Mobile communications device
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Entering Chinese text into a mobile phone is a particularly difficult task as simplified Chinese has 6763 characters, and therefore to enter a character using just a numerical keypad is a challenge. However, this is of critical importance if the new generation of mobile devices are to be usable by Chinese users. While at Ericsson, Loudon developed several new input methods for entering Chinese characters more easily on a mobile phone. This work was part of a broader research effort that looked at new solutions to the HCI issues faced by Asian users having to interact with information appliances such as mobile phones. This patent was created from initial ethnographic research of the communication patterns of Chinese users. This patent (developed jointly between Loudon and co-author) describes a new method for entering ideographic characters from a keypad of a mobile communications device such as a mobile phone. Each of the keys in the keypad of the mobile communications device corresponds to a character pattern or structure. On selection by the user of one of these patterns, the device presents the user with a selection of possibilities for a first component of the selected pattern. Assuming that the pattern includes more than one component then, on selection by the user of one of the possibilities for the first component, the user is presented with a series of possibilities for a second component, and so on until the character has been composed. The new input method was prototyped and tested with Chinese users to help refine the solution. The research approach of ethnography, early prototyping and user testing for the discovery of new design solutions has been applied directly in the subsequent work carried out by Loudon and Gill in the Programme for Advanced Interactive Prototype Research (PAIPR).
World Patent WO 02/082251, pp.
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