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 numberUS20080059321 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/469,022
Publication dateMar 6, 2008
Filing dateAug 31, 2006
Priority dateAug 31, 2006
Also published asUS8799517, US20130018754
Publication number11469022, 469022, US 2008/0059321 A1, US 2008/059321 A1, US 20080059321 A1, US 20080059321A1, US 2008059321 A1, US 2008059321A1, US-A1-20080059321, US-A1-2008059321, US2008/0059321A1, US2008/059321A1, US20080059321 A1, US20080059321A1, US2008059321 A1, US2008059321A1
InventorsBrian T. Zucker, William L. Boles
Original AssigneeZucker Brian T, Boles William L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Online Sales Method for Information Handling Systems and Related Peripherals
US 20080059321 A1
Abstract
A configurator is provided with the ability to present to a user how each choice or change to an information handling system would effect the performance of the information handling system for an intended use. More specifically, during an online sales process, the customer is first presented with a list of gaming genres or gaming titles for which the information handling system to be purchased is targeted to use along with a base or recommended configuration. The configuration process proceeds with each discrete choice now presented to the user not only with the price but also with the specific system performance impact of that item, such as showing a Frame Per Second indication. A new set of fields are provided for each item in the configuration database and may be proportional to the number of gaming genres or titles presented to the customer at the first selection screen. As the customer proceeds through the configuration process the total price of the configured information handling system is presented along with the performance data.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(21)
1. A system for enabling configuration of an information handling system comprising:
a configurator, the configurator configuring the information handling system with options selected according to user input, the configurator including
a validator, the validator validating configuration of the information handling system; and,
a performance information module, the performance information module providing performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system;
a checkout module, the checkout module presenting payment options and obtaining payment and delivery information;
a database, the database receiving information from and supplying information to the configurator, the checkout module.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein:
the performance information includes objective performance information associated with a particular option selection.
3. The system of claim 2 wherein:
the objective performance information includes an effect on a frames per second operation of the information handling system based upon the particular option selection.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein:
the performance information includes subjective performance information.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein:
the performance information is tailored to provide information based upon an intended use of the information handling system.
6. The system of claim 5 wherein:
the intended use of the information handling system is as a gaming system.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein:
the intended use includes a particular game or genre of games; and, the performance information is tailored based upon the particular game or genre of games.
8. An apparatus for enabling configuration of an information handling system comprising:
a configuration module, the configuration module enabling configuring the information handling system with options selected according to user input, the configuration module including
a validation module, the validation module validating configuration of the information handling system; and,
a performance information module, the performance information module providing performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system;
a checkout module, the checkout module presenting payment options and obtaining payment and delivery information;
a database, the database receiving information from and supplying information to the configuration module and the checkout module.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein:
the performance information includes objective performance information associated with a particular option selection.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein:
the objective performance information includes an effect on a frames per second operation of the information handling system based upon the particular option selection.
11. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein:
the performance information includes subjective performance information.
12. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein:
the performance information is tailored to provide information based upon an intended use of the information handling system.
13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein:
the intended use of the information handling system is as a gaming system.
14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein:
the intended use includes a particular game or genre of games; and,
the performance information is tailored based upon the particular game or genre of games.
15. A method for configuring an information handling system comprising:
configuring the information handling system with options selected according
to user input, the configuring including
validating configuration of the information handling system; and,
presenting performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein:
the performance information includes objective performance information associated with a particular option selection.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein:
the objective performance information includes an effect on a frames per second operation of the information handling system based upon the particular option selection.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein:
the performance information includes subjective performance information.
19. The method of claim 15 wherein:
the performance information is tailored to provide information based upon an intended use of the information handling system.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein:
the intended use of the information handling system is as a gaming system.
21. The method of claim 20 wherein:
the intended use includes a particular game or genre of games; and,
the performance information is tailored based upon the particular game or genre of games.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to configuring information handling system and more particularly to an online sales method for providing performance information regarding an intended use of the information handling system.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0004]
    As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.
  • [0005]
    It is known to sell information handling systems online, often with a configuration system that allows for the selection of components and their associated prices. In certain known configuration systems, the only characteristic presented with each selection is the price of the selection. Additional effort is often required by the purchaser to research specific differences if the differences are not clearly pointed out on the configuration page.
