|Title of Invention||
A METHOD FOR DATA ENTRY IN A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (GUI) AND APPARATUS THEREFOR.
|Abstract||A method and an apparatus for data entry in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using the keys of a keypad (1180). A plurality of templates of functions for the keys are displayed, and a template from the displayed templates is selected. The user may then use the keys of the selected template to enter data.|
|Full Text||A METHOD FOR DATA ENTRY IN A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (GUI) AND APPARATUS THEREFOR
The present invention relates to apparatus for and methods of entering data, for displaying a data entry display, a receiver/decoder, a television system, a computer program product, a computer readable medium and a signal. Aspects of the invention have a particular, but not exclusive, application in appliances such as receiver/decoders for digital television signals. However, aspects of the invention also have application to general purpose computers and other appliances.
Reference is made to European Patent Application No. 00300832.3 in the name of Canal+ Societe Anonymc, whose content is herein incorporated by reference.
Devices having numeric keypads are being used more and more to carry out tasks which involve writing data including text using the keypad. For example, mobile telephones are used to enter information into the telephone memory, for example names into telephone books in the phone, or the sending of text messages. Other examples include television remote controls used to enter text onto a television screen, for example when accessing the Internet using a television having a receiver/decoder
Such devices normally have only numeric keypads having a key for each of the numbers 0 to 9 and possibly a few other keys, for example # and * in order to be able to enter text, at least 26 additional key functions are required for the letters of the alphabet, with still further key functions required where both upper and lower case letters, punctuation and symbols as well as accented letters are required.
In known keypads used for text entry, each key of the keypad is assigned a number of functions, and the user cycles through the available functions by pressing the key several times, the different functions usually being viewable on a display. When the user reaches the desired function for the key, the function is selected, usually by pressing a "select" key or by moving the display cursor. It will be seen that, where a full set of functions is to be made available, each key of the keypad necessarily relates to several different functions. For example, the "2" key of a keypad may include the following functions:
and may further include symbol functions. Each time a particular letter, number or symbol
is required, the key has to be pressed several times. This clearly can be time consuming and inefficient. Also, design restraints and the physical size of the keys often dictate that not. all of the letters and symbols which can be accessed by a particular key can be displayed to the user. Thus, if the user wishes to enter a particular letter or symbol, he often has to use trial and error to find the key which activates it.
A solution which is used for some models of mobile phones is to include a QAVERTY keyboard, but clearly that is not ideal where a small keypad is desirable; the keys must remain large enough for use.
An aspect of the invention provides a method for data entry using keys of a keypad, the method including the step of displaying an image of keys of the keypad and an indication of the function of the keys.
By displaying the functions of the keys, for example on the television screen, the keypad is easier to use and to visualise. The data may comprise letters or numbers and the function of the relevant key may be to insert the relevant letter, number or symbol in a text field. Alternatively, or in addition, the data may comprise a command or function.
The display might not show all of the keys of the keypad, and might show only those relevant to the application being used. The display preferably includes an image of the outline of the keypad, but may include only the image of the keys.
The indication of the function may be in writing or symbols, displayed on the keys or elsewhere.
Preferably, the image comprises an image of the keypad. Preferably the image is an image of the actual keypad used by the user. Different keypads have, for example, different arrangements and numbers of keys. By showing an image of the actual keypad used, the user can see clearly what function is allocated to each key.
Preferably the function of a key is changeable.-
An aspect of the invention provides, a keypad having keys for performing functions, each
-3-key including a function option, wherein the function option of the key is changeable.
In an embodiment of the invention, each key has only one function option at a time, so that the key need only be pressed once to carry out that function. By providing that the functions options of the keys are changeable, it is still possible to use the keypad to carry out more functions than there are keys, but the efficiency of use can be improved.
Preferably the method comprises displaying a template of functions for the keypad, wherein the template is; changeable.
Preferably, a set of options is arranged as a template for the keypad, the template being changeable. For example, if the keypad is to be used in one task for typing only numbers, it would be inefficient if, for each number to be typed, the user had to scroll through 3 or more letters. By changing the options of all the keys of the keypad to "numbers", a key need only be pressed once by the user to type the required number. Similarly, if the user wishes to type in capitals, the "capitals" template can be applied to the keypad. Thus only capital letters will be included in the options for the key functions, reducing the number of functions through which the user must scroll to find the desired one.
Preferably, the key options are changed for the keypad as a whole but, alternatively, the options for only some of the keys might be changed.
A further aspect of the invention provides a method of data entry in a GUI using the keys of a keypad, the method comprising defining a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for a keypad.
The templates may comprise a plurality of templates for each keypad type, and/or different templates for different types of keypad.
An aspect of the invention provides a method aiding entry of data into a graphical user interface (GUI) using a keypad, the method comprising defining a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for the keypad.
An aspect of the invention provides apparatus for use in entering data into a graphical user interface using a keypad, the apparatus comprising a plurality of templates, each template
-4-comprising a set of functions for the keypad.
Preferably, the method comprises defining a plurality of sets of templates, each set of templates being for use with a type of keypad.
Thus templates specifically designed for use with certain types of keypad can be used. Thus many different types of keypad can be compatible with a program or application, rather than only one.
Preferably the method includes the step of selecting a template for the keypad. The selection can be, for example, a selection of a template or group of templates compatible with a type of keypad and/or a selection of a specific template.
Preferably the method includes the step of displaying a plurality of templates. By displaying a plurality of the templates available, the user can see the various options for functions for his keypad. In preferred embodiments, only templates compatible with the user's keypad are shown.
Preferably the templates are displayable on a display.
Preferably the method further comprises selecting a template from the display.
Preferably, a number of different templates are provided, and the method includes the step of selecting a template for use. Preferably the apparatus further comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for selecting a template. The different templates preferably provide different function sets for the keypad. For example, a template may provide the capital letters A to J for the number keys of the keypad. A different template may provide the capital letters K to T, and so on.
In embodiments of the invention described herein, the templates each include only 10 functions, for use with ten keys of the keypad. In a different embodiment, the keypad may include more keys and it may be possible to represent the whole alphabet on the template. For example, the keypad may comprise a keyboard. Different templates may be provided corresponding to different types of keyboard, for example different language variants, different numbers and arrangement of keys, and symbols and other characters. All the
required functions might be included on each template, the different templates being provided corresponding to different key layout of different-types-of-keypad or keyboard.
The term keypad used herein is preferably to be interpreted broadly to include all devices having an array of keys or buttons or the like. Thus the term preferably includes remote controllers, telephones and computer keyboards as well as other devices.
Preferably the method includes the step of displaying the template, for example on the screen of a computer or television. Preferably a plurality of available templates are displayed and preferably the user is able to choose one of the displayed templates for use.
An aspect of the invention provides a method for data entry using the keys of a keypad, the method comprising displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and selecting a template from the displayed templates.
The selection may be made in response to a selection by the user , for example the user moving a focus to the required template, or by other methods, for example by determining the type of data to be entered and selecting an appropriate template. In this case, the templates might not actually be displayed.
In a preferred embodiment, the available templates are displayed as a grid, and preferably the user selects the desired template using the cursor keys of the keypad. The user may alternatively use a different device, for example a pointer device, for example a mouse.
