MOBILE DEVICE INTERFACE FOR INPUT DEVICES USING EXISTING MOBILE DEVICE CONNECTORS

A system and method for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device are disclosed. For example, the system includes logic configured to detect connection of a data input device to a connector coupled to the mobile electronic device. This detection is performed by at least one of examining the operational state of a device included within the mobile electronic device, an electrical sensing circuit to determine a presence of the data input device, and a mechanical sensing circuit to determine a presence of the data input device. Upon determining that the connected device is a data input device, data from the data input device is collected and processed.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/667,416 filed Mar. 31, 2005. The contents of these documents are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates towards mobile device interfaces. More particularly, the present invention relates to using a mobile device earphone or microphone connector as an input device interface.

Advances in technology have resulted in smaller and more powerful personal computing devices. For example, there currently exist a variety of portable personal computing devices, including wireless computing devices, such as portable wireless telephones, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and paging devices that are each small, lightweight, and can be easily carried by users. A wireless device is any device that can communicate with other devices without being physically attached to them. Most wireless devices communicate with each other through radio frequencies.

More specifically, the portable wireless telephones, for example, further include cellular telephones that communicate voice and data packets over wireless networks. Further, many such cellular telephones are being manufactured with relatively large increases in computing capabilities, and as such, are becoming tantamount to small personal computers and hand-held PDAs.

However, these smaller and more powerful personal computing devices are typically severely resource constrained. For example, the screen size, amount of available memory and file system space, amount of input and output capabilities and processing capability may each be limited by the small size of the device. Due to severe resource constraints, it is often typically desirable, for example, to maintain a limited size and quantity of software applications and other information residing on such remote personal computing devices (client devices).

Some of the personal computing devices utilize an application programming interface (API) or application programming interfaces (APIs), sometimes referred to as runtime environments and software platforms, that are installed onto their local computer platform and which are used, for example, to simplify operations of such devices, such as by providing generalized calls for device specific resources. An API is a set of routines used by an application program to direct the performance of procedures used by the computer's operating system.

Further, some APIs are also known to provide software developers the ability to create software applications that are fully executable on such devices. In addition, some of such APIs are known to be operationally located between the computing device system software and the software applications such that the computing device system software and the software applications such that the computing device computing functionality is made available to the software application without requiring the software developer to have the specific computing device system source code. Further, some APIs are known to provide mechanisms for secure communications between such personal devices (i.e., clients) and remote devices (i.e., servers) using secure, cryptographic information.

Examples of such APIs, some of which are discussed in more detail below, include versions of the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless® (BREW®) developed by QUALCOMM, Inc., of San Diego, Calif. BREW® can operate with a computing device's (e.g., a wireless cellular phone) operating system, and can, among other features, provide interfaces to hardware features particularly found on personal computing devices. BREW® can also provide these interfaces on such personal computing devices at a relatively low cost with respect to demands on device resources and with respect to the price paid by consumers for devices containing the BREW® API. Additional features of BREW® include its end-to-end software distribution platform that provides a variety of benefits for wireless service operators, software developers and computing device consumers. At least one such currently available end-to-end software distribution platform includes logic distributed over a server-client architecture, where the server performs, for example, billing, security, and application distribution functionality, and the client performs, for example, application execution, security and user interface functionality.

Mobile communication devices (e.g. wireless telephones) may include a built-in input device (e.g., a keypad) to allow a user to input alpha-numeric data. Due to the limited size of such mobile devices, the input device is often relatively small, which can be difficult and/or slow to use for a typical user.

Many of the mobile devices that are currently-available include an earphone/microphone interface. A conventional earphone/microphone interface can allow a user to connect an external earphone/microphone assembly (e.g., a handset) to the mobile device. Many of these types of interfaces use a standard earphone/microphone socket connector that accepts a standard plug.

The foregoing description of the related art is merely intended to provide an overview of wireless devices and some of the known uses of APIs and as an introduction to the BREW® platform, which can be used in various embodiments of the invention. However, the invention is not to be construed as being limited to a specific physical configuration, implementation, operating platform or environment.

SUMMARY

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are directed towards a system and method for using a mobile device earphone or microphone connector as an input device interface.

