Invented by Michael S. W. Tovino, Olaf D. K. Brandt, Jeffrey W. Ridley, Glen K. Okita, Shoretel Inc, Mitel Networks Inc
The Shoretel Inc, Mitel Networks Inc invention works as followsOne or more options that are displayed normally in response to a user’s input are enhanced with real-time information. The user can use the real-time information displayed for some of the options to decide whether to complete an action they were in the middle of. If, for example, a user provides partial data that indicates an extension number that should be dialed in order to make a call and the telephone call manager receives this input, it displays call activity that shows that the intended callee of the user has already answered the phone. The user can then decide to wait until that callee answers the phone (as indicated through a change to the callee’s activity).
Background for Display of real-time information for selected options
As shown in FIG. Microsoft Corporation’s Internet Explorer version 4.0, which is a software application, contains an AutoComplete function that suggests an Internet address as a user types it into the address bar. As an example, when the user enters just two characters “go?” (FIG. The AutoComplete feature will suggest the nearest matching files or websites that contain the string of two characters. AutoComplete makes suggestions while typing by replacing the address or command with the closest match. The closest match can be determined by looking at a History folder or the contents of an user-specified directory, as well as a list of the most recent addresses and commands that are stored in registry. The user can accept the match shown in the address bar by pressing ENTER. Clicking the down arrow on the keyboard will display a list with suggestions. The user can then select one from the list.
In versions 5.0 or 6.0 of INTERNET EXPLORER the AutoComplete feature will display suggestions in a table as soon as the pattern recognized is familiar (see the list shown in FIG. 1A). The user can click on a suggestion if it matches the text they typed. Alternatively, you can press the DOWN ARROW to select a suggested entry, then press ENTER. If none of these suggestions are suitable, the user can continue typing in the address bar. When an extra character is typed into the address bar (see FIG. The AutoComplete feature dynamically updates the list of suggestions when an additional character?s? The AutoComplete feature updates the list dynamically with the closest matches containing the three character string “gos?”.
The AutoComplete feature is also implemented in the Open box for the Open command on File menu in Internet Explorer. The AutoComplete feature can also be found in the Open box of the Open command in the File menu. The AutoComplete option is also available on the Start Menu in Windows Explorer’s Open box, for the Run command. This is part of Microsoft Corporation’s Windows NT operating systems.
Microsoft OUTLOOK’s software program contains a feature similar to that shown in FIG. 1C. When only a part of a person’s name is known, OUTLOOK can help a user find an E-mail. If the user only knows the last name of a person (or the first initial), they can enter the full name. The components are separated by spaces. OUTLOOK matches the user’s information against the first letters of the Last and First name in the Address Book. Outlook will match the information provided in any order. So, if you type?A Stan? Outlook matches the information in any order, so?A Sta A? or?Stan A?both find Stanier, Alan M. One of the features that is shown in FIG. Microsoft Corporation’s OUTLOOK PRESS software has a similar feature, which is illustrated in FIG.
For more information about Microsoft Corporation’s technologies, please see U.S. Pat. Nos. Nos. U.S. Pat. No. No.
Instant Messaging (?IM?) Users use software programs to communicate, including YAHOO’s Instant Messaging (?IM?) FIG. 1E. IM programs notify each user about the status of other users with whom they are likely to communicate before establishing a communication. As illustrated in FIG. The information typically displayed is whether the person is on the user’s “buddy list” List 103 is shown in FIG. 1E is typing on the keypad and/or if that person is already busy with an IM communication.
Icons 105 show a user who is interested in initiating communication the ‘presence’ of people on their buddy list. The buddy list is populated with people who are selected as having interest for the user. Icons 105 are dynamically changed (e.g. If a person comes back to their desk, and begins typing again, their icon changes from “away” to “present”. If a person returns to their desk and starts typing, the icon is changed from?away? The icons 105 are used to predict whether an invitation to an IM session is accepted.
The IM ‘buddy list’ is displayed in a folder list (e.g. The IM “buddy list” is usually displayed as a folder listing (e.g. In some IM applications, user names can be grouped into one or several folders. These folders may then be grouped together under another folder. The inventors, we have personally not come across any references that suggest or disclose the use of AutoComplete with the search bar 101 in FIG. 1E.
AT&T developed an application named ‘live addressbook’.” This application is designed to allow users to make informed phone calls anywhere via their desktop or wireless PDA. The live addressbook, unlike other network-based addresses books that maintain static information about the recipient, can show dynamic information such as where they are (i.e. reach number) and whether or not they are available to take calls. This is achieved by applying the “Buddy List” to telephone. Instant Messaging apps have popularized concepts that are used in telephony.
