Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050250547 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/116,001
Publication dateNov 10, 2005
Filing dateApr 27, 2005
Priority dateApr 27, 2004
Also published asUS7202802, US7656317, US20050237228, US20070279256, US20100156677, US20130021258, WO2005109644A1, WO2005109645A1, WO2005109652A2, WO2005109652A3
Publication number11116001, 116001, US 2005/0250547 A1, US 2005/250547 A1, US 20050250547 A1, US 20050250547A1, US 2005250547 A1, US 2005250547A1, US-A1-20050250547, US-A1-2005250547, US2005/0250547A1, US2005/250547A1, US20050250547 A1, US20050250547A1, US2005250547 A1, US2005250547A1
InventorsMajeed Salman, G. Engstrom
Original AssigneeWildseed Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keypad reorientation
US 20050250547 A1
Abstract
An apparatus includes a display and a keypad. The keypad has a plurality of keys, a first subset of which are adapted to define a first arrangement of keys, and a second subset of which are adapted to define a second arrangement of keys. Further, the apparatus includes a light provision arrangement that has at least one light source. A controller coupled to, and adapted to control the operations of, the light provision arrangement, to highlight the first and second subsets of keys during a first and a second mode of operation respectively. The keypad has a first and a second different relative operational disposition to the display, in said first and second modes of operation respectively.
Images(15)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(27)
1. An apparatus, comprising:
a display;
a keypad having a plurality of keys, a first subset of which are adapted to define a first arrangement of keys, and a second subset of which are adapted to define a second arrangement of keys;
a light provision arrangement including at least one light source; and
a controller coupled to, and adapted to control the operations of,
the light provision arrangement, to at least highlight the first and second subsets of keys during a first and a second mode of operation respectively, and
the keypad being in a first and a second different relative operational disposition to the display, in said first and second modes of operation respectively.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is adapted to control the light provision arrangement to highlight the first and second subset of keys by controlling the light arrangement to backlight the first arrangement of keys during the first mode of operation and backlight the second arrangement of keys during the second mode of operation.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the light provision arrangement comprises a first light source optically coupled at least to the first subset of keys and a second light source optically coupled to the second subset of keys, and the controller is further adapted to modify an intensity of light emitting from the first light source in response, at least in part, to the first mode of operation.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the light provision arrangement comprises one light source optically coupled at least to the first subset of keys and the second subset of keys, the light provision arrangement further comprises at least two light valves, a first and a second light valve are disposed between the light source and the first and second subset of keys, respectively, and the controller is further adapted to selectively control the first and second light valves based, at least in part, on the first mode of operation.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a first of the plurality of keys is a member of the first subset of keys and the second subset of keys.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the first key comprises at least two indicia, a first indicia and a second indicia associated with the first and the second subset of keys respectively.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the controller being adapted to control the light provision arrangement to highlight the first and second subset of keys further comprises illuminating the first indicia during the first mode of operation, and illuminating the second indicia during the second mode of operation.
8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the light provision arrangement comprises at least a plurality of light sources, a first and a second of the plurality of light sources are optically coupled to the first and second indicia correspondingly, and the controller is further adapted to control the light sources to selectively modify an intensity of light emitting from the light sources based, at least in part, on the first mode of operation.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a selected one of the first arrangement of keys and the second arrangement of keys comprise a numeric keypad layout.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a selected one of the first arrangement of keys and the second arrangement of keys comprise an alphanumeric keypad layout.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a selected one of the first arrangement of keys and the second arrangement of keys comprise an alphabetic keyboard layout.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least two keymaps in a memory, wherein at least some keys of the first subset of keys comprise at least two pluralities of indicia, a first of the plurality of indicia corresponds to a numeric keypad layout, a second of the plurality of indicia corresponds to a first alphabetic keypad layout, and the controller is further adapted to dynamically bind a first keymap to the at least some keys of the first subset of keys, based at least in part on the first mode of operation, to define a set of numeric values and a first set of alphabetic values corresponding to the first and the second plurality of indicia, respectively.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein at least some keys of the second subset of keys comprise at least a first portion of a third plurality of indicia, the third of the plurality of indicia corresponds to a second alphabetic keypad layout different from the first alphabetic keypad layout, and the controller is further adapted to dynamically bind a second keymap to the at least some keys of the second subset of keys, based at least in part on the second mode of operation, to define a second set of alphabetic values corresponding to the third plurality of indicia.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein at least a first key of the at least some of the keys of the first subset of keys comprise a second portion of the third plurality of indicia corresponding to the second alphabetic keypad layout, and the controller is further adapted to dynamically bind the second keymap to the first key based at least in part on the second mode of operation.
15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the at least some of the first set of alphabetic values corresponding to the first alphabetic keypad layout are assigned an order of input associated with some of the keys at least partially based on their respective first set of alphabetic values.
16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the at least some of the second set of alphabetic values corresponding to the second alphabetic keypad layout are assigned an order of input associated with some of the input keys at least partially based on a frequency of use of such alphabetic values.
17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein, each of the first set of alphabetic values associated with the second plurality of indicia corresponds to a DTMF signal consistent with a DTMF signal corresponding to alphabetically ordered letters of a conventional telephone keypad layout, and the controller is further adapted to selectively generate said DTMF signal.
18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the second alphabetic keypad layout is a modified QWERTY or modified Dvorak keypad layout.
19. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein at least some of the first set of alphabetic values corresponding to the first alphabetic keypad layout are assigned an order of input associated with some of the input keys to provide a reduced set of possible diagrams on a single key.
20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein each of the second set of alphabetical values comprise a set of letters wherein letters with a higher frequency of use are assigned an order of input associated with some of the input keys before letters with a lower frequency of use.
21. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first relative operational disposition comprises the display complementing the keypad from beneath the keypad.
22. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first relative operational disposition comprises the display complementing the keypad from above the keypad.
23. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first relative operational disposition comprises the display complementing the keypad from a left side of the keypad.
24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first relative operational disposition comprises the display complementing the keypad from a right side of the keypad.
25. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is a portable electronic device.
26. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is a wireless mobile communication device, further comprising a wireless communication interface to facilitate wireless communication with a communication station of a wireless network service provider.
27. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is a keyboard for use on a portable electronic device.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of priority from:

    • Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/565,638 filed Apr. 27, 2004,
    • Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/566,676 filed Apr. 30, 2004,
    • Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/567,214 filed Apr. 30, 2004, and
    • Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/566,704, filed Apr. 30, 2004, all of which applications are fully incorporated herein by reference.
TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure is related to the field of electronic device user interfaces. More specifically, but not exclusively, the present disclosure relates to the design of input mechanisms for use in portable electronic devices.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Mobile electronic devices have become ubiquitous in today's fast paced society. Various portable or mobile handheld devices can perform multiple tasks as well as provide multiple communication systems. For example, the personal digital assistant (“PDA”) cellular telephone, in addition to serving as a personal organizer and cellular phone, may also provide text messaging, paging, and Internet connectivity. Accordingly, most devices require an interface for entering alphabetic as well as numeric characters.

The personal preference of the user of the mobile communications is one factor driving the different configurations of mobile communications devices. For example, with wireless-enabled PDAs some users prefer the use of a stylus to “hand write” information for entry into the wireless-enabled PDAs. In contrast, other users prefer that a wireless-enabled PDA contain a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard to facilitate the entry of data. Note that, at times, different users with different personal preferences may share use of a mobile communications device.

Certain environmental conditions may affect the user of a mobile communications device. For example, a user may have a preference to use a mobile communications device with a keypad located below the display device. However, under particularly sunny conditions, the user may decide that having the keypad over the display, so that the shadow from the hand on the keypad blocks direct sunlight, is a more desirable configuration.

Portable communication devices may be loaded with a number of different applications. For example, a mobile communications device may be used in a configuration as a wireless mobile telephone. In such a case the most desirable input method is via a traditional numeric input keypad found on most wireless mobile telephones. At a second time, however, a mobile communications device may be used to record notes at a meeting attended by the user. In this usage mode, it is more desirable to have a traditional QWERTY keyboard for entering data.

Thus, various factors determine the method of interaction with today's mobile communications devices.

DESCRIPTION OF THE REFERENCED NUMERALS

Similar reference numerals in the drawings denote similar elements throughout the several views; the figures in each of the views illustrate various embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a prior art mobile electronic device including a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard for inputting data;

FIG. 2 illustrates a prior art mobile telephone device including a conventional telephone keypad for inputting data;

FIG. 3 illustrates a block diagram view of a computing environment, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIGS. 4 a-4 b illustrate block diagram views of keypad environments, in accordance with various embodiments

FIG. 5 illustrates a flow diagram of an input method processing routine, in accordance with one embodiment.

FIGS. 6 a-6 d illustrate mobile electronic devices having keypads in accordance with various embodiments;

FIGS. 7 a-7 b illustrate an example of a keypad and an enlarged view of a key in accordance with an embodiment;

FIGS. 8 a-8 b illustrate mobile electronic devices having a keypad in accordance with various embodiments.

FIGS. 8 c-8 d illustrate enlarged keys, of the keypad in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b, coupled to light sources in accordance with various embodiments.

FIGS. 9 a-9 b illustrate an example of a keypad and an enlarged view of a key in accordance with an embodiment; and

FIGS. 10 a-10 b illustrate an example of a keypad and an enlarged view of a key in accordance with an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention include, but are not limited to, a reduced keypad for a mobile electronic device and apparatuses including the same.

Parts of the description will be presented in terms such as portable or mobile electronic devices. As is well understood by those skilled in the art, the term “portable/mobile electronic device” (hereafter, “electronic device”, or simply “device”), as used herein, including in the claims, comprise devices configured to operate as wireless portable phones, PDAs, and the like.

The term “wireless portable phone”, as used herein, refers to the class of telephone devices equipped to enable a user to make and receive calls wirelessly, notwithstanding the user's movement, as long as the user is within the communication reach of a service or base station of a wireless network service provider. Unless specifically excluded, the term “wireless portable phone” is to include the analog subclass as well as the digital subclass (of all signaling protocols).

In the following description, various aspects of the illustrative embodiments will be described. It will be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that alternate embodiments of the present invention may be practiced with all or only some aspects of the present invention. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the described embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that alternate embodiments of the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the illustrative embodiments.

Various operations will be described as multiple discrete steps, in a manner that is most helpful in understanding the present invention, however, the order of description should not be construed as to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. In particular, these operations need not be performed in the order of presentation.

The phrase “in one embodiment” is used repeatedly. The phrase generally does not refer to the same embodiment, however, it may. The terms “comprising”, “having” and “including” are synonymous, unless the context dictates otherwise.

The term “activation” means an affirmative action by a user to provide a value associated with a key as input to the electronic device. Key activations may include a traditional mechanical key that, when pressed, causes the key to contact a switch on a circuit board located beneath the key. Alternatively, key activations may mean the touching by a user (or stylus) of a pressure sensitive key or a capacitive or resistive touch sensitive surface, as well as on “soft” keys on a touch-sensitive display.

