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Displaying different amounts of information on a screen based on the amount of screen space visible. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000213417D
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-14
Document File: 6 page(s) / 105K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


When removing a mobile device from a protective case or cover, there is often a period of time when the screen is partially covered but the device is still able to be turned on. During this period, the device is of little use to the user if the information they wish to access is covered by the protective case. This article describes a method and process to prevent this issue by displaying pertinent information on only the visible portion of the screen.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Page 01 of 6

Displaying different amounts of information on a screen based on the amount of screen space visible.

Disclosed is a method and process for taking maximum advantage of the visible screen-space on a mobile device when only part of the screen is visible. The disclosed system identifies the amount of screen space that is visible and tailors the presentation of on-screen information to better take advantage of that portion of the screen.

The Problem

    Mobile devices such as smart-phones and tablets are often used in conjunction with cases which typically cover the screen to protect it from damage and the build up of dust. A common use case for these cases is to protect a mobile phone while it is placed in the user's pocket. Often the design of the case results in progressively more screen space becoming visible as the device is removed from the case as in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Only the area of the screen represented by the upper area within the thick frame and clear of the case, represented by the area within the thin frame, is visible.

    In many cases, if the device woken from sleep mode while it is partially removed from its case (as in Fig. 1) the device is essentially useless due to the placement of information on the screen. For example in Fig. 2, a notification is displayed in the center of the screen and cannot be read or interacted with until the user uncovers that portion of the screen.

Fig 2. A notification hidden from the user because the case is still covering the lower area of the screen.

Page 02 of 6

    Some mobile operating systems place the controls for 'unlocking' the device at the bottom of the screen, meaning that the device cannot be unlocked or interacted with until the device is completely removed from the case.

    This can cause inconvenience for the user as they may wish to partially pull the device out from their pocket or protective case to quickly scan their recently received messages or emails, but in order to do this, they may be required to fully remove their device from their pocket or its case. This turns what could be a simple, short action (partially sliding the device out of the cover, waking it up, checking the screen, putting the device back to sleep and sliding it back into the case) into a longer sequence of actions (take device fully out of the case, orient the device to be comfortable in the hand, wake it up/unlock it, check the screen, put the device to sleep and place it back in the case).

The Solution

    The system will allow more economic use of the available screen space by detecting how much screen space is visible (and where on the screen it is located) and adjusting the content shown on the screen to make better use of this space. For instance, in Fig. 2 above, the system would detect that only the top segment of the screen is visible, and would move information that the user may wish to view at a glance (such as message notifications) to that section of the screen. In addition to this, the system will tai...