Preferably, the display shows the functions of the template in a configuration corresponding to the arrangement of the relevant keys of the keypad. Preferably, the method includes displaying an image of a keypad. Preferably the step of selecting the template includes moving the image of the keypad relative to the templates on the screen.
Preferably the method further comprises displaying an image of the keypad, and moving the image of the keypad relative to the templates to select a template.
Preferably the apparatus further "includes a displayable keypad image, the apparatus preferably providing means (typically in the form of a processor) for moving the keypad image relative to a display of the templates.
Preferably, the displaying of the image of the keypad on the screen includes the step, of selecting the image of the keypad to be displayed. The layout of keys on a keypad can vary, from one type of keypad to another and thus it is advantageous for the layout of keys on the template shown to correspond to the keypad layout.
Preferably the user moves the image of the keypad relative to the templates using cursor keys on the keypad.
The functions of the templates may be set out as QWERTY keyboards, the keyboard being split into various zones for the image of the keypad. For example, in one position, the keypad may be used to enter the letters q, w, e, a, s, d, z, x, c and SPACE.
In other embodiments, the functions of the templates are set out in other ways. Preferably, functions used often by the user are arranged so that they appear on more than one template. Preferably, the templates may be customised by the user.
The functions provided by a key of the template keyboard may comprise more than one letter, number or symbol. For example, where the keypad is used for a web browser, a key may be used to enter a text string, for example "htrp:\" or "www".
Preferably, the keypad template is displayed on the screen while the user enters the data.
An aspect of the invention provides a template for a keypad. Preferably the template is displayable in a GUI.
An aspect of the invention provides a method of entering data using a keypad, the method including selecting a template comprising a set of functions for the keypad.
The aspect of the invention further provides apparatus for entering data using a keypad, the apparatus including means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying a keypad template. Preferably the apparatus includes means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying a plurality of keypad templates and means (typically in the form of a processor) for selecting a template.
Preferably the data entry method comprises a separate application and the method includes the step of calling the application. This feature is of particular Importance and
-7-may be provided independently.
In preferred embodiments of the invention, the data entry application is called when the user focuses on an editable area, for example a text box.
Preferably the display of the keypad templates for data entry is separate from any other application that the apparatus may be running. For example, if the apparatus is running a web browser application and data needs to be entered in a dialog box, the user calls up the keypad templates which runs parallel to the browser application. Preferably, the keypad template application can be called from a plurality of applications in the apparatus.
Preferably the data entry method is customised in dependence on the application from which it is called.
Preferably the templates shown depend on the application being used by the user, and thus the type of data to be entered. For example, if the user focusses on a field requiring only numbers to be input, the template displayed might only show numbers (and any other allowed functions).
The invention further provides a method of displaying a screen for data entry using a keypad, the method including the step of displaying an image of keys of the keypad and an indication of the function of the keys.
Further provided is a method of displaying a screen for data entry using a keypad the method comprising displaying a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for a keypad.
Preferably the method further comprises displaying an image of the keypad, on a template. Preferably the template and/or the image of the keypad displayed is selected in dependence on the application in which data entry is to be used.
Also provided by-the invention is a method of receiving data from a keypad, the method comprising defining a template for the keypad, the template comprising a set of functions for a keypad, detecting an input from a key of the keypad, determining for the template
-8-the function of the key, and carrying out the function of the key.
Preferably the method further comprises selecting the template from a plurality of templates. Preferably the method further comprises displaying the template, preferably in dependence on the keypad and/or the application in which data is to be entered.
The application can detect which application an/or keypad the user is using or can be told by the user.
Any of the methods herein may be carried out by a receiver/decoder, preferably a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder, preferably being for use with a television set, or carried out by a mobile telephone.
An aspect of the invention also provides an application execution device for implementing a graphical user interface , comprising a processor, memory and an output port for outputting a signal to a display, memory having stored therein a program for carrying out an aspect of the invention. Preferably, the memory further has stored therein a library of keypad templates and preferably further has stored therein a library of keypad images.
The aspect of the invention further provides a library of keypad templates and/or keypad images.
An aspect of the invention provides a computer program for carrying out a method of the invention.
Also provided by an aspect of the invention is an apparatus for data entry in a GUI using keys of a keypad, the apparatus including means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an image of keys of the keypad and means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an indication of the function of the keys.
Preferably the image comprises an image of the keypad. Preferably the apparatus further comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for changing the function of a key. Preferably the apparatus comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying a template of functions for the keypad, and means (typically in the form of a processor) for changing the template.
Also provided in accordance with an aspect of the invention is an apparatus for use in data entry in a GUI using the keys of a keypad, the apparatus "comprising a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for a keypad, and preferably comprises a plurality of sets of templates, each set of templates being for use with a type ofkeypad
Preferably the apparatus further comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for selecting a template for the keypad.
According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided apparatus for data entry in a GUI using the keys of a keypad, the apparatus comprising means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and means for selecting a template from the displayed templates.
Preferably the apparatus comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an image of the keypad, and means for moving the image of the keypad relative to the templates.
An aspect of the invention provides an apparatus for displaying a screen for data entry using a keypad, the apparatus including means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an image of keys of the keypad and means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an indication of the function of the keys.
Also provided is an apparatus for displaying a screen for data entry using a keypad, the apparatus comprising means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for a keypad.
Preferably the apparatus comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for displaying an image of the keypad, on an image of a template.
The invention further provides an apparatus for receiving data from a keypad, the apparatus comprising means (typically in the form of a processor) for defining a template for the keypad, the template comprising a set of functions for a keypad, means (typically in the form of a processor) for detecting an input from a key of the keypad, means
(typically in the form of a processor) for determining for the template the function of the key, and means (typically-in-theform of a processor) for carrying out the function of-the key.
Preferably the apparatus further comprises means (typically in the form of a processor) for selecting the template from a plurality of templates. Preferably the apparatus further includes a library of templates of key functions and/or a library of keypad images.
The invention further provides a library of templates of key functions and/or a library of keypad images.
In preferred embodiments any of the apparatus described herein may comprise a receiver/decoder, preferably a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder, preferably being for use with a television set, or comprising a mobile telephone.
The invention further provides a receiver/decoder comprising apparatus as described herein, and a television system, comprising a receiver/decoder described herein and a television set connectable, or connected, to the receiver/decoder.
Also provided by the invention is a computer program product comprising code for displaying an image of keys of a keypad and code for displaying an indication of the function of the keys; a computer program product comprising code for a plurality of templates, each template comprising a set of functions for a keypad; a computer program product comprising code for displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and code for selecting a template; a computer program product comprising a template for the keypad, the template comprising a set of functions for a keypad, code for detecting an input from a key of the keypad, code for determining for the template the function of the key, and code for carrying out the function of the key; and a computer program product according to any one of claims 43 to 46, for use with a receiver/decoder.
Also provided by the invention is a computer program product comprising a memory and processor,-the memory having stored therein an application, and the processor (under the control of the application) being adapted to carry out the method as described herein.
Also provided is a computer program product comprising a program for carrying out the method as described herein.
