The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Google that revealed new floating navigational controls for a future Android tablet. Additionally, Google is shown to be contemplating the use of biometrics in future tablets so that different user settings could be automatically set depending on who is using the tablet within your home.
Google Invents a Dynamically Adjustable Tablet GUI
Users of tablet computers navigate computer contents through interaction with navigational controls that are typically located at the top of the tablet computer screen. At times, the navigational controls at the top of the screen might be difficult to reach. For example, when the consumer is holding the tablet computer in a landscape orientation, the user's hand must traverse from its position on either side of the computer to the navigation controls located at the top of the screen. In another example, the primary navigation is on the left hand side, which is not ideal for right-handed people. Thus, the consumer might hold the tablet computer in an uncomfortable position in order to properly access the navigational controls.
Google's invention generally relates to a dynamically adjustable user interface for a tablet computer, wherein the navigational controls are placed in a configurable location so as to be easily accessed by the thumbs for touch screen actions.
By way of introduction, the subject matter relates to placing navigational controls in an adaptable and convenient location in at least one lower quadrant of a table computer display. For example, one or more floating navigation control bars could be located at the left bottom, at the right bottom, or at both the left bottom and the right bottom position of a tablet computer display.
Google's patent FIG. 2 noted above illustrates an exemplary display area having navigational areas accessible by a user's thumbs; patent FIG. 5 illustrates a further non-limiting representation of a line drawing showing two floating control bars located on the lower left and lower right portions of the display shown in a landscape orientation.
Integrating Biometrics into Future Android Tablets
One of the more interesting facets of Google's invention was discovered deep into the patent filing under patent FIG. 9. According to Google, the system (900) of patent FIG. 9 below could employ a user identification component shown as #902 that will be able to identify a current user of the tablet computer.
For example, a tablet computer might be utilized by more than one user, such as members of a family, a group of friends, and so forth. In another example, a family of tablet computers might be utilized by a set of users.
In a specific example, a family (e.g., father, mother, and three children) might own a group of three devices, which could be utilized by any member of the family. Thus, if the daughter walks into a room of the house and a device has been left on a table in the room, the daughter might decide to use that particular device to perform various functions (e.g., watch videos posted by her friends, watch videos posted by others but which might be of interest to the daughter, as well as other actions). To improve her user experience, the user identification component will be able to dynamically recognize her.
To facilitate the recognition by the user identification component, information related to each person that could interact with the device could be retained in memory (or another system component). For example, a username or username/password pair might be entered in order for the person to interact with the device and the user identification component utilizes the username information to configure the device for the user.
In accordance with some aspects, the user identification component could utilize other manners of distinguishing the particular user. For example, the user might be recognized through biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, thumb print, eye scan, and so forth). Based, in part, on the information related to the person handling the device, the user identification component is configured to recognize the current person using the device and provide the information to retention component (or other system components).
Google filed their patent application under serial number 443567 in Q2 2012. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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