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Publication numberUS20070257982 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/734,884
Publication dateNov 8, 2007
Filing dateApr 13, 2007
Priority dateMay 5, 2006
Also published asCN101068430A, CN101068444A, DE102006037103A1, DE102006037103B4, US8155636, US20070259657
Publication number11734884, 734884, US 2007/0257982 A1, US 2007/257982 A1, US 20070257982 A1, US 20070257982A1, US 2007257982 A1, US 2007257982A1, US-A1-20070257982, US-A1-2007257982, US2007/0257982A1, US2007/257982A1, US20070257982 A1, US20070257982A1, US2007257982 A1, US2007257982A1
InventorsWan Chi Luo, Jing Ru Cheng
Original AssigneeMediatek Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Systems and methods for remotely controlling mobile stations
US 20070257982 A1
Abstract
Methods for remotely controlling a mobile station being a monitoring device by a controller are provided. An embodiment of a method performed by the mobile station includes the following steps. An action request including a remote control instruction issued by the controller is received. The remote control instruction is acquired from the received action request. The remote control instruction is executed to perform a monitor-related function resident on the mobile station. The mobile station focuses on a subject and records the focused subject in video images. The action request is received through a wireless network.
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Claims(33)
1. A method for remotely controlling a mobile station operating as a monitoring device utilizing a controller, the method performed by the mobile station and comprising:
receiving an action request comprising a remote control instruction issued by the controller;
acquiring the remote control instruction from the received action request; and
executing the remote control instruction to perform a monitor-related function resident on the mobile station,
wherein the mobile station focuses on a subject and records the focused subject in video images, and the action request is received through a wireless network.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the action request is carried by a call control (CC) setup message initiating a mobile originating call establishment.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the action request is carried by a short message, an enhanced message or a multimedia message.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the action request is carried by a text message or a file attachment of an e-mail.
5. The method claimed in claim 1 wherein the action request is carried by a data file.
6. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the mobile station storing a permission list comprising a plurality of caller identifiers permitted to control the mobile station, further comprising:
receiving a remote control request indicating initiation of a remote control procedure by the controller, the remote control request comprising a caller identifier; and
determining whether the received caller identifier is present in the permission list.
7. The method as claimed in claim 6 further comprising:
transmitting an authentication request indicating that an authentication procedure is initiated for the remote control procedure to the controller when the received caller identifier is present in the permission list;
receiving an authentication response corresponding to the authentication request and comprising authentication data from the controller;
determining whether the remote control procedure is authenticated by verifying the authentication data; and
transmitting a remote control acknowledgement indicating that the remote control procedure is authenticated to the controller upon determining that the remote control procedure is authentication;
wherein the remote control acknowledgement is transmitted before receiving the action request corresponding to the remote control acknowledgement, the remote control request and the authentication response are received through the wireless network, and the authentication request and the remote control acknowledgement are transmitted via the wireless network.
8. The method as claimed in claim 7 wherein the authentication request further comprises voice signals to notify a user of information that authentication data is required, and the remote control acknowledgement further comprises voice signals to notify a user of information that the remote control request has been authenticated and the mobile station waits for the remote control instruction.
9. The method claimed in claim 7 further comprising:
after the remote control procedure is authenticated, transmitting image data corresponding to a man-machine interface (MMI) displayed on a screen of the mobile station to the controller,
wherein the controller displays an MMI on a screen of the controller according to the received image data, and receives the remote control instruction input by a user through interacting with the MMI displayed on the screen of the controller.
10. The method as claimed in claim 9 wherein the MMI comprises a menu comprising at least one menu item for user selection.
11. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising transmitting a plurality of instantly generated video images to the controller via the wireless network when executing the monitor-related function.
12. The method as claimed in claim 11 wherein the instantly generated video images are a series of raw bitmap images, compressed still images, or compressed video frames conform to the MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, or H.264 standard.
13. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising acquiring a plurality of video images previously stored during a specific time period from a non-volatile storage device and transmitting the acquired stored video images to the controller via the wireless network when executing the monitor-related function.
14. The method as claimed in claim 13 wherein the stored video images are a series of raw bitmap images, compressed still images, or compressed video frames conform to the MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, or H.264 standard.
15. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising rotating a camera lens module of the mobile station upwardly, downwardly, leftward or rightward by an angle when executing the monitor-related function, thereby enabling the camera lens module to focus on another subject.
16. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising cyclically and vertically or horizontally rotating a camera lens module of the mobile station within an angle range while executing the monitor-related function, thereby enabling the camera lens module to focus on another subject.
17. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising starting or terminating video image recording while executing the monitor-related function.
18. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising enabling or disabling storing the recorded video image in a non-volatile storage device of the mobile station when executing the monitor-related function.
19. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the remote control instruction is represented by at least one dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signal corresponding to a combination of key strokes on a keypad of the controller, and the remote control instruction is acquired by detecting the DTMF signal.
20. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the remote control instruction is contained in digital voice data, the remote control instruction is recognized by comparing the digital voice data with a plurality of predefined voice patterns stored in the mobile station, and one of the predefined voice patterns corresponds to the remote control instruction.
21. An electronic device for monitoring a subject, embedded in a mobile phone been controlled by a controller, comprising:
a monitoring unit focusing on the subject and recording the focused subject in video images; and
a processor connected to the monitoring unit, receiving an action request comprising a remote control instruction issued by the controller, acquiring the remote control instruction from the received action request, and directing the monitoring unit to perform a monitor-related function,
wherein the action request is received through a wireless network.
22. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 further comprising a non-volatile storage device or memory storing a permission list comprising a plurality of caller identifiers permitted to control the mobile phone, wherein the processor receives a remote control request indicating that a remote control procedure is initiated by the controller, and comprising a caller identifier, and determines whether the received caller identifier is present in the permission list.
23. The electronic device as claimed in claim 22 wherein the processor transmits an authentication request indicating that an authentication procedure is initiated for the remote control procedure to the controller when the received caller identifier is present in the permission list, receives an authentication response corresponding to the authentication request and comprising authentication data from the controller, determines whether the remote control procedure is authenticated by verifying the authentication data, and transmits a remote control acknowledgement indicating that the remote control procedure is authenticated to the controller upon determining that the remote control procedure is authentication, the remote control acknowledgement is transmitted before receiving the action request corresponding to the remote control acknowledgement, the remote control request and the authentication response are received through the wireless network, and the authentication request and the remote control acknowledgement are transmitted via the wireless network.
24. The electronic device as claimed in claim 23 wherein the authentication request further comprises voice signals to notify a user of information that authentication data is required, and the remote control acknowledgement further comprises voice signals to notify a user of information that the remote control request has been authenticated and the mobile phone waits for the remote control instruction.
25. The electronic device as claimed in claim 23 further comprising a screen, wherein the processor transmits image data corresponding to a man-machine interface (MMI) displayed on the screen to the controller after the remote control procedure is authenticated, and the controller displays an MMI on a screen of the controller according to the received image data, and receives the remote control instruction input by a user through interacting with the MMI displayed on the screen of the controller.
26. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 wherein the processor transmits a plurality of instantly generated video images by the monitoring unit to the controller via the wireless network when executing the monitor-related function.
27. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 further comprising a non-volatile storage device, wherein the processor acquires a plurality of video images previously stored during a specific time period from the non-volatile storage device and transmits the acquired stored video images to the controller via the wireless network when executing the monitor-related function.
28. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 wherein the monitoring unit comprises a camera lens module, and the processor rotates the camera lens module upwardly, downwardly, leftward or rightward, by a angle when executing the monitor-related function, thereby enabling the camera lens module to focus on another subject.
29. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 wherein the monitoring unit comprises a camera lens module, and the processor directs the camera lens module to cyclically and vertically or horizontally rotate within an angle range when executing the monitor-related function, thereby enabling the camera lens module to focus on another subject.
30. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 wherein the processor directs the monitoring unit to start or terminate video image recording when executing the monitor-related function.
31. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 further comprising a non-volatile storage device, wherein the processor enables or disables storing the recorded video image in the non-volatile storage device when executing the monitor-related function.
32. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 wherein the remote control instruction is represented by at least one dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signal corresponding to a combination of key strokes on a keypad of the controller, and the remote control instruction is acquired by detecting the DTMF signal.
33. The electronic device as claimed in claim 21 further comprising a non-volatile storage device, wherein the remote control instruction is contained in digital voice data, the remote control instruction is recognized by comparing the digital voice data with a plurality of predefined voice patterns stored in the non-volatile storage device, and one of the predefined voice patterns corresponds to the remote control instruction.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part (CIP) of application Ser. No. 11/381,751, filed on May 5 2006. The teaching of which is incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to mobile stations, and more particularly, to systems and methods for remotely controlling mobile stations.

