electronic device
and the contextual parameter through an indicator associated
With the electronic device.
A further embodiment provides a system. The system
FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary system in Which embodi
ments may be implemented;
FIG. 7 is a How diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
tion that receives an assistance presentation.
FIG. 8 is a How diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
tion that receives an assistance presentation;
FIG. 9 is a How diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
tion that provides contextual assistance; and
FIG. 10 is a How diagram illustrating another exemplary
operation that provides contextual assistance.
includes a means for receiving a selection corresponding to an
aspect of an electronic device, and a means for receiving a
selection corresponding to an assistance request related to the
aspect of the electronic device. The apparatus also includes a
FIG. 4 is a How diagram illustrating additional detail
related to an alternative embodiment of the exemplary opera
tion of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
device associated With the aspect of the electronic device.
The electronic device may include a pervasive computing
device. The electronic device may include a limited resource
FIG. 2 illustrates another exemplary system in Which
embodiments may be implemented, including a general-pur
In the folloWing detailed description of exemplary embodi
ments, reference is made to the accompanying draWings,
50
Which form a part hereof. In the several ?gures, like refer
55
enced numerals identify like elements. The detailed descrip
tion and the draWings illustrate exemplary embodiments.
Other embodiments may be utiliZed, and other changes may
be made, Without departing from the spirit or scope of the
subject matter presented here. The folloWing detailed
description is therefore not to be taken in a limiting sense, and
the scope of the claimed subject matter is de?ned by the
appended claims.
Features, functionality, and options of computing devices,
60
such as personal computers, have rapidly advanced as tech
includes an electronic device having a context sensor, a
nology provides increased processor speeds, storage capac
receiver associated With an aspect of the electronic device,
and an indicator. The system also includes instructions Which
When implemented in the electronic device cause the elec
ity, connectivity, and interconnectivity, all at decreased cost.
At the same time, softWare, programs, games, and procedures
tronic device to perform operations that activate a help mode,
and receive a selection of the aspect of the electronic device
through the receiver, sense a contextual parameter related to
have similarly rapidly advanced. Additionally, rapid
65
advances have been made in interconnectability and interop
erability of computing devices and other devices, such as
handheld devices and cell phones. These advances are
US 8,341,522 B2
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8
intended to provide a user With many bene?ts. However,
realization of these bene?ts may require that a user read and
re-read manuals.
embodiments may be implemented. FIG. 1 illustrates an
exemplary system that includes a thin computing device 20
that interfaces With an electronic device that includes one or
more functional elements. For example, the electronic device
may include any item having electrical and/or electronic com
ponents playing a role in a functionality of the item, such as a
limited resource computing device, a digital camera, a cell
phone, a printer, a refrigerator, a car, and an airplane. The thin
When neW, a user may or many not take the trouble to read
a manual. Manuals are sometimes considered too complex
and troublesome to comprehend. As a result, the advances
may be unused and the user dissatis?ed. A user may bene?t
from being able to input a selection of an aspect of a computer
computing device 20 includes a processing unit 21, a system
memory 22, and a system bus 23 that couples various system
components including the system memory 22 to the process
ing unit 21. The system bus 23 may be any of several types of
relevant to a need or question through a user interface asso
ciated With the aspect, and then let the computer guide them
from there using the same or another user interface of the
computer.
Additionally, manuals are sometimes lost, misplaced, or
unavailable, such as for example, When traveling. A user may
bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller,
further bene?t by being able to obtain assistance directly from
architectures. The system memory includes read-only
a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus
the computer of a nature often provided by a comprehensive
memory (ROM) 24 and random access memory (RAM) 25. A
user manual.
basic input/output system (BIOS) 26, containing the basic
Further, as a result of rapidly advancing computer technol
ogy, computing devices are become smaller, more poWerful,
routines that help to transfer information betWeen sub-com
ponents Within the thin computing device 20, such as during
and cheaper. The advancing computing technology is moving
20
start-up, is stored in the ROM 24. A number of program
modules may be stored in the ROM 24 and/ or RAM 25,
including an operating system 28, one or more application
programs 29, other program modules 30 and program data 31.
25
puting device 20 through input devices, such as a number of
beyond the personal computer and into everyday items and
devices, providing embedded technology and connectivity.