The computer program product may be tangibly embodied for example as software stored on a storage medium such as a hard disk or volatile or non-volatile memory, or as a signal.
The invention further provides a computer program for carrying any method described herein, and a computer readable medium having stored thereon a program for carrying out any method described herein, and a computer readable medium having stored thereon a computer program product as described herein, and a signal tangibly embodying a computer program product as described herein
Also provided is a method being substantially as herein described with reference to and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and apparatus substantially as herein described with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
The look of the keypad and/or the templates may be managed in accordance with a method described in European Patent Application No, 00300S32.3.
Where reference is made herein to graphical and other objects, such term is to be interpreted broadly. In particular, it should not be interpreted as implying that the objects are defined by object-oriented program code.
The methods described herein are preferably carried out using an application execution device having a suitably programmed processor.
Preferably the inventions relate to the broadcasting and receiving of transmissions.
Any of the methods above may be carried out by a receiver/decoder, such as a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder. Alternatively, the methods may be carried out by a mobile, telephone, a computer, or another device.
The inventions described herein also extend to a computer program for carrying out any of the described methods, and to a computer readable medium having stored thereon a program
for carrying out any of the above methods. The invention also extends to an application for a receiver/decoder arranged to perform a method of any aspect of the invention.
The inventions also extend to computer program products, for example comprising computer software and/or computer software upgrades. Such computer program products may be, for example, transmitted to a user from a broadcast centre by, for example cable or satellite broadcast. The computer program products may be provided on a disc, for example a CD ROM.
Where aspects of the invention relate to graphical objects, the invention provides a method of defining the graphical objects, of controlling the appearance of the graphical objects and also to displaying representations of the graphical objects on a suitable display, for example a television screen or LCD of a mobile telephone. The invention also provides apparatus for carrying out the invention, and the methods of the invention, preferably using a suitably programmed processor.
Preferably the invention finds application for digital television, and preferably a web browser for a television. The invention may be embodied in a receiver/decoder for example for a digital television. Features of the aspects of the inventions described above are preferably provided by a processor and/or memory, for example a processor and memory of the receiver/decoder.
Any of the methods described herein may be carried out by the receiver/decoder, such as a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder.
The term "receiver/decoder" used herein may connote a receiver for receiving either encoded or non-encoded signals, for example, television and/or radio signals, which may be broadcast or transmitted by some other means. The term any also connote a decoder for decoding received signals. Embodiments of such receiver/decoders may include a decoder integral with the receiver for decoding the received signals, for example, in a "set-top box", such a decoder functioning in combination with a physically separate receiver, or such a decoder including additional functions, such as a web browser, a video recorder, or a television.
It will be understood that the present invention has been described herein purely by way of example, and modifications of detail can be made within the scope of the invention.
Each feature disclosed in the description, and (where appropriate) the claims and drawings may be provided independently or in any appropriate combination.
Features of one aspect may be applied to any other aspect; method features may be applied to apparatus aspects and vice versa.
Where features of the apparatus are described herein as "means for" a particular function, it is intended that those terms be interpreted broadly and are preferably not interpreted to be limited to any particular embodiment of the invention described herein. Features of the apparatus are, in preferred embodiments provided by a suitably programmed computer or computers, and thus features of the apparatus are preferably provided by the relevant features of a computer or product comprising a computer program. For example, features of the apparatus may be provided by a suitably programmed processor, or other part of a computer, for example a memory or data store.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a method for data entry in a Graphical User interface (GUI) using the keys of a "keypad, the method comprising displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and selecting a template from the displayed templates.
The present invention also provides an apparatus for data entry in a Graphical User interface (GUI) using the keys of a keypad, the apparatus comprising means such as herein described for displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and means such as herein described for selecting a template from the displayed templates.
Preferred features of the present invention will now be described, purely by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1a shows an overview of a typical digital television system; Figure lb shows the general architecture of the interactive television system-Figure 2a is a block diagram of a receiver/decoder; Figure 2b shows the architecture of a receiver/decoder; Figure 2c illustrates further the architecture of the receiver/decoder; Figure 3 shows a remote control for navigating the web browser; Figure 4 schematically illustrates the operation of a virtual keyboard; Figure 5 shows a typical mapping of characters to keys on a virtual keyboard; Figure 6 shows examples of a virtual keyboard; and Figure 7 shows typical dimensions of a virtual keyboard.
Overview of a digital television system
An overview of a digital television system 1 is shown in Figure la. The invention includes a mostly conventional digital television system 2 that uses the known MPEG-2 compression system to transmit compressed digital signals.. In more detail, MPEG-2 compressor 3 in a broadcast centre receives a digital signal stream (typically a stream of video signals). The compressor 3 is connected to a multiplexer and scrambler 4 by linkage 5.
The multiplexer 4 receives a plurality of further input signals, assembles the transport stream and transmits compressed digital signals to a transmitter 6 of the broadcast centre via linkage 7, which can of course take a wide variety of forms including telecommunications links. The transmitter 6 transmits electromagnetic signals via uplink 8 towards a satellite transponder 9, where they are electronically processed and broadcast via notional downlink 10 to earth receiver 12, conventionally in the form of a dish owned or rented by the end user. Other transport channels for transmission of the data are of course possible, such as terrestrial broadcast, cable transmission, combined satellite/cable links, telephone networks etc.
The signals received by receiver 12 are transmitted to an integrated receiver/decoder 13 owned or rented by the end user and connected to the end user's television set 14. The receiver/decoder 13 decodes the compressed MPEG-2 signal into a television signal for the television set 14, Although a separate receiver/decoder is shown in Figure la, the receiver/decoder may also be part of an integrated digital television. As used herein, the term "receiver/decoder" includes a separate receiver/decoder, such as a set-top box, and a television having a receiver/decoder integrated therewith.
In a multichannel system, the multiplexer 4 handles audio and video information received from a number of parallel sources and interacts with the transmitter 6 to broadcast the information along a corresponding number of channels. In addition to audiovisual information, messages or applications or any other sort of digital data may be introduced in some or all of these channels interlaced with the transmitted digital audio and video information.
A conditional access system 15 is connected to the multiplexer 4 and the receiver/decoder 13, and is located partly in the broadcast centre and partly in the receiver/decoder. It enables the end user to access digital television broadcasts from one or more broadcast suppliers. A smartcard, capable of deciphering messages relating to commercial offers (that is, one or several television programmes sold by the broadcast supplier), can be inserted into the receiver/decoder 13. Using the receiver/decoder 13 and smartcard, the end user may purchase commercial offers in either a subscription mode or a pay-per-view mode. As used herein, the term "smartcard" includes, but not exclusively so, any chip-based card device, or object of similar function and performance, possessing, for example, microprocessor and/or memory storage. Included in this term are devices having alternative physical forms to a card, for example key-shaped devices such as are often used in TV decoder systems.
As mentioned above, programmes transmitted by the system arc scrambled at the multiplexer 4, the conditions and encryption keys applied to a given transmission being determined by the access control system 15. Transmission of scrambled data in this way is well known in the field of pay TV systems. Typically, scrambled data is transmitted together with a control word for descrambling of the data, the control word itself being encrypted by a so-called exploitation key and transmitted in encrypted form.
