Patent Number: 6,310,634

Title: User interface methodology supporting light data entry for microprocessor device having limited user input

Abstract: A portable computing device or "information appliance" having terse user input (e.g., limit set of keys) is provided with an improved user interface. A six-key embodiment is described that provides a "super-key" light entry and editing input system for ultra-portable devices, thus making it well suited for use with credit card-sized devices. In a preferred six-button embodiment, a credit card-sized device is modified to include an additional input button, an EDIT key. In user operation, pressing the EDIT key brings up a context sensitive pop-up menu, thus invoking the super-key feature. Customized user input controls, such as a Text Input Control (e.g., letter and number strips), are provided at appropriate times, for facilitating input. Underlying the super-key input is a heuristic sub-system that remembers and anticipates user input. In this fashion, the system can present in-context options for each application running on the target device, and present appropriate options during different phases of the execution of a variety of tasks. By remembering what the user has previously inputted and by using context-sensitive menus and adaptive "quick" lists, the system can anticipate what the user needs to do at any given time and can guide the user through a step-by-step process to complete each task, thus facilitating the tasks that users most often perform. By including adaptive techniques or built-in intelligence that allows the device to be faster and easier to use with each user session, the target device may anticipate the tasks users need to perform in specific situations and thus make those tasks increasingly easier.

Inventors: Bodnar; Eric O. (Capitola, CA), Lee; Jennifer J. (Capitola, CA), Kahn; Philippe R. (Scotts Valley, CA), Feague; Roy W. (Scotts Valley, CA), Jorgensen; David E. (Campbell, CA), Liu; Gwoho H. (Scotts Valley, CA)

Assignee: Starfish Software, Inc.

International Classification: G06F 3/023 (20060101); H04M 1/2745 (20060101); H04M 1/274 (20060101); G06F 003/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018