  • [0006]
    When a customer is trying to configure a high end information handling system such as is often used for gaming purposes, there is usually very little information presented regarding each specific item and how it will effect the gaming experience. The effect on the gaming experience is usually related to the performance of the information handling system or peripheral.
  • [0007]
    It would be desirable to provide a customer with information regarding how each choice or change to an information handing system in the configurator would effect the performance of the information handling system for a certain game or class of games.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    In accordance with the present invention, a configurator is provided with the ability to present to a user how each choice or change to an information handling system would effect the performance of the information handling system for an intended use. More specifically, during an online sales process, the customer is first presented with potential intended uses for the information handling system such as a list of gaming genres or gaming titles for which the information handling system to be purchased is targeted to use along with a base or recommended configuration. The configuration process proceeds with each discrete choice now presented to the user not only with the price but also with the specific system performance impact of that item, such as showing a Frame Per Second indication. A new set of fields are provided for each item in the configuration database and may be proportional to the number of gaming genres or titles presented to the customer at the first selection screen. As the customer proceeds through the configuration process the total price of the configured information handling system is presented along with the performance data.
  • [0009]
    More specifically, in one embodiment the invention relates to a system for enabling configuration of an information handling system. The system includes a configurator, a checkout module and a database. The configurator configures an information handling system with options selected according to user input. The configurator includes a validator and a performance information module. The validator validates configuration of the system. Performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system are provided by the performance information module. Payment options and obtaining payment and delivery information are presented by the checkout module. The database receives information from and supplies information to the configurator.
  • [0010]
    In another embodiment, the invention relates to an apparatus for enabling configuration of an information handling system. The apparatus includes a configuration module, a checkout module and a database. The configuration module enables configuring a system with options selected according to user input. The configuration module includes a validation module and a performance information module. The validation module validates configuration of the system. Performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system are provided by the performance information module. Payment options and obtaining payment and delivery information are presented by the checkout module. The database receives information from and supplies information to the configurator.
  • [0011]
    In another embodiment, the invention relates to a method for configuring an information handling system. The method includes configuring a system with options selected according to user input. The configuring includes validating configuration of the system and presenting performance information based upon the options selected by the user during configuration of the information handling system.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    The present invention may be better understood, and its numerous objects, features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings. The use of the same reference number throughout the several figures designates a like or similar element.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 1 shows an overview block diagram representation of an online store.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2 shows a schematic block diagram of an information handling system.
  • [0015]
    FIGS. 3A and 3B, generally referred to as FIG. 3, show an example screen presentation of a configurator which includes configuration performance information.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0016]
    An online store is one component of an Internet website to which a customer may go to configure a particular information handling system, for example, according to desired options of the customer. The online store is typically a subset of a larger Internet website. At the online store, a customer can select one or more products in which the customer is interested. Upon selection of a particular product, the online store presents the customer with the ability to go to the product information for the particular product, customize the product, price the customized product, purchase the product, and other actions as discussed herein. While shopping happens in the website (i.e., selection of a particular kind of system by a customer), when the customer is ready to purchase a customized system, the customer is then directed to that part of the website which the online store application controls.
  • [0017]
    Referring now to FIG. 1, an online store 110 for use in generating customer configured information handling systems, e.g., customer configured computer systems, is shown. The online store 110 includes a welcome or introductory module 112, a commerce application module 114, and a thank you module 116. The online store 110 includes an online store user interface which enables the system configuration, pricing, and ordering of an information handling system via the Internet. The commerce application 114 includes a configurator 118, shopping cart 120, a checkout module 122, a services activation module 123 and database 124. The database 124 provides information to the configurator 118, shopping cart 120, checkout module 122. The configurator 118 includes a pricing module 128, a view module 130, a lead time warning module 132, a validation (or compatibility) warning module 134, a merchandising module 136 and a performance information module 138. The various modules of the configurator 118 are driven by data from the database 124, and thus the configurator 118, shopping cart 120, and checkout module 122 are all linked to the database 124.
  • [0018]
    In operation of the online store 110, the welcome module 112 presents a welcome page 112, the configurator 118 presents a configurator page, the shopping cart 120 presents a shopping cart page, the checkout module 122 presents a checkout page, and the thank you module 116 presents a thank you page. The welcome page includes a static page and generally resides outside of the commerce application 114. The configurator page, shopping cart page, and checkout page are within the commerce application and use information provided by the database. The checkout includes a payment feature, delivery feature, personal verses business feature, and instructional text features (i.e., how to fill out an online form.)
