Browse Prior Art Database

Instant Messenger (IM) Communication Enablers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033845D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Instant messaging (IM) is a great communication tool. It emulates verbal communication between one or more persons. However unlike verbal communication there is no mechanism for taking turns during a conversation, interrupting a person while they are chatting, or resuming a conversation following an interruption. In verbal communication to indicate the desire to speak you can use nonverbal signals such as eye contact, leaning forward, or raising your hand. In addition, an interruption in the conversation can be achieved by speaking, “Sorry to interrupt, but”. Keeping your turn in a conversation can be achieved by saying ”If you could wait for a second, I’m just about to finish my point”. Finally, to continue after an interruption you might say, “As I was saying”.

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Instant Messenger (IM) Communication Enablers

Instant messaging (IM) is a great communication tool. It emulates verbal communication between one or more persons. However unlike verbal communication there is no mechanism for taking turns during a conversation, interrupting a person while they are chatting, or resuming a conversation following an interruption. In verbal communication to indicate the desire to speak you can use nonverbal signals such as eye contact, leaning forward, or raising your hand. In addition, an interruption in the conversation can be achieved by speaking, "Sorry to interrupt, but ". Keeping your turn in a conversation can be achieved by saying "If you could wait for a second, I'm just about to finish my point ". Finally, to continue after an interruption you might say, "As I was saying ".

Because IM technology does not have similar communications enablers, with so many people tapping out text in so many different ways, technology has created an electronic Tower of Babel, where miscommunication and frustration are common currencies. For example, if IM user1 is communicating with IM user2, user1 might send several messages in succession, often not allowing user2 a chance to respond. The inability to interrupt or assume one's turn during an IM exchange can make the communication chaotic. This disclosure seeks to solve this problem.

If the sender of the IM message was given the ability to issue a voluntary wait or a forced wait against the person to whom he or she is communicating. And if likewise the recipient of the message was given the ability to see this request and accept/reject the request the overall efficiency of the exchange would be improved. The invention to achieve this is outlined as follows.

1. User1 and User2 are communicating via Instant Messenging.
2. User1 begins to send several messages in succession without allowing User2 to respond. Or User1 is sending long messages and user2 would like to interrupt.
3. Through a GUI interface in the IM client, User2 could issue a voluntary wait request to User1 or a forced wait request to User1. In both cases this would result in a visual indicator in the IM client of User1. The indicator would tell User1 to wait, for example"If you could wait for a s...