Original Publication Date: 2001-Feb-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Feb-28
Srinivas Miriyala: AUTHOR [+2]
Srinivas Miriyala, James Womack
In today's communications age it is not uncommon for a person to have multiple identities (e.g. email address, telephone number, pager pin number, etc.) and also be capable of receiving information in different forms. With the advancements in digital and wireless technologies manufactures are able to produce multifunctional devices (e.g., a device capable of receiving email as well as voice calls).
By observing these two trends it is deemed necessary to define an application that allows the multifunctional device to have a single view of the user's identity and at the same time link different functions to provide an integrated application interface.
In existing devices users must manually enter all the information about their friends and family members in the address book (telephone number, e-mail address, etc.). However, certain advanced devices are capable of downloading address book entries from other desktop applications.
There is no mechanism to map an e-mail address to a telephone number or vice versa
There is a lack of cross-functional linkage. For example, most devices allow the user to send a reply to an email or place a call to a previously received number but do not allow the user to place a call from an email message.
Devices are capable of performing multiple functions (voice, data, fax, etc.)
Address book is becoming a de facto application in all wireless devices
There is more than one way to reach a person (by e-mail or telephone number or voice mail).
Standards effort is underway to define the mechanism (RFC2916) to use DNS queries to find the services supported by a user by using his/her telephone number as a key.
Definitions and Acronyms
Definitions for some of the terms used in this article.
DNS: An Internet service that allows the client to convert one user identity to other e.g. domain name to IP address
E.164: The ITU-T standard that specifies the telephone number type address format.
Relationship: Linkage between various identities of the entry in the address book (Link between telephone number, voice mail and email address of Srini in the address book of Jim). In this relationship every field in the address book can be used as a key similar to LDAP lookup service.
This article describes an application that can build relationships among the services supported by each entry in the address book. Apart from building the relationship this article defines means by which applications inside the device (e-mail, dialer, etc.) can make use of these relationships to display links to their peer applications. For example, a phone that is not capable of sending data will not provide links to e-mail programs even though the address book allows the user to store their friends' e-mail addresses.
The device can make use of existing automatic discovery mechanism (it can use a DNS to query the services using E.164 number as a key) or its internal database in which ...