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Sender controlled alert notification for receivers of messages to mobile devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201324D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a mechanism by which the sender of an urgent message can override the settings of the receiver's device to maximize the likelihood that the message will be detected.

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Sender controlled alert notification for receivers of messages to mobile devices

Mobile and digital communications devices such as smart phones, tablets, net books, laptops, and fixed workstations usually support a variety of mechanisms for sending messages between individuals as well as broadcasting messages to a group of individuals. Formats may include instant messages, texts, "tweets", e-mail, images, video, and voice communications. The receiving device for messages of these kinds of communications invariably provides some form of alert signals such as audible tones, icon status changes, pop-up messages, vibration signals, etc. The salience of these notifications is controlled by customization options under the control of the receiving user. For example, the user of a cell phone can opt to make the alert signal for text messages silent, trigger a particular tone or tune (possibly assigned to different senders), vibratory, or audible at different loudness volume levels. Chat and email software typically provides audible and visual notifications for incoming messages.

Users of these systems are provided with the ability to change the type and salience of notifications to suit various contexts. For example, cell phone users can set incoming message notifications to silent or vibrate-only when in a theater.

One problem with this system is that the message sender has no way to reflect the urgency of a message. The receiver exclusively controls the salience of alert messages. Thus an emergency message (e.g., "Tornado is approaching") is missed by users in a theater who have their devices set to silent mode.

This invention targets the problem of making emergency alerts more salient and distinguishable from routine calls. It is distinguished from and has the following advantages over the existing solutions:
1. Informing wireless device users of incoming calls or pages in environments inhospitable for notification. [1] Describes a system targeted at making alerts more salient by providing visual alerts in noisy environments and in quiet zones. It does not distinguish between routine and emergency calls to receiver.

2. Informing wireless device users of incoming calls or pages in environments inhospitable for notification alerts the notification system after a predetermined number of rings. [2] Is a system that promotes to a different type of alert after a predetermined number of rings. Again, this does not distinguish between emergency and routine calls.

3. Cellular alert device: a device separate from the cellular device but with the same address is used to notify of an incoming call. [3, 4] This is a secondary device - distinct from a mobile device that provides an alert signal. The disclosed invention is integrated into a mobile device and distinguishes between routine and emergency calls or messages.

4. Portable cellular alert system - a specialized personal alert device (not a general purpose communication device) that is trigge...