Accordingly, one embodiment of the invention can be an apparatus for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device. An apparatus for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device, can include logic configured to detect connection of a device to a connector coupled to the mobile electronic device by using at least one of the following circuits: an examination circuit to examine an operational state of a device included within the mobile electronic device; an electrical sensing circuit to determine a presence of the data input device; a mechanical sensing circuit to determine a presence of the data input device; using any combination of examining the examination circuit, the electrical sensing circuit or the mechanical sensing circuit; logic configured to determine whether the connected device is a data input device; and logic configured to collect and process data generated by the data input device after determining that the connected device is a data input device.

Another embodiment of the invention can include a method for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device. The method includes detecting connection of a device to an earphone/microphone connector of the mobile electronic device; determining whether the connected device is a data input device by using at least one of the following in any order: a) examining an operational state of a device included within the mobile electronic device; b) determining a presence of the data input device using an electrical sensing circuit; c) determining a presence of the data input device using a mechanical sensing circuit; using any combination of a), b) or c) above; and collecting and processing data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete appreciation of embodiments of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by the reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings which are presented solely for illustration and not limitation of the invention, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an exemplary diagram of a wireless network architecture that supports client devices and servers in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a more detailed exemplary diagram of a wireless network architecture that supports the client devices and servers in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a mobile electronic device and a data input device configuration in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a more detailed view of a mobile electronic device in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an exemplary diagram of a wireless network architecture illustrating a software platform with device extensions in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an exemplary diagram of a wireless device in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is an exemplary diagram of a vocoding system in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 8 is an exemplary diagram of a method flow in accordance with at least one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the following description and related drawings directed to specific embodiments of the invention. Alternate embodiments may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Additionally, well-known elements of the invention will not be described in detail or will be omitted so as not to obscure the relevant details of the invention.

The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment described herein as “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments. Likewise, the term “embodiments of the invention” does not require that all embodiments of the invention include the discussed feature, advantage or mode of operation.

Further, many embodiments are described in terms of sequences of actions to be performed by, for example, elements of a computing device. It will be recognized that various actions described herein can be performed by specific circuits (e.g., application specific integrated circuits (ASICs)), by program instructions being executed by one or more processors, or by a combination of both. Additionally, these sequence of actions described herein can be considered to be embodied entirely within any form of computer readable storage medium having stored therein a corresponding set of computer instructions that upon execution would cause an associated processor to perform the functionality described herein. Thus, the various aspects of the invention may be embodied in a number of different forms, all of which have been contemplated to be within the scope of the claimed subject matter. In addition, for each of the embodiments described herein, the corresponding form of any such embodiments may be described herein as, for example, “logic configured to” perform the described action.

One or more embodiments of the invention can be used in conjunction with a runtime environment (e.g., API) executing on a computing device. One such runtime environment (API) is the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless® (BREW®) software previously discussed. However, one or more embodiments of the invention can be used with other types of runtime environments (APIs) that, for example, operate to control the execution of applications on wireless client computing devices.

The following techniques and mechanisms are directed to implementing methods and components of mobile electronic device to interoperate with an input device via a standard earphone/microphone connector. In general, the mobile electronic device includes an interface to support data transfer between the mobile electronic device and the input device via the standard earphone/microphone connector. This interface can be implemented in hardware and/or software. Specific implementations and embodiments of this general concept are described below.

FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of one exemplary embodiment of a wireless system 100 in accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention. System 100 contains client devices, such as cellular telephone 102, in communication across a wireless network 104 with at least one application download server (ADS) 106 that selectively transmits software applications and components to wireless devices across a wireless communication portal or other data access to the wireless network 104. As shown in FIG. 1, the wireless (client) device can be a cellular telephone 102, a personal digital assistant 108, a pager 110, which is shown here as a two-way text pager, or even a separate computer platform 112 that has a wireless communication portal. This separate computer platform 112 may be fixed (e.g. desktop) or mobile (e.g. laptop).

The various embodiments of the invention can thus be realized on any form of client device or wireless devices including a wireless communication portal of having wireless communication capabilities, including without limitation, wireless modems, PCMCIA cards, personal computers, access terminals, telephones, or any combination or sub-combination thereof.