Almost any thing or item, from buildings to clothing, from
telephones to tools, from appliances to cars, from homes to
the human body, from personal information devices to a com
A user may enter commands and information into the com
sWitches and buttons, illustrated as hardWare buttons 44, con
nected to the system via a suitable interface 45. Input devices
may further include a touch-sensitive display screen 32 With
mon a coffee mug, can have an embedded electronic device
that includes a thin computing device. The embedded elec
tronic device typically improves performance and capacity of
suitable input detection circuitry 33). The output circuitry of
a basic functionality of the item, and may connect the item
With a netWork of other items or the Internet. These items With
30
the touch-sensitive display 32 is connected to the system bus
35
microphone 34 connected through a suitable audio interface
35, and a physical hardWare keyboard (not shoWn). In addi
tion to the display 32, the computing device 20 may include
other peripheral output devices, such as at least one speaker
embedded electronic devices may be described using a vari
ety of names, Which may not have a bright line distinction
23 via a video driver 37. Other input devices may include a
betWeen them. Commonly used names include a limited
resource computing device, limited capacity computing
device, ubiquitous computing device, pervasive computing
device, digital appliance, and Internet appliance. Such items
38.
Other external input or output devices 39, such as a joy
stick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner or the like may be
may be collectively referred to herein from time-to-time as
“pervasive computing,” or a “pervasive computing device”
for economy of Words and to aid in reading and understanding
embodiments disclosed herein.
40
Pervasive computing provides increased functionality, it
the other external input and output devices 39 may be con
nected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, game port
or otherpor‘t. The computing device 20 may further include or
often requires increased interaction betWeen a user and a
previously dumb device. Pervasive computing devices, such
as conventional telephones, cell phones, smart phones,
pocket organiZers, and personal digital assistants, often
be capable of connecting to a ?ash card memory (not shoWn)
45
through an appropriate connection port (not shoWn). The
computing device 20 may further include or be capable of
connecting With a netWork through a netWork port 42 and
netWork interface 43, and through Wireless port 46 and cor
responding Wireless interface 47 may be provided to facilitate
present a user With Widely varying user interface protocols.
This may contribute to user confusion about an aspect of the
pervasive computing device they are vieWing, such as a par
ticular button. As a result, simply ?nding appropriate aspects
of the device related to a portion of the user manual may be
dif?cult or impossible. Like a computer user, a pervasive
computing device user may bene?t from interactive assis
connected to the processing unit 21 through a USB port 40
and USB port interface 41, to the system bus 23.Altematively,
50
communication With other peripheral devices, including
other computers, printers, and so on (not shoWn). It Will be
appreciated that the various components and connections
tance.
shoWn are exemplary and other components and means of
Rapidly advancing technology may also provide an oppor
tunity for increased interaction betWeen traditionally dumb
establishing communications links may be used.
The computing device 20 may be primarily designed to
55
items and user manuals. Many dumb items have become more
complex and sophisticated to meet user demand. For
include a user interface having a character, key-based, other
user data input via the touch sensitive display 32 using a stylus
example, simply adjusting an ergonomic chair requires com
(not shoWn). Moreover, the user interface is not limited to an
plex instructions and location of knobs placed at odd loca
actual touch-sensitive panel arranged for directly receiving
tions. User manuals have correspondingly become more
60
Words may be received at the microphone 34 and recognized.
Alternatively, the computing device 20 may be designed to
user manual may be di?icult or impossible. A user may ben
e?t from interactive assistance With these traditionally dumb
items.
FIG. 1 and the folloWing discussion are intended to provide
a brief, general description of an environment in Which
input, but may alternatively or in addition respond to another
input device, such as the microphone 34. For example, spoken
complex and sometimes confusing. As a result, simply ?nd
ing appropriate aspects of the item related to a portion of the
include a user interface having a physical keyboard (not
65
shoWn).