The embodiments are described herein with respect to a character set based on the English language. It is to be recognized that the invention may be practiced with characters of other languages as well.

While the present invention is described with respect to its improvement over a miniaturized “QWERTY” keyboard, one skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention may be practiced with respect to other keyboard layouts, such as a Dvorak keyboard and the like. Moreover, while the present invention is described with respect to an improvement over a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard, the present invention may be practiced with standard-sized keyboards in an attempt to enhance their functionality as well.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary prior art portable electronic device 100 utilizing a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard 110 for inputting data. Note that a relatively large display 120 leads to a reduced amount of surface area available for an input keyboard such as miniaturized QWERTY keyboard 110. In contrast to standard QWERTY keyboards in use with desktop and larger computers, miniaturized QWERTY keyboards on portable electronic devices typically have a limited key set. Furthermore, if the QWERTY keyboard has numeric values, the values will frequently be located along the top row of keys, which may be awkward for entry of telephone numbers and the like. Competing interface requirements on the keyboard have resulted in a reduction in input key size as well as a reduction in spacing between input keys. Frequently, users will activate input keys inadvertently due to the close proximity and size of the input keys. This affects the ability of a user to input data to electronic device 100.

Other mobile devices include simply a conventional telephone keypad. FIG. 2 shows an exemplary prior art keypad 210 on a mobile telephone device 200. As mentioned previously, one method for entering alphabetic values or letters via a telephone keypad 210 is generally known as multi-tap. In order for a user to enter text using multi-tap, a letter is selected by repeatedly activating a corresponding input key until the desired letter appears. For example, a user may activate the input key associated with the numeric value “2” once for “a”, twice for” b” or three times for “c.” Thus, traditional multi-tap requires multiple activations of a single input key in order to enter a letter.

Another method used for entering text on mobile telephone device 200 may include predictive text entry (T9 Text Input™). Using predictive text entry, a user activates each key only once to enter each letter of a key sequence representing a word. Software may then produce a list of word possibilities for the particular key sequence. If the desired word is correctly “predicted”, the user then selects it from the list.

Referring now to FIG. 3, wherein an exemplary electronic device 300 suitable for use in embodiments of the present invention is shown. Those of ordinary skill in the art and others will appreciate that electronic device 300 may include many more components than those shown in FIG. 3. However, it is not necessary that all of these generally conventional components be shown in order to disclose an enabling embodiment for practicing the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3, electronic device 300 includes an optional (wire line based or wireless) communications interface 330 for connecting to remote device(s) (not shown). Communications interface 330 includes the necessary circuitry, driver and/or transceiver for such a connection and, is constructed for use with the appropriate protocols for such a connection.

Electronic device 300 also includes a processor or processing unit 310, a controller 315, a keypad (keyboard) 325, a display 385, a keypad display controller (also referred to as a “light provision arrangement”) 345, and a memory 350, all interconnected along with the communications interface 330 via a bus 320. Memory 350 generally comprises random access memory (“RAM”), a read only memory (“ROM”) and a permanent mass storage device, such as a disk drive, flash RAM, or the like. Other components (not shown) that may be included in various embodiments include a type of memory device separate from memory 350; such as a subscriber identity module (SIM), a Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) device, an Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM) device and the like.

Memory 350 stores an operating system 355, a key map 365, and an input method routine 375 formed in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. In an embodiment, input method routine 375 may include an input routine associated with a multi-tap input routine, a predictive text input routine, or both. The keypad 325 has a plurality of keys. These keys may be divided into at least two subsets of keys, each subset of keys being adapted to define corresponding arrangements of keys.

In one embodiment in accordance with the present invention, the light provision arrangement 345 is coupled to controller 315. Light provision arrangement 345 includes at least one light source (not shown). For different embodiments, various subsets of keys may correspondingly be highlighted by the light provision arrangement 345 to provide an indication to a user of the respective mode of operation in which the electronic device 300 may be configured to operate. For example, a first subset of keys (or selective subsets of the indicia of the first subset of keys) may be configured to be highlighted during a first mode of operation of the electronic device 300, while a second subset of keys (or selective subsets of the indicia of the second subset of keys) may be configured to be highlighted during a second mode of operation.

To illustrate, in one embodiment electronic device 300 may be configured to operate in a numeric mode. In this mode, activation of each data entry key is interpreted by the controller 315 as numeric input selections and the light provision arrangement 345, under the instruction of controller 315, selectively illuminates the numerals of the keypad 325. In another embodiment, the electronic device may be configured to operate in an alphanumeric mode. In the alphanumeric mode, activation of each alphanumeric entry key of the keypad 325 is interpreted by the controller 315 and the light provision arrangement 345 selectively illuminates the QWERTY portions of the keypad 325. Alternately, the area of the keypad 325 having the numeric, or the QWERTY portions may be backlit corresponding to the mode of operation.

For the embodiments, the keypad 325, coupled and controlled by controller 315, has at least two different relative operational dispositions to the display 385. For some embodiments, the keypad 325 may be configured/adapted to be operated from a position above the display 385, below the display 385, to the right of the display 385, and/or to the left of the display 385. The subsets of keys may be defined to complement the relative operational dispositions, correspondingly. For example, one subset of keys may be defined to operate from the left of the display 385 when the electronic device is in a PDA mode of operation (e.g., the first mode of operation) in one embodiment. In another embodiment, a subset of the keys may be defined to operate from below the display 385 when the electronic device is configured to be in a phone mode of operation (e.g., the second mode).

For some embodiments, the only keys that can be activated by a user may be those that are highlighted by the light provision arrangement 345.

