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United States Patent Application 20180039375
Kind Code A1
Larson; Brent D. February 8, 2018

INTERACTIVE DISPLAY

Abstract

Information is presented on a touchscreen display. An available viewing surface area of the touchscreen is separated into a first zone and at least a second zone. The first zone is operable for presenting a critical portion of the information. The second zone is operable for receiving haptic user inputs. Usage of the first zone and the second zone are coordinated. The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone, and/or a prompt related to at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.


Inventors: Larson; Brent D.; (Cave Creek, AZ)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Hand Held Products, Inc.

Fort Mill

SC

US
Family ID: 1000002941376
Appl. No.: 15/787971
Filed: October 19, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14836994Aug 27, 20159798413
15787971

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: G06F 3/0488 20130101; G06F 3/0416 20130101
International Class: G06F 3/041 20060101 G06F003/041; G06F 3/0488 20060101 G06F003/0488

Claims



1. A method for presenting information on a touchscreen, the method comprising the steps of: segmenting an available viewing surface area of the touchscreen into a first zone, the first zone operable for presenting a portion of the information, and at least a second zone operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs; and coordinating a usage of the first zone and the at least second zone based at least in part on an input corresponding to a preferred touch zone defined based on usage history.

2. The method as described in claim 1 wherein, based on the coordinated usage, the presentation of the information in the first zone is controlled.

3. The method as described in claim 1 wherein, based on the coordinated usage, at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs is prompted.

4. The method as described in claim 1, further comprising: monitoring one or more of a plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen is used; and adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen wherein, based on the monitored one or more characteristics, a visibility characteristic of the presented information is modified.

5. The method as described in claim 4 wherein the plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen is used relates to one or more of a location of the touchscreen within a host, an orientation of the touchscreen within the host, a location of the host, an orientation of the host, a current time of day, a current date, a weather condition, or an input from a user of the touchscreen in relation to at least one of the plurality of operating environment characteristics.

6. The method as described in claim 1, further comprising: monitoring at least one characteristic relating to a visibility of the information presented on the touchscreen; comparing the monitored at least one characteristic to a reference target, which is stored in relation thereto; and performing an action based on the comparison.

7. The method as described in claim 6, wherein the action performed comprises one or more of: recommending a cleaning of at least a portion of the touchscreen viewing surface; or adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen wherein the visibility characteristic of the presented information is modified.

8. The method as described in claim 1, wherein the segmenting step comprises: allocating a first portion of the available viewing surface area to the first zone; and allocating a second portion of the available viewing surface area to the at least second zone, wherein the allocated second portion is spatially segregated, at least partially, from the first allocated portion.

9. The method as described in claim 8, wherein the allocated second portion is disposed peripherally in relation to the allocated first portion.

10. The method as described in claim 8, further comprising: monitoring the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs; evaluating a usage history of the touchscreen device based on the monitoring of the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs; and changing the allocation of one or more of the first zone or the at least second zone based on the evaluated usage history.

11. A system operable for presenting information, the system comprising: a display component comprising a viewing surface and operable for rendering the presented information visually over an available area of the viewing surface; a touchscreen component comprising a transparent material, disposed over at least a portion of the available viewing surface area of the display component, and operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs; and a controller component operable for segmenting the available viewing surface area of the display component into a first zone over which the information is presented, and at least a second zone conforming to at least a portion of the touchscreen component and over which at least a portion of the haptic user inputs are received, the controller further operable for coordinating a usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone based at least in part on an input corresponding to a preferred touch zone defined based on usage history.

12. The system as described in claim 11 wherein, based on the coordinated usage, the presentation of the information in the first zone is controlled.

13. The system as described in claim 11 wherein, based on the coordinated usage, at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs is prompted.

14. The system as described in claim 11 wherein the controller component is further operable for: monitoring one or more of a plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen is used; and adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen wherein, based on the monitored one or more characteristics, a visibility characteristic of the presented information is modified.

15. The system as described in claim 11 wherein the controller component is further operable for: monitoring at least one characteristic relating to a visibility of the information presented on the touchscreen; comparing the monitored at least one characteristic to a reference target, which is stored in relation thereto; and performing an action based on the comparison.

16. The system as described in claim 15, wherein the action performed comprises one or more of: recommending a cleaning of at least a portion of the touchscreen viewing surface; or adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen wherein the visibility characteristic of the presented information is modified.

17. The system as described in claim 11, wherein the segmenting the available viewing surface area of the display component into a first zone and at least a second zone comprises: allocating a first portion of the available viewing surface area to the first zone; and allocating a second portion of the available viewing surface area to the at least second zone, wherein the allocated second portion is spatially segregated from the first allocated portion.

18. The system as described in claim 17, wherein the allocated second portion is disposed peripherally in relation to the allocated first portion.

19. The system as described in claim 18 wherein the controller component is further operable for: monitoring the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs; evaluating a usage history of the touchscreen based on the monitoring of the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs; and changing the allocation of one or more of the first zone or the at least second zone based on the evaluated usage history.

20. A non-transitory computer readable medium comprising instructions, which upon execution by a processor device are operable for causing or controlling a computer based process for presenting information on a touchscreen, the process comprising the steps of: segmenting an available viewing surface area of the touchscreen into a first zone, the first zone operable for presenting a portion of the information, and at least a second zone operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs; and coordinating a usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone based at least in part on an input corresponding to a preferred touch zone defined based on usage history.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/836,994 for an Interactive Display filed Aug. 27, 2015 (and published Mar. 2, 2017 as U.S. Patent Publication No. 2017/0060316), now U.S. Pat. No. 9,798,413. Each of the foregoing patent application, patent publication, and patent is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNOLOGY FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to information display. More particularly, an embodiment of the present invention relates to interactive information display.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Generally speaking, electronic displays are used to present information visually in various contemporary information processing systems. Interactive "touchscreen" displays may combine graphical user interface (GUI) and/or other input functionality with the visual presentation of the information.

