The US Patent and Trademark Office recently published a new patent application from Samsung that reveal's a very bold move to advance the user interface for touch devices such a tablet or smartphone. The patent never once mentions Android. That could be incidental or purposeful if they introduce their latest User Interface advancement on tablets and smartphones based on the Tizen OS. The new User Interface mainly involves a new from scratch expandable menu system that looks rather interesting on paper. Our report focuses on the key expandable menu concept while presenting a swath of patent figures for you to get a feel for the scope of Samsung's invention.
Samsung Invents a New Touch Display User Interface with Expandable Menu
Samsung believes that tablets used by productive people, be they students or professionals, don't provide a full range of tools to efficiently get their work done. Samsung's intention is to introduce a very powerful tool that involves an expandable menu system.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 5 noted below we get to the heart of the invention immediately. Here we see a new touch screen user interface for devices like tablets and/or smartphones that will include an expandable menu button (noted as #104 in the figure below) which includes independent menu buttons shown below under numbers 104b through to 104m.
The expandable menu button 104a is expanded when tapped (touched for a short time and then released) to show lower menu buttons and remains opened for a predetermined time.
All components of the user interface operate in response to both a pen or touch event and can appear in the right or left sides of the tablet UI depending on the user's preference.
Samsung's patent FIG. 11 noted below illustrates an expansion characteristic of the expandable menu button. When the expanded menu button in the expanded state is tapped, the expanded menu button in the expanded state, shown in FIG. 11(B), is returned to the state before being expanded as shown in FIG. 11(A).
Samsung's patent FIG. 12 noted above illustrates a color setting procedure through the color setting menu button 1104e. A sample color display scheme for setting colors includes a color wheel display scheme (FIG. 12(A)) and a honeycomb display scheme (FIG. 12(B)).
The honeycomb display scheme displays predetermined standard colors in the form of a honeycomb composed of cells in a predetermined size, as shown in FIG. 12(B), such that the user can conveniently select a desired color. It is possible to display colors in cells having another type of shape such as squares or circles.
Samsung's patent FIG. 13 noted below illustrates a tool setting procedure through the tool setting menu button 1104g. The rectangular area selection tool 1302a is a first tool by which a rectangular cut/copy/delete area is selected. The image retrieval tool 1302d is a fourth tool by which an image (photo or picture) stored in a storage unit is retrieved.
Samsung's patent FIG. 14 illustrates a rectangular area selection procedure using the rectangular area selection tool 1302a of the tool setting menu button 1104a.
Samsung's patent FIG. 17 illustrates an image retrieval procedure using the image retrieval tool 1302d of the tool setting menu button 1104g.
Samsung patent FIG. 24 illustrates a procedure of transmitting a current page through e-mail or social network service (SNS).
Other Random Interface Examples
Samsung's patent FIG. 26 illustrates a fast eraser mode of the tablet; FIG. 40 illustrates a menu call procedure through manipulation of tapping the expandable menu button at the page level of the tablet; FIG. 55 illustrates a procedure of simultaneously performing video playback and writing/drawing in the tablet
Samsung's recently published patent application is certainly one of their most aggressive moves in advancing a touchscreen user interface to date. Patent Bolt has already discovered a secondary Samsung patent filing about advancing a touchscreen user interface in yet other ways. We'll try to post a report on that second filing in the coming week.
Samsung has a reputation for copying other company advances. Heck, their own executives acknowledge that they're "fast followers" – which is all but an admission that they aggressively copy. So an original feature such as the expandable menu is a step in the right direction. Who wouldn't appreciate an original idea that could push the modern tablet UI forward for busy professionals?
In respect to this new UI feature, the real question is what operating system is this being aimed for: Android or Tizen? If you have a comment about that, send it in below.
Samsung filed their patent application under serial number 761546 back in Q1 2013 in the US and in Q2 2012 in Korea. Our cover graphic presents patent FIG. 52(C) which shows interactions in a writing mode.
A Note for Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Patent Bolt presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patent Bolt reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.