The scrambled data and encrypted control word arc then received by the decoder 13 having access to an equivalent to the exploitation key stored on a smart card inserted in the decoder to decrypt the encrypted control word and thereafter descramble the transmitted data. A paid-up subscriber will receive, for example, in a broadcast monthly ECM (Entitlement Control Message) the exploitation key necessary to decrypt the encrypted control word so as to permit viewing of the transmission.
An interactive system 16, also connected to the multiplexer 4 and the receiver/decoder 13 and again located partly in the broadcast centre and partly in the receiver/decoder, enables the end user to interact with various applications via a rnodemmed back channel 17. The modemmed back channel may also be used for communications used in the conditional access system 15.
Figure 1b shows the general architecture of the interactive television system 16 of the digital television system 1.
For example, the interactive system 16 allows an end user to buy items from on-screen catalogues, consult local news and weather maps on demand and play games through their television set.
The interactive system 16 comprises in overview four main elements:-
an authoring tool 4004 at the broadcast centre or elsewhere for enabling a broadcast supplier to create, develop, debug and test applications;
an application and data server 4006, at the broadcast centre, connected to the authoring tool 4004 for enabling a broadcast supplier to prepare, authenticate and format applications and data for delivery to the multiplexer and scrambler 4 for insertion into the MPEG-2 transport stream (typically the private section thereof) to
bc broadcast to the end user;
a virtual machine including a run time engine (RTE) 4008, which is an executable
code installed in the receiver/decoder 13 owned or rented by the end user for
enabling an end user to receive, authenticate, decompress, and load applications into
the working memory of the decoder 13 for execution. The engine 4008 also runs
resident, general-purpose applications. The engine 4008 is independent of the
hardware and operating system; and
a modemmed back channel 17 between the receiver/decoder 13 and the application
and data server 4006 to enable signals instructing the server 4006 to insert data and
applications into the MPEG-2 transport stream at the request of the end user.
The interactive television system operates using "applications" which control the functions of the receiver/decoder and various devices contained therein. Applications arc represented in the engine 4008 as "resource files". A "module" is a set of resource files and data. A "memory volume" of the receiver/decoder is a storage space for modules. Modules may be downloaded into the receiver/decoder 13 from the MPEG-2 transport stream.
Referring to Figure 2a, the various elements of receiver/decoder 13 will now be described in terms of functional blocks.
The receiver/decoder 13, which may be, for example, a digital set-top box (DSTB), comprises a central processor 220 including associated memory elements and adapted to receive input data from a serial interface 221, a parallel interface 222, a modem 223 (connected to the modem back channel 17 of Fig. la), and switch contacts 224 on the front panel of the decoder.
The receiver/decoder is additionally adapted to receive inputs from an infra-red remote control 225 via a control unit 226 and also possesses two smartcard readers 227, 228 adapted to read bank and subscription smartcards 242, 240 respectively. The subscription smartcard reader 228 engages with an inserted subscription card 240 and with a conditional access unit 229 to supply the necessary control word to a demultiplexer/dcscrambler 230 to enable the encrypted broadcast signal to be descrambled. The decoder also includes a conventional tuner 231 and demodulator 232 to receive and demodulate the satellite transmission before being filtered and demultiplexed by the unit 230.
Processing of data within the receiver/decoder is generally handled by the central processor 220. Figure 2b illustrates the software-architecture-of the centra! processor 220 of the receiver/decoder. With reference to Figure 2b, the software architecture comprises a Run-Time-Engine 4008, a Device Manager 4068 and a plurality of Devices 4062 and Device Drivers 4066 for running one or more applications 4056.
As used in this description, an application is preferably a piece of computer code for controlling high level functions of preferably the receiver/decoder 13. For example, when the end user positions the focus of remote control 225 on a button object seen on the screen of the television set 14 and presses a validation key, the instruction sequence associated with the button is run.
An interactive application proposes menus and executes commands at the request of the end user and provides data related to the purpose of the application. Applications may be either resident applications, that is, stored in the ROM (or FLASH or other non-volatile memory) of the receiver/decoder 13, or broadcast and downloaded into the RAM or FLASH memory of the receiver/decoder 13.
Applications are stored in memory locations in the receiver/decoder 13 and represented as resource files. The resource files comprise graphic object description unit files, variables block unit files, instruction sequence files, application files and data files, as described in more detail in the above-mentioned patent specifications.
The receiver/decoder contains memory divided into a RAM volume, a FLASH volume and a ROM volume, but this physical organization is distinct from the logical organization. The memory may further be divided into memory volumes associated with the various interfaces. From one point of view, the memory can be regarded as part of the hardware; from another point of view, the memory can be regarded as supporting or containing the whole of the system shown apart from the hardware.
The central processor 220 can be regarded as centred on a run time engine 4008 forming part of a virtual machine 4007. This is coupled to applications on one side (the "high level" side), and, on the other side (the "low level" side), via various intermediate logical units discussed below, to the receiver/decoder hardware 4061, comprising the various ports as discussed above (that is, for example, the serial interface 221, the parallel interface 222, modern 223,
- 18-and control unit 226).
With specific reference to Figure 2b, various applications 4057 arc coupled to the virtual machine 4007; some of the more commonly used applications may be more or less permanently resident in the system, as indicated at 4057, while others will be downloaded into the system, eg from the MPEG data stream or from other ports as required.
The virtual machine 4007 includes, in addition to the run time engine 4008, some resident library functions 4006 which include 3 toolbox 4058. The library contains miscellaneous functions in C language used by the engine 4008. These include data manipulation such as compression, expansion or comparison of data structures, line drawing, etc. The library 4006 also includes information about firmware in the receiver/decoder 13, such as hardware and software version numbers and available RAM space, and a function used when downloading a new device 4062. Functions can be downloaded into the library, being stored in FLASH or RAM memory.
The run time engine 4008 is coupled to a device manager 4068 which is coupled to a set of devices 4062 which arc coupled to device drivers 4060 which are in turn coupled to the ports or interfaces. In broad terms, a device driver can be regarded as defining a logical interface, so that two different device drivers may be coupled to a common physical port. A device will normally be coupled to more than one device driver; if a device is coupled to a single device driver, the device will normally be designed to incorporate the full functionality required for communication, so that the need for a separate device driver is obviated. Certain devices may communicate among themselves.
Each function of the receiver/decoder 13 is represented as a device 4062 in the software architecture of the receiver/decoder 13. Devices can be cither local or remote. Local devices 4064 include smartcards, SCART connector signals, modems, serial and parallel interfaces, a MPEG video and audio player and an MPEG section and table extractor. Remote devices 4066, executed in a remote location, differ from local devices in that a port and procedure must be defined by the system authority or designer, rather than by a device and device driver provided and designed by the receiver/decoder manufacturer.
The run time engine 4008 runs under the control of a microprocessor and a common application programming interface (API). They arc installed in every receiver/decoder 13 so that all receiver/decoders 13 arc identical from the application point of view.