The device functional elements (not shoWn) are typically
application speci?c and related to a function of the electronic
US 8,341,522 B2
10
device. The device functional elements are driven by a device
135, other program modules 136, and program data 137.
functional element(s) interface 50, Which coupled With the
Often, the operating system 134 offers services to applica
system bus 23. A functional element may typically perform a
tions programs 135 by Way of one or more application pro
single Well-de?ned task With little or no user con?guration or
gramming interfaces (APIs) (not shoWn). Because the oper
ating system 134 incorporates these services, developers of
setup, such as a refrigerator keeping food cold, a cell phone
connecting With an appropriate toWer and transceiving voice
applications programs 135 need not redevelop code to use the
or data information, and a camera capturing and saving an
services. Examples of APIs provided by operating systems
image.
such as Microsoft’s “WINDOWS” are Well knoWn in the art.
FIG. 2 illustrates another exemplary system in Which
embodiments of may be implemented. FIG. 2 illustrates an
electronic device that may correspond in Whole or part to a
The computer 100 may also include other removable/non
10
Way of example only, FIG. 2 illustrates a non-removable
non-volatile memory interface (hard disk interface) 140 that
general-purpose computing device, shoWn as a computer 100.
Components of the computer 100 may include, but are not
limited to, a processing unit 120, a system memory 130, and
a system bus 121 that couples various system components
including the system memory to the processing unit 120. The
system bus 121 may be any of several types of bus structures
reads from and Writes to non-removable, nonvolatile mag
netic media, a magnetic disk drive 151 that reads from and
Writes to a removable, nonvolatile magnetic disk 152, and an
optical disk drive 155 that reads from and Writes to a remov
able, nonvolatile optical disk 156 such as a CD ROM. Other
including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral
bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures.
By Way of example, and not limitation, such architectures
include Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, Micro
removable/nonremovable,
20
Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, Enhanced ISA (EI SA) bus,
Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) local bus,
and Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, also
knoWn as MeZZanine bus.
25
computer
state RAM, and solid state ROM. The hard disk drive 141 is
typically connected to the system bus 121 through a non
removable memory interface, such as the interface 140, and
magnetic disk drive 151 and optical disk drive 155 are typi
cally connected to the system bus 121 by a removable
readable media. Computer-readable media can be any avail
able media that can be accessed by the computer 100 and
include both volatile and nonvolatile media, removable and
memory interface, such as interface 150.
30
tion, computer-readable media may include computer storage
media and communications 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 instruc
tions, data structures, program modules, or other data. Com
puter storage media include, but are not limited to, random
volatile/nonvolatile
storage media that can be used in the exemplary operating
environment include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape
cassettes, ?ash memory cards, DVDs, digital video tape, solid
The computer 100 typically includes a variety of computer
non-removable media. By Way of example, and not limita
removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. By
The drives and their associated computer storage media
discussed above and illustrated in FIG. 2 provide storage of
computer-readable instructions, data structures, program
modules, and other data for the computer 100. In FIG. 2, for
example, hard disk drive 141 is illustrated as storing an oper
ating system 144, application programs 145, other program
35
modules 146, and program data 147. Note that these compo
nents can either be the same as or different from the operating
system 134, application programs 135, other program mod
ules 136, and program data 137. The operating system 144,
application programs 145, other program modules 146, and
access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM),
electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EE
storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk
program data 147 are given different numbers here to illus
trate that, at a minimum, they are different copies. A user may
enter commands and information into the computer 100
storage, or other magnetic storage devices, or any other
through input devices such as a microphone 163, keyboard
PROM), ?ash memory, or other memory technology, CD
40
ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD), or other optical disk
162 and pointing device 161, commonly referred to as a
medium Which can be used to store the desired information
and Which can be accessed by the computer 100. Communi
45
cations media typically embody computer-readable instruc
mouse, trackball, or touch pad. Other input devices (not
shoWn) may include a joystick, game pad, satellite dish, and
tions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a
scanner. These and other input devices are often connected to
modulated data signal such as a carrier Wave or other transport
the processing unit 120 through a user input interface 160 that
mechanism and include any information delivery media. The
term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or
is coupled to the system bus, but may be connected by other
50
more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as
to encode information in the signal. By Way of example, and
interface and bus structures, such as a parallel port, game port,
or a universal serial bus (U SB). A monitor 191 or other type of
display device is also connected to the system bus 121 via an
not limitation, communications media include Wired media
interface, such as a video interface 190. In addition to the
such as a Wired netWork and a direct-Wired connection and
monitor, computers may also include other peripheral output
Wireless media such as acoustic, RF, optical, and infrared
media. Combinations of the any of the above should also be
included Within the scope of computer-readable media.