The application download server (ADS) 106 is shown here on a network 116 with other computer elements in communication with the wireless network 104. There can be a stand-alone server or a plurality of servers (not shown), and each server can provide separate services and processes to the client devices 102, 108, 110 and 112 across the wireless network 104. There is preferably also at least one stored application database 118 that holds the software applications that are downloadable by the wireless devices 102, 108, 110 and 112. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the configuration illustrated in FIG. 1 is merely exemplary. Accordingly, embodiments of the invention can include one or more servers that can each perform all the described functions and contain all necessary hardware and software, or can contain only selected functionality. Further, not all elements (e.g., pager 110, ADS 106, database 118, etc.) illustrated are necessarily used in all of the different embodiments of the invention that may be implemented.

In FIG. 2, a block diagram is shown that more fully illustrates system 100, including the components of the wireless network 104 and the interrelation of the elements of the exemplary embodiments of the invention. System 100 is merely exemplary and can include any system that allows remote client devices, such as wireless client computing devices 102, 108, 110 and 112 to communicate over-the-air between and among each other and/or between and among components connected via a wireless network 104, including, without limitation, wireless network carriers and/or servers. The application download server 106 and the stored application database 118, along with any other servers such as ad display server 130 which are used to provide cellular telecommunications services, communicate with a carrier network, through a data link, such as the Internet, a secure LAN, WAN, or other network. In the embodiment shown, a server 120 can include the application download server 106, ad dispatch server 130 and the stored application database 118. The application download server 106, server 130 and the stored application database 118 are illustrated as independent devices in this embodiment. However, these devices can also be integrated into one common server or the functionality of one or more may be distributed over multiple devices, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.

The carrier network 200 controls messages (typically sent as data packets) sent to a messaging service controller (MSC) 202. The carrier network 200 communicates with the MSC 202 by a network, the Internet and/or a public switched telephone network (PSTN). Typically, the network or Internet connection between the carrier network 200 and the MSC 202 transfers data, and the PSTN transfers voice information. The MSC 202 can be connected to multiple base stations (BTS) 204. In a similar manner to the carrier network, the MSC 202 is typically connected to the BTS 204 by a network, the Internet and/or PSTN for data transfer and/or voice information. The BTS 204 can broadcast data messages wirelessly to the client devices, such as cellular telephone 102, by short messaging service (SMS), UDP datagrams, or other over-the-air (OTA) methods known in the art.

The client device, (here a wireless client computing device), such as a cellular telephone 102, has a computer platform 206 that can receive and execute software applications and/or commands transmitted form the application download server 106, ad dispatch server 130 and/or server 120. The computer platform 206 can include an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) 208, or other processor, microprocessor, logic circuit, or other data processing device. The ASIC 208 or other processor executes the API 210 layer that interfaces with any resident programs in the memory 212 of the wireless device. The memory 212 can be comprised of read-only or random-access memory (RAM and ROM), EEPROM, flash cards, or any memory common to computer platforms. The computer platform 206 also includes a local database 214 that can hold applications not actively used in memory 212. The local database 214 is typically a flash memory cell, but can be any secondary storage device as know to those skilled in the art, such as magnetic media, EPROM, optical media, tape, soft or hard disk, or the like.

The wireless client computing device, such as cellular telephone 102, has installed on it, or otherwise downloads, one or more software applications, such as games, news, stock monitors, and the like. For example, the cellular telephone 102 may receive one or more software applications downloaded from the application download server 106. The software applications may be stored on the local database 214 when not in use. The cellular telephone 102 or other wireless computing device may upload resident applications stored on the local database 214 to memory 212 for execution on the API 210 when so desired by the user or invoked by another API.

As used herein “client device”, “wireless device” or “client computing device” includes, for example, one or more processing circuits executing resident configured logic, where such computing devices include, for example, microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSPs), microcontrollers, portable wireless telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and paging devices, or any suitable combination of hardware, software and/or firmware containing processors and logic configured to at least perform the operations described herein directed to ads communicated between a client device and a server. The client computing device can be serviced by at least one remote server with respect to at least such ads. Some examples of “wireless computing devices” which may be used in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention includes cellular telephones or other wireless communication units, PDAs, laptops, paging devices, navigation devices (e.g., GPS-based systems), handheld gaming devices, music or video content download units, and other like wireless communication devices.