The engine 4008 runs applications 4056 on the receiver/decoder 13. It executes interactive applications 4056 and receives events from outside the receiver/decoder 13, displays graphics and text, calls devices for services and uses functions of the library 4006 connected to the engine 4008 for specific computation.
The run time engine 400S is an executable code installed in each receiver/decoder 13, and includes an interpreter for interpreting and running applications. The engine 4008 is adaptable to any operating system, including a single task operating system (such as MS-DOS). The engine 4008 is based on process sequencer units (which take various events such as a key press, to carry out various actions), and contains its own scheduler to manage event queues from the different hardware interfaces. It also handles the display of graphics and text. A process sequencer unit comprises a set of action-groups. Each event causes the process sequencer unit to move from its current action-group to another action-group in dependence on the character of the event, and to execute the actions of the new action-group.
The engine 4008 comprises a code loader to load and download applications 4056 into the receiver/decoder memory. Only the necessary code is loaded into the RAM or FLASH memory, in order to ensure optima! use. The downloaded data is verified by an authentication mechanism to prevent any modification of an application 4056 or the execution of any unauthorized application. The engine 4008 further comprises a decompressor. As the application code (a form of intermediate code) is compressed for space saving and fast downloading from the MPEG stream or via a built-in receiver/decoder mode, the code must be decompressed before loading it into the RAM. The engine 4008 also comprises an interpreter to interpret the application code to update various variable values and determine status changes, and an error checker.
Architecture of receiver/decoder
The receiver/decoder contains five software layers, organized so that the software can be implemented in any receiver/decoder and with any operating system. Referring to Figure 2c, the various software layers are Application Layer 250, Application Programming Interface (API) layer 252, Virtual Machine Layer 254, Device Layer 256 and System Software/Hardware Layer 258.
The Application Layer 250 encompasses applications that are either resident in or downloaded to the receiver/decoder. They may be interactive applications used by customers, written in, for example, Java, HTML, MHEG-5 or other languages, or they may be
applications used by the receiver/decoder to run such applications. This layer is based on a set of open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provided by the Virtual Machine layer. This system allows applications to be downloaded to flash or RAM memory in the receiver/decoder on-the-fly or on demand. The application code can be transmitted in compressed or uncompressed format using protocols such as Data Storage Media Command 2nd Control (DSMCC), Network File Server (NFS) or other protocols.
Interactive applications are applications that the user interacts with, for example, to obtain products and services, such as electronic program guides, telebanking applications and games.
Various security features are provided for these downloaded applications and data, as follows: Nothing can be downloaded to the receiver/decoder without first having been authenticated for the intended network, which prevents any unregistered software from being run in the receiver/decoder. This means that any software running in the receiver/decoder is recognized and has been fully tested.
A Security Manager limits access of applications to various memory zones, thus assuring data integrity.
The system can interface with any conditional access system that makes use of secure processors (for example, smart cards inserted in the receiver/decoder).
The following resident applications are used to manage interactive applications:
Boot. The Boot application 260 is the first application launched when the receiver/decoder is powered on. The Boot application starts the different "Managers" in the Virtual Machine, the first being the Application Manager 262. Application Manager. The Application Manager 262 manages the interactive applications that are run in the receiver/decoder, that is, it starts, stops, suspends, resumes, handles events and deals with communication between applications. It allows multiple applications to run at once, and thus is involved in the allocation of resources among them. This application is completely transparent to the user. SetUp. The purpose of the SetUp application 264 is to configure the receiver/decoder, primarily the first time it is used. It performs actions such as scanning for TV channels, setting the date and time, establishing user preferences, and so on. However, the SetUp application can be used at any time by the user to change the receiver/decoder configuration.
Zapping. The Zapping application 268 is used to change channels using the Program-up, Program-down and numeric keys. When another form of zapping is used, for
example, through a banner (pilot) application, the Zapping application is stopped. Callback. The Callback application is used to extract the values of various parameters stored in the receiver/decoder memory and return these values to the commercial operator via modemmed back channel 17, or by other means.
The API layer 252 provides high-level utilities for interactive application development. It includes several packages that make up this high-level API. The packages provide all the functionality necessary to run interactive applications. The packages are accessible by the applications.
In a preferred embodiment the API is adapted to run applications written in the Java programming language. Furthermore, it can interpret HTML and other formats, such as MIIEG-5. Besides these interpreters, it also includes other packages and service modules that are detachable and extensible as requirements dictate.
The Virtual Machine layer 254 is composed of language interpreters and various modules and systems. It consists of everything necessary to receive and execute interactive applications in the receiver/decoder, including the following:
Language Interpreters. Different interpreters can be installed to conform to the type
of applications to be read. These include Java, HTML, MIIEG-5 and others.
Service Information (SI) Engine. The SI Engine loads and monitors common Digital
Video Broadcasting (DVB) or Program System Information Protocol (PSIP) tables
and puts them into a cache. It allows access to these tables by applications which
need the data contained in them.
Scheduler. This module allows for pre-emptive, multithreaded scheduling with each
thread having its own event queue.
Memory Manager. This module manages the access to memory. It also automatically
compresses data in memory when necessary and performs automatic garbage
Event Manager. This module allows events to be triggered according to priority. It
manages timer and event grabbing and allows applications to send events to each
Dynamic Linker. This module allows the resolution of addresses arising from native
Java functions, loads native methods from a Java class downloaded into RAM and
resolves calls from downloaded native codes towards ROM.
Downloaded This module uses automatic data loading from a remote DSMCC
carousel or through the NFS protocol, with downloaded files accessed in the same way as resident ones. Memory clear-up, compression and authentication are also provided.
Class Manager. This module loads classes and resolves any class referencing problems.
File System. This module is compact and optimized to manage a hierarchical file system with multiple ROM, flash, RAM and DSMCC volumes. Flash integrity is guaranteed against any incidents.
Security Manager. This module authenticates applications and controls the access of applications to sensitive memory and other zones of the set-top box. Graphics System. This system is object-orientated and optimized. It includes graphic window and object management as well as a vectorial font engine with multi-language support.
Furthermore, the DA VIC resource notification model is supported so that client resources are efficiently managed.
The Device Interface layer 256 includes a Device Manager and devices. Devices arc software modules which consist of the logical resources necessary for management of external events and physical interfaces. The Device Layer manages communication channels between drivers and applications and provides enhanced error exception checking. Some examples of managed devices are: card readers, modems, network, PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), LED display and so on. Programmers do not have to deal with this layer directly, since the API layer controls the devices from above.
The System Software/Hardware layer 258 is provided by the manufacturer of the receiver/decoder. Because of the modularity of the system and because services supplied by the OS (such as event scheduling and memory management) are part of the Virtual Machine, the higher layers are not tied to a particular real-time operating system (RTOS) or to a particular processor.
The following example describes an embodiment of the invention used in a web browser of a receiver/decoder. The structure and function of the Internet browser is discussed in more detail in European Patent Application No. 00300832.3.
The user uses the Internet browser on a television set and uses a television controller (or
-23-similar device) to navigate in the browser.
