Title of Invention

"MOBILE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE"

Abstract A mobile wireless communications device comprising: a portable, handheld housing; a display carried by said portable, handheld housing; a keypad carried by said portable, handheld housing and comprising a plurality of multi-symbol keys each having indicia of a plurality of respective symbols thereon, a predetermined multi-symbol key having a comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon; and; a controller carried by said portable, handheld housing and connected to said display and said keypad, wherein the controller is operable to generate a menu of possible desired words based upon activation of said predetermined multi-symbol key having the comma/apostrophe symbol and at at least one other symbol thereon, said menu including: at least one word with a comma, at least one word having an apostrophe, and at least one word having an additional character predictive of a future keystroke.
Full Text The present Invention relates to mobile wireless communications device
Background of the Invention
[0002] Cellular communications systems continue to grow in popularity and have become an integral part of both personal and business communications Cellular phones allow users to place and receive voice calls most anywhere they travel Moreover, as cellular telephone technology has increased, so too has the functionality of cellular devices For example, many cellular devices now incorporate personal digital assistant (PDA) features such as calendars, address books, task lists, etc Moreover, such multi-function devices may also allow users to wirelessly send and receive electronic mail (email) messages and access the Internet via a cellular network
[0003] Even so, as the functionality of cellular communications devices continues to increase, so too does the demand for smaller devices which are easier for users to carry As a result, some cellular communications devices which also provide email or text messaging features do not have enough space to provide a full keypad with all of the traditional QWERTY keys As a result, such devices typically utilize shared or multi-symbol keys, some of which are used to enter multiple letters, numbers, and/or punctuation symbols, for example Of course, this makes it more challenging for users to enter desired symbols, as pressing a multi-symbol key may cause the device to display one of the other symbols shared by that key instead of the desired symbol

[0004] Vanous approaches are therefore used to facilitate typing with multi-symbol keys One approach is to enable multi-tap typing, where pressing a key a certain number of times enters the corresponding symbol on the key (e g , pressing a key twice enters the second symbol on the key) While this makes it easier for a user to select the desired symbol, it may still be somewhat cumbersome in that it may require a user to press the keys many times to type relatively few letters
[0005] Another approach to facilitate word entry with multi-symbol keys is predictive word entry That is, a software module run by the wireless device's processor attempts to predict the particular word or phrase the user is trying to type based upon the combination of keys that are pressed or actuated An example of a cellular telephone device including a predictive text editor application is disclosed in U S Patent No 6,542,170 to Williams et al This device includes a display, a keypad having a plurality of keys each associated with several letters, and a processor controlling the display in accordance with the operation of the keypad The processor runs a predictive editor program for generating an output including a word matching a received string of ambiguous key strokes While the predictive editor program is active, pressing the "1" key on the phone will allow a "smart" insertion of punctuation That is, the predictive editor program tries to predict, based on the situation, which commonly used punctuation mark is intended These may include the period, comma, question mark, exclamation point, and apostrophe The default value will most often suggest a period, if no other matches seem appropriate A match function is performed by pressing the "*" key, which allows the user to toggle through a list of symbol choices which may include a period, comma, etc Despite the advantages provided by such devices, further predictive typing/editing functionality may be desirable in certain applications
Summary of the Invention [0006] In view of the foregoing background, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a mobile wireless communications device which provides enhanced predictive word entry and related methods [0007] This and other objects, features, and advantages in accordance with the present invention are provided by a mobile wireless communications device which may include a portable, handheld housing, and a display and keypad carried by the portable, handheld housing The keypad may include a plurality of multi-symbol keys each having indicia of a plurality of respective symbols thereon, and a predetermined multi-symbol key may have a comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon The mobile wireless communications device may also include a controller earned by the portable, handheld housing and connected to the display and the keypad The controller may be for generating a menu of possible desired words including at least one word with a comma and at least one word with an apostrophe based upon activation of the predetermined multi-symbol key having the comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon [0008] Accordingly, only a single multi-symbol key need be included in the keypad, even though the comma/apostrophe symbol may be ambiguous to users This is because the user will be provided with possible desired words with both apostrophes and commas, if applicable, regardless of whether the user intended a comma or apostrophe As a result, the multi-symbol key layout may be simplified, while still providing a relatively quick predictive determination of the user's desired word