The wireless communication between the client device 102 and the BTS 204 can be based on different technologies, such as code division multiple access (CDMA), time division multiple access (TDMA), frequency division multiple access (FDMA), the global system for mobile communications (GSM), or other protocols that may be used in a wireless communications network or a data communications network. The data communication is typically between the client device 102, BTS 204, and MSC 202. The MSC 202 can be connected to multiple data networks such as the carrier network 200, PSTN, the Internet, a virtual private network, and the like, thus allowing the client device access to a broader communication network. As discussed in the foregoing, in addition to voice transmission, data can be transmitted to the client device via SMS or other OTA methods known in the art.

FIG. 3 illustrates a block diagram of a system 300, including two main components. They are a mobile electronic device 302 with an earphone/microphone connector 304 and a data input device 306. In one embodiment, the mobile electronic device 302 can be connected to a data input device 306 by the earphone/microphone connector 304. A data input device may transmit any type of data, including voice or non-voice related data.

In this embodiment, mobile electronic device 302 is a wireless telephone and earphone/microphone connector 304 is a standard connector used in many currently-available mobile electronic devices. One example of a type of connector that can be used for the earphone/microphone connector 304 is a 2.5 mm connector. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the claimed invention can work with any connector or connector configuration that is available. Again, standardization of the connector types and widespread usage of them are two of the many advantages that are achieved by the claimed invention.

Data input device 306 can be any input device that outputs a modulated data signal compatible with the circuitry of mobile electronic device 302. In one embodiment, a data input device 306 is a keyboard. The mobile electronic device 302 includes an interface that can extract data modulated on the electrical signal (or any data received via an electrical signal) received via earphone/microphone connector 304.

By interoperating with data input device 306 via earphone/microphone connector 304, the mobile electronic device 302 can advantageously eliminate the need for a separate and/or dedicated connector for the data input device, thereby reducing the complexity and cost of the mobile electronic device. Furthermore, since earphone/microphone connectors are standard in many mobile electronic devices, the data input device integration with the mobile electronic device 302 is compatible with many mobile electronic devices. This is contrast to the non-standardized data ports that are available on some mobile electronic devices that are typically different for each manufacturer and/or model. Using these types of non-standardized data ports and connectors would require the data input device manufacturer to provide many different implementations. This would result in higher costs in fabricating the data input devices and increased costs and logistical support for the different implementations.

Although a wireless telephone/keyboard system is described, in other embodiments, the mobile electronic device 302 may be another type of mobile device such as, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a global positioning system (GPS) receiver, music players (e.g., MP3 players), etc. Similarly, the data input device may be another data input device, such as a handwriting recognizer (e.g. one of the type found in a tablet PC).

FIG. 4 generally illustrates a portion of mobile electronic device 302 used in implementing an interface with data input device 306 shown in FIG. 3 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Other portions of the mobile electronic device 302 (e.g., display, keypad, radio frequency (RF) units, etc.) are omitted from FIG. 3 for clarity.

In this embodiment, this portion of mobile electronic device 302 includes an input/output (I/O) circuit 402, a processor unit 404 (e.g. that can include a general purpose processor, a specialized communication processor and/or digital signal processor), and a memory 406. In this embodiment, memory 406 is used to store an operating system 410, one or more applications 412 for execution by the processor unit, and a device interface 414.

I/O circuit 402 is connected to earphone/microphone connector 304. The I/O circuit may include resistive line terminations, I/O buffers, input lines (e.g., used to carry electrical signals generated by the microphone of an earphone/microphone assembly) and output lines (e.g., used to carry electrical signals to the earphone of the earphone/microphone assembly) as in an I/O circuit for conventional earphone/microphone circuitry.

However, in accordance with some other embodiments of the present invention, the input and output lines (not shown) of I/O circuit 402 can also carry input and output signals for data input device 306 (FIG. 3). In some embodiments, different buffer and shielding are used as compared with those that are only used for interfacing with earphone/microphone assemblies.

Although the preceding described various hardware implementations of the I/O circuit 402, it should be noted that one or more of these function may also be implemented in software that is to be executed by processor unit 404.

The processor unit 404 may be implemented using any suitable processor or plurality of processors. As previously mentioned, such processors include general purpose processors, specialized communication processors and/or digital signal processors.

