Consumer Friendly Configuration of Computing Equipment, especially pervasive computing equipment
Original Publication Date: 2001-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
For some types of equipment, a local configuration or administration procedure is needed to activate or maintain the equipment. This requires the human to put some "information" into the equipment, i.e. the time of day, a phone number, the speed of a link, an IP address, etc.. In the past, this was often done via a separate computer, i.e. a lap-top, attached to the equipment either in-band or out-of-band, or by a keypad or other input area physically located on the equipment. In cases where this method is not user-friendly (especially in the consumer space), cost effective, or there are artistic concerns (a marketing/selling look and feel requirement in the particular consumer space), a method of configuration and administration that the user feels comfortable with (i.e. the configuration tool itself and use of the tool is familiar to the user, simple to use and can be used with low error rates), is cost effective and meets the artistic requirements of the product is needed. A user friendly configuration method is especially required for the equipment that will be used in the pervasive computing space. In the class of pervasive computing equipment, nontraditional devices that are now or will become internet accessible, such as TVs and VCRs, Home Security Systems, Home Thermostats, Kitchen Appliances, Games, etc., will often require a minimum set of initial configuration information to allow them to begin to function in the network. This may include location, IP address, initial unlock passwords, global configuration address or key, etc. A solution to this problem is to Put an infrared receiver in the equipment.