[0009] The mobile wireless communications device may also include a memory carried by the portable, handheld housing and connected to the controller for storing a list of words The controller may thus compare respective symbols corresponding to actuated multi-symbol keys to the list of words, and generate the menu of possible desired words based thereon
[0010] Furthermore, the mobile wireless communications device may also include at least one input device carried by the portable, handheld housing, and the controller may cause different possible desired words in the menu to be highlighted on the display based upon the at least one input device By way of example, the at least one input device may be a scroll wheel [0011] In addition, the mobile wireless communications device may include a wireless transceiver (e g, a wireless LAN transceiver) carried by the portable, handheld housing, and the controller may cooperate with the wireless transceiver to communicate emails over a wireless network (e g , a wireless LAN) The mobile wireless communications device may also include a cellular transceiver for communicating over a cellular communications network [0012] More particularly, the keypad may further include an alternate function key, and the predetermined multi-symbol key may be actuated to enter the comma/apostrophe symbol by first pressing the alternate function key Also, the symbols may be letters, and the multi-symbol keys may be arranged to define a QWERTY layout Moreover, a set of the multi-symbol keys may have numeric indicia thereon, and the set of multi-symbol keys may be arranged to define a telephone keypad layout
[0013] A method for using a mobile wireless communications device, such as the one described briefly above, may include generating a menu of possible desired words including at least one word with a comma and at least one word with an apostrophe based upon activation of the predetermined multi-symbol key having the comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon
Brief Description of the Drawings
[0014] FIG 1 is front elevation view of a mobile wireless communications device in accordance with the present invention
[0015] FIG 2 is schematic block diagram of the mobile wireless
communications device of FIG 1
[0016] FIG 3 is a screen print of the display of the mobile wireless
communications device of FIG 1 illustrating a menu of possible desired words
including both commas and apostrophes
[0017] FIG 4 is a schematic block diagram of an alternate embodiment of the
mobile wireless communications device of FIG 1
[0018] FIG 5 is a flow diagram illustrating a mobile wireless communications
method in accordance with the present invention
[0019] FIG 6 is a schematic block diagram of an exemplary mobile wireless
communications device for use with the present invention
Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments [0020] The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are shown This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art Like numbers refer to like elements throughout, and prime notation is used to indicate similar elements in alternate embodiments [0021] Referring initially to FIGS 1 and 2, a mobile wireless communications device 20 in accordance with the invention is first described In the illustrated embodiment, the device 20 is a mobile cellular communications device which includes a cellular transceiver 40 and associated antenna 41 for communicating over a cellular network 42 In particular, the cellular transceiver 40 may be used for cellular telephone calls as with traditional cellular telephones, and it also preferably cooperates with a controller 43 for sending other data, such as
email/Internet data, over the cellular network 42 as well, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art
[0022] The device 20 illustratively includes a portable, handheld housing 21, and a display 22 and keypad 23 carried by the housing A back button 36 and a scroll wheel 37 are also carried by the housing 21 and are connected to the controller 43 for allowing a user to navigate menus, text, etc , as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art The scroll wheel 37 may also be referred to as a "thumb wheel" or a "track wheel" m some instances The keypad 23 illustratively includes a plurality of multi-symbol keys 24 each having indicia of a plurality of respective symbols thereon The keypad 23 also illustratively includes an alternate function key 25, a next key 26, a space key 27, a shift key 28, a return (or enter) key 29, and a backspace/delete key 30 [0023] The next key 26 is also used to enter a "*" symbol upon first pressing or actuating the alternate function key 25 Similarly, the space key 27, shift key 28 and backspace key 30 are used to enter a "0" and "#", respectively, upon first actuating the alternate function key 25 The keypad 23 further illustratively includes a send key 31, an end key 32, and a convenience (I e , menu) key 39 for use in placing cellular telephone calls, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art