Figure 3 shows an example of a controller with which the user can navigate between objects on the screen, highlight objects and select objects. In the present example, the controller used is a television remote control 1180. The number keys 1181 are used to enter data; the cursor keypad 1182 is used to navigate around the screen. The cursor keypad 1182 includes an UP key 11 83, a DOWN key 1184, a LEFT key 1185 and a RIGHT key 1187. The cursor keypad 1182 also incudes a SELECT key 1186 which is used for selecting objects on the screen.
The UP key 1183 and the DOWN key 1184 are used to move a focus, in this example a highlight, up and down. When an object is highlighted, it can be selected using the select key 1186.
The receiver/decoder provides Internet navigation and E-mail-reading capabilities.
The graphical studio for modelling a navigator is now discussed. Part of the graphical studio is a "virtual keyboard" which is used for data entry in the browser.
The graphical studio for modelling a navigator is an ensemble or collection of elementary graphical objects. Each graphical object is the pictorial representation on a television screen of one of the functions of the navigator. Each function of the navigator can be represented by a graphical object, or by a sequence of images of a graphical object (an animated image), or a collection of graphical objects (for example, an image in the background of the screen or an image in the background of a dialog box to which other graphical objects can be attached). There are two internal formats for images: MPEG2 and PIXMAP-GRL.
The PNG format is used for elementary graphical objects representing the "navigation system" functionality: load, connect, previous document, next document, exit, etc.
To imprint a non-rectangular image on the graphical plane, it is necessary to use a clipping mask which defines the visible (significant) zones. This mask must be provided by the designer in the form of a bitmap: this mask is not calculated by the program owing to performance constraints.
The two stages for adding a clipping mask are first displaying an image and then, in the graphical plane, filling in a rectangle of the same dimension and position of the image with
the transparency colour while applying the clipping mask to render visible the useful pan of the image.
The PIXMAP-GRL image format is used for graphical objects representing the navigator resources or the user interface: vertical scrollbar, tables, simple choice, multiple choice, etc.
The PIXMAP type objects are of variable dimension (each graphical object or model is decomposed into simple elementary objects) and colourable (changing colour).
The PIXMAP-GRL image format may be obtained by converting any other graphical formats (such as BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, etc.) using well-known methods.
The decomposition of a graphical object into graphical elements is effected according to a matrix (e.g. 3x3, 4x4 or 1x4) which depends on the type of object being displayed.
The maximum size of the screen is 720 pixels wide by 576 high. To guarantee the visibility of the screen on every low-end television set, it is necessary to restrict the size to 592 pixels wide and 480 high. To exploit high-end television sets, the user will have the option to adjust the size of the screen. For an internet navigator, sites have in general designed their pages 600 pixels wide and 400 high.
The aspect of focus can be represented by several means: a rectangular focus on the graphical object; a focus highlighting (with another colour) the background of the graphical object, or a focus colouring in the shape of the graphical object.
The normal state (without focus, active, not depressed) is the basic one of the graphical object.
The inhibited state of a graphical object can be represented by several means: the shape of the object in grey (or vignetted); the overlaying of a distinctive prohibitive sign on the graphical object in question; setting the background of the object to monocolour, or making the object invisible.
The depressed state of a graphical object is the graphical representation of an object having the focus following a click on it but before the button is released. This representation can be an inverse display of the object or it can be the same as the focussed state.
A summary of some of the graphical objects in the web browser interface and their associated functions is now given.
What follows is a non-exhaustive list of some of the graphical objects which are necessary for the construction of a navigator model in the decoder. The table given here lists the objects element-by-element and the list of objects composed of several graphical elements.
The Java API for the web browser is now described.
There follows a list of some of the JAVA packages which are used at the level of the navigator application in the decoder. This list is divided into two parts: the AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) classes of the JDK 1.1 and the JAVA interface classes of the different services written in native C code.
The navigator package, called the browser package, groups together different packages: the browser drawer package, which offers services allowing an HTML document to be fetched, and navigation within the document browser; and the mediawebtv package, which allows the establishment of an Internet connection with the users authentification.
The navigator employs all of the available graphics (MPEG, PIXMAP) of the graphical studio. Each function or option in a screen is accessed by moving a focus with the aid of arrow buttons (on the remote control) or by using a keypad with a cursor/pointer. The selection of an action is achieved by a controller click or by a predefined button (e.g. "OK").
In the absence of a physical keyboard, to enter text with the remote control, it is necessary to provide a virtual keyboard. This is achieved by moving the focus with a possibility of tapping quickly, by mapping the buttons of the remote control onto the virtual keyboard; in other words the image of the buttons on the remote control is visible (in traced form) in outline, or slightly opaque, on the picture of the virtual keyboard. ¦ The virtual keyboard is discussed in more depth later in this document.
A button is effectively a rectangular or square zone (for example, 32x32 pixels). When the graphics cursor enters a zone, that zone (window) receives the focus (cf. the EnterNotify(WindowId) function).
If the button graphic is a tyre, for example, it has to be detected whether the actual position
of the graphics cursor effectively covers the pixels of the tyre. To this end, it is necessary to
find the value of the pixel at the hotspot of the mouse pointer in the clipping mask of the
button (by calculation of the relative position, getpixel in the clipping mask, then testing the
pixel value). This detection method allows the test to be improved for whether or not a click was effected before starting the function of the button.
When the mouse pointer leaves the button's rectangular or square zone, the zone loses the focus (cf LeavcKotify(WindowId)).
The virtual keyboard is now discussed in more detail, with reference to Figures 4 to 7.
Figure 4 shows schematically how the currently visible virtual keyboard (1501) maps onto
the underlying 'grid' of virtual keyboards (1501, 1506).
Figure 5 shows a typical mapping of characters to keys on a virtual keyboard.
Figure 6 shows the images used for the virtual keyboard, with the first (1545) and second
(1546) number block having the focus respectively (also showing two different types of
remote control 1542 and 1543).
Figure 7 shows a typical virtual keyboard layout with typical dimensions superimposed.
Firstly, the virtual keyboard is conceived as an tool which is independent of the application in which it is used. This, it can be used within the "WebBrowser" application and equally within the "Mail" application. Moreover, its 'look' is completely independent of the 'look' of the application concerned.
The virtual keyboard is displayed from the moment that the user, not possessing a physical keyboard or a remote control with keyboard, selects an editable area of the screen. The focus is positioned at the end of the text in the editable area. Pressing "OK" (on the remote control or virtual keyboard) or "Cancel" (on the virtual keyboard) dismisses it.
The virtual keyboard which is visible on the screen (1501) is composed of three blocks often keys (representing three number blocks of the remote control) side by side (1502, 1503, 1504). The user can pass the focus (1505) from one block to another using the arrow keys on the remote control. After a block is selected, pressing a button on the number block of the remote control enters the corresponding character printed on the virtual keyboard.
The user can also use the up and down arrow keys. This brings the same virtual keyboard on the screen but with different characters on the keys (1506). Thus, flipping between a set of 5 virtual keyboards, one can display all of the characters on the keyboard of a western computer. There is also the possibility of adding other keyboards as the need arises.
