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Type ahead based on optical view finder Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199895D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is an invention for an enhanced smart phone dialing system that combines the camera and the type-ahead functions to offer telephone number options to the user based on images captured in the camera’s view. The additional novelty lies in the transient nature of the list, which could be configured as holding the last 5 miles, or the last 20 minutes. This limits the numbers on the list allowing it to be more useable. Another feature is the ability to search the list using associated text or parts of the numbers that were just viewed.

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Type ahead based on optical view finder

Many times, a smart phone user dials a phone number based on one they see in print (e.g., pamphlet, business card, or billboard). The user may inadvertently dial the wrong number if they misread a phone number or accidentally press two buttons at once while dialing. A solution is needed to assist users to more accurately dial readable phone numbers into their smart phones.

One existing solution provides the ability to extract digits from a picture (1); however, it does not provide the ability to automatically dial the number from the picture.

A recently released iPhone* application allows the user make calls without dialing any numbers. (2) The application uses the iPhone's camera to scan digits from the images and convert them into numbers. The disclosed solution expands on this by taking all of the numbers in the view finder.

Another technology provides the ability to convert spoken numbers into dialed numbers.
(3) This patent does not allow for the conversion of a picture of a billboard to a dialed number.

The proposed invention utilizes the camera function in smart phones to assist users in dialing telephone numbers by combining the camera function with the type-ahead function. Current relevant solutions require a user to pinpoint a telephone number's position within an image; whereas, the described invention enhances the type-ahead function of the smart phone in respect to entire images captured in the camera's view. The proposed invention supplements the vocabulary used for the type-ahead function prevalent in many phones with phone number data found in the camera's viewfinder on an ongoing basis.

When a user enables the invented option, the phone automatically inspects what is presented in the camera view as a person begins to dial a number. Since these cameras are typically positioned in the back of smart phones, the user can simply position their phone in front of the item they want to use for a...