Digital Camera Patent

Integrated cellular phone, digital camera, and PDA, with swivel mechanism providing access to the interface elements of each function

Digital Camera Patent Abstract

A wireless telecommunications device, including a telephone interface, a keyboard and a digital camera lens, utilizes a single mechanical transformation in the form of a swivel mechanism to allow the user to switch from one mode to another for portability and easy accessibility. Preferably, when configured in a first position, the wireless telecommunications device operates in the first mode. When configured in a second position, the wireless telecommunications device operates in the second mode. When configured in a third position, the wireless telecommunications device operates in a third mode. The first mode is a telephone mode. The second mode is a keyboard mode. The third mode is a camera mode.

Digital Camera Patent Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A multimode electronic communication device comprising: a. a first substantially planar panel including a telephone interface and a display on a first face of the first panel, the first panel having a single axis of rotation perpendicular to the first panel; b. a second substantially planar panel including a keyboard interface on a first face of the second panel, the first face of the second panel rotatably and operatively coupled to the second face of the first panel for rotation about the axis such that the first panel is configured to rotate in only one plane relative to the second panel such that in a first rotational orientation the keyboard interface is obscured by the first panel, and, in a second rotational orientation the keyboard interface is exposed; and c. means for sensing a rotational orientation between the first panel and the second panel such that in the first rotational orientation the device operates as a telephone and input entered on the telephone interface are shown on the display, and, in the second rotational orientation the device operates as a messaging device and input entered on the keyboard interface are shown on the display.

2. A multimode electronic device comprising: a. a first substantially planar panel including a first interface and a display on a first face of the first panel and a camera lens on a second face of the first panel, the first panel having a single axis of rotation perpendicular to the first panel; b. a second substantially planar panel including a second interface on a first face of the second panel, the first face of the second panel rotatably and operatively coupled to the second face of the first panel for rotation about the axis such that the first panel is configured to rotate in only one plane relative to the second panel such that in a first rotational orientation the second interface is obscured by the first panel and the camera lens is obscured by the second panel, in a second rotational orientation the camera lens is exposed and the second interface is substantially obscured and in a third rotational orientation the second interface is exposed; and c. means for sensing a rotational orientation between the first panel and the second panel such that in the first rotational orientation, input entered in response to the first interface are shown on the display, in the second rotational orientation an image in the field of view of the camera lens is visible on the display and in the third rotational orientation input entered in response to the second interface are shown on the display.

3. A multimode wireless communication device comprising: a. a first substantially planar panel including a telephone interface and a display on a first face of the first panel and a camera lens on a second face of the first panel, the first panel having a single axis of rotation perpendicular to the first panel; b. a second substantially planar panel including a keyboard interface on a first face of the second panel, the first face of the second panel rotatably and operatively coupled to the second face of the first panel for rotation about the axis such that the first panel is configured to rotate in only one plane relative to the second panel such that in a first rotational orientation the keyboard interface is obscured by the first panel and the camera lens is obscured by the second panel, in a second rotational orientation the camera lens is exposed and the keyboard interface is substantially obscured and in a third rotational orientation the keyboard interface is exposed; and c. means for sensing a rotational orientation between the first panel and the second panel such that in the first rotational orientation, input entered in response to the telephone interface are shown on the display, in the second rotational orientation an image in the field of view of the camera lens is visible on the display and in the third rotational orientation input entered in response to the keyboard interface are shown on the display.

4. The wireless telecommunications device according to claim 3, wherein when the device is configured in the second rotational orientation, the second panel is rotated about 180 degrees relative to the first rotational orientation.

5. The wireless telecommunications device according to claim 3, wherein the second panel rotates in a first direction from the first rotational orientation toward the second rotational orientation and in a second direction from the first position toward the third rotational orientation, wherein the second direction is opposite to he first direction.

Digital Camera Patent Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of cellular phones. More particularly, the present invention relates to the field of integrating a cellular phone, a digital camera lens, and a keyboard into a portable handheld device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cellular telephones have become an increasingly popular means of communication for today's mobile society. Also, digital camera lenses have been added as a feature on certain commercial cellular telephones, to allow users to communicate and exchange information through pictures. Further, personal digital assistant interfaces have been added on some cellular telephone devices, which allow cellular telephone users to access the web, answer e-mail, and organize appointments. However, conventional multifunction cellular telephones are bulky, complicated, and not user-friendly. Furthermore, conventional multifunction cellular telephones do not allow easy access to all functions through a single mechanical transformation. Due to these problems, conventional multifunction cellular telephones are cumbersome and ill-equipped to handle the multitasking needs of the average cellular telephone user.