A conventional mobile station typically provides a man-machine interface (MMI), facilitating user activation or deactivation of various functions such as incoming call forwarding, automated answering of incoming calls, automated transfer to an audio mail box, image capture, audio recording, video recording, teleconferencing, mobile station lock, personal identification number (PIN) lock, status reporting and powering off. Users may also browse data such as memo notes, schedules, a phonebook, short messages and emails, stored in the mobile station via the MMI. When a mobile station is inaccessible to the user, however, it is difficult to activate or deactivate the described functions or acquire data thereof.

SUMMARY

Methods for remotely controlling a mobile station serving as a monitoring device by a controller are provided. An embodiment of a method performed by the mobile station comprises the following steps. An action request comprising a remote control instruction issued by the controller is received. The remote control instruction is acquired from the received action request. The remote control instruction is executed to perform a monitor-related function resident on the mobile station. The mobile station focuses on a subject and records the focused subject in video images. The action request is received through a wireless network.

Electronic devices for monitoring a subject, embedded in a mobile station been controlled by a controller, are provided. An embodiment of an electronic device for monitoring a subject comprises a monitoring unit and a processor connected thereto. The monitoring unit focuses on the subject and records digital video of the subject. The processor receives an action request comprising a remote control instruction issued by the controller, acquires the remote control instruction from the received action request, and directs the monitoring unit to perform a monitor-related function. The action request is received through a wireless network.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be more fully understood by reading the subsequent detailed description and examples with references made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of network environment of an embodiment of a system containing mobile stations and computers;

FIG. 2 is a sequence diagram showing an embodiment of remote control protocol;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a method for remotely controlling mobile stations;

FIG. 4 is a diagram of the general structure of an AT command line;

FIG. 5 is a diagram of the tree structure for an exemplary menu;

FIG. 6 is a diagram of an exemplary function code mapping table;

FIG. 7 is a diagram of message content of a conventional CC setup message;

FIG. 8 is a diagram showing two mobile station screens respectively displaying two exemplary MMIs;

FIG. 9 is a diagram of an exemplary interface displayed on a screen of a computer;

FIGS. 10 a and 10 b are diagrams illustrating exemplary scenarios for activating a remote mobile station to initiate a conferencing procedure;

FIG. 11 is a diagram of an embodiment of the mobile station 110 operating as a remote monitoring device;

FIG. 12 a is a diagram illustrating a camera lens module thereof rotated leftward and rightward by 10 degrees;

FIG. 12 b is a diagram illustrating a camera lens module thereof rotated upwardly and downwardly by 10 degrees;

FIG. 13 is a diagram illustrating a camera lens module thereof rotated cyclically and horizontally between 10 and −10 degrees;