[0004] Some of the information processing systems with which touchscreens are used may be operable for processing critical data, for which transactional reliability and security become significant factors. For example, the success of an operation may rely on related "mission critical" data processing.

[0005] The field of avionics relates to the electronic systems of aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. While critical data are significant in the context of many contemporary business operations, avionics presents a clear and high example of the significance of reliable and secure processing of critical information. In the context of avionics, the costs of failure in relation to information processing may be unacceptably high.

[0006] Moreover, critical data may have a high time value, low duration of fresh relevance, and related heightened levels of urgency, e.g., to pilots and other aviators. A timely user response may be appropriate upon receipt of such critical information. In use environments like the cockpits and flight decks of aircraft, displays may present the information under high levels of ambient illumination or other suboptimal situational or environmental conditions. The reception of the information however may depend, at least in part, on the ability of pilots and other users to perceive the data presented and thus, the viewability with which it is presented.

[0007] Displays used in avionics and some other applications may be designed to present critical information effectively, which comprises satisfactory high levels of visibility and viewability. As used herein, the term "visibility" may refer to objective attributes related to visibility, clarity, and legibility, and the term "viewability" may refer to somewhat more subjective factors relating to perceptual and/or psychological attraction of the visual attention of users to particular visible portions of a display.

[0008] To sustain high visibility and viewability, displays used in avionics and some other applications may comprise specified optical performance criteria. For example, avionics displays may be designed to feature high luminance (intensity) and contrast (dynamic range) capabilities, as well as reflectance characteristics, which may relate to low values of specularity and diffuseness.

[0009] Touchscreen displays however may exhibit diminished optical performance over certain viewing areas that sustain heightened levels of tactile interaction. Tactile interaction may be associated with haptic user inputs. The tactile interaction levels may be considered heightened in relation to other areas of the display, which may have significantly lower levels of tactile interaction.

[0010] The diminished optical performance in the certain touchscreen display areas may relate to contamination and wear associated with repeated physical touching of the front surface of the display, and the types of tactile contact that the areas may sustain. Relative to the less-frequently touched regions of the touchscreen display surface, the more frequently touched surface areas or those that sustain certain kinds of touches may become optically fouled or marred. Optical performance may be degraded or diminished, e.g., by contamination such as fingerprints, dirt and dust, smudges, smears, oily materials (including e.g., oils, greases, and waxes), smoke and other colloidal materials or other contaminants. The optical performance may also be diminished by wear or damage, such as scratches, thinning, or patches of comparative roughness and, e.g., the degradation of display surface reflectance characteristics associated therewith.

[0011] Some approaches to preserving the effectiveness with which critical information is presented may be more simplistic than practical or consistently reliable. For example, an approach to removing the contaminants accumulated over the viewing surface of a touchscreen display (or dealing with wear) may relate simply to cleaning (or repairing or replacing) the display as-needed and/or according to a planned maintenance schedule. Approaches to using the display in bright ambient lighting may relate simply to moving the display translationally to an area of lower ambient illumination, rotating its viewing surface away from a source of bright and/or direct lighting, or physically shading the viewing surface therefrom. However, these approaches may not be feasible or practicable in some of the settings in which the touchscreen displays are deployed and used.

[0012] For example, avionics touchscreen displays deployed and used in an aircraft cockpit or flight deck may be disposed in a stationary, rigid, or immobile position relative to a control console in which they may be mounted. The confines of the cockpit may also deter an operator's ability to shade the viewing surface of the display. Moreover, it may be impractical (perhaps even unsafe, under some conditions) to clean the display surface of (or repair/replace) a touchscreen display during its use, e.g., during some flight operations. Additionally, even if cleaning (or repair/replacement) of a touchscreen display may be feasible in some situations, critical information presented therewith may be obstructed or occluded while the cleaning takes place, or touches and touch related actions (e.g., wiping) associated with the cleaning may cause inadvertent and/or erroneous inputs to haptic surfaces.

[0013] Therefore, a need exists for presenting critical information effectively under various ambient lighting conditions on an interactive display, which is also operable for receiving user inputs. A need also exists to present the critical information effectively with high levels of ambient illumination on an interactive display that precludes or obviates changing the position thereof over a translational axis and/or a rotational axis, or shading a viewing surface thereof from bright and/or direct lighting sources. Further, a need exists to preserve or sustain the optical performance of an interactive display, and the viewability of critical information presented on the viewing surface thereof, without cleaning or wiping the viewing surface, at least during the presentation of critical information therewith.

SUMMARY

[0014] Accordingly, in one aspect, example embodiments of the present invention embrace the presentation of critical information on an interactive display, which is also operable for receiving user inputs effectively and under various ambient lighting conditions, including high levels of ambient illumination (brightness). Example embodiments present the critical information effectively with high levels of ambient illumination on an interactive display without changing the position thereof over a translational axis or a rotational axis, and without shading a viewing surface thereof from a bright lighting source. Example embodiments preserve and sustain the optical performance of interactive displays, and the viewability of critical information presented on the viewing surface thereof, and independent of cleaning and wiping or other maintenance actions performed over the viewing surface.

[0015] An example embodiment of the present invention relates to a method for presenting information on a touchscreen display device comprising process steps, which may be summarized as follows. An available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device is separated into a first zone and at least a second area. The first area is operable for presenting a critical portion of the information. The at least second area is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs. A usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone are coordinated. The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone, and/or a prompt related to at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.

[0016] The process may further comprise monitoring of one or more of a plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display device is used and adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device. A visibility characteristic of the presented information may be modified based on the monitored one or more characteristics.