In various embodiments, memory 350 also stores application(s) 360. These applications, for some embodiments, may correspond to the different modes of operation for the electronic device 300. For example, in one embodiment the electronic device 300 may be configured to operate predominately as a PDA. In another embodiment, the electronic device 300 may be configured to operate as a cell phone (portable phone). For other embodiments, the electronic device may, for example, operate as an entertainment device providing MP3 music support, video conferencing capability, video recorder and camera capabilities, or as a gaming device. It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art and others, that while key map 365, input routine 375 and applications 360 are described as separate individual software components, they may actually be combined, comprised of multiple software components; or may in fact be sub-parts of one or more integrated software components. In particular, input routine 375 may be integrated with applications 360 or operating system 355. Additionally, while key map 365 and input routine 375 are illustrated as software components (e.g., part of the operating system, or a discrete application), in alternate embodiments, they may be hardware components of electronic device 300.

It will be appreciated that the software components may be loaded from a computer readable medium into memory 350 of the host computer or electronic device 300 using a drive mechanism (not shown) or network mechanism (not shown) associated with the computer readable medium, such as a floppy, tape, DVD/CD-ROM drive, flash RAM, network interface card, or communications interface 330.

Further, communication interface 330 may be designed to support one or more signaling protocols, including but not limited to Code Division Multiple Access (“CDMA”), Time Division Multiple Access (“TDMA”), Global System for Mobile Communications (“GSM”), General Packet Radio Service (“GPRS”) and so forth. Moreover, communication interface 330 may be implemented using a separate transmitter and receiver.

In accordance with various embodiments, each input key on the keypad 325 may be associated with one or more alphabetic and/or numeric values to comprise a reduced keypad. In aggregate, a reduced keypad has fewer keys than the limited keyboard shown in prior art QWERTY keyboard 110 and obviously fewer keys than a standard QWERTY keyboard layout. However, in various embodiments, the reduced keypads of the present invention may provide more data entry or input keys than the simple telephone keypads, such as conventional telephone keypad 210.

FIGS. 4 a and 4 b, illustrate block diagram views of a keypad environment, in accordance with various embodiments. Controller 315 (either a hardware or software controller) operates in conjunction with an input routine 375 in support of keypad 325. In various embodiments, input routine 375 may have a multi-tap input subroutine and a predictive input subroutine as described in more detail in co-pending applications U.S. Ser. No. 05/05054 and U.S. Ser. No. 05/05013 which are incorporated as if fully contained herein. In other embodiments, input routine 375 may have a modified QWERTY input subroutine. Input assembly 400 has an output 450 coupled to controller 315. As one example, when controller 315 is operating in multi-tap input mode, controller 315 detects each input key activation and an amount of time that has passed since the most recent input key activation, or the length of time between input key activations. A memory 350 is coupled to controller 315. In one embodiment, the memory 350 may store a numeric key mapping 405 and an alphanumeric key mapping 365, which includes the assignments between the physical input keys, the number of times an input key is activated, and the corresponding characters as illustrated in FIG. 4 a. In an alternate embodiment, the memory may store an alphabetic key mapping 365 as illustrated in FIG. 4 b, depending on the mode of operation of the electronic device 300 described in FIG. 3. Controller 315 provides an output signal to output 450, the output signal indicating the character selected by the user.

In one embodiment, successive selected characters are stored in a memory and become a generated text string. In one embodiment, the key map 365 also includes a numeric digit corresponding to each alphanumeric key, where the numeric digit is the numeric digit corresponding to the data entry key. The numeric digit corresponds to an activation count that is one greater than the activation count corresponding to the last letter in the ordered set corresponding to each data entry key. For example, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 b activating the “Zero” key three times results in a selection of the digit “0”. When numeric digits are included in the key map 365, their corresponding activation count is not based on frequency of use for the digit.

In an embodiment, controller 315 can be configured/adapted to control operations of the light provision arrangement 345. Light provision arrangement 345 includes at least one light source (not shown). For different embodiments, various subsets of keys may correspondingly be highlighted by the light provision arrangement 345 to provide an indication to a user of the respective mode of operation in which the electronic device 300 may be configured to operate. For example, in one embodiment a first subset of keys may be configured to be highlighted by being backlit during a first mode of operation of the electronic device 300, while a second subset of keys may be configured to be highlighted by being backlit during a second mode of operation. In another embodiment, the plurality of keys may be equipped with light sources. For example, light emitting diodes (LEDs) may be coupled to various subsets of indicia on each key to allow different portions (the numeric, alphanumeric, or alphabetic portions) of each key to be selectively illuminated corresponding and in response, at least in part, to device 300 currently configured mode of operation. In an alternate embodiment, light valves may be disposed between each of the sets of indicia on each of the keys and one or more corresponding light sources. The light valves may then be controlled by controller 315 in response to the mode of operation of device 300.

The intensity of the illumination highlighting the keys, for some embodiments, may be varied. It isn't necessary that illumination highlighting the keys be binary (on/off). Rather, the intensity may be varied to denote the corresponding mode of operation and/or selection of the keys. For example, in a numeric mode, the intensity of the illumination of the numeric indicia on a first set of keys may be noticeably greater than that of other indicia. Additionally, the most recently selected key may temporally illuminated with the highest intensity. Conversely, if device 300 is in an alphabetic mode, the QWERTY portion of each of the keys containing the QWERTY indicia of a second subset of keys may be noticeably greater than that of other indicia. Likewise, the most recently selected key may temporally illuminated with the highest intensity. In some embodiments, the controller 315 may be adapted to modify the intensity of the light emitting from the light source(s) illuminating the keys. For some embodiments, the controller 315 may be modifying the intensity in response, at least in part, to the mode of operation in which device 300 is configured to operate. In other embodiments, a user interface for device 300 may be configured to allow a user to control the intensity of the light emitting from the light sources based at least in part on the user's preferences.

