Browse Prior Art Database

Temporary Absence Icon for Virtual Meeting Places

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113286D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Becker, CH: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A Virtual Meeting Place is a "room" in which two or more networked computer users can "meet" and discuss matters of interest via their terminals. For instance, several people may meet to view a CAD model and debate the merits of a proposed design, make changes, etc. All users see the same image on their screen and a mediation scheme controls use of the pointer device. An "attendee list" displays the names and perhaps pictures of the persons participating. Programs and data may be imported into the "room" for use by any or all of the participants. These meetings occur in realtime and do not require the participants to leave their offices. Indeed, the attendees at one of these "meetings" might be located in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Temporary Absence Icon for Virtual Meeting Places

      A Virtual Meeting Place is a "room" in which two or more
networked computer users can "meet" and discuss matters of interest
via their terminals.  For instance, several people may meet to view a
CAD model and debate the merits of a proposed design, make changes,
etc.  All users see the same image on their screen and a mediation
scheme controls use of the pointer device.  An "attendee list"
displays the names and perhaps pictures of the persons participating.
Programs and data may be imported into the "room" for use by any or
all of the participants.  These meetings occur in realtime and do not
require the participants to leave their offices.  Indeed, the
attendees at one of these "meetings" might be located in New York,
Los Angeles, and Chicago.

      The Virtual Meeting Place paradigm is becoming more and more
commonplace and promises to be a great productivity enhancer.

      While the Virtual Meeting Place is a powerful application of
the computer to human business needs, human biological needs must
also be accounted for.

      This disclosure proposes a "restroom" icon and function for use
in a Virtual Meeting Place.  While this icon could take any number of
shapes and forms, use of the standard international icon for
"restroom" would likely be the most intuitive.

      If, during the course of a virtual meeting, a participant feels
the need to excuse themself temporarily, he or she merely presses the
icon, and a small indicator appears on the screen next to the
person's name on the attendee list to indicate that the person is
currently "on break" and not participating.

      When the person returns to the discussion, pressing the icon
again will remove the indicator, thus informing the others that the
person is back.

      This is a simple and practical idea, but to the best of our
knowledge, it is currently absent from any exi...