The memory 406 is typically implemented using both volatile and non-volatile memory devices. As previously mentioned, memory 406 can be used to store operating system 410, one or more applications 412, a device interface 214, as well as other modules, data structures, drivers, etc. The device interface 414 extracts data modulated on an electrical signal received from data input device 306 (FIG. 3) via earphone/microphone connector 304 and I/O circuit 402. The data input device 306 can use any suitable modulation scheme to modulate data onto an electrical signal, with device interface 414 implementing the corresponding demodulation scheme to extract the data.

For example, in some embodiments, an On/Off Keying (OOK) modulation scheme is used to provide a low-power implementation. In other applications, M-ary modulation schemes can be used. For example, in embodiments in which data input device 306 is a keyboard, an M-ary modulation scheme can be used so that each character of the keyboard (which are typically mapped to multi-bit scan codes) can be represented by a single symbol of the M-ary modulation scheme.

In another exemplary scenario, a user can launch an application 412 that requires alphanumeric data from the user (e.g., a phonebook application that can store various types of contact information). In this scenario, the user can connect data input device 306 (e.g. a keyboard) via earphone/microphone connector 304 to input the contact information. The keyboard has a built-in interface (or the interface can be implemented in a separate adapter) to modulate keyboard data (e.g., alpha numeric characters) onto a data signal that can be propagated to the mobile electronic device 302. The wireless telephone receives the modulated signal via I/O circuit 402. The modulated signal is then processed by device interface 414 to demodulate the keyboard data. The application 412 can then receive the demodulated data from device interface 414.

FIG. 5 generally illustrates a portion of a software platform 502 with extensions that are used in implementing device interface 414 (FIG. 4) to interoperate with data input device 306 according to one embodiment of the invention. This software platform can also be used by processor unit 404 (FIG. 4) to interoperate with data input device 306, according to one embodiment of the invention. This software platform can also be used by processor unit 404 of mobile electronic device 302 to support applications 412. In this exemplary embodiment, software platform 502 is the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform (available from QUALCOMM, Inc.), that supports one or more BREW application(s) 504 that require input data. In this embodiment, BREW platform 502 includes a device discriminator extension 510 and a device interface extension 512 that a BREW application 504 can use to support data transfer from the data input device 306.

In another embodiment, a device discriminator extension 510 is implemented to determine when a device is connected to a mobile electronic device 302, and, unlike conventional mobile electronic devices, to determine whether the connected device is a data input device 306 (rather than an earphone/microphone assembly). Once a device connection is detected, device discriminator extension 510 can then perform a handshaking process or interrogation process to determine whether the connected device is a data input device 306. A data input device 306 would include components or modules that support such handshaking or interrogation processes.

The device interface extension 512 of FIG. 5 demodulates the modulated data signal received from a data input device 306 and provides the data to a BREW application 504. In one exemplary embodiment, this demodulation function can be implemented using a digital signal processor (DSP) or DSP core suitably programmed with a suitable demodulation scheme. In some embodiments, the device interface extension 512 can also allow the alphanumeric keys of the mobile electronic device's built-in data input device (e.g. a keypad) to be disabled or ignored so that the application only receives alphanumeric data input by the data input device 306.

Although BREW-based embodiments are described above, other embodiments that are not BREW-based may be used without deviating from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In FIG. 6, one exemplary embodiment of a wireless device 600 is illustrated. The wireless device 600 contains various functional logic blocks that are configured to perform various functions. Please note that for purposes of illustrations, not all of the internal circuitry and components of the wireless device 600 are shown. Further, the arrangement of the logic elements is merely for the convenience of illustration and should not be construed as limiting embodiments of the invention. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the functionality of the logic elements described herein may be integrated into one element or distributed as desired among various hardware and software elements.

Upon insertion of an input device (not shown) into the input port 602 of the wireless device 600, at least one of three functional circuit based logic blocks (606, 608 and 610) are selectively coupled to the input device via the input port 602 of the wireless device 600 and these logic blocks can work by themselves or in unison (or any combination thereof) in conjunction with logic 604 (e.g., a microprocessor) to determine the insertion of the input device.

In one scenario, a mechanical sensing circuit senses the insertion of the input device by mechanical means. Various exemplary implementations of this mechanical sensor may include the closing of a switch, the depression of a contactor, or any other mechanical sensing means that can sense the physical insertion of the input device and then convert this physical action into an electrical impulse or impulses that are forwarded to the logic 604 for processing and determining that an input device has been attached to the wireless device 600.