The number of subsets of keys, key arrangements, and modes of operation are illustrative and are not intended to be limiting. More than two subsets of keys, modes of operation and corresponding key arrangements may be defined for device 300.

In one embodiment, a display 385 is coupled to controller 315. In the embodiment, an output signal for controller 315 causes an appropriate alphabetic, numeric or non-numeric character to be displayed on display 385. In one embodiment, as the user repeatedly activates an input key and has not completed selection of a character, each successive activation causes a tentative character selection to overwrite the previous tentative character selection on display 385.

FIG. 5 illustrates one exemplary embodiment of input method process 500. The input method process begins at block 501 and proceeds to decision block 505 where a determination is made whether a text field has a designated input method. If so, processing proceeds to block 535 where the designated input method/mode of operation is set for inputting information into an electronic device 300.

If, however, in decision block 505, it was determined that no input method has been designated for a particular text field, processing continues to decision block 510. In decision block 510 a determination is made whether the application containing the text field has a designated input method (e.g., some external property indicates an input method for the particular text field). If so, processing also proceeds to block 535.

If, however, in decision block 510 it was determined that the application does not have a designated input method, processing proceeds to decision block 515, where a determination is made whether the application (and/or the text field) is of a known input type (e.g., a “name” field is almost always known to be alphabetic/alphanumeric and not conforming to a dictionary, so a multi-tap input method may automatically be chosen). If so, processing proceeds to block 530 where an appropriate input method is set, according to the known input type.

If in decision block 515 it was not determined that the application was of a known input type, processing proceeds to decision block 520. In decision block 520 a determination is made whether a user of the electronic device 300 has designated an input method and, if so, processing proceeds to block 535.

If, however, in decision block 520 it was not determined that the user has designated an input method, processing proceeds to block 525 where a default input method is set. Once an input method has been set, either in block 525, 530 or 535, processing proceeds to the text entering subroutine 540, such as the predictive input method subroutine, the multi-tap input method subroutine, or a numeric input subroutine (not shown, but described above). Once the text entering subroutine 540 returns, then the input text is returned in block 599.

Those of ordinary skill in the art and others will appreciate that other input methods may be automatically determined according to input method determination process 500, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, in one embodiment of the present invention a modified predictive input method may be employed to provide an adaptive predictive input method such that as new words are entered into text fields they are also added to a predictive input dictionary, thereby increasing the predictive capabilities of the adaptive input method. Those of ordinary skill in the art and others will appreciate that there are yet still other input methods that may be employed in various embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 6 a-6 d illustrate front views of an electronic device 600 having a keypad 625 in accordance with various embodiments. Various embodiments of electronic device 600 have been discussed above corresponding to FIGS. 3-4 b.

FIG. 6 a illustrates an embodiment where keypad 625 has a first operational disposition to that of display 685 while electronic device 400 is configured for a first mode of operation. As illustrated, keypad 625 is configured to be operated from below the display 685. A first subset of keys 635 of a plurality of keys on the keypad may be defined in this embodiment to be the first arrangement of keys. As described above, a controller 315 may control the definition of the first subset of keys 635. Subset 635 is highlighted by the light provision arrangement 345 of FIG. 3. The controller may also be adapted to control or instruct the light provision arrangement to highlight the first subset of keys 635 by applying a backlight or backlights to illuminate either the keys themselves or the area surrounding the keys in accordance with various embodiments. Further, as illustrated by the embodiment in FIG. 6 a, the subset of keys are configured to operate as an alphanumeric set of keys. Additionally, for the example illustrated by this embodiment, the first mode of operation may be numeric mode in support of the device 600 when it is configured to operate as a portable phone.

FIG. 6 b illustrates an embodiment where keypad 625 has a second operational disposition to that of display 685 in a second mode of operation. As illustrated, keypad 625 is configured to operate from above the display 685. A second subset of keys 645 of a plurality of keys on the keypad 625 may be defined in this embodiment to be the first arrangement of keys. As described above, a controller 315 may control the definition of the first subset of keys 645. Subset 645 is highlighted by the light provision arrangement 345. The controller may also be adapted to control or instruct the light provision arrangement 345 to highlight the second subset of keys 645 by applying a backlight or backlights to illuminate either the keys themselves or the area surrounding the keys in accordance with various embodiments. Further, as illustrated by the embodiment in FIG. 6 b, the second subset of keys 645 are configured to operate as a QWERTY like keyboard. Additionally, for the example illustrated by this embodiment, the second mode of operation may be a text mode in support of the device 600 when it is configured to operate as,a PDA.

FIGS. 6 c and 6 d illustrate embodiments similar to that of FIGS. 6 a-6 b. FIG. 6 c illustrates an embodiment where keypad 625 may be configured to be operated from the right of the display 685. FIG. 6 d illustrates an embodiment where keypad 625 may be configured to be operated from the left of the display 685.

FIG. 7 a illustrates an enlarged front view of a keypad layout 725 for various embodiments. Keypad layout 725 is similar to the keypads 625 illustrated in FIGS. 6 a and 6 b. For the illustrated embodiment, the keypad 725 may be arranged in five rows and include a first plurality of input keys 735 (indicated by the shaded area) partially surrounded by a second plurality of input keys 745 (indicated by reference lines 745 a and 745 b). The first and the second pluralities of keys 735 a and 745 may also be referred to as a first and a second subset of keys respectively. For some embodiments, more than two subsets of keys may be defined.

