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INTERACTIVE AND INTUITIVE SPECIFICATION SYSTEM (IISS)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021116D
Publication Date: 2003-Dec-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 240K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The management of product specifications on paper has proven to be both time consuming and error prone. Because specifications today need to change rapidly, the likelihood of using an outdated document increases. In addition, while simply placing links to specifications in electronic format on an Internet/intranet or within a share drive location reduces the chances for errors, individuals will still revert to printing these documents because specifications are often not easily managed within the confines of a computer monitor. For these reasons, there is a need to provide individuals with an interactive and intuitive specification system (IISS).

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Interactive and Intuitive Specification System (IISS)

ABSTRACT

The management of product specifications on paper has been proven to be both time consuming and error prone. Because specifications today need to change rapidly, the likelihood of using an outdated document increases. In addition, while simply placing links to specifications in electronic format on an Internet/intranet or within a share drive location reduces the chances for errors, individuals will still revert to printing these documents because specifications are often not easily managed within the confines of a computer monitor. For these reasons, there is a need to provide individuals with an interactive and intuitive specification system (IISS).

OVERVIEW

There is a need to provide multiple individuals with real time information regarding specific details of manufactured products because these products are often made with multiple components and materials. These individuals are often interested in different pieces of information, and can physically be located anywhere in the world. In the past, specification documents have been kept either on paper or as electronic files such as spreadsheets or text documents. These documents would have to be prepared, managed, and distributed. Attempts to control these documents have proven unfruitful to date.

This article describes a method by which a product specification can be viewed graphically via a GUI (graphical user interface) instead of either via paper or by distributing an electronic document via email.

The example chosen for this article is a lawn sprinkler (see Figures 1 and 2); however, this idea could be used for any type of product or process where a graphical interface would be more intuitive than a paper-based one. This interface was developed using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). The HTML allows for universal readability by anyone with Internet access and an Internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator). In addition, HTML may implement scripting languages such as VB Script or JavaScript that allow for information to be displayed based on the mouse position within a previously mapped out schematic of the product (known as image mapping). The information could also be displayed within the same window, or within a window separate from the one with which the user is interfacing.

This GUI system has many advantages over a traditional text system. It may be displayed anywhere the user has Internet/intranet access because it does not require additional software such as Excel, CAD, etc. The GUI system contains pictures that are more intuitive than a spreadsheet full of text because the user can navigate to the area of interest, and other details are suppressed until needed. The fact that a web-based specification can not be easily printed can be advantageous in a regulated environment because out of date specifications can not be printed and used for reference. It is possible, however, to have the entire spe...