FIG. 14 is a diagram of a hardware environment applicable to a mobile station operating as a monitoring device;

FIG. 15 is a sequence diagram showing an embodiment of a remote control protocol performed between a local mobile station or computer and a remote mobile station operating as a remote monitoring device;

FIG. 16 is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a method for remotely controlling mobile stations operating as monitoring devices.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Systems for remotely controlling mobile stations are provided. FIG. 1 is a diagram of network environment of an embodiment of a system comprising mobile stations 110, 130 and 150, computers 170 and 190 connected via one or more networks. The network may be a global system for mobile communications (GSM), enhanced data rates for global evolution (EDGE) or code division multiple access (CDMA) network, general packet radio service (GPRS) network, Internet or similar. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the mobile stations 110, 130 and 150, computers 170 and 190 may be connected via different types of networks, and communicate therebetween through various types of transmission devices such as routers, gateways, access points, base station systems (BSS) or others. Note that, various gateways are established between heterogeneous networks, such as between the GSM network and the Internet or similar, enabling transmission of messages therebetween. The mobile station may be a mobile phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), smart phone, portable media player (PMP) or similar. The computer may be a personal computer, a workstation, a notebook, a mainframe, a mini-computer, a network computer or similar.

The mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 operating as controllers issue control instructions and parameters corresponding to the control instructions (if required) via various bearers such as call control (CC) setup messages set forth by 3GPP TS 24.008 version 5.5.0 release 5 in September 2002, short messages, extended messages, multimedia messages, e-mails, files or similar, to the mobile station 110 in order to control the mobile station 110. The mobile station 150 operates as an intermediary device for transferring control instructions issued by the computer 170 to the mobile station 110. The issued control instructions may contain information directing the mobile station 110 to activate or deactivate functions thereof. Such functions may comprise incoming call forwarding, automated answering of incoming calls, automated transfer to an audio mail box, image capture, audio recording, video recording, teleconferencing, mobile station lock, personal identification number (PIN) lock, status reporting, powering off or similar. When activating the status reporting function and detecting an incoming short message, extended message, multimedia message, a missed call or similar, the mobile station 110 sends a corresponding status message via email, short message, multimedia message, file, mobile originating (MO) call or similar, to one of the mobile stations 130 and computers 170 and 190. The status message prompts that an incoming short message, extended message, multimedia message, a missed call or similar, has been detected by the mobile station 110. The issued control instructions may further comprise information directing the mobile station 110 to retrieve and reply with particular data stored therein, such as memo notes, schedules, a phonebook, short messages, emails or similar. The mobile station 110 operating as a controlled device receives control instructions and parameters corresponding to the control instructions (if required) carried by bearers, and subsequently executes the received control instructions with corresponding parameters.

FIG. 2 is a sequence diagram showing an embodiment of a remote control protocol performed between a local mobile station or computer and a remote mobile station. For example, the local one may be the mobile station 130, the computer 170 with the mobile station 150, the mobile station 190, or similar, and the remote mobile station may be the mobile station 110. The local mobile station or computer transmits a remote control request to the remote mobile station via one or more networks. The transmitted remote control request notifies the remote mobile station that a remote control procedure is initiated by the local mobile station or computer. Subsequent to receiving the remote control request, the remote mobile station transmits an authentication request to the local mobile station or computer via one or more networks. The transmitted authentication request asks the local mobile station or computer to provide relevant authentication data. After receiving the authentication request, the local mobile station or computer transmits an authentication response with relevant authentication data such as ID and/or password to the remote mobile station. After receiving the authentication response, the remote mobile station verifies the authentication data therewith and determines whether the remote control procedure is authenticated. If the remote control procedure is authenticated, the remote mobile station transmits a remote control acknowledgement to the local mobile station or computer. The transmitted remote control acknowledgement notifies the local mobile station or computer that the remote control procedure is authenticated. After receiving the remote control acknowledgement, the local mobile station or computer transmits an action request comprising one or more remote control instructions and corresponding parameters to the remote mobile station. After receiving the action request, the remote mobile station executes remote control instructions with the corresponding parameters in the action request. Upon successful execution of the remote control instructions with corresponding parameters, the remote mobile station transmits an action acknowledgement to the local mobile station or computer. The transmitted action acknowledgement notifies the local mobile station or computer that the issued remote control instructions with the corresponding parameters were successfully executed.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a method for remotely controlling mobile stations, divided into two sections, a left section showing steps performed by a local mobile station or computer (i.e. a controller), and a right section showing steps performed by a remote mobile station (i.e. a device to be controlled), separated by dashed lines for added clarity. A remote control request is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S310), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S410). The remote control request indicates that a remote control procedure is initiated by a local mobile station or computer. An authentication request corresponding to the received remote control request is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S420), and is received by the local mobile station or computer (step S320). The authentication request indicates that an authentication procedure is initiated for the remote control procedure. Authentication data, such as an identification (ID) and/or a password, is provided (step S330). The ID may be a personal identification number (PIN) or a phone number identifying the local mobile station, or an Internet protocol (IP), medium access control (MAC) address identifying the local mobile station or computer, or a proprietary remote control ID identifying the local mobile station or computer, recognized by the remote mobile station. The ID and password may be retrieved from a storage device of the local mobile station or computer, or input via a graphical user interface (GUI), man-machine interface (MMI), textual interface or similar. Note that step S330 may be performed prior to step S320.

