System And Method For Communication And Displaying Of Information

  • Published: Jul 31, 2008
  • Earliest Priority: Jan 25 2007
  • Family: 4
  • Cited Works: 1
  • Cited by: 7
  • Cites: 4
  • Additional Info: Full text

System and method for communication and displaying of information

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to the field of communication of information, and in particular to a system and method as defined in the introductory parts of the independent claims.

Background of the invention

Conveyance of information is important and the amount of information available has grown tremendously over the last decades. There is a constant development of the ways in which information is conveyed or exchanged. Different kinds of media are used to deliver the information, for example television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers and the Internet.

One type of information conveyance is commercial advertising, which is important for creating a demand for industrial products and therefore also a crucial factor for economic growth.

Another type of information is non-commercial public service advertising. The same advertising techniques that are used for promoting commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as diseases, political ideology, energy conservation and environmental effects.

In some instances it is most important to quickly inform the people, for example in case of hazardous discharges that constitute a danger to the public. In such cases a public broadcasting, for example by means of the radio, is often used to inform the people about the hazardous situation. However, in cases in which a message is really directed only to a certain area and concerns only a limited number of people, the use of radio or television has a disadvantage in that people that are not affected by the situation will also be informed about it. This may create anxiety also among the people not subject to the dangerous situation. This can be avoided or at least limited by using the local radio, but since the local radio stations often are less popular than radio stations having nation-wide coverage, some people may then miss the important message.

Commercial advertising, for example television advertising, has a similar problem in that there is a large number of people that are not among the intended target group. This problem can be reduced to some extent by, for example, telecasting at specific chosen points of time, i.e. when the desired target group is expected to watch the television.

Undesired and non-interesting commercials are most annoying for the television watchers as well as for other receivers of advertisements, and the companies advertising may even get some badwill .

In view of the above it would be desirable to provide a more flexible information conveyance system.

Summary of the invention

It is an object of the invention to provide an alternative information conveyance system. In particular, it is an object of the invention to provide a system in which information may be directed to a desired target group.

It is another object of the invention to provide a system enabling information to be directed to specific, individual information recipients, and in particular to mobile information recipients .

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a system enabling specific information to be directed to specific information recipients in dependence on different criteria, such as location of the information recipient or time of day.

These objects, among others, are achieved by a system for communicating information and by a method for communication of information in such a system, as claimed in the independent claims.

In accordance with the invention, a system for communication of information is provided. The system comprises a wireless communication network and one or more recipients. The recipients in turn comprises means for communicating over the wireless communication network, means for receiving satellite navigation signals, and a projector unit for displaying information received over the wireless communication network. The system further comprises a server having a server application for receiving and transmitting information over the wireless communication network and an input device connectable to the server for inputting and/or selecting information to be communicated to a selected recipient and displayed by the projector unit. The invention provides a means for accomplishing truly directed advertising. Further, other information only relevant to particular information recipients may also be directed to these particular information recipients. Further yet, by including a projector unit the information can be displayed on any suitable projection surface, and having any desired size. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the server is arranged to transmit the information to the recipients in dependence on criteria entered to the server. For example, the criteria may be the time of day or the time of year or any other suitable criteria.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the server is arranged to transmit the information to the selected recipient based on a geographical position obtained from the recipient over the wireless communication network. The information may then be related to the geographical location of the recipients and may for example be directed to traffic information or road directions.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention, the means for communicating over the wireless network, the means for receiving satellite navigation signals and the projector unit are integrated into a single unit. A compact all-in-one device is thereby provided.

Further characteristics of the invention and advantages thereof will be evident from the detailed description of embodiments of the invention given hereinafter and the accompanying figures.

Brief description of the drawings

Figure 1 illustrates an embodiment of the system in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 2 illustrates another embodiment of the system in accordance with the invention.

Figure 3 illustrates a projector unit that may be included in the inventive system and its placement in an exemplary mobile environment. Figure 4 illustrates an overview of steps included in the method in accordance with the invention.

Detailed description of preferred embodiments

Same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings for denoting same or equivalent parts. Further, the word

"recipient" is primarily used for denoting an information receiver device, but is in some instances used for denoting persons receiving (i.e. watching) the information, i.e.