55
The computer 100 may operate in a netWorked environ
The system memory 130 includes computer storage media
ment using logical connections to one or more remote com
in the form of volatile and nonvolatile memory such as ROM
131 and RAM 132. A basic input/output system (BIOS) 133,
containing the basic routines that help to transfer information
betWeen elements Within the computer 100, such as during
start-up, is typically stored in ROM 131. RAM 132 typically
60
puters, such as a remote computer 180. The remote computer
180 may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a netWork
PC, a peer device, or other common netWork node, and typi
cally includes many or all of the elements described above
relative to the computer 100, although only a memory storage
contains data and program modules that are immediately
accessible to or presently being operated on by processing
unit 120. By Way of example, and not limitation, FIG. 2
illustrates an operating system 134, application programs
devices such as speakers 197 and printer 196, Which may be
connected through an output peripheral interface 195.
65
device 181 has been illustrated in FIG. 2. The logical connec
tions depicted in FIG. 2 include a local area netWork (LAN)
171 and a Wide area netWork (WAN) 173, but may also
include other netWorks such as a personal area netWork
US 8,341,522 B2
11
12
(PAN) (not shown). Such networking environments are com
formed by remote processing devices that are linked through
monplace in of?ces, enterprise-wide computer networks,
a communications network. In a distributed computing envi
intranets, and the Internet.
ronment, program modules may be located in both local and
When used in a LAN networking environment, the com
puter 100 is connected to the LAN 171 through a network
interface or adapter 170. When used in a WAN networking
remote computer storage media including memory storage
devices.
FIG. 3 is a ?ow diagram illustrating an exemplary opera
tion 200 that provides assistance. After a start operation, the
operation moves to operation 210. At activation operation
environment, the computer 100 typically includes a modem
172 or other means for establishing communications over the
WAN 173, such as the Internet. The modem 172, which may
be internal or external, may be connected to the system bus
121 via the user input interface 160, or via another appropri
ate mechanism. In a networked environment, program mod
210, an assistance manager is activated. The assistance man
ager typically includes instructions, such as computer-read
able instructions, for example, a program, process, and/or
application operating on an electronic device that implements
the exemplary operation 200 that provides assistance.
ules depicted relative to the computer 100, or portions
thereof, may be stored in a remote memory storage device. By
way of example, and not limitation, FIG. 2 illustrates remote
application programs 185 as residing on memory device 181.
It will be appreciated that the network connections shown are
exemplary and other means of establishing a communications
link between the computers may be used.
In the description that follows, embodiments will be
described with reference to acts and symbolic representations
At query operation 220, a query related to an electronic
device is received through a ?rst interface associated with the
electronic device. The query may include a selection of an
aspect of the electronic device as a subject of the query. The
query may include any aspect of the electronic device for
20
of operations that are performed by one or more computing
devices, such a computing device 20 of FIG. 1 and/or com
puter 100 of FIG. 2, unless indicated otherwise. As such, it
will be understood that such acts and operations, which are at
times referred to as being computer-executed, include the
25
which a user might desire assistance, such as, a feature of the
device, an element of the device, and a process associated
with the device. The query related to the electronic device
may include an assistance request related to the electronic
device. The assistance request may include a request related
to the electronic device in any manner, including the selected
aspect of the electronic device. For example, the assistance
request may include any request related to the electronic
manipulation by the processing unit of the computer of elec
device, such as “show me,” “demonstrate,” and “guide me.”
trical signals representing data in a structured form. This
manipulation transforms the data or maintains them at loca
tions in the memory system of the computer, which recon?g
The ?rst interface may include a ?rst user interface.
manner well understood by those skilled in the art. The data
The electronic device may be incorporated into any type of
appliance and/or item. In certain embodiments, the electronic
device may include a computing device, such as a personal
computer and a server. In other embodiments, the electronic
structures where data are maintained are physical locations of
device may include a limited resource computing device, an
30
ures or otherwise alters the operation of the computer in a
the memory that have particular properties de?ned by the
format of the data. However, while an embodiment is being
described in the foregoing context, it is not meant to be
limiting as those of skill in the art will appreciate that the acts
appliance, a pervasive computing device, and a digital appli
35
and operations described hereinafter may also be imple
mented in hardware.