In another scenario, an electrical sensing circuit 608 senses the insertion of the input device by electrical means. For example, this can include measuring a change in resistance or impedance caused by the insertion of the input device into the input port 602 of the wireless device. For example, a detection circuit (not shown) within the wireless device 600 can have a resistance or impedance value of A. The addition of an input device causes the resistance or impedance measured by the detection circuit to increase/decrease by an amount B. Therefore, when the detection circuit detects that the resistance or impedance (or any other electrical parameter or combination of parameters) is now A+B, the detection circuit knows that an input device has been added to the wireless device 600 by monitoring a change in the electrical parameter.

In another scenario, an operational state examining circuit senses the insertion of the input device by analyzing the operational state of a component or set of components within the wireless device that are linked to the presence or absence of the input device. Therefore, by monitoring and detecting a change in operational state as detected and measured by the operational state sensing circuit, the presence of the input device is detected.

Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that software or firmware (or any combination thereof) may also be used to detect a change in operational state of a device under examination in addition to a circuit based methodology. For example, BREW (or any other API) may detect an operational state that indicates a “hands free mode” or the presence of a microphone/earphone.

One exemplary embodiment of an operational state examining circuit 610 follows. Many wireless devices that support voice functionality contain vocoders. FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary vocoding system, such as one used in a mobile station. A brief discussion of vocoder operation will be presented, prior to discussing an exemplary implementation of the present invention using a vocoder. However, vocoders, vocoder operation and vocoder implementations are well known to those skilled in the art.

For digital communication of voice, sounds such as speech and/or background noise are sampled and digitized by well known techniques. For example, in FIG. 7, sound is converted by microphone 708 to an analog signal which is then converted to a digital signal by a codec 704.

A codec is short hand for a compressor/decompressor. The codec is a device inside a phone which takes digitized voice and compresses it prior to transmission to the cellular system and which also takes compressed voice received from the cell and decompresses it prior to playing it out the speaker found on the phone. Codec algorithms are very sophisticated and are designed specifically around the characteristics of human voices and human ears.

Codec 704 typically performs an analog to digital conversion process using a standard 8 bit/μlaw format. In the alternative, the analog signal may be directly converted to digital form in a uniform pulse code modulation (PCM) format. In one exemplary scenario, the codec 704 uses an 8 kHz sampling rate and provides an output of 8 bit samples at the sampling rate so as to realize a 64 kbps data rate.

The 8 bit samples are output from codec 704 to vocoder 702 where a μlaw/uniform code conversion process is performed. In vocoder 702, the samples are organized into frames of input data wherein each frame is comprised of 160 samples or of 20 msec of speech at the 8 kHz sampling rate. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that other sampling rates and frame sizes may be used in related manners.

Each frame of speech samples is encoded by a vocoder 702 with the resulting parameter data formatted into a corresponding data packet. The vocoder 702 is preferably configured as a variable rate vocoder which encodes each frame of speech samples at a rate that depends on such factors including speech activity and system operating conditions. The vocoder 702 can be configured as a variable rate vocoder which encodes each frame of speech samples at a rate dependent on speech activity and system operating conditions. The vocoder data packets are then output to a microprocessor for transmission formatting. The microprocessor 707 provides an output of the transmission formatted data to a transceiver (not shown) for modulation and transmission. For example, the output of the microprocessor can be used for a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) or tail bit generation.

In FIG. 7, detector circuitry 707 is operably coupled to various components of the vocoding system (e.g. 700, 702, 704). The detector circuitry 700 is shown in this illustrative manner for simplicity and can include one or more combinations of the sensing circuits shown in FIG. 6 (606, 608, 610).

When a user begins talking into the microphone 708, the microphone input is fed into the codec 704. Consequently, the operational state of the codec 704 changes, as well as the operational states of the components that are operably coupled to the codec 704 (e.g. 702 and 707). Therefore, the detector circuitry 707 can detect the insertion of the microphone 708 and/or when a user begins talking into the microphone and changes the operational state of any component or components of the vocoder system singly or in combination.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the detector circuitry 707 of FIG. 7 can be used to detect a change in an electrical parameter of a component or set of components within the wireless device.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that an electrical parameter or parameters can be chosen and established as a threshold or baseline, and then the detector circuitry 707 measures the specific parameter or parameters that are linked to the insertion of the input device and then compares this with the established threshold or baseline. For example, a change in resistance or a change in impedance may be used to detect the insertion of the input device into the wireless device. In one example, the microprocessor can have a resistance value R1 associated with it, the vocoder can have a resistance value R2 associated with it, and the codec can have a resistance R3. Prior to inserting the input device, the detector circuitry measures the total resistance of these three chosen, representative markers to be R1+R2+R3. The input device can have a resistance that is R4 and when inserted into the vocoding system, the detector circuitry measures the resistance to be R1+R2+R3+R4.

