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Title:
A SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ATTACHING A MEDIA ITEM TO A VOIP CALL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/175843
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention pertains to a method and system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application. The invention encompasses receiving a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device (102) to the social networking application of the second electronic device (104). Further, the invention encompasses receiving a second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call, said second request comprising said at least one media item. The first request and said second request is then processed to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call.

Inventors:
MISRA, Anshuman (51 Pocket-b, Sukhdev Vihar, New, 110025, IN)
MITTAL, Kavin Bharti (World Mark 1, 4th Floor Tower-a, Asset Area No. 11, Hospitality Distric, Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi- 7, 110037, IN)
Application Number:
IB2019/052118
Publication Date:
September 19, 2019
Filing Date:
March 15, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HIKE PRIVATE LIMITED (World Mark 1, 4th Floor Tower-a, Asset Area No. 11, Hospitality Distric, Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi- 7, 110037, IN)
International Classes:
H04M15/00
Foreign References:
EP2993861A12016-03-09
US9125035B22015-09-01
US20160014059A12016-01-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAHNEY, Garima (Saikrishna & Associates Advocates, B-140 Sector 51, Noida- 1, Uttar Pradesh, 201301, IN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, the method comprising:

Receiving a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device (102) to the social networking application of the second electronic device (104);

Receiving a second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call, said second request comprising said at least one media item; and

Processing said first request and said second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein receiving the second request includes receiving said second request via a communication protocol.

3. The method as claimed in claim 2 wherein said communication protocol is one of an IP protocol and a non-IP protocol.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising facilitating display of said at least one media item with the VOIP call at the social networking application of the second electronic device (104).

5. The method as claimed in claim 4 further comprising:

receiving at least one response from the social networking application of the second electronic device (104), said at least one response including at least one media item; and

facilitating display of said at least one response at the social networking application of the first electronic device (102).

6. A system (108) for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, the system comprising: a VOIP call management unit (202) configured to receive a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device (102) to the social networking application of the second electronic device (104);

a media management unit (204), connected to said VOIP call management unit (202), said media management unit (204) configured to receive a second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call, said second request comprising said at least one media item; and

a processor (206) connected to said VOIP call management unit (202) and said media management unit (204), the processor (206) configured to process said first request and said second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call.

7. The system as claimed in claim 6 wherein, the VOIP call management unit (202) is configured to receive the first request via a first communication channel and the media management unit (204) is configured to the second request via a second communication channel.

8. The system as claimed in claim 6, wherein said at least one media item is at least one of a text, an audio, a video, an interactive media and a combination thereof.

9. The system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said at least one media item includes an intent of said VOIP call.

10. The system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said system resides at one of the first electronic device (102) and a server (106).

Description:
A SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ATTACHING A MEDIA ITEM TO A VOIP CALL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of Voice over Internet Protocol communications, and more particularly, to methods and systems that facilitate attaching/affixing media with a call placed via Voice over Internet Protocol communications.

BACKGROUND

This section is intended to provide information relating to the field of the invention and thus any approach or functionality described below should not be assumed to be qualified as prior art merely by its inclusion in this section.

The increasing reach of smartphones has led to increasing use of social networking applications. The popularity of these social networking applications has increased immensely as they provide for a more effective way of communication at cheaper costs. The emergence of Voice over Internet Protocol methodology offering the support of transmission of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet has been a key factor in the enhancement the features of the social networking applications. Currently, the social networking applications support the provision of calls between the users of the social networking application over the internet protocol. However, there does not exist any mechanism of providing the reason or intent behind a call from caller to the callee, along with the call. Although a user may send a text message before initiating a call stating the reason of the subsequent call, there is currently no way of stating the reason of the call along with the call request. In an illustration, a user in an important business engagement may only wish to answer an incoming call from his/her spouse if it is regarding an urgent matter, such as an injury to the child. However, using the current calling systems it is not possible for the callee to know any such reason or intent for the call. Moreover, there is currently no mechanism of providing an incentive or a motivating element to the callee by the caller for answering the call, along with the call request. In view of these problems, there exists an imperative need in the art to provide systems and methods that provide a system and method for attaching/affixing media to an internet call for a more effective way of communication.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This section is intended to introduce certain objects of the disclosed methods and systems in a simplified form and is not intended to identify the key advantages or features of the present disclosure.

In view of the drawbacks of the existing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications, there exists an imperative need to provide systems and methods for attaching/affixing media to an internet call so as to enable an effective and more efficient as well as expressive form of communication between users on a social networking application. It is yet another object of the invention to provide a system and method for attaching a media to a call to be able to indicate the intent of the call.