[0017] The plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display is used relates to a lighting condition proximate to the touchscreen display device viewing surface, a location of the touchscreen display within a host, an orientation of the touchscreen display within the host, a location of the host, an orientation of the host, a current time of day, a current date, a weather condition, and/or an input from a user of the touchscreen display in relation to at least one of the plurality of operating environment characteristics. The host may comprise a vehicle such as an aircraft, a spacecraft, or a vehicle operable over one or more transport media, including air, space, water, and/or land.

[0018] The process may further comprise monitoring at least one characteristic relating to a visibility of the information presented on the touchscreen display device. The monitored at least one characteristic may be compared to a reference target, which is stored in relation thereto. An action may be performed based on the comparison. The action performed may comprise recommending a cleaning of at least a portion of the touchscreen display device viewing surface and/or adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device, which is operable for modifying the visibility characteristic of the presented information.

[0019] In an example embodiment, the separating of the available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device may comprise allocating a first portion of the available viewing surface area to the first zone and allocating a second portion of the available viewing surface area to the at least second zone. The allocated second portion is spatially segregated, at least partially, from the first allocated portion. The allocated second portion may be disposed peripherally in relation to the allocated first portion.

[0020] The process may further comprise monitoring the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs. A usage history of the touchscreen display device is then evaluated, based on the monitoring of the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs. The allocation of one or more of the first zone or the at least second zone may be changed, adjusted, or modified based on the evaluated usage history.

[0021] In another aspect, an example embodiment of the present invention relates to a non-transitory computer readable storage medium such as memory, optical, magnetic, electronic, or other tangible physical media. In an example embodiment, the non-transitory computer readable medium comprises instructions physically stored therewith. The instructions are operable for causing, or controlling a processor device to perform a computer based method for presenting information on a touchscreen display, such as the method summarized above.

[0022] In yet another aspect, an example embodiment of the present invention relates to a system operable for presenting information. In an example embodiment, the information presentation system is operable for presenting the information on a touchscreen display. In an example embodiment, the system comprises a display component ("display"), a touchscreen component ("touchscreen"), and a controller component ("controller").

[0023] The display comprises a viewing surface. The display is operable for rendering the presented information visually over an available area of the viewing surface.

[0024] The touchscreen comprises a transparent material, which is disposed over at least a portion of the available viewing surface area of the display device. The touchscreen is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs.

[0025] The controller component is operable for separating the available viewing surface area of the display component into a first zone over which the information is presented, and at least a second zone conforming to at least a portion of the touchscreen component and over which at least a portion of the haptic user inputs are received. The controller is further operable for coordinating a usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone.

[0026] In an example embodiment, the system comprises a subsystem operable for monitoring and using situational and environmental data to change the optical output of touchscreen display devices and adjust their information presentation performance over various lighting and other conditions.

[0027] In an example embodiment, the system comprises a subsystem operable for monitoring and evaluating data relating to the optical output performance of the touchscreen display and for changing the optical output of touchscreen display devices and adjust their information presentation performance accordingly.

[0028] In an example embodiment, the system comprises a subsystem operable for monitoring and evaluating a history of haptic inputs to the haptic input receiver and to adjust the coordination of the placement of the critical information section and/or the preferred touch zone based on the haptic input history.

[0029] The foregoing summary is presented by way of example, and not limitation, as a conceptual prelude to the following detailed description of example embodiments and each figure (FIG.) of the accompanying drawing, referred to therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] FIG. 1 depicts an example information display and input system, according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 2 depicts a screenshot of an example touchscreen display layout, according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

[0032] FIG. 3 depicts a flowchart for an example process for presenting information, according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 4 depicts an example optical performance and ambience monitoring subsystem, according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

[0034] FIG. 5 depicts an example haptic input evaluation subsystem, according to an example embodiment of the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 6 depicts a screenshot of an example touchscreen display layout, according to an example embodiment of the present invention; and

[0036] FIG. 7 depicts a flowchart for an example process for presenting information, according to an example embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0037] Example embodiments of the present invention relate to a method for presenting information on a touchscreen display device. An available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device is separated into a first zone and at least a second area. The first area is operable for presenting a critical portion of the information. The at least second area is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs. A usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone are coordinated. The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone, and/or a prompt related to at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.

[0038] Example embodiments of the present invention thus present critical information on an interactive display, which is also operable for receiving user inputs effectively and under various ambient lighting conditions, including high levels of ambient illumination. Example embodiments present the critical information effectively with high levels of ambient illumination on an interactive display without changing the position thereof over a translational axis or a rotational axis, and without shading a viewing surface thereof from a bright lighting source. Example embodiments preserve and sustain the optical performance of interactive displays, and the viewability of critical information presented on the viewing surface thereof, and independent of cleaning and wiping or other maintenance actions performed over the viewing surface.

[0039] Overview.

[0040] An example embodiment of the present invention is described in relation to a method for presenting information on a touchscreen display device comprising process steps, which may be summarized as follows. An available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device is separated into a first zone and at least a second area. The first area is operable for presenting a critical portion of the information. The at least second area is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs. A usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone are coordinated. The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone, and/or a prompt related to at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.

[0041] The process may further comprise monitoring of one or more of a plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display device is used and adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device. A visibility characteristic of the presented information may be modified based on the monitored one or more characteristics.

[0042] The plurality of (multiple) characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display is used relates to a location of the touchscreen display within a host, an orientation of the touchscreen display within the host, a location of the host, an orientation of the host, a current time of day, a current date, a weather condition, and/or an input from a user of the touchscreen display in relation to at least one of the plurality of operating environment characteristics.

[0043] The process may further comprise monitoring at least one characteristic relating to a visibility of the information presented on the touchscreen display device. The monitored at least one characteristic may be compared to a reference target, which is stored in relation thereto. An action may be performed based on the comparison. The action performed may comprise recommending a cleaning of at least a portion of the touchscreen display device viewing surface and/or adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device, which is operable for modifying the visibility characteristic of the presented information.