With reference to Figure 6, to allow an immediate association to be made between the number block of the remote control and the focus on the virtual keyboard , a superimposed image of the remote control indicates the focus (1542, 1543). Thus the user can easily visualise that only one part of the keyboard has the focus, and that the rest of the characters can be reached by moving the focus with the arrow keys. The keyboard is designed with the latter points in
The virtual keyboard solution takes up little screen height, and allows for easy extension of the number of characters available. By default, it is the virtual keyboard with the miniature alphabet which is displayed.
Certain buttons have important special functions: -
o "OK" on the remote control, for validing the current choice (if the field only has one
line, the character (1521) also validates, or may alternatively be chosen to have no
effect at all; otherwise, it corresponds only to a carriage return).
o "Cancel" (1522) on the virtual keyboard, to exit the tool without validating (the
modifications made after opening the keyboard will be lost).
o "Back Space" (1523) on the virtual keyboard, which erases the last character entered.
o The up, down, left and right arrow keys, to move within the editing area.
o "Tab" (1520) on the virtual keyboard, which inserts a configurable number of spaces
in one go (four by default).
The keyboard is always in 'insert' mode.
An example of a keyboard is given in Figure 6, and is discussed further below.
With the 5 keyboards (5x3) shown in Figure 5, and the two fonts installed for the WebBrowser application (Arialweb and Courier), all of the characters of a traditional keyboard can be covered. The dimensions of the keyboard on screen are 272 pixels wide by 184 pixels high.
The virtual keyboard and the functional connections with regard to its use in the various applications are developed within the "canalplus.virtualkbd" package.
The classes comprised.within the-package include "MhwVirtualKbd" (the virtuarkeybdard" graphical description and behavioural class), "MhwVkTextField" (the class derived from 'java.awt.TextField' which allows a virtual keyboard defined within the global application
sharing the TextField to control events) and "MhwTextArea" (a class inherited from the 'java.awt.TextArea' which allows a virtual keyboard defined within the global application using the TextArea class to control events).
The MhwVirtualKbd class is now described in more detail.
The constructor of the "MhwVirtualKbd" class is defined as 'private'. Thus only one unique virtual keyboard can be constructed, when the main application which may need to use it is started (in the absence of a physical keyboard, for example). The aim is therefore to present a keyboard configured especially for the current application, and which appears when the user enters a text field (single- or multi-line).
When the keyboard is created, the four main (static) variables which can be configured will have been set: -
parent: container, 'parent' of the virtual keyboard, which must itself exist at the time the keyboard is created. It is set using the "setParent" method which returns a 'NuIlPointerException' if the 'parent' passed in the argument is 'null', descriptive file: ASCII file which describes the keyboard, both in terms of the graphics behind the images, which concerns the various 'keyboards' obtained when the virtual keyboard is used, and the labels printed on the keys. The characters are specified by their Unicode code. The name of the descriptive file can be set using the "setScreensFile" method.
number of screens: number of 'number blocks' initialised and used by the virtual keyboard. This number, set using the "setScreensNumber", corresponds to the number of keyboards, the characteristics of which are read in the descriptive file detailed above, initial coordinates: these are the coordinates of the top-left comer of the background image of the keyboard in the parent container (described above). This is set using the "setCoordlnit" method.
Once the keyboard is created, it can be decided whether or not to use it by using the "getlnstance" method, which finds the keyboard of the current application, if it exists (if the virtual keyboard of the application does not yet exist, and if the application uses it, the "getlnstance" method creates one, using for it the variables" [the four previously described] which one would have set).
Event management is now described.
According to thepreceding descriptions, the virtual keyboard functions, once displayed, solely by interpreting-the events sent to it by: the number block, the "OK" button,and the four arrow direction keys on the remote control. These buttons will have specific roles for the keyboard in use.
The "OK" button has an important role, because it allows the user to do two things: 'return' to the text field to enter information, and then display and start the operation of the virtual keyboard; and 'leave' the text field, saving the changes.
The 'right' and 'left' arrows allow the image of the remote control (indicating the number block which has the 'focus') to be moved on the three number blocks which are represented on the virtual keyboard. The keys of the number block on the remote control are thus 'bound', depending on the 'keyboard' having the focus, to the display of various characters.
In the most common case, 'tapping' on of these buttons when the virtual keyboard is active causes the automatic insertion of the character shown on that key, in the current text field at the position indicated by the cursor.
Of the characters, six can be considered as 'special* characters, and do not directly cause the
character displayed on the key to be displayed in the text field:
Backspace: ' is pressed, the character immediately to the left of the cursor position in the current text field
Tab: '"' (1520): when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is
pressed, a configurable number of spaces ('), 4 by default, is inserted at the current cursor
Enter. (1521): when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is
pressed, a 'line feed' is inserted at the cursor position. In fact, if the current text field is an
instance of the 'MhwVkTextField' class, i.e. one which only has one editable line, tapping
this button will either have no effect or cause validation of the field. If, on the contrary, this
text field is an instance of the 'MhwVkTextArea' class, it consists of several editable lines
and this character causes a 'line feed' (if the cursor is positioned on the last editable line,
tapping this button will have no effect).
Canqel: (1522): when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is
pressed, all of the modifications made to the current text field subsequent to the opening of
the virtual keyboard are undone. In other words, its content is returned to the value it had before the modifications were made, and the virtual keyboard is 'exited'. Left arrow: when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is pressed, the cursor in the current text field is moved one place to the left. If the cursor is already in the 'zero' position (no further movement to the left is possible), this button has no effect. Right arrow: when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is pressed, the cursor in the current text field is moved one place to the right. If the cursor is already positioned after the last character in the text field (and cannot move any further right), this button has no effect.
Up arrow: when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is pressed, the cursor in the current text field is moved one place upwards. If the cursor is already in the first line of the text field (or if the current text field only has one line: MhwVkTextField), this button has no effect.
Down arrow: when the button on the remote control corresponding to this character is pressed, the cursor in the current text field is moved one place downwards. If the cursor is already in the last line of the text field (or if the current text field only has one line: MhwVkTextField), this button has no effect.
The "findLocation" method determines the placement of the virtual keyboard on the screen, seeking to minimise the "cropped" surface.
The MhwVkTextField class is simply a specialisation of the "TextField" class in the "java.awt" package. It additionally manages a boolean value which specifies the use (or not) of the virtual keyboard.
The constructors are exactly the same as those of the "TextField" class in the "java.awt" package, with a simple additional argument; a boolean specifying the use of the virtual keyboard.
If the boolean is "true", a 'base' instance of the "TextField" class is created, and a virtual keyboard listener, available within the current application, is also added at the same time, using the "addKeyListener" method. If not, a 'normal* TextField is created. When the TextField has the focus, if the user presses 'OK' and the boolean specifies the use of the virtual keyboard, the virtual keyboard is displayed and gains the focus. It manages all of the events and is able to fill the text field. If the user presses 'OK' again, its text is validated, and the keyboard returns the focus. If the use of the virtual keyboard is not
envisaged (boolean=false), the "TextField" has the same 'behaviour' as a standard TextField in "java.awt"
The MhwVkTextArea class is simply a specialisation of the "TextArea" class in the "java.awt" package. It additionally manages a boolean value which specifies the use (or not) of the virtual keyboard.