In view of these and other objects, one aspect of the invention relates to a method for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, the method comprising receiving a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device to the social networking application of the second electronic device. The method also comprises receiving a second request to attach the media item to the VOIP call, wherein the second request comprises the media item. The first request and the second request are then processed to attach said media item to said VOIP call.

Another aspect of the invention relates to a system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, the system comprising a VOIP call management unit connected to a media management unit and a processor. The VOIP call management unit is configured to receive a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device to the social networking application of the second electronic device. Further, the media management unit is configured to receive a second request to attach the media item to said VOIP call, wherein the second request comprises the media item. Further, the processor of the system is configured to process said first request and said second request to attach the media item to said VOIP call.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein, and constitute a part of this disclosure, illustrate exemplary embodiments of the disclosed systems and methods in which like reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the different drawings. Components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure. Some drawings may indicate the components using block diagrams and may not represent the internal circuitry of each component. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that disclosure of such drawings includes disclosure of electrical components or circuitry commonly used to implement such components.

Figure 1 illustrates a general overview of the environment in which the system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention, is implemented.

Figure 2 illustrates a block diagram of the system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 3 illustrates a flow chart of the method for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

Figure 4 illustrates an exemplary interface of the social networking application of the second electronic device, in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

The foregoing shall be more apparent and clearer from the following more detailed explanation of the invention and the afore-mentioned drawings. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous examples have been set forth in order to provide a brief description of the invention. It will be apparent however, that the invention may be practiced without these specific details, features and examples; and the scope of the present invention is not limited to the examples provided herein below.

The present invention facilitates attaching/affixing media to an internet call or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) call supported in a social networking application, wherein the social networking application is typically installed on or resides on a personal electronic device. The personal electronic device may include but is not limited to a smart phone, a mobile phone, a tablet, personal computer, etc.

As used herein, a "media" may denote any text, visual or audio content which is available to be placed on or added to an internet call, on a social networking application, for expressing an emotion, sentiment, thought, incentive or a motivational element through cartoons, animations, elaborate emoticons, emojis, graphic image, stickers, tokens, discounts, coupons, offers, bitcoins, promotions, reward points, gift certificates, direct currency transfers and virtual goodies.

A "social networking application" may be an online application that allows users to perform different collaborative activities, for example, messaging, sharing media content items, accessing a shared content, playing games, initiating calling etc. In an embodiment, the social networking application is an instant messaging application.

Figure 1 illustrates a general overview of the environment in which the system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention, is implemented. As shown in Fig. 1, a first electronic device 102 is connected to a second electronic device 104 via a server 108. Both the first electronic device 102 and the second electronic device 104 comprise of or have installed thereon a social networking application. The system 108 for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application, resides in the server 106. In an embodiment, the system 108 may reside in the first electronic device 102 and/or second electronic device 104. In yet another embodiment, the system 108 resides partly in the user's electronic device and partly at the server. The system 108 is configured to attach at least one media item to a VOIP call placed from the social networking application of the first electronic device 102 to the social networking application of the second electronic device 104. The details of the system 108 and its functioning is described in detail with reference to Fig. 2.

The invention encompasses that the server 106 is a server of the social networking application that manages the functions of the social networking application stored in or installed on the electronic devices. As used herein, a "server" includes one or more processors, wherein processor refers to any logic circuitry for processing instructions. A server may include a general-purpose processor, a special purpose processor, a conventional processor, a digital signal processor, a plurality of microprocessors, one or more microprocessors in association with a DSP core, a controller, a microcontroller, Application Specific Integrated Circuits, Field Programmable Gate Array circuits, any other type of integrated circuits, etc. The server may perform signal coding data processing, input/output processing, and/or any other functionality that enables the working of the system 108 according to the present disclosure.

Although only two electronic devices have been shown in Fig. 1, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention encompasses any number of electronic devices connected to the server 106, wherein each of such electronic devices comprise of the social networking application.

The invention encompasses that the first electronic device 102 and the second electronic device 104 are connected to the server 106 via any wired or wireless network. In a preferred embodiment, the first electronic device 102 and the second electronic device 104 are connected to the server 106 via the Internet. The invention also encompasses that the first electronic device 102 is also directly connected to the second electronic device 104 via one or more wired or wireless network, in addition to the connection between first electronic device

102 and the second electronic device 104 via the server 106. Figure 2 illustrates a block diagram of the system for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. As shown in Fig. 2, the system 108 comprises of a VOIP management unit 202 connected to a media management unit 204, both connected to a processor 206. All these components are also connected to a memory 208. As used herein, "connect", "configure", "couple" and its cognate terms, such as "connects", "connected", "configured" and "coupled" may include a physical connection (such as a wired/wireless connection), a logical connection (such as through logical gates of semiconducting device), other suitable connections, or a combination of such connections, as may be obvious to a skilled person.

