Browse Prior Art Database

Autonomic switching of data entry modes for devices with limited input

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033438D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-10
Document File: 1 page(s) / 85K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

For devices with limited input mechanisms, such as mobile phones, entering data can be onerous and time-consuming. This article presents an enhancement to the T9 predictive text input technology which can increase the speed and efficiency of data input. Through the use of input masks, the mobile device can be made to switch automatically between alpha and numeric entry modes, eliminating the need for the user to make this switch manually.

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Autonomic switching of data entry modes for devices with limited input

Disclosed is a mechanism to enable the automatic switching of data entry modes on a small mobile device. This could typically be applied to a mobile phone using the T9 text input technology. At present a user has to manually switch between alpha and numeric data modes, but with the application of input masks, this process can be automated. This allows text to be entered in a more efficient and rapid manner.

    The underlying problem is that small mobile devices rarely have full qwerty keyboards. This leads to a number of challenges about how a user can effectively enter data with a restricted input set. One common solution to this is T9, a technology that enables full text input from a numeric keypad. However, T9 does not automatically switch between alpha and numeric entry modes. This means the user has to change modes explicitly, but it is a simple task to automate this switching.

    Switching entry modes automatically can be achieved by the application of masks that represent known numeric data formats. When one of these masks is triggered, the entry mode on the device will be forced to numeric by the apparatus, and when the terminator of the mask is encountered, the entry mode will be switched back to alphabetic.

    On a device with a restricted input set, the user's key presses are stored in the input buffer. The input buffer is read by the T9 engine which works out the possibilities for the text...