[0044] In an example embodiment, the separating of the available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device may comprise allocating a first portion of the available viewing surface area to the first zone and allocating a second portion of the available viewing surface area to the at least second zone. The allocated second portion is spatially segregated, at least partially, from the first allocated portion. The allocated second portion may be disposed peripherally in relation to the allocated first portion.

[0045] The process may further comprise monitoring the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs. A usage history of the touchscreen display device is then evaluated, based on the monitoring of the at least second zone in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs. The allocation of one or more of the first zone or the at least second zone may be changed, adjusted, or modified based on the evaluated usage history.

[0046] Example embodiments described herein also relate to non-transitory computer readable storage media and to systems operable in relation to the process.

[0047] Example System.

[0048] FIG. 1 depicts an example information display and input system 100, according to an example embodiment of the present invention. The information presentation system 100 is operable for presenting the information on a touchscreen display device 110. In an example embodiment, the system 100 comprises a display 105, a haptic input receiver 116, and one or more controller components.

[0049] The touchscreen display device 110 may comprise a liquid crystal display (LCD) 105, which is operable for rendering images by modulating variable polarization states of an array of active liquid crystal transistor components. For purposes of illustration, the display 105 is described in relation to an example AMLCD active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD). The description of the display 105 as in relation to an example AMLCD is by way of illustration and is not intended to be limiting in any way. On the contrary, embodiments of the present invention are well suited to implementation in relation to various display technologies. Thus, for example, the display 105 may relate to an AMLCD as described, an emissive display such as an active matrix organic liquid crystal display (AMOLED), a rear-projection display, or a display comprising one or more other opto-electronically active devices. The touchscreen display device 110 also comprises an interface input surface 116 operable for receiving haptic inputs from a user.

[0050] The display 105 comprises a viewing surface 49. The display 105 is operable for rendering the presented information visually over an available area of the viewing surface 49.

[0051] The touchscreen 116 comprises a transparent material, which is disposed over at least a portion of the available viewing surface area 49 of the display device 105. An outer touch surface 59 of the haptic input receiver 116 comprises a planar area that conforms, at least partially and over a spatial plane corresponding to the viewing surface 49 of the display 105. The touchscreen 116 is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs.

[0052] FIG. 2 depicts a screenshot of an example touchscreen display layout 20, according to an example embodiment of the present invention. With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the controller components comprise a display layout arbitrator 125, which is operable for separating the available viewing surface area 49 of the display 105 into a first zone 21 over which the information is presented, and at least a second zone 22. The at least second zone 22 conforms, at least partially, to the touchscreen component 116. At least a portion of the haptic user inputs are received in relation to haptic actions performed over the at least second zone 22. The arbitrator 125 controller is further operable for coordinating a usage of the first zone 21 and a usage of the at least second zone 22.

[0053] The touchscreen display device 110 comprises a display 105, which is operable for rendering the presented information and other images over the viewing surface 49. The display 105 comprises a backlight unit (BLU) 111, which is disposed in a rear portion of the display and operable for emitting light. The light emitted by the BLU 111 may be filtered, focused, reflected, and/or otherwise modified with an internal array of substantially passive optical components (optics) 112, such as mirrors, prisms, diffraction gratings, lenses, filters, and windows. The light may be emitted by the BLU 111 in a particular polarization state, or the particular polarization state may be imparted to the light by the internal optics 112.

[0054] The display 105 comprises an array of LCDs 115 or other opto-electronically active devices. A polarization state corresponding to the active LCD devices corresponding to each picture element (pixel) of an image rendered over the viewing surface 49 may be switched controllably to either conform, or to not conform, to the polarization state of the light emitted by the BLU 111. While the BLU 111 is disposed in a rear portion of the display 105, the active LCD devices (e.g., active elements, pixels, etc.) of the LCD array 111 are disposed in a front facing portion and thus, towards an operator thereof.

[0055] The LCD devices with a non-conforming polarization state relative to that of the light emitted by the BLU 111 absorb a substantial portion thereof, and thus block its passage optically. On the other hand, the LCD devices with polarization states that conform to that of the light emitted by the BLU 111 are transmissive in relation thereto, and thus allow a significant portion thereof to pass through without absorption. Portions of the viewing surface 49 of the display 105 that are proximate to LCD devices of the array 115 in their non-conforming polarization state appear dark. On the other hand, portions of the viewing surface 49 that are proximate to LCD devices of the array 115 in their transmissive polarization state appear bright.

[0056] The polarization states of each of the active elements of the LCD array 115 are switched controllably by a LCD modulator 119. The bright and dark portions of the viewing area are visible through the transparent touchscreen surface disposed at least partially over the viewing surface 49. Thus, the display 105 renders images with which the information may be presented.

[0057] Example embodiments of the present invention relate to maximizing viewability and other visibility related attributes with which critical information is displayed on the display device 110 with the touchscreen input device 116. In some applications such as avionics, the critical information is displayed to be readily visible over various ambient conditions. The ambient conditions include a presence of high ambient illumination levels, such as in the cockpit or flight decks of aircraft or spacecraft. The display device 105 may thus perform with optical performance specifications such as, for example, low values of specular reflectance and diffuse reflectance, as well as high values of luminance (brightness, intensity), contrast, and contrast ratio (dynamic range).

[0058] The display 105 may thus implement a high contrast ratio with optical performance over a heightened (e.g., high) dynamic range (HDR). An example embodiment may thus be implemented in which the BLU 111 comprises an array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) or other active opto-electronic devices that may emit light at heightened intensity (e.g., relative to typical fluorescent light sources, which may also be used in some BLUs).