"information recipients" is intended to encompass persons watching the information being displayed.

Figure 1 illustrates a first embodiment of a system for communication of information in accordance with the invention. The information communication system, in the following simply denoted "system", comprises any number of clients, two of which are shown in the figure and indicated at Cl and C2, respectively. The clients Cl, C2 may for example be personal computers (PC) by means of which information can be entered.

The system 1 further comprises one or more servers 2 (only two shown in the figure) having suitable server applications and preferably also one or more database(s). Examples of server applications that the server 2 comprises include: a server application for receiving and transmitting information over a wireless communication network; a server application for receiving information from the input devices

Cl, C2; a server application for communicating information received from the input device Cl, C2 to one or more recipients over the wireless communication network; server applications for keeping track of the geographical position of different users; server applications for receiving information to be conveyed to specific recipients. Further, the server 2 may be provided with means for registering driving journals and statistics about the recipients. For example, in an embodiment the server 2 comprises means for registering, storing and processing driving patterns of recipients, for later use in determining which recipients should receive what information. Other data, for example the temperature or the speed at which a mobile recipient travels, may be received from the recipients and stored in the server 2 for future use .

The server 2 may further comprise a database containing user information such as name or some other identification means, phone numbers, information linking specific users or units to specific vehicle tracking units or the like. Alternatively, the server 2 is connectable to such databases.

The system 1 is preferably connected to the Internet, whereby the World Wide Web is accessible via the Internet, as are many other services, such as e-mail. The system 1 may be connected to other interconnected computer networks as well, besides the Internet. The system 1 may be connected to intranets, extranets or the like.

The system 1 further comprises a radio communication network, indicated at reference numeral 3 and in the following denoted wireless network 3. In the figure, the wireless network 3 is shown to comprise two base transceiver station (or shortly base station) BSl, BS2, but it is realised that the wireless system. 3 may comprise any number of base stations. It is further realized that the wireless network comprises other parts as well (not illustrated) besides base transceiver stations 3, for example base station controllers (BSC) etc. The wireless network 3 over which the information is transmitted and/or received may be any known wireless system, such as GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) or some other second-generation (2G) or third-generation (3G) mobile communication technology.

The system 1 preferably also comprises one or more satellites 4 that are part of a satellite navigation system, such as for example the Global Positioning System (GPS) or GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System). The satellite 4 may for example arranged to provide a GPS signal to a GPS receiver arranged in a vehicle.

A projector unit 5 may be used for receiving information transmitted over the wireless network 3 and for displaying the information in a vehicle such as a car. The information received may be displayed within a vehicle, be projected on a back window of the vehicle, be projected onto the vehicle, be projected onto the road on which the vehicle travels or any other suitable projection surface.

The projector unit 5 is described more in detail with reference to figure 3. The projector unit 5 may be arranged to receive its geographical position and thus comprises a GPS receiving module or is connectable to a GPS receiver.

In the system 1 of figure 1 , a user may input information by means of client Cl. The client Cl is connected to the server 2, which has means for transmitting the desired information over the wireless network 3 to the selected recipients 7. The information is thus conveyed to a desired recipient 7 by means of the wireless network 3. The recipient 7 is in this exemplary case a projector unit 5 within a car and having means for receiving the information, in the following denoted a integrated information receiver device 8. The integrated information receiver device 8 comprises means for communicating over the wireless network 3. The information input by means of a client Cl can be transferred to several recipients 7 or a single recipient. In the figure, client Cl is shown to convey information to a first recipient 7, and client C2 is shown to convey information to a second recipient 7', via the server 2 and the wireless network 3.

The projector unit 5 comprises the integrated information receiver device 9 for enabling communication over the wireless network 3. The integrated information receiver device 9 may comprise an integrated transceiver or only an integrated receiver for receiving the information. The information is displayed for example on the back window of the car by means of the projector unit 5. The projector unit 5 or the integrated information receiver device 9 further comprises processing means for processing the received information, for example analysis, interpretation and manipulation of the information containing signals. The recipient 7 thus comprises the projector unit 5 and the integrated information receiver device 9.