An authentication response corresponding to the received authentication request and comprising the provided authentication data is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S340), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S430). The remote mobile station determines whether or not the remote control procedure is authenticated by verifying the authentication data therein (step S440). If so, a remote control acknowledgement corresponding to the received authentication response is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S450), otherwise, the process ends. The remote mobile station may verify whether the received ID is authenticated to perform the remote control, and/or the received password corresponding to the ID is a correct password. After receiving the remote control acknowledgement by the local mobile station or computer (step S350), remote control instructions and corresponding parameters is provided (step S360). Step S360 may further provide a GUI, MMI, textual interface or similar, facilitating interaction with the input of the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters. The provided GUI or MMI may further provide a tree view or a menu to facilitate user selection and browsing for the specific remote control instruction. The details of remote control instruction representation are to be described in the following paragraphs and briefly described herein. Note that step S360 may be performed prior to step S350. An action request comprising the provided remote control instructions and corresponding parameters is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S370), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S460). After successfully executing the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters by the remote mobile station, an action acknowledgement is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S480), and is received by the local mobile station or computer (step S380). Note that one or more remote control messages such as the remote control request, authentication request, authentication response, remote control acknowledgement, action request and/or action acknowledgement, are carried by a bearer such as a CC setup message, short message, extended message, multimedia message, e-mail, data file or similar, and are delivered to a destination via the bearer. The details of bearer are to be described in the following paragraphs and briefly described herein.

Referring to step S370, the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be encoded in various formats such as AT commands set forth by 3GPP TS 27.007 version 5.1.0 release 5 in March 2002, menu traversal paths, functions codes, voice data, dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signals or similar. Remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be encoded in AT commands. FIG. 4 is a diagram of the general structure of an AT command line 400. The AT command line starts with a prefix “AT” 410 and ends with termination characters “<CR>” 470. Basic AT commands such as 420 and 430, are delimited with semicolon. Extended AT commands begin with the prefix “+”, such as 440, 450 and others, and are delimited semicolon. The basic or extended AT command may have one or more subparameters separated by commas, such as 430 and others. The command line 400 may comprise a read command trailing “?”, such as 460, for checking current subparameter values for an AT extended command. The command line 400 may comprise a test command trailing “=?”, such as 470, for checking possible subparameter values for an AT extended command. Referring to step S360 of FIG. 3, the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be encoded in the AT command line. Referring to step S470 of FIG. 3, the AT command line may be parsed by an AT parser to acquire the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters therefrom, and the acquired remote control instructions are executed with the extracted corresponding parameters.

Remote control instructions may be organized into a menu tree. FIG. 5 is a diagram of a tree structure of an exemplary menu. A menu “Main Menu” with a sequence number “1” and a menu ID “MM_ID” contains four menu items “Messages”, “Phonebook”, “Calls” and “Settings” in sequence, respectively with menu IDs “MSG_ID”, “PB_ID”, “CA_ID” and “ST_ID”. The menu item “Phonebook” with a sequence number “2” and a menu ID “PB_ID” contains four menu items (i.e. remote control instructions) “Add”, “Delete”, “Copy” and “Memory Status” in sequence, respectively with menu IDs “AD_ID”, “DE_ID”, “CO_ID” and “MS_ID”. The remote control instruction may be represented by a menu traversal path. For example, to delete a phonebook record stored on a mobile station to be controlled, the remote control instruction may be represented by a menu traversal path “1→2→2” comprising a series of sequence numbers eliminated with “→”, “MM_ID→PB_ID→DE_ID” comprising a series of menu IDs separated by “→” or similar. Referring to step S360 of FIG. 3, the remote control instructions may be encoded by a menu traversal path, and, if required, corresponding parameters are added following the menu traversal path. Referring to step S470 of FIG. 3, the menu traversal path may be parsed to acquire the remote control instructions, and the acquired remote control instructions are executed with corresponding parameters.

Remote control instructions may be represented by a function code. FIG. 6 is a diagram of an exemplary function code mapping table. Function codes “121” to “124” associate with operations for a phonebook stored in a mobile station and respectively direct the mobile station to insert a record into the phonebook, delete a record from the phonebook, copy a record of the phonebook and check the memory status of the phonebook. Function codes “131” to “134” are associated with operations for incoming calls and respectively direct a mobile station to activate and deactivate incoming call forwarding, activate and deactivate automated answering of incoming calls. Referring to step S360 of FIG. 3, the remote control instructions may be encoded by a function code, and, if required, corresponding parameters are added following the function code. Referring to step S470 of FIG. 3, the function codes may be parsed to acquire the remote control instructions, and the acquired remote control instructions are executed with corresponding parameters.

Remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be contained in digital voice data such as pulse code modulation (PCM), adaptive multi-rate (AMR) data or similar, recognized by a mobile station to be controlled (e.g. 110 of FIG. 1). Referring to step S360 of FIG. 3, audio signals corresponding to remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be received via a microphone of a controller (e.g. mobile station 130 or 150, or computer 170 or 190 of FIG. 1), and converted into digital voice data, and subsequently, referring to step S370 of FIG. 3, the converted digital voice data is transmitted to a remote mobile station. Thereafter, referring to step S470 of FIG. 3, the remote mobile station may recognize and execute remote control instructions with corresponding parameters according to the received voice data. For example, the audio signals “Call forward” and a particular phone number are received via a microphone of a controller, and converted into PCM data, thereafter, a remote control instruction and the provided phone number are recognized and executed. It is to be understood that a mobile station to be controlled may store multiple predefined voice patterns corresponding to remote control instructions and parameters, and, a remote control instruction or a parameter is recognized by comparing the stored voice patterns with the received voice data using well-known speech recognition algorithms.

