SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING EVENT REMINDERS

US 2011 231 216A1

drawing #0

Show all 17 drawings

A system and method are provided for obtaining data that could affect event details, such that this data can be used to generate alerts that are sent early enough to give the user time to reach the event, predict lateness, arrange replacements/delegates, reschedule, cancel meetings in advance, etc. By more intelligently providing reminders to the user, the above-described unforeseen circumstances can be dealt with. In some embodiments, an aggregation of various external data sources as well as internal data can be used to better predict when a user should be reminded of the time for their event, determine and advise whether they may be late regardless, and/or enable the user to arrange a delegate or replacement or to reschedule or cancel the event.

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Claims

1. A method of controlling event reminders in a computing device, the method comprising:
the computing device enabling an event entry to be stored in the computing device, the event entry having a start time associated therewith;
the computing device receiving a designation for the event entry indicative of a reminder time for the event, wherein computing device is configured to display a reminder on a display of the computing device at a predetermined time prior to the start time for the event;
the computing device obtaining data associated with the event and indicating that an earlier reminder time is required;
the computing device using the data associated with the event to automatically generate a new reminder time which is earlier than the reminder time designated for the event; and
the computing device displaying a message on the display associated with the new reminder time.

Show 10 dependent claims

12. A computer readable medium comprising computer executable instructions for controlling event reminders in a computing device, the computer readable medium comprising instructions for:
enabling an event entry to be stored in the computing device, the event entry having a start time associated therewith;
receiving a designation for the event entry indicative of a reminder time for the event, wherein computing device is configured to display a reminder on a display of the computing device at a predetermined time prior to the start time for the event;
obtaining data associated with the event and indicating that an earlier reminder time is required;
using the data associated with the event to automatically generate a new reminder time which is earlier than the reminder time designated for the event; and
displaying a message on the display associated with the new reminder time.

Show 10 dependent claims

23. A computing device comprising a display, a processor, one or more input devices, computer executable instructions for initiating an events application, and computer executable instructions for:
enabling an event entry to be stored in the computing device, the event entry having a start time associated therewith;
receiving a designation for the event entry indicative of a reminder time for the event, wherein computing device is configured to display a reminder on a display of the computing device at a predetermined time prior to the start time for the event;
obtaining data associated with the event and indicating that an earlier reminder time is required;
using the data associated with the event to automatically generate a new reminder time which is earlier than the reminder time designated for the event; and
displaying a message on the display associated with the new reminder time.

Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

The following relates to systems and methods for controlling event reminders.

BACKGROUND

Computing devices, both mobile and desktop, typically provide applications for organizing events such as meetings or other obligations. For example, a calendar application may be provided to enable a user to organize daily events, including those that require other attendees. When creating a new calendar event, the user is typically able to select or otherwise designate a reminder time. The reminder time generally specifies either a particular time at which the user will be reminded of the event, or an interval of time before the event at which the reminder will occur (e.g. 15 minutes prior).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments will now be described by way of example only with reference to the appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a system in which data items are pushed from a host system to a mobile device.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an example embodiment of a mobile device.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating example ones of the other software components shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating further detail of the intelligent reminder module shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an example graphical user interface (GUI) for an event entry screen.

FIG. 6 is another example GUI for an event entry screen.

FIG. 7 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an event reminder message.

FIG. 8 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing a lateness notification.

FIG. 9 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing a pre-populated email message.

FIG. 10 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an alternate request.

FIG. 11 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an alternate confirmation message.

FIG. 12 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an alternate denial message.

FIG. 13 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an event reschedule request.

FIG. 14 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an event reschedule confirmation message.

FIG. 15 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an event delegate confirmation message.

FIG. 16 is an example screen shot of a mobile device display showing an absence notification message.

FIG. 17 is a flow chart illustrating example computer executable instructions for intelligently adjusting an event reminder alert.

FIG. 18 is a flow chart illustrating example computer executable instructions for intelligently performing a lateness remediation process.

FIG. 19 is a flow chart illustrating example computer executable instructions for intelligently performing another lateness remediation process.

FIG. 20 is a flow chart illustrating example computer executable instructions for intelligently performing yet another lateness remediation process.

FIG. 21 is a flow chart illustrating example computer executable instructions for intelligently performing yet another lateness remediation process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

It has been recognized that although the purpose of creating an event, e.g. in a calendar application, is to allow one to organize their time, unforeseen circumstances may arise which can affect the details of the event. In order to accommodate these unforeseen circumstances, user interaction is typically required, e.g. to change the meeting time, adjust the reminder time, contact others involved in the event, etc. Moreover, if the time to get to the event is greater than the time which is available to the user to get there, either currently or after the designated reminder time, the user may be late or miss the event.