For the embodiment, there may be at least two keymaps (examples of which are illustrated in FIGS. 4 a and 4 b) stored in a memory 350 as illustrated in FIG. 3. At least some of the first subset of keys 735 include at least two pluralities of indicia. FIG. 7 b illustrates enlarged key 735 b. Each of the first plurality of indicia 737 corresponds to a first numeric keypad layout and each of the second plurality of indicia 738 corresponds to a first alphabetic keyboard layout. Controller 315 may be adapted to dynamically bind a first keymap to some of the keys in the first subset of keys. This keymap may then define a set of numeric values and a first set of alphabetic values that correspond to, and are represented by, the first plurality of indicia 737 and the second plurality of indicia 738, respectively.

For the embodiment, at least some of the first plurality of input keys 735 may be associated with numeric values 0-9 and the first set of alphabetic values to form a telephone keypad layout based on the first plurality of input keys' numeric values and respective first sets of alphabetic values. Each of the input keys of the first and second plurality of input keys 735 and 745 may be associated with one or more non-alphabetic or non-numeric character values as well. Thus, as illustrated, the bottom row of the first plurality of input keys 735 may also include input keys 735 b and 735 c associated with at least an asterisk and a pound symbol, respectively.

In the illustrated embodiment, at least some of the first plurality of input keys 735 and second plurality of input keys 745 may be associated with a third plurality of indicia 740 corresponding to a second alphabetic keyboard layout that is different from the first alphabetic keyboard layout. The controller 315 may be adapted to dynamically bind a second keymap to some of the keys in the second subset of keys. This keymap may then define a second set of alphabetic values that correspond to, and are represented by, the first plurality of indicia 737 and the third plurality of indicia 740. In contrast to each of first sets of alphabetic indicia 738, which may include one or more alphabetically ordered letters, each of second sets of alphabetic indicia 740 may include one or more letters arranged to be compatible with a QWERTY like keyboard layout. Thus, in an embodiment, each of first plurality of input keys 735 may be arranged relative to each of adjacent or partially surrounding second plurality of input keys 745 to form the QWERTY like keyboard layout. Note also that in the embodiment, and as described above, at least one set from the first or second sets of alphabetic indicia, 738 and 740 respectively, comprises a single alphabetic letter or value. For example, in the embodiment, input key 735 d is associated with a second set of alphabetic values 740 comprising the single alphabetic value ‘E.’

Note that for clarity, only one input key 735, one input key 745, one numeric value 737, one set of alphabetic values 738, and one set of second set of alphabetic values 740 have been labeled in the figure. Furthermore, please note that in the embodiment shown, although input keys 745 may include two groups of keys substantially disposed on a left and a right side of input keys 735, in alternate embodiments, the second plurality of input keys 745 may be disposed at other suitable locations relative to the first plurality of input keys 735 to facilitate the formation of the QWERTY keyboard layout or other suitable layout. FIGS. 6 a and 6 b exemplify such an embodiment. In another embodiment, another suitable layout formed by first and second plurality of input keys 735 and 745 may include a Dvorak keyboard layout or other keyboard layout familiar to users of electronic devices.

Additionally, as noted previously, in various embodiments, the first plurality of input keys 735 or the second plurality of input keys 745 may include one or more input keys associated with one or more non-alphabetic or non-numeric values. Examples of such associated values include, but are not limited to, punctuation marks, special symbols or characters, device commands or other suitable values. In one embodiment, device command values may include function keys, cursor-control keys, or modifier keys. For example, as referenced above, input keys 735 c and 735 d, may include an asterisk or pound symbol on a lower portion of the respective keys. In the illustrated embodiment, input key 735 a includes symbols, “?” “!” and “/” while input key 745 c includes a device command value of “select.” As another example, in the embodiment shown, first plurality of input keys 735 includes an input key 735 e associated with device command value of ′space bar ′ as well as numeric value “0”.

Note also that although in FIG. 7 b, each of first and second sets of alphabetic values 738 and 740, the numeric values, and non-alphabetic and non-numeric values are displayed on particular portions of the input keys (i.e., upper, lower, central portions), in alternate embodiments, the values may be displayed on varying portions of input keys. Also, note that in alternate embodiments, input keys of the first and second plurality of input keys 735 and 745 may be associated with more or fewer values and are not limited to the specific associated values as shown in FIG. 7. Furthermore, in one embodiment, input keys 735 and 745 may include input keys rendered on a display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD).

In one embodiment, there may be a toggle button or an input key for activation of a QWERTY mode of operation or telephone keypad mode of operation. Thus, a user may input data using a QWERTY like layout for textual input and a telephone keypad for entry of telephone numbers and the like. For a user to input data into electronic device 300, in an embodiment, a keypad such as the ones illustrated in FIGS. 6 a-6 d, FIG. 7 a, or FIGS. 8 a and 8 b may be used with a multi-tap mode of entry. For example, in one embodiment, a particular numeric value, an alphabetic value from the first set of alphabetic value, or an alphabetic value from the second set of alphabetic value may be selectable based on a number of key activations applied to a corresponding input key. Thus, in one embodiment, key map 365 maps a combination of one or more key activations and an input key to a corresponding character or alphabetic value of first and second sets of alphabetic values. In other embodiments, a predictive text mode of entry may be used for text entry, in either a QWERTY mode or a telephone keypad mode.