For more information about ‘live addressbook,’ please read the article entitled “Providing presence cues to telephone users? by Allen E. Milewski and Thomas M. Smith published in the Proceedings of the 2000 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work December 2000, Philadelphia, Pa., and available at http://home.att.net/?amilewski/liveabmilewski.pdf. This article has been incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
An article titled?Presence: the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Voice? Jonathan Rosenberg’s article in Computer Telephony published on Nov. 5, 2000, is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. This article is available over the Internet at http://www.computertelephony.com/article/CTM20001023S0001. This article suggests that a modernized “attendant console” could be a service that is supported by presence. On PBX systems, attendant consoles are very common. They allow the operator (also known as the attendant) to see the status of each extension connected to PBX. These consoles have limitations. These consoles can only monitor the phones that are connected to the PBX. The console must also be attached to the system.
According to this article, an attendant console can be viewed as a form of simple presence. Imagine the possibilities of this simple application if real presence was used. Consoles can be PC applications. It can monitor individuals, not devices (so cell phones, VoIP phones, and work telephones can be included in the status) and manage anyone anywhere in the world who is willing to share their presence information. It can be operated from anywhere. More than one console can operate on the same group of people or subsets or supersets without coordination. Consider the benefits of mobility. Console attendants can work from home, and still manage the telephone system within the enterprise. They can even monitor the status of telecommuting employees.
It is also well-known in the art for a front desk agent in an organisation to receive calls outside the organization and to transfer them via a PBX, after the operator has spoken to the caller. This operator could be equipped with a computer programmed to show the status of every phone in the organization, as shown in FIG. 1F. “Note that the status is not only for the extension the operator has identified, but also the call state for all extensions within the organization.
The software described above also includes an operator interface to transfer a call. (See FIG. The operator can enter a character string, followed by the delimiter of his choice (such as space or tab) in 1G. The operator interface highlights the first extension whose first name matches the input character string when the operator enters a non-numeric value. The operator interface does not match last names or partial extensions numbers. The full extension number must be entered if the character string contains numeric characters. The status of each extension is shown, no matter how many matches there are. Extensions is the tab that lists all extensions displayed on transfer screens. This is just one tab. Additional tabs on the operator console include: call history, personal directory, system directories, and dialer. These additional tabs do not display real-time status information.
The operator console in FIG. As described above, 1G highlights only one line on a transfer screen. The current status of all items is shown continuously, regardless of the input made by the operator. The list will not change if the operator inputs anything other than the first name. The list continues to display all the items as before, without any highlight.
We, the inventors, note that on the operator console in FIG. Other partial matches in FIG. 1G are not highlighted nor displayed next to each other or adjacent to the highlighted line.
According to the invention, one of more options that are displayed normally in response input from a customer (also known as?user input?) The information about the action to be taken is augmented by additional information. It is possible that the additional information used to enhance suggestions will change over time. The call activity can change during a long phone call (which may last for several minutes), whereas the quantity of an item in stock could fluctuate over days. This additional information, which changes over time, is sometimes referred to by the term “real-time information.
The user input will be used automatically by a microprocessor that has been programmed appropriately (e.g. In a desktop or laptop computer or handheld device, the microprocessor (e.g. In a phone conforming to Internet Protocol (IP-phone) or cell phone, the microcontroller identifies certain possibilities to be displayed to a user from all the possibilities that the user may identify (for the performance of the action). The user can take into consideration the real-time information displayed for some of the options when deciding whether to proceed with the action they were in the middle of initiating at the time of providing user input.
The user’s input can be received by any data input device such as a pointer (e.g. A mouse, joystick, trackball or touchpad, or a text entry device (e.g. A keyboard of a PC, keypad of the telephone, screen of an handwriting recognition tablet or microphone of voice recognition device. In some embodiments, when a user enters a partial text by pressing one or more keys of the keyboard, characters corresponding to those keys are displayed automatically in the dialog box. Furthermore, a string of one or more characters being provided by the user is used by a microprocessor/microcontroller to select one or more suggestions as being likely to represent a completed data entry and display the selected suggestions to the user along with real time information for each displayed suggestion (if real time information is available for the displayed suggestion). Depending on the embodiment, the selection and display by the microprocessor/microcontroller may be done automatically (e.g. After each keystroke, or upon receipt of the predetermined delimiter characters (e.g. After a user input delay (e.g. “A quarter second after receiving a character.
In several embodiments, where a mouse is employed to provide input from the user, a user navigates through a directory of files (typically organized hierarchically) to select manually a folder which contains one or multiple items to be displayed. According to the invention, these manually-selected objects are displayed with real-time information (if such information is available) for each displayed object. In variants of the just-described embodiments, a user’s manual selection of a folder causes the microprocessor/microcontroller to perform a search and display results of the search (which identify items that are in addition to any items already present in the folder). In such variants, the microprocessor/microcontroller sends a query over a global network (such as the Internet) or a local network (such as a corporate-wide intranet), displays items identified in responses to the query. These variants also display real-time information to the user with each displayed item, if it is available.
In some embodiments, real-time information is only obtained after the displayed possibilities (or in other embodiments after only the displayed possibilities have been selected) so that the information collected (to display to the user), is only limited to those possibilities that are selected. Other embodiments, however, may receive real-time information about one or more options before receiving user input (e.g. If such possibilities are likely be of interest to a user, determined by previously selected possibilities), the real-time information obtained will not be displayed until the user has identified the possibilities.
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