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System and Method for Contextual Display of Time and Availability of Remote Users

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244025D
Publication Date: 2015-Nov-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 253K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a function that extends the current capability for displaying a remote user’s presence/status in a communication application to also report the actual time in the user’s location. This enables the initiator of the communication to better determine the availability of a recipient in another time zone.

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System and Method for Contextual Display of Time and Availability of Remote Users

Companies have employees and clients located in multiple time zones. A fast and

effective method is needed by which to determine a person's availability for communication or immediate interaction by displaying the actual time for that user.

Current calendar software systems indicate free/busy/not-available times when a user is scheduling meetings. This information does not show up otherwise; the user must begin to schedule a meeting to find this information. It is not available when the user

wants to start a chat session with someone. In addition, the user does not automatically see on the interface the actual time in the recipient's location. Some solutions require Global Positioning System (GPS) information to determine the current time zone of the remote user. This information is not always available.

An application such as a chat program, email, instant message program running on both the remote user's machine and the sender's machine can communicate information, such as current presence, to each other.

The novel contribution is a function that extends the current capability for communicating user presence/status to also report the actual time in the remote user's location. This is done through a simple display next to the message/communication recipient's name or other personal indicator (e.g., photograph, icon, avatar, etc.) anywhere on an application interface where a user's name appears (e.g., email address fields, list of contacts, notation entries in documents, etc.). The display can be in the form of a field or a popup window initiated by a user gesture such as a mouse rollover, hover, touch, etc.

The display shows the time in the user's current time zone, as reported by the device that is using the application. Laptop computers and similar devices either manually or automatically update the time zone as the user travels. Generally, the devices are reliably set to the remote user's time zone.

For example, a display in the heade...