The VOIP management unit 202 is configured to receive a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of the first electronic device 102 to the social networking application of the second electronic device 104. In an embodiment when the system 108 resides in the server 106, the first request is received from the first electronic device to the VOIP management unit 202 of the system 108 at the server 106. In the embodiment when the system 108 resides within the first electronic device 102, the first request is received from the social networking application of the first electronic device 102 to the VOIP management unit 202 of the system 108. The first request comprises at least of a unique address of the first electronic device 102, a unique address of the second electronic device 104 and a call type (i.e. audio or video call). The invention encompasses that the first request includes a unique address/ id of a social networking application user instead of a unique address or id of the devices.

The VOIP management unit 202 is configured to process the first request to extract a unique address/id of the device/ social networking application user to which the VOIP call is to be made. The VOIP management unit 202 is also configured to identify the device/ social networking application user to which the extracted unique address belongs to, i.e. the second electronic device 104 in this case. The first request/ the VOIP call placed through such first request is associated with a unique session id. The VOIP management unit 202 is also configured to provide the extracted unique address/id of the device/ social networking application user to which the VOIP call is to be made, device/ social networking application user to which the extracted unique address belongs to and the session id to the processor 206.

The invention encompasses that the VOIP management unit 202 is configured to receive the first request via a first communication channel. The first communication channel may use a communication protocol to receive the first request, wherein the communication protocol may be an IP protocol.

The media management unit 204 is configured to receive a second request to attach at least one media item to said VOIP call. In an embodiment when the system 108 resides in the server 106, the second request is received from the first electronic device to the media management unit 204 of the system 108 at the server 106. In the embodiment when the system 108 resides within the first electronic device 102, the second request is received from the social networking application of the first electronic device 102 to the media management unit 204 of the system 108. The second request comprises at least of the unique session id of the VOIP call/ first request and the at least one media item to be attached to said call. The media management unit 204 is configured to process the second request and extract the session id as well as the at least one media item to be attached to the VOIP call and provide this information to the processor 206.

The processor 206 is configured to process said first request and said second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call. The processor 206 is configured to attach the media item extracted from the second request to the VOIP call extracted from the first request based on the session id of the VOIP call and/or the unique address of the first electronic device 102 and second electronic device 104 or the unique id of the social networking application user of the first electronic device 102 and second electronic device 104. The processor is also configured to send the media item attached to the VOIP call to the social networking application of the second electronic device 104.

As used herein, a "processor" includes one or more processors, wherein processor refers to any logic circuitry for processing instructions. A processor may be a general-purpose processor, a special purpose processor, a conventional processor, a digital signal processor, a plurality of microprocessors, one or more microprocessors in association with a DSP core, a controller, a microcontroller, Application Specific Integrated Circuits, Field Programmable Gate Array circuits, any other type of integrated circuits, etc. The processor may perform signal coding data processing, input/output processing, and/or any other functionality that enables the working of the system 108 according to the present disclosure.

The invention encompasses that the VOIP call management unit 202 is configured to receive the first request via a first communication channel and the media management unit 204 is configured to the second request via a second communication channel. In an embodiment, the first communication channel is different from the second communication channel, while in another embodiment, the first communication channel is same as the second communication channel.

The memory 208 is configured to store all information, data, etc. that is required for the functioning of the system 108. More specifically, the memory 208 is configured to store the first requests and second requests received by the VOIP call management unit 202 and the media management unit 204 respectively. The memory is also configured to store the information extracted from the first requests and second requests, said information extracted by the VOIP call management unit 202 and the media management unit 204 respectively.

Figure 3 illustrates a flow chart of the method for attaching at least one media item to a VOIP call in a social networking application in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. As shown in Fig. 3, the method begins at step 302, wherein a first request to initiate a VOIP call from the social networking application of a first electronic device to the social networking application of the second electronic device is received. The VOIP call may be an audio call or a video call. The invention encompasses processing the first request to extract a unique address/id of the device/ social networking application user to which the VOIP call is to be made. The process also includes identifying the device/ social networking application user to which the extracted unique address belongs to, i.e. the second electronic device 104 in this case. Subsequently, at step 304, a second request to attach said at least one media item to said VOIP call is received, wherein the second request comprises at least of the at least one media item. The invention encompasses processing the second request to extract the session id of the VOIP call as well as the at least one media item to be attached to the VOIP call. The invention also encompasses receiving the second request via a communication protocol, wherein the communication protocol is one of an IP or non-IP protocol. As an illustration, the second request may be sent over the USSD communication protocol for a call request initiated over the IP communication protocol.

