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CONFIGURABLE KEYS FOR A HANDS-FREE TELEPHONE SYSTEM IN A VEHICLE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099122D
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-14
Document File: 4 page(s) / 187K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A hands-free telephone system in a vehicle includes configurable input devices (e.g., pushbuttons) or "hot keys," that may be programmed to be associated with a specific phone number (e.g., frequently dialed phone numbers, emergency phone numbers, phone numbers for particular friends, family, businesses etc.). The configurable buttons enable a user to dial the specific number by pressing the associated button (or "hot key").

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CONFIGURABLE KEYS FOR A HANDS-FREE TELEPHONE SYSTEM IN A VEHICLE

Abstract

         A hands-free telephone system in a vehicle includes configurable input devices (e.g., pushbuttons) or "hot keys," that may be programmed to be associated with a specific phone number (e.g., frequently dialed phone numbers, emergency phone numbers, phone numbers for particular friends, family, businesses etc.). The configurable buttons enable a user to dial the specific number by pressing the associated button (or "hot key").

Description of Innovation

         A vehicle may be equipped with a hands-free telephone system that is mounted integrally in the vehicle. Figure 1 is a block diagram of a hands-free telephone system 100 for a vehicle. A control module 102 is mounted in the vehicle and coupled to a microphone 108 and a vehicle audio system 104 (e.g., a radio, a power amplifier, speakers, etc.) Control module 102 may be mounted inside, for example, an overhead console, a headliner, a dashboard, or other appropriate location in the vehicle. In one embodiment, control module 102 may be incorporated into the vehicle audio system 104. Control module 102 is also coupled to speaker(s) 126 mounted in the vehicle. Speakers 126 may be stand-alone speakers or included in the vehicle audio system 104. Microphone 108 may be stand-alone (e.g., mounted in an overhead console, a headliner, a dashboard, a visor, a rearview mirror, or other appropriate location in the vehicle), included in the control module 102 or included in the vehicle audio system 104.

         Hands-free telephone system 100 is configured to provide telephone services between a vehicle occupant and the occupant's own mobile telephone 114, for example, a cellular phone, which is located in the vicinity of the vehicle (e.g., in a cradle, in the occupant's pocket or briefcase, etc.). Mobile phone 114 and control module 102 may communicate using a wireless communications protocol (e.g., Bluetooth®, IEEE 802.11, etc.) or via a wired connection (e.g., a cradle). In Figure 1, for a wireless communications link, an antenna 112 in conjunction with a transceiver 140 in control module 102 enables two-way communication with the mobile phone 114. Control module 102 is configured to receive audio signals via the microphone 108 and to transmit the audio signals to the mobile phone 114. Control module 102 is also configured to receive audio signals from the mobile phone 114 and to provide audio signals to the vehicle via speakers 126. Control module 102 may be configured to provide voice prompts to a vehicle occupant via speakers 126 regarding operation of the hands-free telephone system 100.

         Control module 102 is also coupled to a user interface 110 that may be used to receive input commands from a vehicle occupant. User interface 110 may include, for example, pushbuttons 118, 120, 122, switches, a keypad, a touch screen display, etc. Alternatively, input commands may be a set of audio signals from a vehicle occupant. For example, a...