Figure 2 illustrates another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the information-receiving device is a separate wireless device, for example a cellular phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), pocket PC or a smartphone, in the following denoted wireless information device. The wireless information device 8 is arranged to receive the information transmitted over the wireless network 3. The projector unit 5, in turn, receives the information to be displayed from the wireless information device (in the illustrated example the cellular phone) and the processing of the information received over the wireless network 3 is made externally to the projector unit 5. In this embodiment, the recipient 7 may be defined as comprising the wireless information device 8 and the projector unit 5, but as two separate units. In the previous embodiment, the recipient 7 is defined as comprising the projector unit 5 and the integrated information receiver device 9.

The information received by the cellular phone is transferred to the projector unit 5 by means of Bluetooth or infrared communication or some other short-range communication technology. Alternatively, the information is transferred to the projector unit 5 by means of a cable, for example a regular USB cable.

As mentioned, a person wishing to convey some kind of information to a particular group of people uses a client Cl, C2 by means of which the information is entered. As also mentioned, the client Cl, C2 may for example use the Internet to update the information to be shown, e.g. images, advertisements, text, by the one or more projector units 5.

The sender of the information, such as an advertiser, may choose to send the information to all recipients 7 in a particular area, in which the desired information recipients are believed to be. For example, an advertiser of sports equipment may wish to display the advertisement in connection with a particular sports event. He may then chose to broadcast the information to all recipients 7 that are located in the vicinity of the specific sports event, whereby the information may be seen by all information recipients located in this area.

In another embodiment of the invention, the geographic location, time of day, time of year or some other parameter is used in order to determine what information should be sent to a particular information recipient or a group of information recipients.

Recipients 7 may subscribe to some specific information, for example in order to receive navigation information and updated maps, traffic information, etc. Such subscriptions may be entered into the server 2 , which send the desired information regularly or continuously to the recipient 7 of the information recipient.

The information received by the projector unit 5, whether directly or by means of an intermediate device such as a cellular phone, can be displayed in a way so as to be viewable only by the particular user. That is, the projector unit 5 is arranged so as to display the information for example on the dashboard of a car or the like. The information may then be directed to, for example, displaying a map by means of which the user can navigate. The information may be a map in itself, or road directions, and/or other information such as traffic information, for example related to traffic congestions, traffic accidents, speed control warnings, slippery conditions of certain roadways, road constructions and so on. It is possible to only display information relevant for the particular user. That is, since the user has a GPS receiver, or other satellite navigation signal receiver, the geographical position information of the particular user can be obtained and the server 2 then determines which information is relevant for the user in this particular area (whether, traffic information etc.).

Alternatively, when the projector unit 5 is arranged in a vehicle, the information received can be displayed so as to be viewable by other road-users . The information may for example be displayed on a window of the vehicle by means of back-projection. The information can for example be advertisements that change in dependence on the geographic location of the vehicle in which the recipient 7 is arranged, and/or in dependence on the time of day, time of year, or urgency of traffic information.

The information displayed by the projector unit 5 may be real-time information. That is, an advertiser or a service provider providing traffic information, weather information or the like, may enter the information continuously. The information may then continuously be transmitted to the projector units 5, whereby the information is always up to date and relevant.

It is to be noted that any technique for transferring the information data may be used. The information may be streamed, such that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. That is, the recipients 7 continuously receive the information delivered by the provider. The server 2 then comprises streaming media server application. Alternatively, the information is broadcast live, or downloaded prior to displaying it.

Figure 3 illustrates a projector unit 5 that may be used for implementing display means included in the inventive system. The projector unit 5 may be arranged in a mobile environment, such as a car, bus, train or other vehicle. The projector unit 5 may in an alternative embodiment be fixedly arranged at a single location, for example in connection with a traffic information display arrangement or at a certain location frequented by people that the owner of the recipient 7 wants to convey information to.

The projector unit 5 comprises conventional projector means, such as an optics system including a light source, illumination optics and projection lens. The one or more light source could for example be a monochrome or polychrome light source. The projector further comprises software and electronics, for example controlling the optical devices and the opto-electro-mechanical system of the projector and ultimately transforming the input signals to an image to be projected. This controlling comprises conventional processing, such as for example controlling gamma correction, as is well known within the field.