What is needed is a multifunction cellular telephone, which successfully integrates a cellular telephone interface with a digital camera lens and a keyboard into one user-friendly portable handheld device. Specifically, to address the problems noted above, what is needed is a multifunction cellular telephone that allows a user to switch from one mode to another mode, utilizing a single mechanical transformation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention include an electronic device comprising a first substantially planar panel including a first interface, the first panel having a first axis of rotation perpendicular to the first panel; and a second substantially planar panel including a second interface, the second panel having a second axis of rotation perpendicular to the second panel and rotatably joined to the first panel such that the first axis of rotation and the second axis rotation are co-linear. In a first position, the second interface is obscured by the first panel and in a second position the second interface is exposed. The first panel of the electronic device further includes a display. When the device is configured in the first position, the first interface controls the display and the device. When the device is configured in the second position, the second interface controls the display and the device. Alternatively, when the device is configured in the second position, both interfaces control the display and the device. When the device is configured in the first position, an entry made on the first interface is displayed on the display. When the device is configured in the second position, an entry made on the second interface is displayed on the display. Alternatively, when the device is configured in the second position, entries made on both interfaces are displayed on the display.

The electronic device operates in a first mode when it is configured in the first position. Alternatively, the electronic device operates in a second mode when it is configured in the second position. Preferably, the first panel of the electronic device is operatively coupled to the second panel to allow an exchange of electronic data. Preferably, the electronic device is a handheld portable device.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the first panel of the electronic device further comprises a front side and a back side, wherein the front side of the first panel includes the display and the first interface, and the back side of the first panel includes an engaging end. The second panel further comprises a receiving end. Alternatively, the first panel further comprises a front side and a back side. The front side of the first panel includes the display and the first interface, and the back side of the first panel includes a receiving end. The second panel further comprises an engaging end. In either alternative embodiment, the receiving end receives the engaging end when the device is configured in a position.

In another aspect of the invention, a wireless telecommunications device comprises: a first panel including a front side and a back side, wherein the front side further comprises a display and a telephone interface, the first panel having a first axis of rotation; a second panel including a keyboard, the second panel having a second axis of rotation, the second panel rotatably coupled to the first panel such that in a first position the keyboard is obscured by the first panel, and in a second position the keyboard is exposed, wherein in the first position an entry made on the telephone interface is displayed on the display and in the second position an entry made on the keyboard is displayed on the display; and a digital camera lens mounted to a surface of the back side of the first panel, such that in a first position the camera lens is obscured by the second panel, and in a third position the camera lens is exposed. According to another embodiment of the invention, when the wireless telecommunications device is in the second position, entries made on both the keyboard and the telephone interface are displayed on the display. According to yet another embodiment of the invention, when the wireless telecommunications device is in the third position, the keyboard is obscured.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the second panel of the wireless telecommunications device rotates in a first direction from the first position toward the second position and the third position. Alternatively, the second panel rotates in a first direction from the first position toward the second position and in a second direction from the first position toward the third position, wherein the second direction is opposite to the first direction.

Preferably, the wireless telecommunications device operates in a first mode when configured in the first position, operates in a second mode when configured in the second position, and operates in a third mode when configured in the third position. Preferably, the first mode is a telephone mode, the second mode is a keyboard mode, and the third mode is a camera mode. Preferably, the keyboard is a qwerty keyboard. Alternatively, the keyboard can be arranged alphabetically or according to some other convenient arrangement. According to the preferred embodiment of the invention, when the device is configured in the second position, the second panel is rotated about 180 degrees from the first panel.

According to another embodiment, when the wireless telecommunications device is in the third position, a button in the telephone interface is configured to operate a digital camera operatively coupled to the camera lens.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the first panel of the wireless telecommunication device further comprises a front side and a back side. The front side of the first panel includes the display and the first interface, and the back side of the first panel includes an engaging end. The second panel further comprises a receiving end. When the wireless telecommunications device is in one of the first position, the second position, and the third position, the receiving end receives the engaging end.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the first panel further comprises a front side and a back side, wherein the front side of the first panel includes the display and the first interface, and the back side of the first panel includes a receiving end. The second panel further comprises an engaging end. When the wireless telecommunications device is in one of the first position, the second position, and the third position, the receiving end receives the engaging end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B are schematic drawings illustrating the front side of the first panel of the electronic device, which includes the display and the telephone interface, in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 1A shows one embodiment of the invention with the numeric keypad arranged in concentric circles. FIG. 1B illustrates an alternative embodiment, with the numeric keypad in the conventional twelve key arrangement.

FIG. 2 is a schematic drawing illustrating the device configured in the third position,