[0024] Moreover, the symbols on each key 24 are arranged in top and bottom rows The symbols in the bottom rows are entered when a user presses a key 24 without first pressing the alternate function key 25, while the top row symbols are entered by first pressing the alternate function key As seen in FIG 1, the multi-symbol keys 24 are arranged in the first three rows on the keypad 23 below the send and end keys 31,32 Furthermore, the letter symbols on each of the keys 24 are arranged to define a QWERTY layout That is, the letters on the keypad 23 are presented in a three-row format, with the letters of each row being in the same order and relative position as in a standard QWERTY keypad
[0025] Each row of keys (including the fourth row of function keys 25-29) are arranged in five columns The multi-symbol keys 24 in the second, third, and fourth columns of the first, second, and third rows have numeric indicia thereon (I e , 1 through 9) accessible by first actuating the alternate function key 25 Coupled with the next, space, and shift keys 26, 27, 28, which respectively enter a "*", "0", and "#" upon first actuating the alternate function key 25, as noted above, this set of keys defines a standard telephone keypad layout, as would be found on a traditional touch-tone telephone, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art
[0026] As discussed briefly above, the reason that more than one letter appears on most of the keys 24 is so that less than a full set of QWERTY keys, as found on a traditional computer/typewriter keyboard, can be used to access all of the English alphabet letters This advantageously allows the footprint of the keypad 23 to remain relatively small which, in turn, allows the overall size of the mobile wireless communications device 20 to be decreased as well [0027] Yet, as also mentioned above, the tradeoff with placing multiple symbols on a single key is that typing (e g , typing emails) becomes more difficult for users To make typing easier, the controller 43 preferably allows symbols/text to be entered in two different modes, namely a multi-tap mode and a predictive mode In the multi-tap mode, a user enters a desired symbol by pressing a given key a number of times corresponding to its position on the key Thus, for example, for a user to enter a "W," she would press the QW/' key twice To enter an exclamation point, the user would press the alternate function key 25 before pressing the QW/' key
[0028] Referring more particularly to FIG 3, in a predictive mode, the controller 43 compares respective symbols corresponding to actuated multi-symbol keys 24 to a list (1 e , dictionary) of words and/or phrases, which is stored in a memory 44 The controller 43 generates a menu 50 of possible desired words based upon the combination of keys 24 that are pressed, as will
be appreciated by those skilled in the art The possible desired words may be generated according to various rules, such as a general frequency of use of the words, a frequency of use of the words by the user, alphabetically, etc , or a combination thereof
[0029] Furthermore, the controller then generates a cursor 51 on the display 22 which highlights different possible desired words in the menu 50 based upon the scroll wheel 37 That is, the cursor 51 can be moved back and forth through the menu 50 to highlight the various words therein for selection by the user The user can select a given word by pressing the scroll wheel 37 inward, or by pressing the return key 29, for example Once a desired word is selected, the controller 43 inserts the selected word in the active document (e g , an email, notepad document, etc), and the process begins again when the user starts entering symbols for a next word
[0030] To provide further space savings on the keypad 23, a predetermined multi-symbol key 35 shares the "L" symbol and a comma/apostrophe symbol Of course, the comma/apostrophe symbol could be located on another key in other embodiments By "comma/apostrophe symbol" it is meant that the respective symbols used to represent commas and apostrophes are very similar in appearance, and therefore the two are generally ambiguous unless they are positioned relative to a letter That is, seeing a comma/apostrophe symbol in isolation would not likely allow someone to discern which symbol was intended unless the symbol was positioned adjacent the bottom of a line of text as a comma, or adjacent the top of the line as an apostrophe [0031] Thus, because the keypad 23 has only a single comma/apostrophe symbol on the key 35, it is possible that a user typing on the keypad might mistakenly press this key thinking it is an apostrophe when it is in fact a comma, or vice-versa In the exemplary embodiment, the key 35 causes a comma to be generated in the multi-tap mode when the alternate function key 25 is first pressed, although an apostrophe may instead be provided in other