In the illustrated embodiment, each of the first plurality of keys 735 (indicated in shaded area) may be a numeric key associated with a unique number or numeric value and corresponding indicia 737. Input keys having numeric values zero, and four through nine (0, 4-9) of first plurality of keys 735 may be associated with a first set of alphabetic values and corresponding first alphabetic indicia 738, each set having approximately three or four alphabetically ordered letters, in accordance with the embodiment. Thus, more specifically, in one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7 a, the following ordered groups of first sets of alphabetic indicia 738 correspond to their respective numeric key: abc—2 key, def—3 key, ghi—4 key, jkl—5 key, mno—6 key, pqrs—7 key, tuv—8 key, wxyz—9 key. Thus, in an embodiment, correspondence between each of the numeric keys and alphabetically ordered letters of first sets of alphabetic values associated with the first alphabetic indicia 738 is substantially the same as the correspondence between each of the numeric keys and letters of a conventional telephone keypad.

Furthermore, in an embodiment, each of the alphabetically ordered letters of first sets of alphabetic values associated with the first alphabetic indicia 738 corresponds to a DTMF signal substantially consistent with a DTMF signal corresponding to the alphabetically ordered letters of a conventional telephone keypad layout. This may allow mnemonic phone numbers, such as 1-800-FLOWERS, and the like, to be entered in the same manner as on a conventional telephone keypad because the correspondence between each letter and numeric key is compatible.

FIGS. 8 a and 8 b illustrate front views of an electronic device 800 having a keypad 825 in a first and a second different relative operational disposition to a display 885 while being configured in a first and second mode of operation respectively, in accordance with various embodiments. These embodiments illustrate an example of how key pad 325 can be configured in so that a second plurality of input keys 845 may be positioned adjacent to or partially surrounding first plurality of input keys 835. Second plurality of input keys 845 may include two (2) groups of keys substantially disposed on one or more sides of the first plurality of input keys 835 as indicated by reference lines 845 a and 845 b, respectively. At least some of first plurality of input keys 835 and second plurality of input keys 845 may be associated with a second set of alphabetic indicia 840. In an embodiment, each of first plurality of input keys 835 may be arranged relative to each of partially surrounding second plurality of input keys 845 to form an alphabetic arrangement different from the alphabetic keyboard arrangement of a telephone keypad. In the embodiment illustrated, a QWERTY keyboard layout may be formed.

FIGS. 8 c-8 d, illustrate a perspective and plan view of an embodiment of the invention where a single key selected from the keypad illustrated in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b is described for ease of understanding. As discussed above, for various embodiments a light provision arrangement 345 may be controlled by a controller 315 to highlight a first subset of keys and/or a second subset of keys depending and in response at least in part on the device 800 configured mode of operation. FIG. 8 c illustrates such an embodiment wherein, for ease of understanding, only one key 835 a is described. For the embodiment, the light provision arrangement 345 has at least one light source 870. In an embodiment, light valves 875 may be disposed between a light source and the first and second subset of keys 835 a, respectively. The at least one light source 870 may be coupled to the key 835 a by a light pipe 890.

Alternately, in an embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 8 d, each set of indicia 837, 838, and 840 may have a corresponding light valve 875 that is selectively controlled by controller 315 in response to the mode of operation. The controller 315 being adapted to selectively control the first and second light valves. Various approaches to selectively lighting keys are described in contemporaneously filed application, express mail number <insert express number>, entitled <insert title>, which specification is hereby fully incorporated by reference (for U.S. version of the subject application).

FIGS. 9 a and 9 b illustrate an embodiment wherein first sets of alphabetic indicia 938 on the keys 935 a (represented by the area in gray) includes groups or sets of letters having an order on some input keys based on a frequency of occurrence of the letters, rather than alphabetically ordered as in keypad 725 of FIG. 7 a. For the embodiment letter-to-key correspondence matches a standard letter-to-key correspondence as illustrated in FIG. 7 a, but within a group of letters, letters with a higher frequency of use are positioned before letters with a lower frequency of use.

Such an embodiment may be advantageous when using multi-tap entry. Thus, the letters having a higher probability of occurrence are selected by a single activation of the input key and letters with a lower probability of occurrence are selected by activating the input key two or more times. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 9 b, the input key associated with numeric value “2” has an associated first set of alphabetic values 938 of “acb,” rather than “abc.” In the embodiment, a standard correspondence between numeric input keys and letters of the alphabet is maintained for compatibility when entering mnemonic phone numbers and generating DTMF signals. The ordered sets of alphabetic indicia may correspond to an order of multi-tap input associated with the respective input keys. An appropriate key map 365 is bound to the input keys to facilitate the multi-tap input.

FIG. 10 a illustrates a front view of a reduced QWERTY like keypad 1025 according to an embodiment. In the embodiment, reduced keypad 1025 may enhance multi-tap input by placing more frequently used alphabetic values or letters in positions that require fewer activations than those of less frequently used letters. For a given language, for example, English, an arrangement of letters may be implemented by determining the frequency of use, sometimes referred to as the probability of occurrence, of each of the letters of the language. In one embodiment, the frequency of the use of each letter may be determined with respect to a corpus of usage representing general usage in a language. A table of probability of usage derived in this manner is included in “One-Gram Probability Distribution” from Alan G. Konheim's “Cryptography—A Primer,” John Wiley, 1981, p. 16. This work cites the letters of the English alphabet as the following, in decreasing order of frequency of use: E, T, A, O, N, R, I, S, H, D, L, F, C, M, U, G, P, Y, W, B, V, K, X, J, Q, Z. In one embodiment, letters may be grouped in a manner compatible with standard keyboards or telephone keypads, and then some of the letters may be ordered on each input key in order of decreasing frequency of use. In an embodiment, each of first plurality of input keys 1035 (represented by the area in gray) may be arranged relative to each of partially surrounding second plurality of input keys 1045 to form an alphabetic arrangement different from the alphabetic keyboard arrangement of a telephone keypad. In one embodiment, a modified QWERTY keyboard layout may be formed in conjunction with the first plurality of input keys 1035.

