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Automatic Timezone Detection for a Wireless Handheld Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130461D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-31
Document File: 1 page(s) / 8K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A wireless handheld device needs to know the time in UTC, as well as the time zone at its current location. This is so that meetings in different timezones can be scheduled properly. This is also a Java requirement. Setting the timezone is already an improvement over setting the device time after the user lands from an airplane, as the user just has to know the local timezone and set that; the device is already synced to the network time. It would be an improvement if the timezone was automatically set.

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Automatic Time zone Detection

Automatic Time zone Detection for a Wireless Handheld Device

Disclosed Anonymously

A wireless handheld device requires needs to know the time in UTC, as well as the time zone at its current location. This is so that meetings in different time zones can be scheduled properly. This is also, as well as a Java requirement. It Setting the time zone is already an improvement over setting the device time after the user lands from an airplane, as the user just has to know the local time zone and set that; the device is already synced to the network time. It would be an improvement if the time zone was automatically set.

However, the time zone information available from most cell networks does not include daylight savings information, simply the current offset from UTC; this is insufficient.

Two approaches could be taken.

(1) Phones are starting to use GPS. The handheld could use this information along with a map to determine which time zone it is in. To save space on the device, a partial map could be downloaded based on the approximate location. To help ease privacy concerns, coordinates could be rounded to 1000km radius.

(2) The wireless handheld could ask for a time zone based on the nearest cell tower. A server would have a map of all cell towers, and this could be determined by either getting a list or empirically, by having a GPS - enabled device report location and strength of new towers; the location would be centered in the coverage area. A dev...