In another example, the resistance of speaker 706 is measured. For example, when the device is not present, the resistance is an open circuit. When the device is present, the resistance is on the order of less than 1 Kilo Ohm (or whatever the value is measured and predetermined to be).

In related embodiments, any component of the wireless device and any quantifiable electrical or mechanical parameter can be monitored by the detection circuitry 707 to determine the insertion of the input device. The only guideline is that the parameter can be detected, measured and quantified and is representative or linked to the insertion of the input device.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating one exemplary embodiment of operation. A device is connected to a mobile electronic device and detected 800. A decision is made to determine if the connected device is a data input device 802. The determination can be performed by one or any combination of the following methods. A first method is to examine the state of an operational cycle of at least one vocoder in the mobile device 802.1. A second method is to determine at least one on/off cycle transition of at least one vocoder in the mobile device 802.2. A third method is to determine at least one on/off state of at least one vocoder in the mobile device 802.3. A fourth method is to use the vocoder to determine the presence of tones in the mobile device 802.4. A fifth method uses electrical sensing means (e.g., sense a change in an electrical parameter linked to the insertion of a data input device) to detect an input device 802.5. A sixth method uses mechanical sensing means (e.g., sense a change in a mechanical parameter linked to the insertion of a data input device) to detect an input device 802.6.

If there is not a positive determination made in 804 that the conditions that are being detected and sensed in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and/or 6 (corresponding to 802.1, 802.2, 802.3, 802.4, 802.5 or 802.6) have been satisfied, normal mobile electronic device operation is continued 806. It there is a positive determination made in 804, the connected device is used as an input device 810.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that there is no particular order of performing and executing the method functional blocks intended or implied in the preceding description. The foregoing methods discussed above can be used by themselves or in any combination thereof to achieve the same objective.

For example, the insertion of a data input device can trigger an event that is detected by both the electrical sensing means (802.5) and the mechanical sensing means (802.6) simultaneously. In another exemplary implementation, 802.6 may be performed prior to 802.5 which is performed prior to 802.4 and so on.

In further embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the foregoing methods can be implemented by the execution of a program embodied on a computer readable medium, such as the memory of a computer platform. The instructions can reside in various types of signal-bearing or data storage primary, secondary or tertiary media. The media may comprise, for example, RAM accessible by, or residing within, the client device and/or server. Whether contained in RAM, a diskette, or other secondary storage media, the instructions may be stored on a variety of machine-readable data storage media, such as direct access storage device (DASD) storage (e.g., a conventional “hard drive” or a RAID array), magnetic tape, electronic read-only media (e.g., ROM, or EEPROM), flash memory cards, an optical storage device (e.g. CD-ROM, WORM, DVD, digital optical tape), paper “punch” cards, or other suitable data storage media including digital and analog transmission media.

The previous description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to those embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.

While the foregoing disclosure shows illustrative embodiments of the invention, it should be noted that various changes and modifications could be made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. The activities or steps of the method claims in accordance with the embodiments of the invention described herein need not be performed in any particular order. Furthermore, although elements of the invention may be described in the singular, the plural is contemplated unless the limitation to the singular is explicitly stated.

Claims

1. An apparatus for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device, comprising:

logic configured to detect connection of a device to a connector coupled to the mobile electronic device by using at least one of the following logic elements: examination logic to examine an operational state of a device included within the mobile electronic device, electrical sensing logic to determine a presence of the data input device, and mechanical sensing logic to determine a presence of the data input device;
logic configured to determine whether the connected device is a data input device; and
logic configured to collect and process data generated by the data input device after determining that the connected device is a data input device.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the connector is an earphone/microphone connector.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the operational state of a device within the mobile electronic device is the operational state of a vocoder.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the connector supports wireless coupling to the mobile electronic device.