[0059] The polarization states of the individual elements of the LCD array are controlled by a modulation signal from the LCD modulator 119, and the emissive states (e.g., on or off) of individual LED elements of the BLU 111 are controlled based on modulating signals from a BLU modulator 118. To render of the images with which the information is presented, an example embodiment may be implemented in which the BLU 111 modulation signals from the BLU modulator 118 and the LCD modulation signals from the LCD modulator 119 are coordinated (e.g., synchronized, harmonized, etc.) in real time by a modulation controller 117.

[0060] Some HDR displays may comprise one or more other active elements, which may be modulated with signals controlled by the modulation controller 117. Thus, an example embodiment may be implemented with an N-modulation scheme, in which N comprises a positive whole number integer greater than or equal to two (2).

[0061] With the display 105, the haptic touchscreen input receiver 116 provides combined operability to present the information rendered on the viewing surface 49 visually, as well as to receive haptic inputs. Upon receiving the haptic inputs, the touchscreen receiver 116 provides corresponding signals to a graphical user interface (GUI) 126.

[0062] An example embodiment may be implemented in which the haptic input surface 116 comprises two arrays of microscopic or transparent conductors, each of which is insulated electrically from the other and disposed within a dielectric matrix in a substantially perpendicular (or other) orientation relative to the other. The haptic inputs comprise pressure applied to an outer surface of the input receiver (and/or simply the proximity of a user's finger, etc.), gestures associated with the pressure (and/or proximity) such as a `swipe` or other gesture, which cause corresponding local changes in electrical capacitance values proximate to the pressure application that are sensed by the conductor grids to effectuate signals corresponding to the haptic inputs.

[0063] The capacitance values may comprise self-capacitance, surface capacitance, or may relate to surface, mutual, and/or projected capacitances. Alternatively or additionally, example embodiments may be implemented in which the inputs are received by resistive, ultrasonic (e.g., surface acoustic wave sensors), infrared (and/or other optical sensors), piezoelectric (e.g., dispersive signal sensors) or other haptic sensing means.

[0064] An example embodiment segments or other portions of the available display viewing area 49, and the corresponding areas of the touchscreen input receiver 116, into multiple zones. The display area 49 comprises two or more zones, including the critical information zone 21, a preferred touch zone 22. The display viewing area 49 may also comprise a peripheral zone 29, and one or more additional zones. Information may be presented, displayed, or rendered in any of the zones and/or over the entire available viewing area 49. The usage of the critical information zone 21, the preferred touch zone 22 and the other zones is coordinated, synchronized, harmonized or otherwise controlled ("coordinated") by the display layout arbitrator 125 and/or one or more other computational subsystems, such as a display controller 113.

[0065] Additionally or alternatively, the usage of the critical information zone 21, the preferred touch zone 22, and the other zones may be coordinated by a computer 150, which may be external in relation to the touchscreen display device 110.

[0066] The touchscreen display device 110 may comprise a display data bus 114. The display data bus 114 is operable for exchanging signals between the display layout arbitrator 125, display controller 113, GUI 126, modulation controller 117, other components of the touchscreen device 110 and/or the computer 150. The components of the touchscreen display device 110 may be disposed in a chassis 199. The outer surface of the haptic touchscreen input receiver 116 may be accessible within a recess 191, which is set within the chassis 199.

[0067] The display controller 113 may control various aspects of the operation of the display 105. The display layout arbitrator 125 is operable for controlling the display output in relation to the prompting for user inputs from the haptic input receiver 116.

[0068] The haptic input receiver 116 may cover the entire display, or any part thereof. Control and selection inputs, such as sliders, scroll bars, buttons, keypads, menus, and other control functions are displayed and prompted for in the pre-designated ("preferred") touch zone 22.

[0069] The critical information zone 21 is operable for displaying symbology or other information which does not normally require or prompt for touch input at that particular location. When appropriate, critical information is presented primarily in the critical information zone 21, which remains largely untouched. In example embodiments, the visibility of the critical information thus remains largely unimpeded or undistorted from smudges, fingerprints and other marring typically related to haptic touching events. Moreover, displayed information rendered over individually discernable gray levels may also be displayed outside of the preferred touch zone 22.

[0070] Haptic inputs may still be accepted (and occasionally prompted for) within the critical information zone 21. However, example embodiments favor output from the critical information zone 21 and thus minimize the degree of input (and concomitant optical fouling) therein. Not dissimilarly, critical information may also be presented outside the critical information zone 21. In such cases, a corresponding alert message, icon, or symbol may be presented within the critical information zone 21. Each of these two indications may direct the attention of an operator to the other display location having related, corresponding content.

[0071] The critical information zone 21 may reside in one contiguous section of the active display viewing area 49. Alternatively, the critical information zone 21 may reside in two or more subzones or sections of the viewing area 49. Visual delineation of any abrupt or non-abrupt zone boundaries may be an optional feature. The minimal use of symbology or other information, which elicit touches or other haptic inputs, minimizes surface contamination in the critical information area 21.

[0072] Thus, visibility of critical flight information remains unimpeded by marring of the haptic touch surface. Moreover, increasing luminance or frequent cleaning of the screens (and/or user hands) is minimized or obviated.

[0073] An example embodiment may be implemented in which the preferred touch zone 22 is positioned primarily in perimeter regions corresponding to the available viewing surface 49 of the display 105, e.g., the right, left and bottom regions. Thus, peripheral regions 29 of the display may provide stabilizing regions for bracing and/or resting an operator's hand, which in aeronautical or similarly rigorous settings may be helpful in the presence of turbulence and for extended area display operations, which could otherwise cause fatigue more quickly.

[0074] Example Process.

[0075] FIG. 3 depicts a flowchart for an example process 30 for presenting information, according to an example embodiment of the present invention.