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an example of a suitable environ
40
ment on which embodiments may be implemented. The com
puting device 20 of FIG. 1 and/or computer 100 of FIG. 2 are
examples of a suitable environment and are not intended to
suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality
of an embodiment. Neither should the environment be inter
45
preted as having any dependency or requirement relating to
any one or combination of components illustrated in an exem
plary operating environment.
Embodiments may be implemented with numerous other
general-purpose or special-purpose computing devices and
computing system environments or con?gurations. Examples
of well-known computing systems, environments, and con
50
?gurations that may be suitable for use with an embodiment
include, but are not limited to, personal computers, server
computers, hand-held or laptop devices, personal digital
55
assistants, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based
systems, set top boxes, programmable consumer electronics,
network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and dis
tributed computing environments that include any of the
above systems or devices.
Embodiments may be described in a general context of
computer-executable instructions, such as program modules,
being executed by a computer. Generally, program modules
include routines, programs, objects, components, data struc
tures, etc., that perform particular tasks or implement particu
lar abstract data types. An embodiment may also be practiced
in distributed computing environments where tasks are per
ance. Examples may include a PDA, a cell phone, a Black
berry appliance, an on-board computing device, such as in a
car, boat, and/or aircraft, an X-Box, a home gateway, a set-top
box, a point-of-sale terminal, a digital camera, a TiVo, and an
automated teller machine. By way of further example, the
electronic device may include a computing device and the
query may relate to an aspect of the computing device. The
electronic device may include an electrical appliance and the
query may relate to an aspect of the electrical appliance. The
electronic device may include a limited resource computing
device and the query may relate to an aspect of the limited
resource computing device. The electronic device may
include a pervasive computing device and the query may
relate to an aspect of the pervasive computing device. The
electronic device may include a digital appliance and the
query may relate to an aspect of the digital appliance.
At search operation 230, an assistance ?le is searched for
an assistance response correlating to the query. Searching the
assistance ?le may include searching an assistance ?le stored
in a storage media associated with the electronic device, such
as the system memory 22 of FIG. 1, or coupled with the
electronic device. Alternatively, the assistance ?le may be
stored and/ or searched remotely and coupled with a function
ality of the operation 230, such as by a network, such as a
LAN, a WAN, or the Internet.
60
At assistance operation 240, an assistance response is pro
vided correlating to the query through a second interface of
the electronic device. In an embodiment, the assistance
response provided may include visually providing an assis
tance with a physical element of the device, such as blinking
65
a light associated with the physical element. For example, the
physical element may be a physical button and the light may
be a light emitting device incorporated into the button. In this
US 8,341,522 B2
13
14
example, the assistance may include blinking the LED asso
ciated With the button. In an alternative embodiment, the
puting device, cause the computing device to perform the
second interface may include an LED and a third interface
able media may include a computer storage media, Which
may be carried by a computer-readable carrier, such as a
operation 200 that provides assistance. The computer-read
may include a speaker. The provided assistance may include
providing an audible assistance presentation from the speaker
?oppy disk. Alternatively, the computer-readable media may
and blinking the LED appropriately during the presentation.
include a communications media.
The audible assistance presentation may include a spoken
FIG. 4 is a How diagram illustrating additional detail
related to an alternative embodiment of the exemplary query
presentation that includes a Word or Words. The providing an
assistance further may include tactilely providing an assis
tance presentation.
The provided assistance may include guidance through a
process associated With the aspect of the device, a description
of the aspect of the device, a shoWing hoW the aspect of the
operation 220 of FIG. 3. At aspect selection operation 250, a
selection corresponding to the electronic device is received
through the ?rst interface. As described in conjunction With
query operation 220 of FIG. 3, the selection designates a
display, a graphical display, and a graphical user interface.
subject matter of the query, and may include a selection of an
aspect of the electronic device. The selection may include an
aspect related to the electronic device, such as, a component
associated With the device, a feature associated With the elec
tronic device, a function associated With the electronic
device, a program associated With the electronic device, and a
process associated With the electronic device. In an embodi
ment, the ?rst interface may include a ?rst user interface.