embodiments It should be noted that an apostrophe (as well as other symbols) may be selected through a separate symbol screen (not shown), which the controller 43 generates upon pressing the alternate function key 25 followed by the ZX/SYM key
[0032] When in the predictive mode, the controller 43 advantageously generates the menu 51 of possible desired words to include at least one word with a comma, and at least one word with an apostrophe based upon activation of the comma/apostrophe key 35 In the example illustrated in FIG 3, for the current word being typed by a user (as indicated with dashed underlining) the controller 43 displays the letters h, e, and r The user then presses the comma/apostrophe key 35, which causes the controller 43 to recognize several possible desired words, one of which includes a comma ("hers,"), and two of which have apostrophes ("her's" and "hers"') Of course, the controller 43 may determine that other words without a comma/apostrophe are also possible desired words, such as "her" and "gee" m the present example [0033] Accordingly, even though the comma/apostrophe symbol may be ambiguous to users, only a single multi-symbol key with a comma/apostrophe symbol need be included in the keypad 23 because users will advantageously be provided with choices of possible desired words including both commas and apostrophes upon pressing this key when the controller 43 is in a predictive mode As a result, the number of keys on the keypad 23 is reduced, while still allowing a relatively quick predictive determination of the user's desired word or phrase
[0034] Turning additionally to FIG 4, the mobile wireless communications device 20' may optionally include a wireless transceiver 45', such as a wireless local area network (LAN) (e g , IEEE802 11/Bluetooth) transceiver, and associated antenna 46' earned by the portable, handheld housing The controller 43' cooperates with the wireless transceiver 45' to communicate information, such as voice, email, or Internet data, over a wireless personal or
local area network 47', as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art In other embodiments, both the wireless LAN transceiver 45' and the cellular transceiver 40 (or another type of wireless transceiver) of FIG 2 may be included in the same device, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art [0035] A method for using the mobile wireless communications device 20 in accordance with the invention is now described with reference to FIG 5 The method begins (Block 60) with detecting actuation of multi-symbol keys 24, at Block 61, and, more particularly, whether the comma/apostrophe key 35 has been actuated to enter a comma/apostrophe (l e , by first pressing the alternate function key 25), at Block 62 If a comma/apostrophe is not entered, then the controller 43 compares the respective symbols associated with the actuated keys 24 to the list of words to generate the menu 50 of possible desired words, at Block 63, as described above If a comma/apostrophe is entered, then the controller 43 generates the menu 50 to include one or more possible desired words with a comma, and one or more possible desired words with an apostrophe, at Block 64, as further described above [0036] Once the user selects a desired possible word form the menu 50, at Block 65, the word is displayed on the display 22, at Block 66, thus concluding the illustrated method (Block 67) Of course, it will be appreciated that the above-described method would be repeated as the user continues entering further words Moreover, if a desired word is not selected, the controller 43 will also return to the step illustrated at Block 61 as the user actuates additional keys
[0037] The controller 43 may be implemented with a microprocessor and associated software modules to be executed thereby, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art Moreover, the keypad 23 need not include soft keys as illustrated in FIG 1, but instead may include other types of keys as well, such as touch keys on a display, for example It should also be noted that various other multi-symbol key configurations may be used other than the exemplary
configuration shown, and a QWERTY layout need not be used in all embodiments Similarly, other arrangements of numbers on the keypad 23 may be used as well
[0038] Another example of a hand-held mobile wireless communications device 1000 that may be used in accordance the present invention is further described in the example below with reference to FIG 6 The device 1000 includes a housing 1200, a keypad 1400 and an output device 1600 The output device shown is a display 1600, which is preferably a full graphic LCD Other types of output devices may alternatively be utilized A processing device 1800 is contained within the housing 1200 and is coupled between the keypad 1400 and the display 1600 The processing device 1800 controls the operation of the display 1600, as well as the overall operation of the mobile device 1000, in response to actuation of keys on the keypad 1400 by the user [0039] The housing 1200 may be elongated vertically, or may take on other sizes and shapes (including clamshell housing structures) The keypad may include a mode selection key, or other hardware or software for switching between text entry and telephony entry
