Digital Camera Patent

System and method for a simplified digital camera interface for viewing images and controlling camera operation

Digital Camera Patent Abstract

A simplified image display control interface provides easy and convenient retrieving and viewing of digital images captured by a digital camera. Two control buttons provide for scrolling backwards or forwards through a plurality of captured images displayed on a display and stored in the digital camera memory. When the oldest captured image has been displayed, subsequent actuation of a control button causes the display to be turned off. When the most recently captured image is displayed, subsequent actuation of another control button causes a live preview to be displayed.

Digital Camera Patent Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A display interface for displaying images comprising: a display configured to display an image; and a simplified image display control interface consisting of: a first button configured to change an image shown by the display to the next most recently captured image; a second button configured to change an image shown by the display to the next previously captured image; and a third button configured to delete data associated with the image shown by the display, wherein the third button is further configured to turn off the display when there is no data associated with the image shown by the display to delete.

2. The display interface of claim 1, wherein the first button is further configured to display a live preview when there is no next most recently captured image, and wherein the second button is further configured to turn off the display when there is no next previously captured image.

3. The display interface of claim 1, further comprising; a memory configured to store data corresponding to at least one captured image; and a processor unit coupled to the memory and configured to receive signals from the first button and the second button, the processor unit further configured to retrieve from the memory data associated with the captured images specified by the first button and the second button.

4. The display interface of claim 1, wherein the first button and the second button are further configured to turn on the display when the display is off.

5. The display interface of claim 1, further comprising a right pointing arrow icon residing on the first button.

6. The display interface of claim 1, further comprising a left pointing arrow icon residing on the second button.

7. A method for controlling display of images on a display, the method comprising the steps of: detecting actuation of a simplified image display control interface consisting of a first control button, a second control button and a third button; displaying a next most recently captured image on the display when the first control button is actuated; displaying a next previously captured image on the display when the second control button is actuated; deleting data associated with the image shown by the display when the third control button is actuated; and turning off the display when there is no data associated with the image shown by the display to delete when the third control button is actuated.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising the steps of: determining when the next most recently captured image is available for displaying on the display when the first control button is actuated; and displaying a current image detected by an image sensor when the next most recently captured image is not available.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising the step of turning off the display in response to actuation of the first control button when the current image is displayed.

10. The method of claim 7, further comprising the steps of: determining if the next previously captured image is available for displaying on the display when the second control button is actuated; and turning off the display in response to actuation of the second control button when the next previously captured image is not available.

11. The method of claim 7, further comprising the steps of: determining if the data associated with the image shown on the display is available for deleting when the third control button is actuated; and displaying a current image detected by an image sensor when the data is not available.

12. The method of claim 7, further comprising the steps of: determining when the display is off; and turning on the display in response to detecting actuation of one of the first control button and the second control button when the display is off.

13. A system for controlling display of images on a display comprising: means for detecting actuation of a simplified image display control interface consisting of a first control button, a second control button and a third control button; means for displaying a next most recently captured image on the display when the first control button is actuated; means for deleting data associated with the image shown on the display when the second control button is actuated; means for displaying a next previously captured image on the display when the third control button is actuated; means for determining when the next most recently captured image is available for displaying on the display when the first control button is actuated and means for displaying a current image detected by an image sensor when the next most recently captured image is not available; means for determining if the data associated with the image shown on the display is available for deleting when the second control button is actuated and means for displaying a current image detected by an image sensor when the data is not available; and means for determining if the next previously captured image is available for displaying on the display when the third control button is actuated and means for displaying a current image detected by an image sensor when the next previously captured image is not available.

14. The system of claim 13, further comprising: means for determining when the display is off; and means for turning on the display in response to detecting actuation of one of the first control button, the second control button and the third control button when the display is off.

15. A computer readable medium having a program executable by a computer for controlling display of images on a display, the program comprising logic configured to perform the steps of: detecting actuation of a simplified image display control interface consisting of a first control button and a second control button; displaying a live preview after the most recently captured image has been displayed on the display in response to actuation of the first control button; turning off the display after the oldest captured image on the display has been displayed in response to actuation of the second control button; deleting data associated with the image shown by the display when the third control button is actuated; and turning off the display when there is no data associated with the image shown by the display to delete when the third control button is actuated.

16. A display interface for displaying images comprising: a digital image capturing device; a display residing on the digital image capture device configured to display an image; and a simplified image display control interface consisting of: a first button configured to display a live preview on the display after a most recently captured image has been displayed; a second button configured to turn off the display after an oldest captured image has been displayed; and a third button configured to delete data associated with the image shown by the display, wherein the third button is further configured to turn off the display when there is no data associated with the image shown by the display to delete.

17. The display interface of claim 16, wherein the digital image capturing device is a digital camera.

18. A computer readable medium having a program executable by a computer for controlling display of images on a display, the program comprising logic configured to perform the steps of: detecting actuation of a simplified image display control interface consisting of a first control button, a second control button and a third button; displaying a next most recently captured image on the display when the first control button is actuated; displaying a next previously captured image on the display when the second control button is actuated; deleting data associated with the image shown by the display when the third control button is actuated; and turning off the display when there is no data associated with the image shown by the display to delete when the third control button is actuated.

Digital Camera Patent Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to recording and processing digital images and, in particular, to a system and method for providing a simplified, user-friendly interface for operating a digital camera.

2. Related Art

With the advent of digitally based image capturing devices capable of "photographing" an image and providing the image in a digital data format, a digital "photograph" of the image is stored in a memory residing within or coupled to the image capturing device. A nonlimiting example of a digital image capturing device is the digital camera that captures still images and/or video images.

Technological advances have enabled the development of digital cameras that rival the quality of film based cameras. Furthermore, digital camera interfaces have been designed to mimic film camera controls so that knowledgeable photographers may control the picture taking functionalities, such as shutter speed, aperture, flash, zoom and other features.

However, digital cameras are, in essence, special purpose computers employing advanced digital imaging technologies. For the first time user, a complex digital camera may be difficult to operate. Thus, many consumers are not yet interested giving up their easy-to-use film based cameras.

Consumers who are not computer literate may feel uncomfortable with a digital camera in that many of the features of a digital camera are based upon its similarity to a personal computer. For example, pictures are stored in a digital camera memory as digital information. This digital information is conveniently transferable to a personal computer so that, for example, printing devices can be u