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Scheduled E-mail Delivery from a Handheld Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131182D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Quite often there is a situation in which one wants to send someone an e-mail, but there is a reason why he doesn’t want to send it right away. At the same time, it's important not to forget to send it. Sometimes he will put an appointment in his calendar such as "send email to so-and-so about such and such," and when he gets the reminder, he composes and sends the email. However, this involves extra steps, and by the time the e-mail is composed and sent, some important thoughts may have escaped. It is also possible to save a draft copy of an email on a mobile device, but this is an impractical way to send the message at a later time, because it can easily be forgotten and may require a secondary method of reminding the sender to proceed with sending the message. The following are some practical cases where I might want to send an email at a later time: (1) Safety. Hard-core handheld users tend to communicate often with other hard-core handheld users, and it's a fact that some such users are more careful than others about reading email in unsafe situations such as while driving. If it were possible to schedule an email to be sent at a later time, a user could avoid putting the recipient in the position of having the option to choose to read your incoming email. If you know that the recipient is likely driving to or from work, you can schedule the email to to be sent later. (2) Etiquette. You might have important information you want to send by email to another mobile email user but it's outside of business hours. If you want to get the task of sending the email out of the way but do not want to bother the recipient outside of business hours (use of mobile devices at home is a politeness issue in some families), you can schedule the email to be sent first thing in the morning, later in the evening, etc. The problem is that you don't want to lose your thoughts and you don't want to have to find a secondary way of reminding yourself to send the email at a later time. (3) Out-of-Office Auto-Reply Often an email will be sent to a recipient and the sender will receive an automated out-of-office response email. You may be afraid that your email will be lost in what could be a large 'pile' of email upon the person's return. If you were able to schedule your email to be sent on the expected date of the recipient’s return to the office, you may increase the chances that the recipient will see your email near the top of the 'pile.' In all of the above examples, the problem is that the sender needs to communicate something to the recipient by email, but for some reason it is not deemed practical or desirable to send the email immediately. In addition, the communication is important enough that the sender does not want the email to be missed or forgotten. The invention is a system and method which allows a mobile email user to schedule an email message to be sent later, so that important communications will not be lost or forgotten, while at the same time avoiding some practical disadvantages of sending the email immediately. Whereas mobile email user applications currently provide a Send command (e.g., a "Send" menu item, a hardware button, etc.) to dispatch an email message via the wireless network to the recipient, a new command may be provided which will be referred to as "Send Later." The Send Later command may also be invoked by a menu item, hardware button, etc. Send Later would allow the mobile email user to specify a future date and time at which the email should be sent to the recipient. The user would be able to compose the entire content of the email message, then invoke the Send Later command, and be guaranteed that the email would be sent to the recipient at the predetermined date and time. In the case where the one mobile user expects the recipient (another mobile user) to be in a situation where reading an incoming email would be unsafe or impolite, for example, it would be possible to schedule the email to be sent at a later time, avoiding problems of safety or etiquette. (Of course, it's possible for the recipient mobile email user to turn off incoming email notifications and/or ignore notifications, but anecdotal evidence in the press indicates that handheld addicts are not capable of ignoring their handhelds!) In the case where an out-off-office reply is received, or if the sender knows in advance that the recipient is out of the office for an extended period of time, invoking a Send Later command allows the sender to increase the chance that the recipient will read the email. Another application would be regarding birthdays, anniversaries, etc. A mobile email user may remember an upcoming birthday or anniversary of a family member or associate. In order not to miss sending a note to the associate, the sender can schedule the email to be sent on the date of the anniversary, birthday, etc.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

SCHEDULED EMAIL DELIVERY

Scheduled E-mail Delivery from a Handheld Device

Disclosed Anonymously

Quite often there is a situation in which one wants to send someone an e-mail, but there is a reason why he doesn’t want to send it right away.  At the same time, it's important not to forget to send it.  Sometimes he will put an appointment in his calendar such as "send email to so-and-so about such and such," and when he gets the reminder, he composes and sends the email.  However, this involves extra steps, and by the time the e-mail is composed and sent, some important thoughts may have escaped.

It is also possible to save a draft copy of an email on a mobile device, but this is an impractical way to send the message at a later time, because it can easily be forgotten and may require a secondary method of reminding the sender to proceed with sending the message.

The following are some practical cases where I might want to send an email at a later time:

(1) Safety.

Hard-core handheld users tend to communicate often with other hard-core handheld users, and it's a fact that some such users are more careful than others about reading email in unsafe situations such as while driving.  If it were possible to schedule an email to be sent at a later time, a user could avoid putting the recipient in the position of having the option to choose to read your incoming email.  If you know that the recipient is likely driving to or from work, you can schedule the email to to be sent later.

(2) Etiquette.

You might have important information you want to send by email to another mobile email user but it's outside of business hours.  If you want to get the task of sending the email out of the way but do not want to bother the recipient outside of business hours (use of mobile devices at home is a politeness issue in some families), you can schedule the email to be sent first thing in the morning, later in the evening, etc. The problem is that you don't want to lose your thoughts and you don't want to have to find a secondary way of reminding yourself to send the email at a later time.

(3) Out-of-Office Auto-Reply

Often an email will be sent to a recipient and the sender will receive an automated out-of-office response email.  You may be afraid that your email will be lost in what could be a large 'pile' of email upon the person's return.  If you were able to schedule your email to be sent on the expected date of the recipient’s return to the office, you may increase the chances that the recipient will see your email near the top of the 'pile.'

In all of the above examples, the problem...