It has been found that by obtaining data that could affect event details, such data can be used to generate alerts that are sent early enough to give the user time to reach the event, predict lateness, arrange replacements/delegates, reschedule, cancel meetings in advance, etc. By more intelligently providing reminders to the user, the above-described unforeseen circumstances can be dealt with. In some embodiments, as will be explained below, an aggregation of various external data sources as well as internal data can be used to better predict when a user should be reminded of the time for their event (e.g. to give them enough time to arrive), determine and advise whether they may be late regardless, and/or enable the user to arrange a delegate or replacement or to reschedule or cancel the event. For example, external data such as traffic data, weather data, flight information, customs and security wait times, parking information; and/or internal data such as GPS location can be used to determine possible delays in getting to the event and thus require advance notice or rescheduling.

The following examples include communications between mobile or handheld devices, which will be commonly referred to as mobile devices hereinafter and referred to by numeral 10. As will be discussed, the principles discussed below are equally applicable to other computing devices, such as desktop computers and the like.

The mobile device 10 can be a multi-way communication device with advanced data communication capabilities including the capability to communicate with other mobile devices 10 or computer systems through a network of transceiver stations. The mobile device 10 may also have the capability to allow voice communication. Depending on the functionality provided by the mobile device 10, it may be referred to as a data messaging device, a multi-way pager, a cellular telephone with data messaging capabilities, a wireless Internet appliance, or a data communication device (with or without telephony capabilities). The mobile device 10 can also be one that is used in a system that is configured for continuously routing all forms of pushed information from a host system 25 to the mobile device 10. One example of such a system will now be described making reference to FIG. 1.

FIG. 1 is an example system diagram showing the redirection of user data items (such as message A or C) from an intermediary computer system (host system) 25 to the user's mobile device 10 via a wireless router 26. The wireless router 26 provides the wireless connectivity functionality as it acts to both make transparent most of the wireless network's 20 complexities, and it also implements features necessary to support pushing data to the mobile device 10. Although not shown, a plurality of mobile devices may access data from the host system 25. In this example, message A in FIG. 1 represents an internal message sent from, e.g. a desktop computer (not shown) within the host system 25, to any number of server computers in the network (e.g. LAN), which may, in general, include a database server, an event server, an E-mail server or a voice-mail server.

Message C in FIG. 1 represents an external message from a sender that is not directly connected to the host system 25, such as the user's mobile device 10, some other user's mobile device (not shown), or any user connected to the public or private network 24 (e.g. the Internet). Message C could be e-mail, voice-mail, event information, database updates, web-page updates or could even represent a command message from the user's mobile device 10 to the host system 25. The host system 25 may comprise, along with the typical communication links, hardware and software associated with a computer network system, one or more wireless mobility agents, a TCP/IP connection, a collection of data stores, (for example a data store for e-mail could be an off-the-shelf mail server like Microsoft Exchange® Server or Lotus Notes® Server), all within and behind a network firewall.

The mobile device 10 may be adapted for communication within wireless network 20 via wireless links, as required by each wireless network 20 being used. As an illustrative example of the operation for a wireless router 26 shown in FIG. 1, consider a data item A, repackaged in outer envelope B (the packaged data item A now referred to as data item (A)) and sent to the mobile device 10 from an Application Service Provider (ASP) in the host system 25. Within the ASP is a computer program, similar to a wireless mobility agent, running on any computer in the ASP's environment that is sending requested data items from a data store to a mobile device 10. The mobile-destined data item (A) is routed through the network 24, and through the wireless router's 26 firewall protecting the wireless router 26 (not shown).

Although the above describes the host system 25 as being used within a networked environment, this is just one embodiment of one type of host service that offers push-based messages for a handheld wireless device that is capable of notifying and presenting the data to the user in real-time at the mobile device when data arrives at the host system.

By offering a wireless router 26 (sometimes referred to as a relay, message server, data redirector, etc.), there are a number of major advantages to both the host system 25 and the wireless network 20. The host system 25 in general runs a host service that is considered to be any computer program that is running on one or more computer systems. The host service is said to be running on a host system 25, and one host system 25 can support any number of host services. A host service may or may not be aware of the fact that information is being channeled to mobile devices 10. For example an e-mail or message program 138 (see FIG. 2) might be receiving and processing e-mail while an associated program (e.g. an e-mail wireless mobility agent) is also monitoring the mailbox for the user and forwarding or pushing the same e-mail to a wireless device 10. A host service might also be modified to prepared and exchange information with mobile devices 10 via the wireless router 26, like customer relationship management software. In a third example, there might be a common access to a range of host services. For example a mobility agent might offer a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) connection to several databases.

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