CableLabs Hooks Fisheye UI

CableLabs won a U.S. patent for a “fisheye navigator” designed to make it easier for subscribers to search growing libraries of live and on-demand content.

judson-cary
Judson Cary

The invention is something that may help CableLabs members such as Comcast and Charter Communications build interfaces that could run on devices that support virtual reality or augmented reality programming.

CableLabs VR and AR Distinguished Technologist Steve Glennon and VP of Technology Policy Judson Cary are named as inventors on the patent, titled, “Multidimensional navigator.”

steve-glennon
Steve Glennon

The patent, which was published on Sept. 27, was originally filed by CableLabs in June 2013.

Abstract: A multidimensional navigator configured to facilitate navigation to electronic content is contemplated. The navigator may include a plurality of dimensions and/or levels whereby each level displays electronic content available for navigation. The electronic content identified within each level may be arranged in a fisheye configuration comprising a plurality of rings where each ring identifies electronic content associated with a different resource.

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Patent

Claims: 

1. A method of facilitating access to electronic content comprising: receiving at a device having capabilities sufficient to access electronic content a first term from a user desiring to search for electronic content associated therewith; generating at the device a plurality of search requests having searching information sufficient to facilitate searching for electronic content related to the first term; transmitting the plurality of search requests from the device to a plurality of resources having or capable of searching for electronic content associated with the searching information included within a corresponding one of the plurality of search requests; receiving at the device a plurality of search results each generated by a different one of the plurality of resources, each of the plurality of search results identifying electronic content uncovered as a result of a search for electronic content conducted by the corresponding one of the plurality of resources based on the searching information included in each received one of the plurality of search requests such that each resource conducts the corresponding search using a search term derived from the first term that is different from the search term used by each of the other resources; arranging at the device two or more of the plurality of search results into a plurality of levels, each of the plurality of levels identifying the electronic content uncovered for the corresponding one of the plurality of searches; arranging at the device each of the plurality of levels for simultaneous display within a fisheye navigator to facilitate user navigation of the electronic content, including displaying the fisheye navigator within a display associated with the device such that each of the plurality of levels displays the electronic content associated with a different one of the plurality of resources; determining at the device a plurality of identifiers sufficient to visually represent the electronic content associated with the plurality of levels; facilitating display of the plurality of identifiers within the fisheye navigator; controlling the device to access the electronic content associated with one of the plurality of identifiers in response to the user interacting therewith; arranging at the device the plurality of identifiers within one of a plurality of concentrically arranged rings, each one of the plurality of concentrically arranged rings corresponding with one of the first plurality of levels; transmitting from the device an innermost ring search request of the plurality of search requests to one of the plurality of resources to perform an innermost ring search and an outermost ring search request of the plurality of search requests to a different one of the plurality of resources to perform an outermost ring search; and arranging the plurality of identifiers such that an innermost ring of the plurality of concentrically arranged rings corresponds with the electronic content uncovered as part of the innermost ring search and the plurality of identifiers included within an outermost ring correspond with electronic content uncovered as part of the outermost ring search; and wherein the innermost ring search is more closely related to the first term than the outermost ring search.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising arranging the first plurality of identifiers such that an innermost ring of the plurality of concentrically arranged rings includes a least number of the plurality of identifiers and an outermost ring of the plurality of concentrically arranged rings includes a greatest number of the plurality of identifiers.

3. A computer program product embodied in a non-transitory medium, with a processor, to facilitate navigating to electronic content, with non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate: determining a first search result, a second search result and a third search result respectively associated with a first search, a second search and a third search independently conducted according to a search term, the first, second and third search results each identifying electronic content available for navigation, the electronic content identified within the first search result being more closely related to the search term than the electronic content identified within the second and third search results and the electronic content identified within the second search result being more closely related to the search term than the electronic content identified within the third search result; simultaneously displaying icons for at least a portion of the electronic content identified within the first, second and third search results respectively within a first ring, a second ring and a third ring of a fisheye navigator such that the first ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the first search result, the second ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the second search result and the third ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the third search result, the fisheye navigator facilitating user navigation to the electronic content upon selection of a corresponding one of the icons displayed in the first, second and third rings, wherein the fisheye navigator arranges the first ring to be an innermost ring, the second ring to surround the first ring and the third ring to surround the second ring with the search term being displayed in a middle of the first ring; transmitting a first search request having a first term associated with the search term to a first resource, the first resource responsively: i) performing the first search for the first term; and ii) transmitting a first reply identifying the first search result; transmitting a second search request having a second term associated with the search term to a second resource, the second resource being different than the first resource and responsively: i) performing the second search for the second term; and ii) transmitting a second reply identifying the second search result; transmitting a third search request having a third term associated with the search term to a third resource, the third resource being different than the second resource and responsively: i) Performing the third search for the third term; and ii) transmitting a third reply identifying the third search result; and determining the first, second and third searches from the first, second and third replies; and generating the second and third terms to be different than the first term.

4. A device comprising: a display; a processor; an application embodied in a non-transitory medium with the processor to facilitate navigating to electronic content identified within the display, the application including instructions sufficient to facilitate: i) determining a first search result, a second search result and a third search result respectively associated with a first search, a second search and a third search independently conducted according to a search term, the first, second and third search results each identifying electronic content available for navigation, the electronic content identified within the first search result being more closely related to the search term than the electronic content identified within the second and third search results and the electronic content identified within the second search result being more closely related to the search term than the electronic content identified within the third search result; ii) simultaneously displaying icons for at least a portion of the electronic content identified within the first, second and third search results respectively within a first ring, a second ring and a third ring of a fisheye navigator such that the first ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the first search result, the second ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the second search result and the third ring displays icons for the portion of electronic content identified in the third search result, the fisheye navigator facilitating user navigation to the electronic content upon selection of a corresponding one of the icons displayed in the first, second and third rings, wherein the fisheye navigator arranges the first ring to be an innermost ring, the second ring to surround the first ring and the third ring to surround the second ring with the search term being displayed in a middle of the first ring; iii) transmitting a first search request having a first term associated with the search term to a first resource, the first resource responsively: (1) performing the first search for the first term; and (2) transmitting a first reply identifying the first search result; iv) transmitting a second search request having a second term associated with the search term to a second resource, the second resource being different than the first resource and responsively: (1) determining the second and third searches from the first, second and third replies; and v) generating the second and third terms to be different than the first term.

5. The computer program product of claim 3 further comprising non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate generating the first term to be the same as the search term.

6. The computer program product of claim 5 further comprising non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate generating the second term as a function of the electronic content identified in the first search result.

7. The computer program product of claim 6 further comprising non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate generating the second term to include a secondary search term selected from one or more of an n number of top hits included in the first search result.

8. The computer program product of claim 7 further comprising non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate selecting the second term to be a most popular one of the n number of top hits included in the first search result and a third search term included as at least part of the third term to be a most popular one of an m number of top hits included in the second search result.

9. The computer program product of claim 3 further comprising non-transitory instructions sufficient to facilitate: selecting the first resource to be a Web-based search engine such that the fisheye navigator navigates to the electronic content identified in the first search results through a web browser to access a corresponding webpage; and selecting the second resource to be a television service provider search engine such that the fisheye navigator navigates to the electronic content identified in the second search results through a set-top box (STB) to access a corresponding channel of a television service provider.