A DTMF remote control system may be established in a mobile station to be controlled (e.g. 110 of FIG. 1), instructing users to perform remote control. Referring to steps S310 and S410, the remote control request may comprise DTMF signals corresponding to a combination of key strokes such as “0”, “*” and “#”, on a keypad of a controller. Referring to steps S420 and S320, the authentication request may comprise voice data to be played by a controller (e.g. mobile station 130 or 150, or computer 170 or 190 of FIG. 1) for requesting authentication data. Referring to step S330, DTMF signals corresponding to an ID and/or a password may be provided. Referring to steps S450 and S350, the remote control acknowledgement may comprise voice data to be played by a controller for requesting remote control instructions and corresponding parameters. Referring to steps S370 and S460, the action request may comprise DTMF signals corresponding to a remote control instruction and corresponding parameters, and, a remote control instruction or corresponding parameter may be acquired by detecting the DTMF signals.

One or more remote control messages such as the described remote control requests, authentication requests, authentication responses, remote control acknowledgements, action requests and action acknowledgements, may be carried by a CC setup message. The CC setup message is typically sent from the mobile station 130 or 150 (FIG. 1) to the mobile station 110 (FIG. 1), and vice versa, to initiate a mobile originating call establishment. The CC setup message may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes or corresponding parameters. FIG. 7 is a diagram of message content of a conventional CC setup message, in which a calling party sub-address field C710, a called party sub-address field C730 and a user-user field C750 are reserved and respectively stored calling party sub-address, called party sub-address and user-to-user information. One or more remote control messages are preferably encoded in the calling party sub-address field C410, called party sub-address field C730 or user-user field C750.

One or more remote control messages may be carried by a short message (SM) and transmitted via multiple intermediary devices supporting short message service (SMS). Short messages being short text messages are transmitted to and from a mobile station, a fax machine or a computer with an IP address. The SM may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes or corresponding parameters. The SM is typically shorter than predetermined alphanumeric characters such as 160 or less, and contains no images or graphics. When the SM is sent, it is received by a short message service center (SMSC), which then delivers it to a mobile station, a fax machine or an electronic machine with an IP address. The SMSC may send a short message service (SMS) request to a home location register (HLR) to find the mobile station. When the HLR receives the request, the subscriber status corresponding to the mobile station is sent to the SMSC, the response comprising whether the mobile station is “inactive” or “active”, and where the mobile station is roaming. If the response is “inactive”, the SMSC holds the message for a period of time. When detecting that the mobile station has associated with a wireless network, the HLR sends an SMS notification to the SMSC, and the SMSC attempts to deliver the held SM to the mobile station.

One or more remote control messages may be carried by an enhanced message (EM) and transmitted via multiple intermediary devices supporting enhanced message service (EMS). The EMS is an application-level extension to SMS for mobile stations available on wireless networks. The EM may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes, corresponding parameters or audio data corresponding to remote control instructions or parameters and enclosed in a digital file such as “.pcm”, “.wav”, “.amr” or similar. A mobile station to be controlled receives the EM further having special text formatting (such as bold or italic), animations, pictures, icons, sound effects and special ring tones. The EM is delivered to a mobile station to be controlled via various intermediary devices supporting enhanced message service (EMS).

One or more remote control messages may be carried by a multimedia message (MM) and transmitted via multiple intermediary devices supporting multimedia message service (MMS). The MM may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes, corresponding parameters or audio data corresponding to remote control instructions or parameters and enclosed in a digital file such as “.pcm”, “.wav”, “.amr” or similar. The MM may further comprise graphics, video clips, sound files and short text messages over wireless and/or wired networks using the wireless application protocol (WAP). The MM is typically delivered to a mobile station to be controlled via MMS Centers (MMSCs). MMS is typically based on the concept of multimedia messaging. The presentation of the MM is coded into a presentation file so that the images, audio and text are displayed or played back in a predetermined order as one single message. MMS does not support attachments as e-mail does.

One or more remote control messages may be carried by a text message or a file attachment of an e-mail. The e-mail may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes, corresponding parameters or audio data corresponding to remote control instructions or parameters and enclosed in the attached digital files such as “.pcm”, “.wav”, “.amr” or similar. The e-mail is transmitted via a message transfer agent (MTA) resident on a remote host, and received via a mail user agent (MUA) resident on a mobile station to be controlled or a controller. The MTA, also called a mail server or a mail exchange server, is a computer program or software agent transferring the e-mail from the mobile station to the controller, and vice versa. The MUA contacts the MTA for actual delivery of the mail. The MTA may be configured to support simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) and/or multipurpose Internet mail extensions (MIME). SMTP is typically designed for only plain text (ASCII text), but MIME or similar enables executable programs and multimedia files to be attached to and transported with the e-mail.

One or more remote control messages may be carried by a data file such as a text file, a binary file, an audio file or similar, and transmitted via multiple intermediary devices supporting file transfer protocol (FTP). The data file may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes, corresponding parameters or audio data corresponding to remote control instructions or parameters. Note that, when employing FTP, a mobile station to be controlled must provide an Internet protocol (IP) address as its address for delivery of data files.

One or more remote control messages may be carried by digital text in universal multiple-octet coded character set (USC), Baudot type character set or similar. The digital text may comprise the described ID, password, AT commands, menu traversal paths, function codes, corresponding parameters or audio data corresponding to remote control instructions or parameters. A mobile station to be controlled or a controller is equipped with a cellular text telephone modem (CTM) set forth by set forth by 3GPP TS 26.230 version 5.0.2 release 5 in July 2004 to receive the digital text via the speech channel of networks.

In some embodiments, referring to steps S450 and S350, after the remote control procedure is authenticated, image data corresponding to an MMI displayed on a screen of a mobile station to be controlled (e.g. 110 of FIG. 1) may be further transmitted to a controller (e.g. mobile station 130 or 150, or computer 170 or 190 of FIG. 1). The controller subsequently displays an MMI on a screen thereof according to the received image data, facilitating users in providing remote control instructions and corresponding parameters by interacting with the displayed MMI. For example, FIG. 8 is a diagram showing two screens of mobile station 110 and mobile station 130 respectively displaying two exemplary MMIs W810 and W830. Remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be provided by interacting with the displayed MMI on the mobile station 130. FIG. 9 is a diagram of an exemplary interface W900 displayed on a screen of a computer. The interface W900 simulating appearance of the mobile station 110 comprises two areas, a screen area A910, and a keypad area A930. The screen area A910 displays an MMI corresponding to the MMI W810 of FIG. 8. Remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be provided by interacting with the displayed MMI on the screen area A910 and the keypad area A930.