In an embodiment, the selection may be received by detect
The second user interface may include an audio display, such
as an acoustic speaker. Further, the second user interface may
include a tactile interface, such as a vibrating component. The
ing a touch to a ?rst user interface associated With the elec
tronic device, such as a button or a component. The touch may
be received in any manner. For example, such as from a user
device Works, and/or an interactive tutorial. The assistance
may be provided in any manner, such as a visual presentation,
an audio presentation, a spoken presentation, a tactile presen
tation, and/ or a combination of tWo or more of these manners
of presentation.
In an embodiment, the second interface may be a second
user interface. The second user interface may include a visual 20
operation then proceeds to a stop operation.
The ?rst interface and the second interface may be at least
substantially similar, and the second user interface may
include the ?rst user interface. In an embodiment, the ?rst
interface and the second interface may comprise a same
physical or virtual element of the electronic device. The ?rst
interface and the second interface may share a same physical
25
physically contacting the ?rst user interface, being proximate
30
The ?rst user interface may be associated With an aspect of
the electronic device, such as a physical association. Using a
button for example, a ?rst user interface may be included
cal or virtual element is in different activate modes or states.
35
ciation of a button or component and the ?rst user interface
associated With an electronic device may have normal oper
40
tion of an assistance manager and entry into an assistance
mode, the same physical button transitions to a ?rst state and
functions as the ?rst interface that receives a query, such as at
the query operation 220. Upon occurrence of an event, such as
receipt of the query at the query operation 220, or ?nding an
assistance corresponding to the query at the search operation
45
may include a logical association. By a Way of further
example, an association may include a touch sensitive portion
of a visual display surface. When the visual display surface
displays an image or icon visually associated With an aspect
of an electronic device, a touch to the displayed image or icon,
or a portion of the visual display surface proximate to the
displayed image or icon, may be detected and received as a
selection through an interface logically associated With the
electronic device, or an interface logically associated With an
aspect of the electronic device.
In another embodiment, the selection may be received by
230, the same physical button transitions to a second state. In
the second state, the physical button functions as the second
interface that provides assistance corresponding to the query,
such as at the provide operation 240.
In another example, an interface, such as a physical button,
Within a physical structure of a button, or the ?rst user inter
face may be adjacent or proximate to the button. The asso
single physical button interface may have a plurality of inter
face states. Continuing With these examples, a physical button
ating function related to the electronic device. Upon activa
to the ?rst user interface, and having an orientation to the ?rst
user interface.
or virtual element, but be separately activated When the physi
For example, an interface having a physical structure and in a
?rst state may function as the ?rst interface, and in a second
state may function as the second interface. In this example, a
body part physically contacting the ?rst user interface, a user
body part being proximate to the ?rst user interface, and a user
body part having an orientation to the ?rst user interface.
Similarly, for example, a touch may be received by a stylus
detecting a sound or Word. For example, the ?rst user inter
50
face may include a microphone and processing capability to
detect a sound or spoken Word corresponding to a selection
related to the electronic device, or to an aspect of the elec
may function as a ?rst interface When operated in a ?rst mode
and function as a second interface When operated in a second
tronic device. For example, detecting a signal corresponding
mode. In this example, a single physical button may function
as a ?rst interface When pressed quickly once and as a second 55
interface When pressed sloWly once. Continuing With this
example, the single physical button may function as a ?rst
to the spoken Words “lens cover” selects a lens cover of a
digital camera, and is received as a selection related to the
electronic device, or to the lens cover of the electronic device.
manager. The assistance manager may be implemented in any
At assistance selection operation 260, a selection corre
sponding an assistance request is received. In an embodiment,
the selection is received through a third interface of the elec
tronic device, and the third interface may include a third user
interface. The receiving a selection corresponding to an assis
tance request associated With the selection may include
combination of hardWare, softWare, and/or ?rmWare con?g
ured to effect the operation 200 that provides assistance,
depending upon the design choices of the system designer. A
detecting a touch to the third user interface. The third user
interface may include a button. The third user interface may
include at least one predetermined query. The selection cor
interface When pressed once and as a second interface When
pressed tWice in quick succession.
In an embodiment, the operation 200 that provides assis
60
tance may be considered to be an electronic-device assistance
further embodiment includes a computer-readable media
containing computer instructions Which, When run on a com
65
responding to an assistance request may include a request for
a description of functionality, a request for a description of
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