[0076] In step 31, an available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device is separated into a first zone, the first zone operable for presenting a critical portion of the information, and at least a second zone operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs (as well as for presenting some information).

[0077] In step 32, a usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone are coordinated.

[0078] The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone (critical information zone 21), and/or a prompt related to directing at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs to the second separated zone (preferred touch zone 22) may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.

[0079] Example embodiments may also relate to the performance of other process steps (e.g., one or more of steps 71-78, inclusive, of example Process 70; described below with reference to FIG. 7), which may thus be considered optional (e.g., relative to the step 31 and the step 32 of the process 30).

[0080] In another aspect, an example embodiment of the present invention relates to a non-transitory computer readable storage medium such as memory, optical, magnetic, electronic, or other tangible physical media. In an example embodiment, the non-transitory computer readable medium comprises instructions physically stored therewith. The instructions are operable for causing, or controlling a processor device to perform a computer based method for presenting information on a touchscreen display, such as the example method 30 described above.

[0081] Example Subsystems.

[0082] The information display and input system 100 may also comprise subsystems relating to monitoring optical performance and/or evaluation of haptic inputs. In contrast to touchscreen display devices that may comprise components of, or be used with such as smartphones, tablet computers and other more typical mobile computing devices, touchscreen displays used in avionics on flight decks, cockpits and various instrument panels cannot simply be rotated or shifted to maximize visibility. Nor may their visibility be improved consistently or conveniently by simply shading their viewing surfaces from bright light sources. If lighting conditions are such that there is direct sun shafting or other problematic lighting conditions on aircraft touchscreen display surfaces, pilots and other operators may be constrained in efforts to readily eliminate or change that adverse lighting condition at will.

[0083] In an example embodiment, the system 100 comprises a subsystem operable for monitoring and using situational and environmental data to change the optical output of touchscreen display devices and adjust their information presentation performance over various lighting and other conditions. An example embodiment may also (or alternatively) relate to using situational and environmental data to change the optical output of touchscreen display devices and adjust their information presentation performance over various lighting and other conditions.

[0084] FIG. 4 depicts an example optical performance and ambience monitoring subsystem 40, according to an example embodiment of the present invention. The subsystem 40 comprises an array of one or more sensors 45, which is operable for gathering data relating to a plurality of situational and environmental data. The sensor array 45 generates signals corresponding to the gathered situational/environmental data, which are monitored by an ambience monitor 42.

[0085] The plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display is used relates to a lighting condition proximate to the touchscreen display device 110 viewing surface 49, a location of the touchscreen display within a host (e.g., an aircraft, spacecraft or other vehicle operable over air, space, land and/or water related transport media), an orientation of the touchscreen display within the host, a location of the host, an orientation of the host, a current time of day, a current date, a weather condition, and/or an input from a user of the touchscreen display in relation to at least one of the plurality of operating environment characteristics. The sensor array 45 may thus comprise sensor devices such as photocells or other photodetectors, and/or inputs relating to navigational (e.g., geopositioning, compass), timekeeping, chronometric and calendar, meteorological and other data.

[0086] In an example embodiment, the subsystem 40 is also (or alternatively) operable for monitoring and evaluating data relating to the optical output performance of the touchscreen display and for changing the optical output of touchscreen display devices and adjust their information presentation performance accordingly. A camera 41 (or similarly capable optical monitor) monitors the optical data output and performance over the viewing surface 49 of the touchscreen display device 110. The camera 41 generates signals corresponding to the gathered optical output and performance data.

[0087] The camera 41 and/or the ambience monitor 42 provide the signals generated respectively in relation to the optical data output and the situational/environmental data to the computer 150. The computer 150 comprises a comparator 44, which is operable with one or more databases 43.

[0088] The comparator 44 is operable for comparing the data provided in the signals received from the camera 41 to corresponding optical performance targets, stored in the database 43. The comparator 44 is also (or alternatively) operable for comparing the data provided in the signals received from the ambience monitor 42 to corresponding ambient conditions performance adjustment settings, stored in the database 43. The computer 150 is operable for adjusting the optical output and/or performance of the touchscreen display device 110 based on the comparisons. The comparator 44 may also (or alternatively) comprise a component of the touchscreen display device 110.

[0089] An example embodiment thus leverages situational/environmental data to adjust the visibility of the presented information and other images rendered by the touchscreen display device 110. Based on the situational/environmental data, anticipated ambient lighting conditions are computed. Placement of the critical information and positioning of the critical information zone 21 over the viewing surface 49 may be adjusted and modified maximum visibility, impact and other viewability factors. The computer 150 may be operable to adjust settings of the display device 110, such as luminance, contrast, gamma, and/or other optical parameters and characteristics, which may be related to maximizing visibility of the presented information and other images rendered by the display.

[0090] An example embodiment thus uses a direct assessment of visibility characteristics of the optical output of the touchscreen display device 110. The camera 41 (or similar sensor) monitors a view of the contrast and related optical performance and visibility factors of the presented information and other imagery rendered over the viewing surface 49. In an avionics milieu, the information is presented on display in the cockpit and/or on the flight deck on instrument panel touchscreen display devices.

[0091] The comparator 44 allows a processor of the computer 150 to compare the intended displayed image content, stored as target data with the database 43 with the observed optical output data from image content presented over the viewing surface 49 and provide various levels of responsive adjustment. At a first level for example, a recommendation for cleaning might be provided, if the flight (or other) situation would readily and/or safely allow such action. At a second level, the displayed imagery may be adjusted for maximum visibility based on the direct observation.

[0092] In an example embodiment, the system comprises a subsystem operable for monitoring and evaluating a history of haptic inputs to the input receiver 116 and to adjust the coordination of the placement of the critical information section 21 and/or the preferred touch zone 22 based on the haptic input history. FIG. 5 depicts an example haptic input evaluation subsystem 50, according to an example embodiment of the present invention.