5. A method for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device, the method comprising:

detecting connection of a device to an earphone/microphone connector of the mobile electronic device;
determining whether the connected device is a data input device by using at least one of the following in any order:
a) examining an operational state of a device included within the mobile electronic device;
b) determining a presence of the data input device using an electrical sensing circuit;
c) determining a presence of the data input device using a mechanical sensing circuit; and
collecting and processing data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by examining a status of an operational cycle of at least one vocoder of the mobile electronic device.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the data input device is detected by examining at least one on/off cycle transition of the at least one vocoder in the mobile electronic device.

8. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by determining an on/off state of at least one vocoder in the mobile electronic device.

9. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by using a vocoder to determine a presence of tones in the mobile electronic device.

10. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by using an electrical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the sensing means senses a change in an electrical parameter associated with an addition of the data input device.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the electrical parameter associated with the addition of the data input device is a resistance value.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the electrical parameter associated with the addition of the data input device is an impedance value.

14. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by using a mechanical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the mechanical sensing means senses a physical connection of the data input device.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the mechanical sensing means senses a connection of an external earphone/microphone.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein upon sensing a presence of the external earphone/microphone, a switching mechanism switches the connection of the external earphone/microphone to another portion of the mobile electronic device.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the another portion of the mobile electronic device switched to is a processor in the mobile electronic device.

19. The method of claim 5, wherein the data input device is detected by using a combination of both an electrical sensing means and a mechanical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

20. The method of claim 5, wherein the mobile electronic device is a wireless telephone.

21. An apparatus for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device comprising:

means for detecting connection of a device to a connector of the mobile electronic device, wherein the connector is a connector that is used to communicate data from the mobile electronic device;
means for determining whether the connected device is a data input device; and
means for extracting data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the connector that is used to communicate data from the mobile electronic device is an earphone/microphone connector.

23. An apparatus for receiving data in a mobile electronic device from a data input device comprising:

means for detecting connection of a device to an earphone/microphone connector of the mobile electronic device;
means for determining whether the connected device is a data input device; and
means for processing data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by examining a status of an operational cycle of at least one vocoder in the mobile electronic device.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the data input device is detected by examining at least one on/off cycle transition of the at least one vocoder in the mobile electronic device.

26. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by determining an on/off state of at least one vocoder in the mobile electronic device.

27. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by using a vocoder to determine a presence of tones in the mobile electronic device.

28. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by using an electrical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the sensing means senses a change in an electrical parameter associated with an addition of the data input device.

30. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the electrical parameter associated with the addition of the data input device is a resistance value.

31. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the electrical parameter associated with the addition of the data input device is an impedance value.

32. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by using a mechanical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

33. The apparatus of claim 32, wherein the mechanical sensing means senses a physical connection of the data input device.

34. The apparatus of claim 33, wherein the mechanical sensing means senses a connection of an external earphone/microphone.

35. The apparatus of claim 34, wherein upon sensing a presence of the external earphone/microphone, a switching mechanism switches the connection of the external earphone/microphone to another portion of the mobile electronic device.

36. The apparatus of claim 35, wherein the another portion of the mobile electronic device switched to is a processor in the mobile electronic device.

37. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the data input device is detected by using a combination of both an electrical sensing means and a mechanical sensing means to determine a presence of the data input device.

38. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the mobile electronic device is a wireless telephone.

39. A computer-readable medium on which is stored a computer program comprising instructions which, upon being executed, causes the computing device to perform a process of:

detecting connection of a device to a connector of a mobile electronic device, wherein the connector is a connector that is used to communicate data from the mobile electronic device;
determining whether the connected device is a data input device; and
processing data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

40. A computer-readable medium on which is stored a computer program comprising instructions which, upon being executed, causes the computing device to perform a process of:

detecting connection of a device to an earphone/microphone connector of a mobile electronic device;
determining whether the connected device is a data input device; and
processing data generated by the data input device in response to determining that the connected device is a data input device.

Patent History

Publication number: 20060223580
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 29, 2006
Publication Date: Oct 5, 2006
Inventors: Franklin ANTONIO (Del Mar, CA), George WILEY (San Diego, CA), Paul JACOBS (La Jolla, CA)
Application Number: 11/277,906

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 455/557.000; 455/569.100
International Classification: H04B 1/38 (20060101); H04M 1/00 (20060101);