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A means for displaying accurate user portraits in instant messaging Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126143D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

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This publication describes a method for automatically keeping an Instant Messaging photo profile current.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

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A means for displaying accurate user portraits in instant messaging

With the development of instant messaging has come the integration of peer to peer messaging clients with user profile information for each user of the system. For example, a persona picture of a peer can be seen in an instant messaging dialogue window. Whilst this is undoubtedly handy in terms of putting a face to a name this feature is currently not exploited to augment the online status indicator ("Active", "Away" etc) that most awareness-based collaborative systems use today. Currently a user can appear as "away" when they are "active" simply because they haven't used the keyboard or mouse for a period of time or because they have forgotten to reset their status manually. In this way, remote peers can be misled as to their true status. A constant live video stream is one solution but this is very bandwidth and machine resource intensive.

The system disclosed herein consists of the following components:

A centralised user profile with an associated user portrait.

An instant messaging client integrated with the user profiles of the instant messaging peers such that each peer's portrait can be retrieved from the profile at chat time.

An image capture device connected to the client machine e.g. a web camera. A background agent running in the collaboration software that periodically captures an image using the capture device. This may be a period or event driven snap shot e.g. every 5 minutes, mot...