In addition to local applications providing the interface W900, an operator may perform such remote controls via a Website. The Website may provide a logon interface (e.g. a logon Web page), facilitating input of the described authentication data (step S330 of FIG. 3), and subsequently operates as a logon agent and delivers the authentication data to a mobile station to be controlled (step S340 of FIG. 3). After the remote control procedure is authenticated (step S350 of FIG. 3), the Website may further provide a remote control interface (e.g. a input Web page), facilitating input of remote control instructions and corresponding parameters (step S360 of FIG. 3), and subsequently generates and delivers the described action requests to the mobile station (step S370 of FIG. 3).

FIGS. 10 a and 10 b are diagrams illustrating exemplary scenarios for activating a remote mobile station to start an automated conferencing procedure when the remote mobile station receives an incoming call. In these exemplary scenarios, three mobile stations 1010, 1020 and 1030 connecting to a network are provided. The mobile station 1020 employs the described protocol and method as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to control the mobile station 1010 to activate an automated conferencing function thereof by issuing at least one remote control instruction with a parameter comprising a callback telephone number of the mobile station 1020. When activating the automated conferencing function, the mobile station 1010 starts an automated conferencing procedure. Note that the automated conferencing procedure is predefined in the mobile station 1010. FIG. 10 a illustrates details of an exemplary automated conferencing procedure. When receiving an incoming call from the mobile station 1030, the mobile station 1010 automatically answers the mobile station 1030, and calls back the mobile station 1020 corresponding to the received callback telephone number. After receiving an answering call for the callback call from the mobile station 1010, the mobile station 1020 executes a conferencing command to enable the mobile stations 1010, 1020 and 1030 in conference, resulting in the mobile stations 1020 and 1030 to communicate therebetween. FIG. 10 b illustrates details of another exemplary automated conferencing procedure. When receiving an incoming call from the mobile station 1030, the mobile station 1010 calls back to the mobile station 1020 corresponding to the received callback telephone number, and waits for an answering call. After receiving an answering call for the callback call from the mobile station 1010, the mobile station 1020 answers the received incoming call from the mobile station 1030 and executes a conferencing command to enable the mobile stations 1010, 1020 and 1030 in conference, resulting in the mobile stations 1020 and 1030 to communicate therebetween.

Systems for remotely controlling mobile stations operating as monitoring devices are also provided. Referring to FIG. 1, the mobile station 110 may operate as a remote monitoring device to focus on subjects, records (i.e. captures) and stores a series of video images. A base may be provided to support the mobile station 110 and enable easy placement in a relevant place to facilitate focusing on subjects and recording the focused subjects in video images by the mobile station 110. The mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 operating as controllers preferably issue remote control instructions and parameters thereof via various bearers such as the described CC setup messages, short messages, extended messages, multimedia messages, e-mails, files or similar, to the mobile station 110 in order to acquire the recorded video images from the mobile station 110. The mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 may issue remote control instructions and parameters thereof to the mobile station 110 to acquire live video images or previously stored video images in a particular time period such as from the past ten to twenty minutes, from the past ten minutes to now, or the like. The live or previously stored video images may be a series of raw bitmap images, compressed still images, such as graphics interchange format (GIF), joint photographic experts group (JPEG) images, or others, or compressed video frames, such as I-, P- and B-frames conform to the MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, or H.264 standard. When receiving control instructions for acquiring live video images, the mobile station 110 continuously transmits the instantly recorded video images (typically captured and generated through a camera lens module, an image sensor module and an image encoder) to the mobile station 130, computers 170 or 190. When receiving remote control instructions for acquiring the history video images, the mobile station 110 acquires recorded video images from a non-volatile storage medium and transmits the acquired video images to the mobile station 130, computers 170 or 190. FIG. 11 is a diagram of an embodiment of the mobile station 110 operating as a remote monitoring device. The mobile station 110 is equipped with a camera lens module 1210 on the reverse side to capture images. It is to be understood that the camera lens module 1210 may also be placed on the front side. The mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 may issue remote control instructions and parameters thereof to rotate the camera lens module 1210 of the mobile station 110 to a particular position, resulting in altering focused subjects. Specifically, when receiving these remote control instructions and parameters thereof, a processor of the mobile station 110 directs the camera lens module 1210 thereof to a particular position. The camera lens module 1210 may be rotated upwardly, downwardly, leftward or rightward by an angle, for example, 5, 10, 15 degrees, or the like. FIG. 12 a is a diagram illustrating the camera lens module 1210 thereof rotated leftward and rightward by 10 degrees. For example, subjects in a view field F1210 are initially recorded. When the camera lens module 1210 is leftward rotated by 10 degrees, subjects in view field F1210′ are recorded, otherwise, when the camera lens module 1210 is rotated rightward by 10 degrees, subjects in view field F1210″ are recorded. FIG. 12 b is a diagram illustrating the camera lens module 1210 thereof rotated upwardly and downwardly by 10 degrees. For example, subjects in a view field F1230 are initially recorded. When the camera lens module 1210 is downwardly rotated by 10 degrees, subjects in view field F1230′ are recorded, otherwise, when the camera lens module 1210 is rotated upwardly by 10 degrees, subjects in view field F1230″ are recorded. The mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 may issue control instructions and parameters to direct the camera lens module 1210 to cyclically and vertically or horizontally rotate within an angle range, such as between 10 and −10 degrees. Specifically, when receiving these remote control instructions and parameters thereof, a processor of the mobile station 110 directs the camera lens module 1210 thereof to cyclically and vertically or horizontally rotate within the designated angle range. FIG. 13 is a diagram illustrating the camera lens module 1210 thereof rotated cyclically and horizontally between 10 and −10 degrees. Furthermore, the mobile station 130, computers 170 and 190 may issue remote control instructions and parameters thereof to start or terminate video image recording, and enable or disable storage of the recorded video images in non-volatile storage media.