Input key 1035 b of FIGS. 10 a and 10 b illustrate an embodiment of the second alphabetic set 1040 on key 1035 b has displayed thereon “I U”, rather than “U I” because “I” may be more frequently occurring than “U.” Thus, the present invention, as described, may advantageously make user entry of the more frequently used letters more convenient and efficient.

Thus, it can be seen from the above descriptions, a keypad having two or more subsets of keys in a keypad has been described for use on a portable electronic device. In various embodiments, the keypad has at least a first and a second operational disposition to a display corresponding to a first and a second mode of operation within the device. In one embodiment, there may be a toggle button or an input key for activation of a QWERTY mode or a telephone keypad mode. Thus, a user may use a QWERTY layout for textual input and a telephone keypad for entry of telephone numbers and the like. In various embodiments, keypad 325/425/5251625 may be used with a multi-tap mode of entry or a predictive text mode of entry.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that exemplary keypad 1025, as well as the other exemplary keypads 325, 625, 725, 825, 925 and 1025 are shown by way of illustration and are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention.

It will be appreciated that although particular embodiments of the invention has been described in detail, various modifications and improvements can be made by a person skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention. It will also be appreciated that the frequency of use of letters varies in situations where users predominately use languages other than English, or where geographical or cultural differences result in different corpuses of use. In these situations, ordered sets other than those explicitly described, in accordance with the present invention, may be desirable.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7453441 *Mar 31, 2008Nov 18, 2008International Business Machines CorporationMethod and system for intelligent keyboard illumination
US7545364 *Nov 9, 2006Jun 9, 2009Openpeak Inc.Multi-functional control interface
US8086275Mar 30, 2009Dec 27, 2011Microsoft CorporationAlternative inputs of a mobile communications device
US8089469Nov 11, 2008Jan 3, 2012International Business Machines CorporationElectronic device with intelligent keyboard illumination
US8175653Mar 30, 2009May 8, 2012Microsoft CorporationChromeless user interface
US8238876Mar 30, 2009Aug 7, 2012Microsoft CorporationNotifications
US8250494Jun 15, 2009Aug 21, 2012Microsoft CorporationUser interface with parallax animation
US8269736May 22, 2009Sep 18, 2012Microsoft CorporationDrop target gestures
US8504566 *Nov 2, 2007Aug 6, 2013Research In Motion LimitedMethod of providing a number of search results for a handheld electronic device, and system and handheld electronic device employing the same
US8527010 *Dec 20, 2010Sep 3, 2013Research In Motion LimitedDevice, system, and method for informing users of functions and characters associated with telephone keys
US8698752Mar 15, 2007Apr 15, 2014Id8 Group R2 Studios, Inc.Multi-functional control interface
US20070106498 *Nov 10, 2005May 10, 2007Nokia CorporationMobile communication terminal and method therefor
US20100046737 *Oct 26, 2009Feb 25, 2010Research In Motion LimitedMethod of mapping a traditional touchtone telephone keypad on a handheld electronic device and associated apparatus
US20110035696 *Nov 20, 2008Feb 10, 2011Avi ElazariCharacter input system for limited keyboards
EP2122604A1 *Mar 12, 2008Nov 25, 2009Openpeak Inc.Multi-functional control interface
WO2009066289A2 *Nov 20, 2008May 28, 2009Eytan AlonCharacter input system for limited keyboards
Classifications
U.S. Classification455/566, 455/575.1
International ClassificationH04M1/00, G09G5/00, H03K17/94, H04M1/23, B41J5/08, H04M9/00, H04M3/00, H03M11/00, H04Q7/20, H04M1/22, G06F3/023
Cooperative ClassificationH01H2219/039, G06F3/0237, G06F3/0219, H04M1/22, H04M2250/70, G06F3/0233, H04M1/23
European ClassificationH04M1/23, G06F3/023M8, G06F3/023M, H04M1/22, G06F3/02A5
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 31, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: VARIA HOLDINGS LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;REEL/FRAME:021316/0437
Effective date: 20080624
Owner name: VARIA LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;REEL/FRAME:021316/0442
Effective date: 20080702
Owner name: VARIA MOBIL LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;REEL/FRAME:021316/0405
Effective date: 20070830
Owner name: WILDSEED LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;REEL/FRAME:021316/0357
Effective date: 20050808
Owner name: VARIA HOLDINGS LLC,WASHINGTON
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:21316/437
Owner name: VARIA LLC,WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:21316/442
Owner name: VARIA MOBIL LLC,WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:21316/405
Owner name: WILDSEED LLC,WASHINGTON
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:21316/357
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:21316/442
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100504;REEL/FRAME:21316/442
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:21316/405
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100504;REEL/FRAME:21316/405
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:21316/437
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100504;REEL/FRAME:21316/437
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:21316/357
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100504;REEL/FRAME:21316/357
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:21316/442
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:21316/405
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:21316/437
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:21316/357
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VARIA HOLDINGS LLC;REEL/FRAME:21316/442
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LLC;REEL/FRAME:21316/405
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:VARIA MOBIL LLC;REEL/FRAME:21316/437
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WILDSEED LTD.;REEL/FRAME:21316/357
Apr 27, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: WILDSEED LTD., WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SALMAN, MAJEED D.;ENGSTROM, G. ERIC;REEL/FRAME:016514/0943;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040426 TO 20050426