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Method for Improving Personability of Instant Messaging with Multiple User Images

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020083D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Instant messaging is a critical tool used to conduct business today. Additionally, countless people use instant messaging to engage in personal conversations. In both cases, methods are needed to improve the personability of such communications. The invention described in this article discusses one such method.

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  Method for Improving Personability of Instant Messaging with Multiple User Images

Instant Messaging (IM) has quickly become a quintessential tool for conducting business. However, instant messaging is often impersonal. Instant messaging is a rough substitute for the experience of meeting someone in person or even talking over a telephone. Such impersonal communication can impose barriers to effective and productive work.

The presence of video conferencing has increased. Additionally, mobile phone technology has brought "vision-enabled" devices. The bandwidth, however, required to transmit streaming video is far greater than the light-weight nature of instant messaging.

One very simple technique that has vastly improved the personability of instant messaging is the use of "smileys". Combinations of standard keyboard symbols such as :-) ;-) :-( :-| etc. are ubiquitously used to display emotions in previously dry messages. Some instant messaging clients have improved these "emoticons" by replacing them in-line with tiny, cartooned images of smiley faces etc. This provides a lightweight improvement over the somewhat primitive and rotated contextual strings of symbols.

The invention herein described extends this idea one step further. Smileys added one degree of personability and cartooned images added another. The basic idea behind this invention is for an instant messaging user to generate digital images of their own faces expressing various emotions (smiling, winking, frowning, etc). These images would be stored and indexed by the instant messaging client. When the user types a "smiley" key sequence, t...