Finally, at step 306, the first request and the second request are processed to attach the at least one media item to the VOIP call. Processing such requests includes attaching the media item extracted from the second request to the VOIP call extracted from the first request based on the session id of the VOIP call and/or the unique address of the first electronic device 102 and second electronic device 104 or the unique id of the social networking application user of the first electronic device 102 and second electronic device 104. Once the media item is attached to the VOIP call, the media item attached to the VOIP call is sent to the social networking application of the second electronic device 104.

In a preferred embodiment, the present invention encompasses receiving the second request along with the first request. In another embodiment, the present invention encompasses receiving the second request after the call has been initiated over the IP communication based on the first request. As an illustration, a text message (media item) is attached to the VOIP call stating the reason of the call along with initiating a call over the IP communication protocol in a social networking application. For example, a wife may initiate a call to her husband via the social networking application while also attaching a media item such as a text message 'our son met with an accident' to the call.

The present invention further encompasses facilitating display of said at least one media item with the VOIP call at the social networking application of the second electronic device 104. This display is facilitated by transmitting the media item attached to the VOIP call from the system 108 to the social networking application of the second electronic device 104. The at least one media may be displayed by creating a separate view in a window, or as a pop-up media along with the call, or as an overlay card along with the call on the social networking application or as any other icon in the graphical user interface of the call in the social networking application at the second electronic device 104.

The present invention also encompasses receiving at least one response from the social networking application of the second electronic device 104, said at least one response including at least one media item. The invention further includes facilitating display of said at least one response at the social networking application of the first electronic device 102. In an embodiment, the at least one response may be received from the second electronic device 104 at the first electronic device 102 after disconnecting the VOIP call. In a preferred embodiment, the at least one response may be received from the second electronic device 104 at the first electronic device 102 without disconnecting the call.

As an illustration, the callee (i.e. user of the second electronic device 104) may receive a text message "I am waiting outside." by the caller (user of the first electronic device 102) along with a call, and the callee may reply to the text message by sending a sticker depicting "Coming Soon" to the caller without accepting or disconnecting the call. In an embodiment, the response for the callee is transmitted in a different communication channel from the call request.

In an embodiment, the present invention encompasses the caller to transmit a response comprising of media to the callee after receiving a response from the callee. The caller may transmit a response media to the callee after receiving a response from the callee without accepting or disconnecting the call. As an illustration, the callee may receive a status update by the caller along with a call, and the callee may reply to the status update by sending a token to the caller without disconnecting the call. The caller may then transmit a sticker depicting a smile to the callee as a response to the received token without disconnecting the call. Although the above examples refer to exchange of one or two responses between the caller and the callee, however it shall be appreciated by those skilled in the art that invention encompasses exchange of multiple media and responses between the caller and the callee without disconnecting or accepting the call.

The present invention further encompasses attaching/affixing of an interactive media to the VOIP call, wherein the interactive media is a media linked to the accounts of callee and the caller in the social networking application and which triggers a reaction in connection with the accounts of the caller and the callee in the social networking application. In an embodiment, the interactive media is linked to the call and changes a status in the account of the callee in the social networking application in accordance with the response to the call. As an illustration, the message may display a pre-determined amount of reward points and the account of the callee can be credited with the displayed pre-determined reward points if the callee answers the call. For example, a caller friend may send to his callee friend one discount voucher which can be redeemed if the callee friend answers the call.

Figure 4 illustrates an exemplary interface of the social networking application of the second electronic device, in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. As shown in Fig.4, the graphical user interface of the incoming call request at the second electronic device 104 displays a media message stating "Important meeting in one hour!". The text message may be transmitted over the USSD communication protocol and the call may be initiated over the IP communication protocol. The request for the call received via the IP communication protocol and the text message received via the USSD communication protocol are combined in accordance with the present invention. As shown in figure 4, the text message stating the reason of the call is displayed as an overlay card stating "Important meeting in one hour!" to the call request by the caller in the second electronic device 104.

In another example of the invention, the caller may initiate a call and request to transmit a shopping voucher along with the call request. The shopping voucher may be displayed as a pop up message on the call request by the caller in the second electronic device 104. The shopping voucher may be configured to be credited to the account of the callee if the callee answers the call. Although the present invention has been discussed with reference to attaching/affixing media to an internet call in a social networking application, it shall be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention encompasses attaching/affixing multiple media items to an internet call in a social networking application, in accordance with the invention. Further, the invention also includes attaching one or more media items to one or more VOIP calls simultaneously. While the present invention has been described with reference to certain preferred embodiments and examples thereof, other embodiments, equivalents and modifications are possible and are also encompassed by the scope of the present disclosure.