FIG. 14 is a diagram of a hardware environment applicable to the mobile station 110 operating as a monitoring device and comprising a communication system 1401, a microphone 1402, a speaker 1403, an antenna 1404, a processor 1405, memory 1406, a screen 1408, a non-volatile storage device 1411, and a monitoring unit 1500. The monitoring unit 1500 comprises an image sensor module 1407, the camera lens module 1210, an image sensor 1409, a sensor controller and image processor 1410, an image encoder 1412, camera lens module motors 1420 and a lens motor controller 1430. When receiving the control instructions for controlling the camera lens module 1210 to move to a particular position, the processor 1410 controls the camera lens module motors 1420 via the lens motor controller 1430. The image sensor module 1407 comprising multiple charge coupled device (CCD) image sensors, complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors or similar to record the intensity of light, through the camera lens module 1210, as variable charges. In order to convert the content of the image sensor module 1407 to a digital format, the sensor controller and image processor 1410 quantifies the variable charge into a discrete color value. A bitmap image contains a plurality of pixel data quantified by the sensor controller and image processor 1410 at a given resolution such as 640×480, 1024×768 and so on. The quantified bitmap images may be further converted into a well-known format such as joint photographic experts group (JPEG), graphics interchange format (GIF) or similar, by the image encoder 1412 to generate multiple compressed still images such as a JPEG or GIF images or similar. The image encoder 1412 may be a video encoder to compress and organize a series of the quantified bitmap images into a series of video frames such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263 or H.264 I-, P- and B-frames. The recorded images such as still images and/or video frames generated by the image encoder 1412 may be stored in memory 1406 such as dynamic random access memory (DRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), flash memory or similar, or the storage media 1413 such as a compact flash (CF), memory stick (MS), smart media (SM), or SD memory card or similar.

FIG. 15 is a sequence diagram showing an embodiment of a remote control protocol performed between a local mobile station or computer and a remote mobile station operating as a remote monitoring device. The local mobile station may be, for example, the mobile station 130, the computer 170 with the mobile station 150, the mobile station 190, or similar, and the remote mobile station may be the mobile station 110. The local mobile station or computer connects to the remote mobile station and transmits a remote control request to the remote mobile station via one or more networks. The transmitted remote control request comprises a caller identifier such as a phone number, a medium access address control (MAC) address or an Internet protocol (IP) address of the local mobile station, and notifies the remote mobile station that a remote control procedure is initiated by the local mobile station or personal computer. After receiving the remote control request, the remote mobile station verifies the caller identifier and determines whether the caller identifier is present in a permission list. If so, the remote mobile station transmits an authentication request to the local mobile station or computer via one or more networks. Note that the permission list stored in the remote mobile station comprises multiple caller identifiers permitted to control the remote mobile station. The transmitted authentication request is utilized to ask the local mobile station or computer to provide relevant and preferable authentication data such as a password. After receiving the authentication request, the local mobile station or computer transmits an authentication response with relevant authentication data to the remote mobile station. After receiving the authentication response, the remote mobile station verifies the authentication data therewith and determines whether the remote control procedure is authenticated. If so, the remote mobile station transmits a remote control acknowledgement to the local mobile station or computer, otherwise, the call connection is automated disconnected. The transmitted remote control acknowledgement notifies the local mobile station or computer that the remote control procedure is authenticated. After receiving the remote control acknowledgement, the local mobile station or computer transmits an action request comprising one or more remote control instructions and corresponding parameters to the remote mobile station. The remote control instructions comprise information directing the remote mobile station to perform various monitor-related functions, such as acquiring live or history video images, rotating a camera lens module thereof to a particular position, directing a camera lens module thereof to automatically rotate vertically or horizontally, starting, or terminating recording, enabling and disabling storage of the recorded video images in a non-volatile storage device thereof. After receiving the action request, the remote mobile station executes remote control instructions with the corresponding parameters in the action request. When successfully executing the remote control instructions with the corresponding parameters, the remote mobile station transmits an action acknowledgement to the local mobile station or computer. The transmitted action acknowledgement notifies the local mobile station or computer that the issued remote control instructions and corresponding parameters were successfully executed. Specifically, the remote control request, authentication response and action request are received via a communication system (e.g. 1401 of FIG. 14) and an antenna (e.g. 1404 of FIG. 14). The authentication request, remote control acknowledgement and action acknowledgement are transmitted via the communication system and antenna.

