APPARATUS, METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR
PRINTING FROM A WIRELESS MOBILE
DEVICE OVER THE INTERNET
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 5
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the use of wireless electronic devices, and more particularly to enabling a wireless electronic device to print information 1° stored on the device via a wide area computer network such as the Internet.
2. Discussion of the Background
Wireless mobile electronic devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smart phones are electronic tools 15 which enable users to connect to the Internet in order to access the wealth of information provided by the Internet. Users can conduct business transactions or utilize the Internet as a personal tool or resource. More particularly, users can surf the web, send and receive email, shop online, and 20 even dispense negotiable instruments using wireless handheld devices.
In order to provide these functions, many wireless mobile electronic devices are capable of storing, processing, and displaying a substantial amount of information useful to the user. In many circumstances, this electronic information is useful to the user in a printed tangible form. However, in order to print information from the wireless devices, the wireless devices, in many cases, require a "wired" connec tion to a printer.
The inventor has realized that some wireless devices can function as a facsimile machine and send faxes via the public switched telephone network. However, in order to send information obtained from the Internet to a printer, two 3J different connections are required. First, a connection must be made to the user's Internet service provider (ISP) in order to obtain the content the user wishes to print. A second connection via the public switched telephone network is required in order to send the facsimile data to a remote 4Q facsimile.
Other wireless devices are configured to transmit information to computer networks using infrared technology to connect to a local area network (LAN). However, transmissions using infrared technology and radio frequency (RF) 45 signals have a limited transmission range when used as a LAN. Thus, the wireless devices must be proximate to a node of the LAN which is configured to receive the infrared or RF transmissions in order to transmit the information to be printed.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and system for printing from a 55 wireless mobile device over a computer network. In one embodiment, the Internet printing protocol (IPP) may be utilized. The IPP is an application level protocol that can be used for distributed printing using Internet tools and technologies. 60
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and system for printing information stored on a wireless device to a default printer connected to the computer network by pushing a single PRINT button (i.e., one button printing). 65
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and system for printing information stored on
a wireless device to a printer selected by the user, wherein the user of the wireless device inputs the printer's network address.
Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and system for printing information stored on the wireless device to a selected printer via a computer network and simultaneously staying online (i.e, printing information obtained on the computer network without disconnecting from the computer network in order to transmit print data).
These and other objects are achieved by providing a novel method and system for printing from a wireless mobile device over a computer network. The method, on which the system is based, includes transmitting to a wide area network (WAN) information a user wishes to print using a wireless mobile device. The transmitted information is received by the WAN and forwarded via the WAN to a printer selected by the user. The printer prints the forwarded information.
The method further includes controlling the printing via the WAN using IPP. IPP, enables, among other things, printing information stored on the wireless device to a selected printer via a computer network and simultaneously staying online.
The method further includes "one-button printing," wherein the wireless mobile device is configured to transmit the information to a default printer upon the user pressing a print button once. Alternatively, the method includes, prior to the user initiating the printing, selecting a printer connected to the WAN.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A more complete appreciation of the 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:
FIG. 1 is a networked system for printing from a wireless mobile device over a computer network;
FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a server programmed to perform one or more special purpose functions of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary wireless mobile device;
FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary printer;
FIG. 5 is a flowchart describing the process for printing over a computer network according to one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a flowchart describing the process for printing over a computer network according to a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a flowchart describing the process for printing when the selected printer is "ready" or unable to print.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a computerized system for printing from a wireless mobile device over a computer network. The computer network can be any network where not only computers are addressable, but peripheral devices such as printers have their own address. According to an embodiment of the present invention, the computerized system