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Intel Patents a Future PC Feature: A Smart Soft Phone

By - Source: USPTO | B 9 comments

Rather than just more raw performance, computers are likely to go down a path of much greater integration in the future.

Intel has picked a rather unusual feature, according to a recently granted patent. The fact that there is a patent does not mean that such a product will ever be made, but the thought is interesting nevertheless: The document suggests that a future computer would automatically come with a softphone based on the telephony application programming interface (TAPI) and TAPI library of functions in Windows. Microsoft and Intel jointly developed TAPI and launched the technology back in 1993 for Windows 3.1.

So, it is not new technology Intel is describing, but just a convenience feature that the company wants to be embedded in new computers. The idea is that a phone number shown on the screen and selected by the user would be automatically detected as a phone number and the user would be presented a dial pad to call that number. Incoming calls would also be displayed with a phone interface and show information such as caller ID data.

According to the patent, there is a need for a dialer "that has many capabilities such as conference, transfer, hold, park, drop, hold, dial a highlighted number on a list etc., and which can do this job with a context sensitive menu form to simplify the options displayed to the user based upon the situation."

Intel did not apply for the patent as far back as it may seem - the application was filed in 2010. There is no indication that Intel wants to directly integrate the phone feature into its processors, but the patent repeatedly refers to office environment as target area for this telephony approach. It may not be a groundbreaking idea, but it is not unreasonable to assume that an Intel PC could one day come with much more convenient telephony functionality that the still rather raw IP phone interfaces and features we are used to today.

 

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  • 12 Hide
    frombehind , September 25, 2012 9:29 PM
    Quote:
    Rather than just more raw performance, computers are likely to go down a path of much greater integration in the future.


    Am I the only one one here that would rather see more raw performance?

    In 4 years I want to be playing crysis 4 in full 4k resolution at 120 FPS, or hell, maybe even in Full virtual reality... Instead of counting the megabytes of my capped data plan imbedded into my 5th generation core i7 tablet, and wondering if I really can stream another movie from netflix, without incurring a 20 dollar "fee"
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , September 25, 2012 8:27 PM
    How is this different than Avaya's One-X softphone?!? lol
  • 4 Hide
    twelch82 , September 25, 2012 8:30 PM
    robochumpHow is this different than Avaya's One-X softphone?!? lol


    More irritatingly, why were they granted yet another patent on an idea?
  • 12 Hide
    frombehind , September 25, 2012 9:29 PM
    Quote:
    Rather than just more raw performance, computers are likely to go down a path of much greater integration in the future.


    Am I the only one one here that would rather see more raw performance?

    In 4 years I want to be playing crysis 4 in full 4k resolution at 120 FPS, or hell, maybe even in Full virtual reality... Instead of counting the megabytes of my capped data plan imbedded into my 5th generation core i7 tablet, and wondering if I really can stream another movie from netflix, without incurring a 20 dollar "fee"
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , September 25, 2012 11:46 PM
    robochumpHow is this different than Avaya's One-X softphone?!? lol

    Or Cisco IP Communicator, but here's hopefully the difference. You don't need $50,000 worth of Avaya/Cisco servers to use it.
  • 1 Hide
    snowzsan , September 25, 2012 11:59 PM
    frombehindAm I the only one one here that would rather see more raw performance? In 4 years I want to be playing crysis 4 in full 4k resolution at 120 FPS, or hell, maybe even in Full virtual reality... Instead of counting the megabytes of my capped data plan imbedded into my 5th generation core i7 tablet, and wondering if I really can stream another movie from netflix, without incurring a 20 dollar "fee"



    I hear you on the data charges. I work for T-Mobile so I know full well that customer's are not big fans of additional fees. That is why they have the unlimited plans where you get a cap, and once you go over, they simply throttle down your service instead of allowing you to incur additional charges. So that's food for though.

    On the flip side, the handheld market, as mature as some believe it to be, is actually rather young in comparison. Give it time. These services gradually drop in price as time goes on, unless they release a newer service like say 5 G, etc. etc. Then the prices remain the same if you so choose to upgrade.

    Overall though, it depends on what provider you go with.
  • 0 Hide
    ricardok , September 26, 2012 2:00 AM
    So, the patent office strikes again with a patent with prior art written all over it?

    The article says it all:
    Quote:
    Microsoft and Intel jointly developed TAPI and launched the technology back in 1993 for Windows 3.1.

    Besides having other soft phones all around us already.
    Difference? Using a PC? Not so different to me to be able to set it as a new "thing".
  • 1 Hide
    uglynerdman , September 26, 2012 3:52 AM
    a future smart phone which is just a pc using a telephony interface, wifi errwhar
  • 0 Hide
    murzar , September 26, 2012 6:47 AM
    Intel is not a patent troll. They just did it before Apple could patent it and tag it 'Innovation'.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , September 26, 2012 12:49 PM
    Let me get this straight. A phone number is displayed ###-###-#### and a UI displays options for the person to choose to do with the info (save it / call it / forward it / trash it / etc)...

    Like pretty much obvious from what we already do TODAY with Caller ID on our cell phones?!

    Think I will find a way to patent the function of pressing the ON button which results in a hardware device to come on.