Verizon Scores Touch Screen Program Guide Patent

One day after interactive TV technology giant The Kudelski Group sued Verizon for alleged patent infringement, the telco won a key U.S. patent involving program guides that allow viewers to navigate by touching or pinching screens on mobile devices.

Roberts
Roberts

Verizon Director of Video User Experience Brian Roberts is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Program guide interface systems and methods.” Verizon filed the patent application in July 2014.

The invention could power program guides for Verizon’s FiOS TV service and over-the-top-video products such as Go90.

Abstract: An exemplary method includes a computing device presenting a program guide interface by way of a touch screen, detecting a pinch gesture provided in relation to the program guide interface, and presenting, in response to the pinch gesture, a plurality of graphical objects representative of a plurality of media programming channel groups. Each graphical object in the plurality of graphical objects is configured to function as a user-selectable jump point to specific programming guide information associated with a respective media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups.

Claims:

1. A method comprising: presenting, by a computing device by way of a touch screen, a program guide interface comprising a listing of media programming channels organized into a vertical column in a vertical column area of the program guide interface, and program guide information for the listing of media programming channels organized into a plurality of rows, each row within the plurality of rows associated with a respective media programming channel within the listing of media programming channels; detecting, by the computing device, a vertical pinch gesture provided by a user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; presenting, by the computing device by way of the touch screen and in response to the detecting of the vertical pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a plurality of graphical objects representative of a plurality of media programming channel groups, each graphical object in the plurality of graphical objects configured to function as a user-selectable jump point to specific programming guide information associated with a respective media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups; detecting, by the computing device, a vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to a particular graphical object within the plurality of graphical objects, the particular graphical object representing a particular media programming channel group within the plurality of media programming channel groups; presenting, by the computing device, within the program guide interface and in response to the detecting of the vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the particular graphical object, a particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group, and specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels; detecting, by the computing device while the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media program channels are presented within the program guide interface, an additional vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; and presenting, by the computing device, in response to the detecting of the additional vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in place of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface, and specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in place of the specific program guide for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface, the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels comprising an additional level of detail compared to the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels; wherein widths of elements of the program guide interface are kept constant across a transition from the presenting of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein: the particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group is organized into the vertical column area in the program guide interface; and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group is organized into a second plurality of rows, each row in the second plurality of rows associated with a respective media programming channel within the particular listing of media programming channels; the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group is organized into the vertical column area in the program guide interface in place of the particular listing of media programming channels; and the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group is organized into a third plurality of rows, each row in the third plurality of rows associated with a respective media programming channel within the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of graphical objects comprises: a first graphical object representative of a first media programming channel group included in the plurality of plurality of media programming channel groups, the first media programming channel group including a first listing of media programming channels; and a second graphical object representative of a second media programming channel group included in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the second media programming channel group including a second listing of media programming channels different from the first listing of media programming channels.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein: each media programming channel in the first listing of media programming channels is associated with a common channel characteristic; and each media programming channel in the second listing of media programming channels is currently delivering a particular media program when the vertical pinch gesture is detected or is scheduled to deliver the particular media program within a predetermined time period of when the vertical pinch gesture is detected.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the presenting of the plurality of graphical objects representative of the plurality of media programming channel groups comprises presenting the plurality of graphical objects representative of the plurality of media programming channel groups within the vertical column area in substitution of the listing of media programming channels.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of media programming channel groups comprises a media programming channel group that includes one or more media programming channels selected for inclusion in the media programming channel group based on a schedule of delivery of a particular media program on the one or more media programming channels being within a predetermined time period of when the vertical pinch gesture is detected.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of media programming channel groups comprises a mood-based channel group that includes one or more media programming channels selected for inclusion in the mood-based channel group based on an analysis of media content recently accessed by the user.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of media programming channel groups comprises a social media channel group that includes one or more media programming channels selected for inclusion in the social media channel group based on at least one of social media communications of the user and social media activity.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of media programming channel groups comprises a user customized channel group that includes one or more media programming channels selected for inclusion in the user customized channel group based on one or more parameters designated by the user.

10. The method of claim 1, further comprising dynamically generating, by the computing device in response to the detecting of the vertical pinch gesture, a media programming channel group included in the plurality of media programming channel groups based on a media program delivery schedule and when the pinch touch gesture is detected.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the plurality of graphical objects comprises: a first graphical object representing a first media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the first graphical object configured to function as a first user-selectable jump point to a first set of program guide information associated with the first media programming channel group; and a second graphical object representing a second media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the second graphical object configured to function as a second user-selectable jump point to a second set of program guide information associated with the second media programming channel group.

