|Publication number||USRE40204 E1|
|Application number||US 10/677,170|
|Publication date||Apr 1, 2008|
|Filing date||Oct 2, 2003|
|Priority date||Mar 29, 1999|
|Also published as||US6297945, USRE43336|
|Publication number||10677170, 677170, US RE40204 E1, US RE40204E1, US-E1-RE40204, USRE40204 E1, USRE40204E1|
|Original Assignee||Ricoh Company, Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (8), Classifications (22), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to Japanese patent application No. JPAP11-086099 filed on Mar. 29, 1999, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to a portable electronic terminal apparatus, and more particularly to a portable electronic terminal apparatus which includes a flip panel and a plurality of displays.
2. Discussion of the Background
Recently, the amount of information for electronic apparatuses to exchange has greatly been increased through data communications verification because of rapid proliferation of portable communications equipment and an establishment of the corresponding infrastructure. In such a circumstance, portability as well as data communications capability has become more important, especially in a portable electronic apparatus (e.g., a cellular mobile phone, a personal assistant device, and the like).
In general, it is difficult to obtain both portability and visibility at the same time in a portable electronic apparatus. Such an apparatus needs to be lighter and smaller for increased portability. For instance, the area reserved for the display of a portable electronic apparatus can be reduced to increase portability. Typically, a portable electronic apparatus has a single display on which various kinds of information are selectively shown as user instructions; such as a screen scroll function, a function for switching over to another function, and so forth. In such a portable electronic apparatus, the user is usually required to perform complex manipulation of the display to finally read incoming mail and/or information received from information service providers.
As one example of the portable electronic apparatus, a mobile cellar phone, as illustrated in
The present invention provides a novel portable electronic terminal apparatus which includes a main body, an information input mechanism, a plurality of displays, a communications mechanism, and a flip panel. The main body has a hollow section. The information input mechanism enables input of information, including data and instructions. A plurality of displays display the information input through the input mechanism. The communications mechanism transmits and receives the input information. The flip panel is movably mounted on the main body and is configured to rotate to open and close about a side edge portion of the flip panel. This flip panel is retracted in the hollow section of the main body when closed. In addition, one of the plurality of displays is mounted on the side of the flip panel that is exposed when closed.
One of the plurality of the displays may be mounted on a surface of the hollow section of the main body.
Another display may be mounted on another side of the flip panel.
One of the displays operates when the flip panel is closed, and the other display operates when the flip panel is opened.
Each of the displays may be a polymer-film liquid crystal display.
The displays may selectively be used by a user instruction input through the information input mechanism.
A more complete appreciation of the present invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
In describing preferred embodiments of the present invention illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. However, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to
In this exemplary embodiment, the main body 1 has a front surface divided into upper, middle, and lower regions to which the loudspeaker 3, the flip panel 4, and the data entry panel 6 are provided, respectively. The antenna 2 is mounted inside the main body 1 so as to protrude from the top surface of the main body 1. The microphone 7 is mounted on a portion of the lower region closer to the bottom surface of the main body 1, and the button 8 is provided to a side surface of the main body 1 near the upper region. The flip panel 4 has a left side edge portion which is movably mounted in the left side edge of the middle region of the main body 1 so that the flip panel 4 can rotate to open and close about the left side edge portion. The first display 5 is mounted on the front surface of the flip panel 4. The data entry panel 6 includes a ten-key pad, for example, and other instruction keys. In addition, the portable electronic terminal apparatus 100 further includes an open button 9 for opening the flip panel 4. The open button 9 is mounted on a side surface of the main body 1 close to the flip panel 4, as illustrated in FIG. 3.
When the open button 9 is pressed, the flip panel 4 is opened, as illustrated in FIG. 4. As illustrated in
Each of the first and second displays 5 and 10 may be a thinner display (i.e., a polymer-film liquid crystal display) so that the flip panel 4 can be made thinner.
When the flip panel 4 is closed, the first display 5 is supplied with power but the second and third displays 10 and 11 are not supplied with power. That is, the second and third displays 10 and 11 can only be supplied with power when the flip panel 4 is opened. In addition, the user can set a condition in which the second and third displays 10 and 11 are not supplied with power through the data entry panel 6. Accordingly, the second and third displays 10 and 11 will not be supplied with power even when the flip panel 4 is accidentally opened. As a result, it becomes possible to avoid an increase of a power consumption by an accidental opening of the flip panel 4.
To read incoming mails, the user opens the flip panel 4 so that the second and third displays 10 and 11 show up, as illustrated in FIG. 7. In this case, the second display 10 shows a list of incoming mails and the third display 11 shows the contents of a selected incoming mail.
With the above-described structure, the portable electronic terminal apparatus 100 can conveniently display multiple pages of information. Moreover, it obviates the necessity for the user to enter the complex instructions through the data entry panel 6 to read incoming mails. Thus, the user can read incoming mails in much the similar way to read a book by turning pages.
Next, a first modification made to the portable electronic terminal apparatus 100 is explained with reference to
The flip panel 204 of
Next, a second modification made to the portable electronic terminal apparatus 100 is explained with reference to
Numerous additional modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the present invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.
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|U.S. Classification||361/679.27, 345/905, 455/450, 312/223.1, 345/169|
|International Classification||H04M1/725, H04M1/00, H04Q7/38, H04M1/02, H04M11/10, G06F1/16|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S345/905, G06F1/1647, H04M1/725, G06F1/1626, G06F1/1616, H04M1/0214, H04M2250/16|
|European Classification||H04M1/02A2B4, G06F1/16P3, G06F1/16P9D5, G06F1/16P1F|
|Mar 20, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Apr 13, 2009||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Oct 8, 2013||CC||Certificate of correction|