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Smartphone Modem Tethering while Notebook is Inactive Disclosure Number: IPCOM000175785D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

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There is a class of notebook applications which can be usefully performed while the main processor and OS are not running to conserve power. The ability to make a network connection, especially a WWAN type connection greatly increases the scope and value of these applications. Pushmail queuing is such an example application. This article discusses a technique for using a Smartphone to provide a data connection to the PC while the machine is off or asleep.

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Smartphone Modem Tethering while Notebook is Inactive

There is a relatively large population of users who carry Smart Phones on their person nearly 24/7.  Since these users are already paying for a data plan for their phones to receive email, it is not likely that they (or their company) will be willing to pay for a data plan for both their notebook and their Smart Phone.  It is believed that given the choice these users will nearly always opt for the smart phone with a data plan and a notebook without.  This naturally limits a notebook's ability to use these Always On type of features to attract users in this substantially large group (BlackBerry (BB) & Windows Mobile smart phone).

Wireless carriers are starting to support tethering their phones to notebooks to allow the notebook to connect to the internet/intranet via the phone's WWAN connectivity.  Although there is generally a nominal additional fee for this it is already a fraction of the cost of duplicating a second data plan on the notebook.  Keeping the notebook fully powered to a state that would allow it to tether with USB or Bluetooth is prohibited by the user's requirement for battery life (battery would drain too fast).  This invention provides a way to utilize the tethering to a phone during the notebook's sleep and or hibernation states (S3 &S4) allowing useful networked applications to run on notebooks with no native WWAN capability without draining the battery.

In the preferred implementation the users notebook will be closed and potentially in a case and the smartphone providing the tethered modem will be located on the user's person e.g., attached to their belt.  A small low powered sub system in the notebook will be able to detect network connectivity thought the smartphone.   This can be done once every N units of time to save power.  When a connection is detected the notebook will be able to perform useful applications that may or may not be related to the user's experience in their main OS.

A low powered secondary processor, secondary operat...