Further, a light modulator is included, for creating an image, for example DLP (digital light processing), LCoS (Liquid crystal on Silicon) or LCD (liquid crystal display). In a DLP projector, the image is created by microscopically small mirrors laid out in a matrix on a semiconductor chip, known as a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) . Each mirror represents one pixel in the projected image and the number of mirrors corresponds to the resolution of the projected image. The projector unit 5 also includes means for converting received image data to an image to be displayed on a projection surface.

The projector unit 5 in accordance with the invention may be connected to an external power source, for example connected to a car battery or a boat battery. It then lacks a power source of its own. The projector unit 5 may alternatively utilize an integrated special purpose battery, i.e. does not have to be connected to an external power source.

The projector unit 5 further comprises means for rear projection and/or front projection. Front projection is the most common type of projection, and comprises placing the projector in front of the screen or projection surface, for example a window or a dashboard of a car. In rear projection, also called back projection, the image is projected through a diffusion screen for example made of translucent or semitransparent material and the image is viewed from the side opposite to the projector, i.e. the imaged is projected onto the screen and viewed on the opposite side. The image obviously has to be reversed, and means to this end is then provided, for example software performing such reversal of the image or using a series of mirrors to project the image onto the screen. This mode is suitable for showing a nautical chart or the like, giving a very large image and greatly facilitating the navigation tasks performed by the driver. In accordance with the invention, such dual-mode projector is preferably used.

The projector unit 5 is preferably able to receive a GPS (Global Positioning System) signal from the satellite 4 in order to determine its geographical position and .thus comprises a GPS receiving module 6.

The projector units 5 comprise means for receiving the information to be displayed by the projector unit 5. That is, the projector unit 5 is further able to communicate over the wireless network 3, and thus comprises communication means 9 to this end or comprises means for receiving the information via a wireless information device 8 , as has been described earlier.

The projector unit 5 may further communicate its geographical position, received by the GPS module 6, to the communication means 9 to thereby be able to communicate the position over the wireless network 3. That is, the GPS signal may be transferred by means of Bluetooth or IR

(infrared) data transmission, or some other short-range communication technology, to a device suitable for mobile communication, for example a cellular phone, as discussed earlier. With reference again to figure 1, different recipients (in the figure illustrated by two different cars) may receive and display different information. The information may for example be dependent on their geographical positions as explained earlier.

The invention may be varied in a number of ways. In a variation of the invention, the wireless communication device 8 (or integrated information receiving device 9) may be used as the input client as well as part of the recipient 7. That is, the wireless communication device 8 may for example be a cellular phone . The user inputs a request to the server 2, possibly after having logged into the server 2. The request relates to a wish to receive certain information, for example a film. The server 2 then processes the request and starts transmitting the requested information to the cellular phone, which in turn conveys the information to the projector unit 5.

In another variation, the recipient 7 comprises means for communicating with other nearby devices (not shown) . For example, it may be arranged to receive the speed of the vehicle in which the recipient 7 is arranged, the ambient temperature from a nearby thermometer, information from nearby cellular phones, information from Bluetooth-devices or devices arranged to sense environmental conditions or any other device. All such parameters may be utilised in order to determine what kind of information the recipient 7 should receive.

In yet another variation of the invention, the server 2 communicates with other servers (indicated schematically in figure 1 ) , for example in order to retrieve information about users located nearby a particular recipient 7. The invention also provides a corresponding method. That is, a method for communication of information in the system 1 described above. With reference to figure 4, the method 100 comprises the first step (step 110) of inputting, to the server 2, a request for communicating information to one or more recipients 7 or inputting information to be communicated to one or more recipients 7. The means for inputting may for example be the client Cl. In a second step (step 120) one or more of recipients 7 are selected. This selection may be performed in any of the ways described earlier. Thereafter, in step 130, the information is transmitted from the server 2 over the wireless communication network 3 to the selected recipient or recipients 7. Finally, in step 140, the information is received by the recipient 7 and displayed by means of the projector unit 5.

The method 100 may comprise further steps. For example, the method 100 may comprise the step of receiving, in the server 2 , information about the geographical location of the recipients 7, and transmitting information in dependence thereof. Yet additional step may be included.