  • [0019]
    The welcome page is typically an introductory page and includes a link into the online store 110. The welcome page is typically a static welcome page. Upon completion of configuration of a system, the customer is transferred to a checkout page. After completion of the checkout, the customer is transferred to a static thank you page 116. The thank you page 116 provides a message of gratitude to the customer for having placed the order or for visiting the online store.
  • [0020]
    Aspects of the configurator 118 which interact with database 124 are shown in FIG. 1. In essence, the entire commerce application 114 interacts with the database. The configurator 118, shopping cart 120, and checkout module 122 are each part of the commerce application 114 and interact with the database 124. For example, with the shopping cart 120, additional merchandising information associated with a particular system which has been configured and placed in the shopping cart by an online store customer can be provided.
  • [0021]
    The performance information module 138 provides the configurator 118 with the ability to present to a user how each choice or change to an information handling system would effect the performance of the information handling system for an intended use of the information handling system such as for certain game or class of games. More specifically, during an online sales process, the customer is first presented with intended uses such as a list of gaming genres or gaming titles for which the information handling system to be purchased is targeted to use along with a base or recommended configuration. The configuration process proceeds with each discrete choice presented to the user not only with the price but also with the specific system performance impact of that selection, such as showing a Frame Per Second indication. A set of fields are provided for each item in the configuration database and may be proportional to the number of gaming genres or titles presented to the customer at the first selection screen. As the customer proceeds through the configuration process, the total price of the configured information handling system is presented along with the performance data.
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIG. 2, a system block diagram of an information handling system 200 is shown. The information handling system 200 includes a processor 202, input/output (I/O) devices 204, such as a display, a keyboard, a mouse, and associated controllers, memory 206 including non-volatile memory such as a hard disk drive and volatile memory such as random access memory, and other storage devices 208, such as a floppy disk and drive and other memory devices, and various other subsystems 210, all interconnected via one or more buses, shown collectively as bus 212.
  • [0023]
    For purposes of this invention, an information handling system may include any instrumentality or aggregate of instrumentalities operable to compute, classify, process, transmit, receive, retrieve, originate, switch, store, display, manifest, detect, record, reproduce, handle, or utilize any form of information, intelligence, or data for business, scientific, control, or other purposes. For example, an information handling system may be a personal computer, a network storage device, or any other suitable device and may vary in size, shape, performance, functionality, and price. The information handling system may include random access memory (RAM), one or more processing resources such as a central processing unit (CPU) or hardware or software control logic, ROM, and/or other types of nonvolatile memory. Additional components of the information handling system may include one or more disk drives, one or more network ports for communicating with external devices as well as various input and output (I/O) devices, such as a keyboard, a mouse, and a video display. The information handling system may also include one or more buses operable to transmit communications between the various hardware components.
  • [0024]
    Referring to FIG. 3, an example screen presentation 300 of a configurator which includes configuration performance information is shown. More specifically, one example of a component which is often upgraded when configuring an information handling system for high end performance use such as for gaming is a video card. Another example of a component which is added to an information handling system which is configured for high end performance is a physics accelerator. Another example of a component which is upgraded when an information handling system is configured for high end performance is the amount and type of memory included within the information handling system. Accordingly, the configurator 118 presents a video card option selection portion 310 and a physics accelerator option selection portion 312 and a memory option selection portion 314.
  • [0025]
    Each option selection portion 310, 312, 314 includes a plurality of selections which may be included within a configured information handling system. Most selections include pricing information 320. Additionally, because in the described embodiment, video card selections and memory selections effect the performance information being presented (e.g., the frames per second performance of the information handling system), selections within the video card selection portion 310 and the memory option selection portion 314 include performance information 322. In selected embodiments, the performance information is presented as an effect on the frame per second (FPS) operation of the information handling system. The effect can be an increase to the frames per second (e.g., +5 FPS) or a decrease to the frames per second (e.g., −4 FPS). The frames per second performance indication is an important performance indication to game operation because this performance indication effects the realism with which the game is presented on the information handling system.
  • [0026]
    The configurator presentation 300 also includes a performance information portion 330, which is associated with the physics accelerator option selection portion 312. The performance information portion 330 is an example of subjective information (as compared with the objective performance information such as the frames per second indication) which assists a user in configuring a system for a particular purpose. This information can be tailored within the configurator to provide information to users who indicate an intended use of the information handling system being configured. Thus for example, if a user is configuring an information handling system for video editing, various performance information portions might be included with respective components that can potentially be included within the configured information handling system.
