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System and Method of Publishing Location Information to/from Instant Messenger Clients

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131190D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Currently IM clients show information about your contact, such as their current status {Online, Busy, Do Not Disturb, Extended Away}, which gives users more information about the person they are chatting with. They also give information such as if other users in the chat are currently typing a response. How can we give users still more information about their contacts? One way is to provide information about the location of contacts. Some phones already have the ability to report their location, and other phones will soon have this ability. Some phones may even contain a GPS tracking system, which could report their location. This idea allows an IM client to publish its location to other users. The position can be displayed to others in several ways: 1) Exact coordinates (GPS coordinates) 2) Mapped to a street 3) Mapped to a city/country This could be used to keep track of your children's location, friends or co-workers. It could be used to help find a lost person, or determine if any friends are in your neighbourhood so you can meet them for dinner. The device (A) sends out it's location to the server, and the server posts the location to other devices which have device A as a contact. Each device has the choice of whether or not it's location is posted and how often it's location is posted. If a device does not support location reporting then the server should be notified of that as well. Additionally you could choose which contact you show location tracking for. A device should also be able to go into quiet mode if it does not wish to post its location for a period of time (e.g., you don't want your boss to know you are in town on your day off). You might also have to "approve" contacts which want to listen to your location. The location information is published by the device or the server (some servers may need to do extra calculations to determine where the device is located) and is shared with other contacts in the same way the other properties (such as active/away ) are shared. The UI might look something like this: Contacts ------------------ Lisa Simpson (Springfield) Clark Kent (Metropolis) George W.Bush (Washington – 1600 Penn Av) Dick Cheney (unknown) The location of one’s contacts could be listed beside the contact. Dick Cheney has hidden his location from this contact or his device does not support location reporting. Lisa's device can only determine to the nearest city where it is located. George's device has GPS so it can report in more detail where he is located. Another idea is for the IM client to alert you when one of your contacts is close by. For example this contact might be notified that Mike just entered the same city as him so he could send him a message so they can meet up for a drink.

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LOCATION-BASED INFORMATION FOR IM CLIENTS

System and Method of Publishing Location Information to/from Instant Messenger Clients

Disclosed Anonymously

Currently IM clients show information about your contact, such as their current status {Online, Busy, Do Not Disturb, Extended Away}, which gives users more information about the person they are chatting with. They also give information such as if other users in the chat are currently typing a response.

How can we give users still more information about their contacts?

One way is to provide information about the location of contacts. Some phones already have the ability to report their location, and other phones will soon have this ability. Some phones may even contain a GPS tracking system, which could report their location.

This idea allows an IM client to publish its location to other users.  The position can be displayed to others in several ways:

1) Exact coordinates (GPS coordinates)

2) Mapped to a street

3) Mapped to a city/country

This could be used to keep track of your children's location, friends or co-workers. It could be used to help find a lost person, or determine if any friends are in your neighbourhood so you can meet them for dinner.

The device (A) sends out it's location to the server, and the server posts the location to other devices which have device A as a contact.  Each device has the choice of whether or not it's location is posted and how often it's location is posted. If a device does not support location reporting then the server should be notifi...