In the following an exemplary use of the system 1 will be described. A user, in the following Company A, wishes to communicate a commercial advertisement to all persons that are passing a specific road junction, whereby it is concluded that the persons are presumably on their way to a nearby airport. The Company A wishes to convey information about a special offer valid at their store at the airport.

A company with which Company A has an agreement, in the following cab company X, has a number of cars comprising means for receiving and displaying the information, i.e. a recipient 7. That is, the cars comprise communication means for receiving the information and a projector unit 5 for displaying it.

Company A enters the desired request, which is to display the advertisement to people on their way to the airport, in a suitable way. The server 2 receives the request. The server 2 comprises means for retrieving the geographical location of all cars of company X. The cars passing the specified road junction are chosen to be the recipients 7 of the information, whereupon the information is conveyed over the wireless network 3 to the receiving means, i.e. a wireless information device 8 or receiving means integrated within the projector unit 5. The information received by the recipients is shown by means of the projector units 5. Data processing may be required in order for enabling transmission of the desired information to the desired recipients 7. Such data processing may suitably be performed in the server 2.

In another embodiment, company A wishes that all cars of company X receives and displays the information, irrespective of their location. In yet another embodiment, company A wishes the advertisement to be shown between the hours of 7 prα and 9 pm a specific day of the week. In still another embodiment, company A wishes the advertisement to be shown every Saturday" evening.

In the above description, the term "server" has been used. The server is a computer or computer system that provides services to other computers or computing systems — called clients — over a computer network. Further, it is to be noted that the term server can refer to hardware or software. While the present invention has been described in various embodiments it shall be appreciated that the invention is not limited to the specific features and details set forth, but is defined only by the appended patent claims.

Claims

1. A system (1) for communication of information, said system (1) comprising a wireless communication network (3), characterised by

- one or more recipients (7) comprising:

- means (8, 9) for communicating over said wireless communication network ( 3 ) ,

means (6) for receiving satellite navigation signals, and

- a projector unit (5) for displaying information received over said wireless communication network (3),

- a server (2) comprising a server application for receiving and transmitting information over said wireless communication network ( 3 ) , and

- an input device (Cl, C2 ) connectable to said server (2) for inputting and/or selecting information to be communicated to a selected recipient (7) and displayed by said projector unit (5).

2. The system (1) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said server (2) is arranged to transmit said information to said recipient (7) in dependence on criteria entered to said server (2) .

3. The system (1) as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said server (2) is arranged to transmit said information to said recipient (7) based on a geographical position obtained from said recipient (7) over said wireless communication network (3).

4. The system (1) as claimed in any of claims 1-3, wherein said server (2) is arranged to transmit said information to said recipient (7) based one or more of: time of day, time of year, ambient temperature.

5. The system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said means (8, 9) for communicating over said wireless network (3), said means (6) for receiving satellite navigation signals and said projector unit (5) are integrated.

6. The system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said means (8, 9) for communicating over said wireless network (3) is a wireless communication device such as a cellular phone.

7. The system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said means (6) for receiving satellite navigation signals comprises a GPS-receiver .

8. The system (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said projector unit (5) comprises means for back projection and front projection.

9. The system (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said information comprises one or more of: a map, road directions, or traffic information related to traffic congestions, traffic accidents, speed control warnings, slippery conditions of certain roadways and/or road constructions.

10. The system (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein said information is real-time information.

11. Method for communication of information in a system (1) comprising a wireless communication network (3), characterised by the steps of

- inputting (110), by means of an input device (Cl, C2 ) connectable to a server (2) of said system (1), information to be communicated to one or more recipients (7), said recipient (7) comprising means (8, 9) for communicating over said wireless communication network (3), means (6) for receiving satellite navigation signals, and a projector unit (5) for displaying information received over said wireless communication network ( 3 ) ,

- selecting (120) one or more of said recipients (7),

- transmitting (130) the information from said server (2) over said wireless communication network (3) to said one or more selected recipients (7), and

- displaying (140) said information by a projector unit (5) of said recipient (7).

12. The method as claimed in claim 11, further comprising the step of receiving, in said server (2), information about the geographical location of said recipients (7), and transmitting information in dependence thereof.

13. Method as claimed in claim 11 or 12, wherein said projector unit (5) of said recipient (7) is arranged in a vehicle and said information is displayed on a window of said vehicle.

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