  • [0027]
    The present invention is well adapted to attain the advantages mentioned as well as others inherent therein. While the present invention has been depicted, described, and is defined by reference to particular embodiments of the invention, such references do not imply a limitation on the invention, and no such limitation is to be inferred. The invention is capable of considerable modification, alteration, and equivalents in form and function, as will occur to those ordinarily skilled in the pertinent arts. The depicted and described embodiments are examples only, and are not exhaustive of the scope of the invention.
  • [0028]
    For example, it will be appreciated that other types of performance information may also be presented along with the various configuration selections.
  • [0029]
    Also, for example, the above-discussed embodiments include software modules that perform certain tasks. The software modules discussed herein may include script, batch, or other executable files. The software modules may be stored on a machine-readable or computer-readable storage medium such as a disk drive. Storage devices used for storing software modules in accordance with an embodiment of the invention may be magnetic floppy disks, hard disks, or optical discs such as CD-ROMs or CD-Rs, for example. A storage device used for storing firmware or hardware modules in accordance with an embodiment of the invention may also include a semiconductor-based memory, which may be permanently, removably or remotely coupled to a microprocessor/memory system. Thus, the modules may be stored within a computer system memory to configure the computer system to perform the functions of the module. Other new and various types of computer-readable storage media may be used to store the modules discussed herein. Additionally, those skilled in the art will recognize that the separation of functionality into modules is for illustrative purposes. Alternative embodiments may merge the functionality of multiple modules into a single module or may impose an alternate decomposition of functionality of modules. For example, a software module for calling sub-modules may be decomposed so that each sub-module performs its function and passes control directly to another sub-module.
  • [0030]
    Consequently, the invention is intended to be limited only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims, giving full cognizance to equivalents in all respects.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5630754 *Jun 7, 1995May 20, 1997Resrev PartnersMethod and apparatus for disclosing a target pattern for identification
US5991543 *Aug 29, 1997Nov 23, 1999Dell Usa, L.P.Software installation and testing for a build-to-order computer system
US5995757 *Aug 29, 1997Nov 30, 1999Dell Usa, L.P.Software installation and testing for a build-to order computer system
US6038367 *Feb 19, 1999Mar 14, 2000Abecassis; MaxPlaying a Video Responsive to a comparison of two sets of Content Preferences
US6167383 *Sep 22, 1998Dec 26, 2000Dell Usa, LpMethod and apparatus for providing customer configured machines at an internet site
US6182275 *Jan 26, 1998Jan 30, 2001Dell Usa, L.P.Generation of a compatible order for a computer system
US6236901 *Mar 31, 1998May 22, 2001Dell Usa, L.P.Manufacturing system and method for assembly of computer systems in a build-to-order environment
US6327706 *Apr 8, 1999Dec 4, 2001Dell Usa, L.P.Method of installing software on and/or testing a computer system
US6335927 *Nov 18, 1996Jan 1, 2002Mci Communications CorporationSystem and method for providing requested quality of service in a hybrid network
US7295608 *Sep 26, 2002Nov 13, 2007Jodie Lynn ReynoldsSystem and method for communicating media signals
US7379067 *Dec 15, 2005May 27, 2008Michael F. DeeringScalable high performance 3D graphics
US7433533 *Oct 27, 2004Oct 7, 2008Microsoft CorporationVideo performance evaluation
US20040075750 *Oct 16, 2002Apr 22, 2004Logitech Europe S.A.Flexible memory management for video and still image data in a digital camera
US20070092004 *Feb 27, 2006Apr 26, 2007Cheng-Tsai HoMemory sharing in video transcoding and displaying
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7685413 *Nov 1, 2006Mar 23, 2010Dell Products L.P.Use driven configurator and system optimization
US20080104379 *Nov 1, 2006May 1, 2008Peterman Anthony EUse Driven Configurator and System Optimization
Classifications
U.S. Classification705/26.1
International ClassificationG06Q30/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q30/0601, G06Q30/06
European ClassificationG06Q30/06, G06Q30/0601
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 31, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: DELL PRODUCTS L.P., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ZUCKER, BRIAN T.;BOLES, WILLIAM L.;REEL/FRAME:018195/0768
Effective date: 20060831