Browse Prior Art Database

Calendar system with on demand features

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019918D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 16K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Calendars may show dates and times and allow users to send and receive invitations for meetings. With sophisticated calendars, such as Lotus Notes, users can also check availability of colleagues during certain segments of time. The main advantages of below described calendar system is to allow users to conveniently specify time zones and reflect the user's location in terms of time zones.

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Calendar system with on demand features

1 Introduction and Problem

State-of-the-art mail systems running on personal computers or other mobile devices often include calendars. Calendars may show dates and times and allow users to send and receive invitations for meetings. With sophisticated calendars, such as Lotus Notes, users can also check availability of colleagues during certain segments of time. Users may also specify time slots in which they are available and/or in the office. For example, a user may be generally in the office between 8am and 6pm and specify this in the calendar system. Other users may query the calendar, look for "free time", and see that the user is generally available during office hours between 8 am and 6 pm. A typical "free time" user interface is shown below.

Figure 1: Free time menu in Lotus Notes

Unfortunately, this free-time indication (above) does not automatically change when a user is travelling. Other users at the home location will not easily know that the "free time" is changing due to a change in the user's time zone. This leads to major hassles and problems. We propose a method and system in which timing information, such as "free time" information, automatically changes once a user specifies his or her travel plans.

2 Proposed solution In one embodiment, a user specifies the time zones he or she will be in on various days of a business trip. The user may specify this by entering text in the calendar or by using a mouse to select locations from a map. This selection automatically

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determines the appropriate time zone for a particular date on a user's itinerary. The calendar system then changes times, such as the "free time," so that colleagues may get a more accurate indication of a user's true "free time" when the user is travelling through different time zones. In another embodiment, the user has a GPS device that tells the system where the user is, updates the time zone, and then reflects the user's free time on his calendar.

    Thus, the user may notify the calendar system before taking the trip of the various planned time zones, or these time zones may be determined automatically. In the embodiment in which the user notifies the system of plans in advance, the calendar can properly show a user's "free time" in advance of the trip. In a manual embodiment, the user can enter such information as the time he is leaving and ente...