[0093] Normal or nominal imagery or symbology may thus be presented by the touchscreen display 110 without particular regard to the impact of haptic inputs and other touch related events on the touchscreen input receiver 116 overlaying the viewing surface of the display 105.

[0094] A haptic input monitor is operable for monitoring the haptic inputs (and other touch related events) received by the touchscreen haptic input receiver 116 and updating a haptic usage history accordingly. The haptic usage history is stored in a haptic usage database 62. This usage history at least comprises a number of haptic inputs (touches) and/or a number of prompts for haptic inputs over different regions of the haptically-active touch-receptive surface 59, which are disposed over corresponding portions of the display device viewing surface area.

[0095] The computer 150 may comprise a haptic performance evaluator 54, which is operable for querying the haptic use history database 52 and evaluating the haptic history stored therein. Based on the evaluation of the stored haptic use history, the computer 150 signals the display layout arbitrator 125, which may rearrange the positioning of the critical information and prompts for haptic inputs based on the signals. Additionally or alternatively, the haptic performance evaluator 54 may be disposed, deployed, or associated, at least partially, with the display layout arbitrator 125 (and/or the display controller 113) in the touchscreen display device 110.

[0096] FIG. 6 depicts a screenshot of an example touchscreen display layout 60, according to an example embodiment of the present invention. Based on signaling relating to the evaluation of the stored haptic history, the display layout arbitrator 125 may adjust the layout of the viewing surface in relation to the presentation of information, prompts for haptic inputs, and rendering of other visual information. As described above with reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the display layout arbitrator 125 is operable for separating the available viewing surface area 49 of the display 105 into a first zone, which is operable as a critical information zone (CIZ) 21 over which the information is presented, and at least a second zone 22. The at least second zone 22 conforms, at least partially, to the touchscreen component 116, and is operable as a preferred or pre-configured haptic input zone (PIZ) 22. At least a portion of the haptic user inputs are received in relation to haptic actions performed over the PIZ 22.

[0097] The display layout arbitrator 125 is operable for coordinating a usage of the CIZ 21 and a usage of the at least second zone 22. In an example embodiment, the display layout arbitrator 125 is further operable for adjusting the layout with which the critical and other information, and the prompts related to haptic inputs are presented over the available area of the viewing surface 49 in response to the evaluation of the stored haptic input history. Additionally or alternatively, the display layout arbitrator 125 may be operable for adjusting the layout with which the critical and other information, and the prompts related to haptic inputs are presented over the available area of the viewing surface 49 in response to signaling from the camera 41 and/or the ambience monitor 42 (FIG. 4).

[0098] The presentation of the critical information may be moved within the CIZ 21 to an area 61 of computed likely maximum visibility. The maximum visibility zone 61 may be disposed entirely within the CIZ 21, or a portion of the area 61 may be moved into a partial overlap therewith (or another area of the viewing surface 49).

[0099] Responsive to the evaluation of the stored haptic history, the display layout arbitrator is operable for setting, changing, modifying, presenting, and/or adjusting the position of one or more haptic input prompts 62. The haptic input prompts 62 may be positioned or moved within the PTZ 22, or elsewhere over the viewing surface 49. A touch usage history 67, e.g., since a last cleaning or other maintenance action may be presented. The usage history 67 may inform operators in relation to upcoming scheduled, recommended, or other maintenance. The peripheral zone 29 remains available as a space for stabilizing, bracing, and/or resting an operator's hand during use of the touchscreen display 110.

[0100] The stored haptic usage history may comprise additional information about touch related characteristics of various haptic inputs. For example, the haptic inputs may comprise one or more touches that comprise a "swipe" action characteristic. Relative to other haptic inputs, such as "point" touches (applied with a fingertip to a single point of the haptic input receiver 116, without a swiping action), swipe inputs may cause smudges more readily and thus with higher probability. Moreover, swipe inputs may also redistribute or spread smudges and other optical marring or soiling from one region of the display viewing area to another.

[0101] The haptic use history may also comprise data related to an orientation or direction of haptic inputs, such as touch motions, which may also affect the visibility of light scattered or reflected by the touch surface 59 of the haptic input receiver 116. For example, a vertical swipe motion on the display may increase the reflectance or scattering cross section in the horizontal reflectance plane more than a vertical plane, and vice versa.

[0102] The haptic use history display 67 and/or the haptic history database may be reset or updated upon maintenance events, such as the most recent time at which the touchscreen display 110 was cleaned. The system 100 may use data stored in relation to the haptic use history in various ways. For example, alerts and other critical information may be positioned selectively by the display layout arbitrator 125 in regions of the viewing area of the display 110 that have lower numbers and/or likely severity of smudges, based on the history since the last cleaning.

[0103] Prompts may comprise "buttons" presented on the display and operable for receiving one or more haptic input touches and gestures. The display layout arbitrator may position the input prompts in locations disposed over the viewing area 49 to receive the touches and gestures, spread the usage more evenly over a designated section of the haptically active surface 59, or alternately over the full viewing area of the touchscreen display 110 conforming to the viewing surface 49. The buttons and other prompts may be moved, shifted, and/or repositioned by the display layout arbitrator 125 over a small distance.

[0104] For example, prompts may be moved upon each redisplay thereof, which can fill in gaps between heavy touch regions and thus lighten the heavy smudges or fingerprints. The touch prompts may also be moved over translational distances greater than the width of the prompt, and to other less touched sections of the haptic input surface 59. Spreading smudges, smears and other touch-related contamination over the full area may delay onset of reduced visibility due to reflectance increases that may be associated therewith.

