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Publication Date: 2002-Nov-02

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


An anonymous Short Messaging Service (SMS) system and method are described. An SMS message containing a sender alias is received from a sender mobile phone user. A decision is made whether the SMS message is intended for posting and/or display on a display set. If the SMS message is intended for posting, the SMS message and the sender alias are posted for viewing by other users. Otherwise, a recipient alias is retrieved from the SMS message and a mobile phone number associated with the recipient alias is further retrieved from a user database. Finally, the SMS message and the sender alias are transmitted to the recipient user via the retrieved mobile phone number.

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Anonymous Short Messaging Service (SMS) System And Method

                    Traditionally, standard television technology lets the viewers select the programs broadcast by the networks and controlled by their broadcast team.  Besides the physical acts of turning on the television set and occasionally changing the channels, consumers cannot further customize their viewing experience.

                    In contrast, interactive television technology provides the delivery of interactive services and features to consumers through their television sets.  A broad number of services can currently be provided through interactive television, such as, for example, interactive electronic programming guides, chat and email services via the Internet, short messaging services (SMS), interactive “virtual” channels such as on-demand weather channels, and interactivity integrated into existing programming.

                    While an exemplary embodiment is described below within the context of an interactive television environment, and with respect to the communication of SMS messages, it will readily be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the present technology may find applications in other environments (e.g., on the Internet) and using other messaging systems (e.g., chat, email, Instant Messaging (IM) message, etc.).

One embodiment of the technology may be deployed in an interactive television environment such as the one offered by OpenTV, Inc. of Mountain View, California.  Figure 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary interactive television environment.  As shown in Figure 1, the interactive television environment includes a television set and a set-top box device to interact with a viewer and to display applications for the viewer.  Although only a single TV set and a single set-top box are shown, it will readily be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the present technology may include multiple TV sets and/or multiple connected set-top box devices.

A middleware solutions module is coupled to the set-top box device and includes a comprehensive, DVB-compliant, operating middleware for interactive television digital set-top box devices.  For manufacturers of set-top box devices, the middleware module enables interactivity, improves time-to-market by shortening the development cycle for interactive television set-top box software, and enables new features.  The middleware module further provides network operators, such as, for example, broadcasters, the freedom to choose the most efficient and cost effective hardware platforms from a wide variety of digital set-top box devices and the ability to create multiple applications seamlessly.

In one embodiment, the middleware module consists of two feature sets in the form of libraries (not shown): core and extensions.  The core is a middleware layer that contains the hardware abstraction layer, TV libraries, and virtual machines, and provides all the features needed to enable a full...