FIG. 16 is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a method for remotely controlling mobile stations operating as monitoring devices, divided into two sections, a left section showing steps performed by a local mobile station or computer (i.e. a controller), and a right section showing steps performed by a remote mobile station (i.e. a device to be controlled), separated by dashed lines for added clarity. In order to control the remote mobile station, the local mobile station or computer makes a phone call to the remote mobile station, and then, a communication connection therebetween is established. A remote control request comprising a caller identifier of the local mobile station or computer is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S1611), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S1711). The remote control request indicates that a remote control procedure is initiated by a local mobile station or computer. The remote mobile station determines whether the caller identifier is present in a permission list (step S1713). If so, an authentication request corresponding to the received remote control request is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S1715), and is received by the local mobile station or computer (step S1621), otherwise, the communication connection between the remote mobile station and the local mobile station or computer is disconnected. The caller identifier may be a personal identification number (PIN), a phone number, an IP address, a MAC address of the local mobile station or computer, or a proprietary remote control ID identifying the local mobile station or computer, recognized by the remote mobile station. The permission list in the remote mobile station stores multiple caller identifiers permitted to control the remote mobile station. The permission list may be stored in a non-volatile storage device (e.g. 1411 of FIG. 14) or memory (e.g. 1406 of FIG. 14) thereof. The authentication request indicates that an authentication procedure is initiated for the remote control procedure. The authentication request may further comprise voice signals, such as “please input your password”, to notify a user of information that a password is required. Authentication data such as a password is provided (step S1623). The password may be retrieved from a storage device of the local mobile station or computer, or input via a graphical user interface (GUI), man-machine interface (MMI), textual interface or similar. Note that step S1623 may be performed prior to step S1621.

An authentication response corresponding to the received authentication request and comprising the provided authentication data is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S1625), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S1721). The remote mobile station determines whether the remote control procedure is authenticated or not by verifying the authentication data therein (step S440). If so, a remote control acknowledgement corresponding to the received authentication response is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S1725), otherwise, the process ends. The remote mobile station may verify whether the received password corresponding to the previously received caller identifier is a correct password. The remote control acknowledgement may further comprise voice signals, such as “your remote control request is authenticated, please input a control instruction”, to notify a user that the remote control request has been authenticated and the remote mobile station awaits control instructions. The remote control acknowledgement may further comprise voice signals, such as “if you want to receive live video images, please press one”, “if you want to receive history video images, please press two”, “if you want to leftward rotate a camera lens module by 10 degree, please press three” or similar, for controlling the remote mobile station. After receiving the remote control acknowledgement by the local mobile station or computer (step S1631), remote control instructions and corresponding parameters is provided (step S1633). The remote control instructions and corresponding parameters may be provided by the described menu traversal path of a menu tree, function code, digital voice data or DTMF signals. Alternatively, step S1633 may further provide a GUI, MMI, textual interface or similar, facilitating interaction with the input of the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters. The provided GUI or MMI may further provide a tree view or a menu to facilitate user selection and browsing for the specific remote control instruction. Note that step S1633 may be performed prior to step S1631. An action request comprising the provided remote control instructions and corresponding parameters is transmitted by the local mobile station or computer (step S1635), and is received by the remote mobile station (step S1731). After successfully executing the remote control instructions and corresponding parameters by the remote mobile station (step S1733), an action acknowledgement is transmitted by the remote mobile station (step S1735), and is received by the local mobile station or computer (step S1641) Note that one or more remote control messages such as the remote control request, authentication request, authentication response, remote control acknowledgement, action request and/or action acknowledgement, are carried by a bearer such as the described CC setup message, short message, extended message, multimedia message, e-mail, data file or similar, and are delivered to a destination via the bearer.

The live video images or designated stored video images may be continually transmitted to the local mobile station or computer by the multimedia message, extended message, data file, or similar, when the remote control instruction is successfully executed. Thereafter, the live video images or designated history stored video images can be played on a display of the local mobile station or computer. Specifically, the live video images are instantly generated by a monitoring unit thereof (e.g. 1500 of FIG. 14). When executing a particular monitor-related function, a processor thereof (e.g. 1405 of FIG. 14) directly acquires the live video images from the monitoring unit thereof and transmits the acquired live video images to the controller. The stored video images are previously generated by the monitoring unit thereof and stored in a non-volatile storage device thereof (e.g. 1411 of FIG. 14). When executing a particular monitor-related function, the processor thereof acquires the stored video images during a specific time period from the non-volatile storage device thereof and transmits the acquired live video images to the controller.

In some embodiments, referring to steps S1725 and S1631, after the remote control procedure is authenticated, image data corresponding to an MMI displayed on a screen (e.g. 1408 of FIG. 14) of the mobile station to be controlled may be further transmitted to the controller. The controller subsequently displays an MMI on a screen thereof according to the received image data, facilitating users in providing remote control instructions and corresponding parameters by interacting with the displayed MMI. For example, the MMI may comprise multiple menu items (similar to W810 or W830 of FIG. 8) respectively corresponding to multiple remote control instructions and corresponding parameters thereof, and, when one of the menu items is selected by users, a remote control instruction and corresponding parameters thereof are provided.

Methods for remotely controlling mobile stations, or certain aspects or portions thereof, may take the form of program codes (i.e., instructions) embodied in tangible media, such as floppy diskettes, CD-ROMS, hard drives, or any other machine-readable storage medium, wherein, when the program codes are loaded into and executed by a machine, such as a computer, a DVD recorder or similar, the machine becomes an apparatus for practicing the invention. The disclosed methods may also be embodied in the form of program codes transmitted over some transmission medium, such as electrical wiring or cabling, through fiber optics, or via any other form of transmission, wherein, when the program codes are received and loaded into and executed by a machine, such as a computer, the machine becomes an apparatus for practicing the invention. When implemented on a general-purpose processor, the program codes combine with the processor to provide a unique apparatus that operate analogously to specific logic circuits.

Certain terms are used throughout the description and claims to refer to particular system components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, consumer electronic equipment manufacturers may refer to a component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function.

Although the invention has been described in terms of preferred embodiment, it is not limited thereto. Those skilled in the art can make various alterations and modifications without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, the scope of the invention shall be defined and protected by the following claims and their equivalents.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification348/14.05, 348/E07.077
International ClassificationH04N7/14
Cooperative ClassificationH04M1/72533
European ClassificationH04M1/725F1B2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 13, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: MEDIATEK INC., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LUO, WAN CHI;CHENG, JING RU;REEL/FRAME:019156/0743
Effective date: 20070401