[0105] Prompt locations may also be modified to cluster the touches and haptic inputs in designated sections of the display, such as the PTZ 22, which provides an actively delegated zoned usage. Touch accuracy error rates, which may be related to smudge-related visual obscuration of the display, may be monitored, and stored as components of the stored haptic use history. Layout and usage of the display screen can be modified by the display layout arbitrator 125 in response to these data.

[0106] A reset signal may be presented with the touch usage history 67 to indicate that the touch usage history 67 should be reset, and/or that the haptic history database 62 should be refreshed. The reset may be actively initiated by an operator or other user, such as a technician, maintenance, or cleaning staff individual. The reset may also be initiated upon power up, by default.

[0107] Additionally or alternatively, the reset may be initiated in response to the monitoring of the haptic inputs and other touch activity, in which a likelihood of a cleaning or maintenance procedure is detected or recognized. For example, repeated swiping and/or wiping of the viewing surface 49 and/or the haptic input surface 59 without regard to displayed symbology or prompts may indicate likely upcoming cleaning, e.g., especially where said repetitive swiping progresses across the area of the touch surface 59 of the touchscreen display device 110.

[0108] Example Process.

[0109] Example embodiments may also relate to the performance of process steps related to monitoring ambient conditions and/or other situational/environmental data in which the touchscreen display device 110 may be used or deployed, optical performance of the touchscreen display device 110, and/or the history of haptic inputs received by the haptic input receiver 116.

[0110] Example embodiments may thus also relate to the performance of other process steps (e.g., in addition to the steps of the example process 30; described above with reference to FIG. 3). FIG. 7 depicts a flowchart for an example process 70 relating to operating a touchscreen display device, according to an example embodiment of the present invention. The steps of the process 70 may be considered optional (e.g., relative to the step 31 and the step 32 of the process 30).

[0111] In step 71, one or more of a plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display device is used are monitored.

[0112] In step 72, an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device is adjusted. The adjustment relates to a visibility characteristic of the presented information, which is modified based on the monitored one or more characteristics.

[0113] The plurality of characteristics relating to an operating environment in which the touchscreen display is used may relate to one or more of a location of the touchscreen display within a host, an orientation of the touchscreen display within the host, a location of the host, an orientation of the host, a current time of day, a current date, a weather condition, and/or an input from a user of the touchscreen display in relation to at least one of the plurality of operating environment characteristics.

[0114] In step 73, at least one characteristic relating to a visibility of the information presented on the touchscreen display device is monitored.

[0115] In step 74, the monitored at least one characteristic may be compared to a reference target, which is stored in relation thereto.

[0116] In step 75, an action may be performed based on the comparison. The action performed may comprise recommending a cleaning of at least a portion of the touchscreen display device viewing surface and/or adjusting an operating characteristic of the touchscreen display device, which is operable for modifying the visibility characteristic of the presented information.

[0117] In an example embodiment, the separating of the available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device (step 31 of process 30; FIG. 3) may comprise allocating a first portion of the available viewing surface area to the first critical information zone 21 and allocating a second portion of the available viewing surface area to the at least second preferred touch zone 22. The allocated second portion 22 may be spatially segregated from the first allocated portion 21, and the second portion 22 may be allocated into a peripheral disposition, relative to the allocated first portion 21.

[0118] In step 76, a usage of the at least second zone is monitored in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs.

[0119] In step 77 usage history of the touchscreen display device is then evaluated, based on the monitoring of the at least second zone 22 in relation to the receiving of the one or more haptic user inputs.

[0120] In step 78, the allocation of one or more of the first zone 21 or the at least second zone 22 may be changed, adjusted or modified based on the evaluated usage history.

[0121] In another aspect, an example embodiment of the present invention relates to non-transitory computer readable storage media such as memory, optical, magnetic, electronic, or other tangible physical media. In an example embodiment, the non-transitory computer readable media comprises instructions physically stored therewith. The instructions are operable for causing, or controlling a processor device to perform a computer based method for presenting information on a touchscreen display, such as the example method 70 described above.

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[0530] Example embodiments of the present invention thus relate to the presentation of critical information on an interactive display, which is also operable for receiving user inputs effectively and under various ambient lighting conditions, including high levels of ambient illumination (brightness). Example embodiments present the critical information effectively with high levels of ambient illumination on an interactive display without changing the position thereof over a translational axis or a rotational axis, and without shading a viewing surface thereof from a bright lighting source. Example embodiments preserve and sustain the optical performance of interactive displays, and the viewability of critical information presented on the viewing surface thereof, and independent of cleaning and wiping or other maintenance actions performed over the viewing surface.

[0531] Example embodiments of the present invention have thus been described. An example embodiment of the present invention relates to a method for presenting information on a touchscreen display device comprising process steps, which may be summarized as follows. An available viewing surface area of the touchscreen display device is separated into a first zone and at least a second area. The first area is operable for presenting a critical portion of the information. The at least second area is operable for receiving one or more haptic user inputs. A usage of the first zone and a usage of the at least second zone are coordinated. The presentation of the critical information in the first separated zone, and/or a prompt related to at least one of the one or more haptic user inputs may be controlled based on the coordinated usage.

[0532] For clarity and brevity, as well as to avoid unnecessary or unhelpful obfuscating, obscuring, obstructing, or occluding features of an example embodiment, certain intricacies and details, which are known generally to artisans of ordinary skill in related technologies, may have been omitted or discussed in less than exhaustive detail. Any such omissions or discussions are unnecessary for describing example embodiments of the invention, and not particularly relevant to understanding of significant features, functions and aspects of the example embodiments described herein.

[0533] In the specification and/or figures, typical embodiments of the invention have been disclosed. The present invention is not limited to such example embodiments. The use of the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. The figures are schematic representations and so are not necessarily drawn to scale. Unless otherwise noted, specific terms have been used in a generic and descriptive sense and not for purposes of limitation.

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