The constructors are exactly the same as those of the "TextArea" class in the "java.awt" package, with a simple additional argument: a boolean specifying the use of the virtual keyboard.
If the boolean is "true", a 'base' instance of the "TextArea" class is created, and a virtual keyboard listener, available within the current application, is also added at the same time, using the "addKeyListener" method. If not, a 'normal' TextArea is created. When the TextArea has the focus, if the user presses 'OK' and the boolean specifies the use of the virtual keyboard, the virtual keyboard is displayed and gains the focus. It manages all of the events and is able to fill the text field. If the user presses 'OK' again, its text is validated, and the keyboard returns the focus. If the use of the virtual keyboard is not envisaged (boolean=false), the "TextArea" has the same 'behaviour* as a standard TextArea in "java.awt".
The various methods described above for displaying one or more graphical objects, for navigating between a plurality of such objects, or for receiving input from the user may equally be applied to other areas primarily, but not exclusively, within the context of the reception of broadcasts from a broadcast supplier. In general, any functionality of a set-top box involving visual interaction with a user may employ such methods.
For example, the virtual keyboard or other features could be employed in a home shopping application, to allow the user to display articles, view prices, place orders and otherwise interact with the application.
Any text information required from the user, such as a street address for delivery, could be entered with the virtual keyboard.
In an electronic programme guide, similar methods could be employed, for interactively
-36-browsing and displaying different channels, themes and times and dates.
Other applications for the methods described above include on-line catalogues, news and weather services on demand, games, and general administration of the set-top box (managing its configuration, etc.). In the case of games, the virtual keyboard could be used as an alternative form of controller for more advanced types of game.
It should also be appreciated that all methods of interaction using a remote control, as described herein, may be substituted or supplemented by the use of a mouse (or other directional controller, such as a rollerball or joystick) and/or keyboard (or other device having a plurality of keys), either by simulating the burtons of a remote control (for example using the numbers 0-9; the arrow keys, and the return key on a keyboard) or directly (for example using the mouse to click on buttons, and the keyboard to enter text directly).
The Virtual Keyboard described above may be implemented on any device having a plurality of keys, such as a games machine or a mobile telephone, for example. In the latter case, the virtual keyboard could be displayed substantially as described on the screen of the telephone (on phones with a sufficiently large display), or in a compressed form (on phone with smaller displays). Such compression of the virtual keyboard might entail showing only one number block of characters at a time, preferably with a suggestion of the characters or types of characters which might be accessed by pressing the left, right, up and/or down keys (or their equivalents, for example in the case of roller-type directional controllers). The compressed virtual keyboard may be used in other applications, particularly where there is little space available to display the keyboard.
The term 'check box' may refer to a graphical object of any shape, for example circular, which is able to display different states, preferably two states corresponding to 'checked' and 'unchecked', but possibly more than two states, and which may alter its state in a consistent fashion when clicked or selected by the user. The 'checked' state may be indicated by a tick, cross or other embellishment on the box.
For ease of reference, the terms below used herein have the following preferred meanings:
HTML: HyperText Markup Language, a language describing the documents which
are interchanged on the. Internet. The document may include references to sites,
formatting information, sound and pictures, etc.
HTTP: HyperText Transport Protocol, a protocol for communicating between
Internet servers holding HTML documents and a navigation application, which displays
the HTML documents.
MPEG-2: Motion Picture Expert Group, a method of coding animated images and
sound in realtime.
PPP: Point-to-Point Protocol, a distance access communications protocol
allowing two computers to be networked via a modem.
PROXY SERVER: An application located on the server which allows secure Internet
connections, and which also buffers HTTP and FTP requests.
SESSION: An instance of a type of connection or of an application in memory at a
given point in time.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator, an address used to locate a file or resources
on the Internet. A link to a site designates the address of the resource contained in the
WWW: World Wide Web, Internet network using local or remote documents. A
web document is a web page, and the links in the page allow navigation between different
pages and between different subjects, regardless of whether situated on a local or remote
GUI: Graphical User Interface.
WGT: Widget Toolkit.
It will be understood that the present invention has been described above purely by way of example, and modifications of detail can be made within the scope of the invention.
Each feature disclosed in the description, and (where appropriate) the claims and drawings may be provided independently or in any appropriate combination. In any or all of the aforementioned, certain features of the present invention have been implemented using computer software. However, it will of course be clear to the skilled man that any of these features may be implemented using hardware or a combination of hardware and software. Furthermore, it will be readily understood that the functions performed by the hardware, the computer software, and such like are performed on or
-38-using electrical and like signals.
Features which relate to the storage of information may be implemented by suitable memory locations or stores. Features which relate to the processing of information may be implemented by a suitable processor or control means, either in software or in hardware or in a combination of the two.
In any or all of the aforementioned, the invention may be embodied in any, some or all of the following forms: it may be embodied in a method of operating a computer system; it may be embodied in the computer system itself; it may be embodied in a computer system when programmed with or adapted or arranged to execute the method of operating that system; and/or it may be embodied in a computer-readable storage medium having a program recorded thereon which is adapted to operate according to the method of operating the system.
As used herein throughout the term "computer system" may be interchanged for "computer", "system", "equipment", "apparatus", "machine" and like terms.
Reference numerals appearing in the claims are by way of illustration only and shall have no limiting effect on the scope of the claims.
The Applicant hereby declares, for the avoidance of doubt, that he claims copyright in the attached drawings.
1. A method for data entry in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using the keys
of a keypad, the method comprising displaying a plurality of templates of
functions for the keys, and selecting a template from the displayed templates.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, comprising displaying an image of the
keypad, and moving the image of the keypad relative to the templates to select a
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the data entry method
comprises a separate application and the method includes the step of calling the
4. A method as claimed in claim 3, wherein the data entry method is
customised in dependence on the application from which it is called.
5. A method as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, carried out by a
receiver/decoder, preferably a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder,
preferably being for use with a television set, or carried out by a mobile
6. Apparatus for data entry in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using the
keys of a keypad, the apparatus comprising means such as herein described for
displaying a plurality of templates of functions for the keys, and means such as
herein described for selecting a template from the displayed templates.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, comprising means for displaying an
image of the keypad, and means for moving the image of the keypad relative to
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 or 7, comprised in a receiver/decoder,
preferably a digital or analogue television receiver/decoder, preferably being for
use with a television set, or comprising a mobile telephone.
9. A receiver/decoder comprising an apparatus as claimed in claims 6 or 7.
10. A television system, comprising a receiver/decoder as claimed in claim 9,
and a television set connected to the receiver/decoder.
A method and an apparatus for data entry in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using the keys of a keypad (1180). A plurality of templates of functions for the keys are displayed, and a template from the displayed templates is selected. The user may then use the keys of the selected template to enter data.
|Indian Patent Application Number||IN/PCT/2002/542/KOL|
|PG Journal Number||51/2007|
|Date of Filing||26-Apr-2002|
|Name of Patentee||CANAL + SOCIETY ANONYME|
|Applicant Address||85/89, QUAI ANDRE CITROEN, F-75711 PARIS CEDEX 15|
|PCT International Classification Number||G06F 3/02|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/IB00/01738|
|PCT International Filing date||2000-11-01|