[0040] In addition to the processing device 1800, other parts of the mobile device 1000 are shown schematically in FIG 6 These include a communications subsystem 1001, a short-range communications subsystem 1020, the keypad 1400 and the display 1600, along with other input/output devices 1060,1080,1100 and 1120, as well as memory devices 1160,1180 and various other device subsystems 1201 The mobile device 1000 is preferably a two-way RF communications device having voice and data communications capabilities In addition, the mobile device 1000 preferably has the capability to communicate with other computer systems via the Internet [0041] Operating system software executed by the processing device 1800 is preferably stored in a persistent store, such as the flash memory 1160, but may be stored in other types of memory devices, such as a read only memory
(ROM) or similar storage element In addition, system software, specific device applications, or parts thereof, may be temporarily loaded into a volatile store, such as the random access memory (RAM) 1180 Communications signals received by the mobile device may also be stored in the RAM 1180 [0042] The processing device 1800, m addition to its operating system functions, enables execution of software applications 1300A-1300N on the device 1000 A predetermined set of applications that control basic device operations, such as data and voice communications 1300A and 1300B, may be installed on the device 1000 during manufacture In addition, a personal information manager (PIM) application may be installed during manufacture The PIM is preferably capable of organizing and managing data items, such as e-mail, calendar events, voice mails, appointments, and task items The PIM application is also preferably capable of sending and receiving data items via a wireless network 1401 Preferably, the PIM data items are seamlessly integrated, synchronized and updated via the wireless network 1401 with the device user's corresponding data items stored or associated with a host computer system
[0043] Communication functions, including data and voice communications, are performed through the communications subsystem 1001, and possibly through the short-range communications subsystem The communications subsystem 1001 includes a receiver 1500, a transmitter 1520, and one or more antennas 1540 and 1560 In addition, the communications subsystem 1001 also includes a processing module, such as a digital signal processor (DSP) 1580, and local oscillators (LOs) 1601 The specific design and implementation of the communications subsystem 1001 is dependent upon the communications network in which the mobile device 1000 is intended to operate For example, a mobile device 1000 may include a communications subsystem 1001 designed to operate with the Mobitex™, Data TAC™ or General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) mobile data communications networks, and also designed to operate
with any of a variety of voice communications networks, such as AMPS, TDMA, CDMA, PCS, GSM, etc Other types of data and voice networks, both separate and integrated, may also be utilized with the mobile device 1000 [0044] Network access requirements vary depending upon the type of communication system For example, in the Mobitex and DataTAC networks, mobile devices are registered on the network using a unique personal identification number or PIN associated with each device In GPRS networks, however, network access is associated with a subscriber or user of a device A GPRS device therefore requires a subscriber identity module, commonly referred to as a SIM card, m order to operate on a GPRS network [0045] When required network registration or activation procedures have been completed, the mobile device 1000 may send and receive communications signals over the communication network 1401 Signals received from the communications network 1401 by the antenna 1540 are routed to the receiver 1500, which provides for signal amplification, frequency down conversion, filtering, channel selection, etc , and may also provide analog to digital conversion Analog-to-digital conversion of the received signal allows the DSP 1580 to perform more complex communications functions, such as demodulation and decoding In a similar manner, signals to be transmitted to the network 1401 are processed (e g modulated and encoded) by the DSP 1580 and are then provided to the transmitter 1520 for digital to analog conversion, frequency up conversion, filtering, amplification and transmission to the communication network 1401 (or networks) via the antenna 1560 [0046] In addition to processing communications signals, the DSP 1580 provides for control of the receiver 1500 and the transmitter 1520 For example, gains applied to communications signals in the receiver 1500 and transmitter 1520 may be adaptively controlled through automatic gain control algorithms implemented in the DSP 1580
