Browse Prior Art Database

System and Method to Display Event Notifications at User Focal Point

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000188360D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Oct-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The core idea disclosed is the presentation of event notification/information (i.e. instant message, email, etc.) to a user in a non-intrusive, convenient manner at an active focal point. This can be done by actively estimating the best placement of the notification in real-time or configured based on predetermined conditions like type of activity or level of activity. This means that the focal point could be either within the application in which a user is working or at the mouse pointer or cursor. By providing the information to the user at the location of the main focus, the user has the opportunity to view the event message. In another embodiment, the user may choose to respond to the event without switching to the alternate applications (the various sources of the event notification), thus allowing the user to maximize time and focus on the task at hand.

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System and Method to Display Event Notifications at User Focal Point

It is common that a user may be working within a specific application when an event notification will be sent from various other applications. Below is a screen capture of some typical notifications that a user might receive.
1. Sametime window blinking to indicate the reception of an incoming instant message
2. A Lotus Notes visual indicator that new email has arrived

The act of task switching and monitoring of event notifications is distracting. It causes unnecessary visual overhead and pulls away from the user's current activity and focus. Although there are methods to display notifications in an area outside the user's current application (such as the task bar and system tray), this inevitably may be a futile effort when multiple applications are flashing and requiring attention.

The core idea disclosed is the presentation of event notification/information (i.e. instant message, email, etc.) to a user in a non-intrusive, convenient manner at an active focal point. This can be done by actively estimating the best placement of the notification in real-time or configured based on predetermined conditions like type of activity or level of activity. This means that the focal point could be either within the application in which a user is working or at the mouse pointer or cursor. By providing the information to the user at the location of the main focus, the user has the opportunity to view the event message. In another embodiment, the user may choose to respond to the event without switching to the alternate applications (the various sources of the event notification), thus allowing the user to maximize time and focus on the task at hand.

Preferred Embodiment - Method
1. User is typing in application A, and an incoming event notification is being sent from application B.
2. The event notification is intercepted from appearing in the task bar, system tray, etc. and is collected by an Event Collection Manager.
2. The Application Focus Manager receives the event and determines the user's main focus area (for example, by recognizing that the mouse is moving).
3. The event message is displayed underneath the current location of the mouse cursor for a specified amount of time, then disappears.

Preferred Embodiment - System


The system of the invention may be comprised of the following components:
1. Interaction with the Operating System (OS) Event Publisher
2. Event Collection Manager
3. Application Focus Manager
4. OS Display Service

Further details of the system of the invention are as follows:

OS Event Publisher


Once a new event occurs in an application other than the one the user is focusing on, the OS Event Publisher will handle the message and redirect the incoming message to the active application to determine how to render it.

Event Collection Manage...