12. The method of claim 1, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.

13. A method comprising: presenting, by a computing device by way of a touch screen, a program guide interface comprising a first listing of media programming channels organized into a vertical column in a vertical column area of the program guide interface, and program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels organized into a plurality of rows, each row within the plurality of rows associated with a respective media programming channel within the first listing of media programming channels, the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels having a first level of detail; detecting, by the computing device, a vertical pinch gesture provided by a user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; presenting, by the computing device, in response to the detecting of the vertical pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a second listing of media programming channels in place of the first listing of media programming channels in the vertical column area of the program guide interface, the second listing of media programming channels including more media programming channels than the first listing of media programming channels, and program guide information for the second listing of media programming channels in place of the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface, the program guide information for the second listing of media programming channels comprising less detailed information compared to the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels; detecting, by the computing device while the second listing of media programming channels and the program guide information for the second listing of media program channels are presented within the program guide interface, an additional vertical pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; and presenting, by the computing device and in response to the detecting of the additional vertical pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a plurality of graphical objects in place of the second listing of media programming channels within the vertical column area of the program guide interface, the plurality of graphical objects representative of a plurality of media programming channel groups, each graphical object in the plurality of graphical objects configured to function as a user-selectable jump point to specific programming guide information associated with a respective media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups; wherein widths of elements of the program guide interface are kept constant across a transition from the presenting of the first listing of media programming channels and the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the second listing of media programming channels and the program guide information for the second listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the vertical pinch gesture and the additional vertical pinch gesture are provided by the user within the vertical column area of the program guide interface.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the plurality of graphical objects comprises: a first graphical object representing a first media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the first graphical object configured to function as a first user-selectable jump point to a first set of program guide information associated with the first media programming channel group, and a second graphical object representing a second media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the second graphical object configured to function as a second user-selectable jump point to a second set of program guide information associated with the second media programming channel group.

16. The method of claim 13, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.

17. A system comprising: at least one physical computing device that: presents, by way of a touch screen, a program guide interface comprising a listing of media programming channels organized into a vertical column in a vertical column area of the program guide interface, and program guide information for the listing of media programming channels organized into a plurality of rows, each row within the plurality of rows associated with a respective media programming channel within the listing of media programming channels; detects a vertical pinch gesture provided by a user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; and presents, by way of the touch screen and in response to the detecting of the vertical pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a plurality of graphical objects representative of a plurality of media programming channel groups, each graphical object in the plurality of graphical objects configured to function as a user-selectable jump point to specific programming guide information associated with a respective media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups; detects a vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to a particular graphical object within the plurality of graphical objects, the particular graphical object representing a particular media programming channel group within the plurality of media programming channel groups; presents, within the program guide interface and in response to the detecting of the vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the particular graphical object, a particular listing of media programming channels included in the particular media programming channel group, and specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels; detects, while the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media program channels are presented within the program guide interface, an additional vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface; and presents, in response to the detecting of the additional vertical reverse pinch gesture provided by the user by way of the touch screen in relation to the program guide interface, a subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in place of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface, and specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in place of the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface, the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels comprising an additional level of detail compared to the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels; wherein widths of elements of the program guide interface are kept constant across a transition from the presenting of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein the at least one physical computing device dynamically generates, in response to the detecting of the vertical pinch gesture, a media programming channel group included in the plurality of media programming channel groups based on a media program delivery schedule and when the pinch touch gesture is detected.

19. The system of claim 17, wherein the plurality of graphical objects comprises: a first graphical object representing a first media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the first graphical object configured to function as a first user-selectable jump point to a first set of program guide information associated with the first media programming channel group; and a second graphical object representing a second media programming channel group in the plurality of media programming channel groups, the second graphical object configured to function as a second user-selectable jump point to a second set of program guide information associated with the second media programming channel group.

20. The method of claim 1, wherein font size of text included in the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels and in the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels is kept constant across the transition from the presenting of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein heights of elements of the program guide interface are adjusted across the transition from the presenting of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels and the specific program guide information for the subset of the particular listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.

22. The method of claim 13, wherein font size of text included in the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels and in the program guide information for the second listing of media programming channels is kept constant across the transition from the presenting of the first listing of media programming channels and the program guide information for the first listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface to the presenting of the second listing of media programming channels and the program guide information for the second listing of media programming channels in the program guide interface.