[0047] In a data communications mode, a received signal, such as a text message or web page download, is processed by the communications subsystem 1001 and is input to the processing device 1800 The received signal is then further processed by the processing device 1800 for an output to the display 1600, or alternatively to some other auxiliary I/O device 1060 A device user may also compose data items, such as e-mail messages, using the keypad 1400 and/or some other auxiliary I/O device 1060, such as a touchpad, a rocker switch, a thumb-wheel, or some other type of input device The composed data items may then be transmitted over the communications network 1401 via the communications subsystem 1001 [0048] In a voice communications mode, overall operation of the device is substantially similar to the data communications mode, except that received signals are output to a speaker 1100, and signals for transmission are generated by a microphone 1120 Alternative voice or audio I/O subsystems, such as a voice message recording subsystem, may also be implemented on the device 1000 In addition, the display 1600 may also be utilized in voice communications mode, for example to display the identity of a calling party, the duration of a voice call, or other voice call related information [0049] The short-range communications subsystem enables communication between the mobile device 1000 and other proximate systems or devices, which need not necessarily be similar devices For example, the short-range communications subsystem may include an infrared device and associated circuits and components, or a Bluetooth™ communications module to provide for communication with similarly-enabled systems and devices [0050] Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to the mind of one skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descnptions and the associated drawings Therefore, it is understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific
embodiments disclosed, and that modifications and embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims



We claim:
1. A mobile wireless communications device comprising:
- a portable, handheld housing;
- a display carried by said portable, handheld housing;
- a keypad carried by said portable, handheld housing and comprising a plurality of multi-symbol keys each having indicia of a plurality of respective symbols thereon, a predetermined multi-symbol key having a comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon; and
- a controller carried by said portable, handheld housing and connected to said display and said keypad, wherein the controller is operable to generate a menu of possible desired words based upon activation of said predetermined multi-symbol key having the comma/apostrophe symbol and at least one other symbol thereon, said menu including: at least one word with a comma, at least one word having an apostrophe, and at least one word having an additional character predictive of a future keystroke.

2. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in claim 1 comprising a memory carried by said portable, handheld housing and connected to said controller for storing a list of words; and wherein said controller is operable to compare respective symbols corresponding to actuated multi-symbol keys to the list of words, and to generate the menu of possible desired words based thereon.
3. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 comprising at least one input device carried by said portable, handheld housing, and wherein said controller is operable to cause different possible desired words in the menu to be highlighted on said display based upon said at least one input device.
4. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in claim 3 wherein said at least one input device comprises a scroll wheel.
5. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in any preceding claim
comprising a cellular transceiver carried by said portable, handheld housing for communicating over a cellular communications network.
6. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in any preceding claim comprising a wireless transceiver carried by said portable, handheld housing; and wherein said controller is operable to cooperate with said wireless transceiver to communicate emails over a wireless network.
7. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in claim 6 wherein said wireless transceiver comprises a wireless local area network (LAN) transceiver for communicating emails over a wireless LAN.
8. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in any preceding claim wherein said keypad comprises an alternate function key, and wherein said predetermined multi-symbol key is actuable to enter the comma/apostrophe symbol by first pressing the alternate function key.
9. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the symbols comprise letters; and wherein said multi-symbol keys are arranged to define a QWERTY layout.
10. A mobile wireless communications device as claimed in any preceding claim wherein a set of said multi-symbol keys have numeric indicia thereon, and wherein the set of multi-symbol keys are arranged to define a telephone keypad layout.


Documents:


Patent Number 244625
Indian Patent Application Number 957/DEL/2005
PG Journal Number 51/2010
Publication Date 17-Dec-2010
Grant Date 13-Dec-2010
Date of Filing 15-Apr-2005
Name of Patentee RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED
Applicant Address 295 PHILIP STREET WATERLOO, ONTARIO N2L 3W8, CANANDA.
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 SCOTT SHERRYL LEE LARRAINE 1-185 BEVERLEY STREET, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA.
PCT International Classification Number G06F 15/00
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 04255723.1 2004-09-21 EPO