Cisco Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, CA, is a developer and manufacturer of Internet networking technologies, typically for business and corporate solutions. Recently, Cisco has been getting involved with cloud-based applications and services for Internet connectivity. Corporate actions in past weeks, including their acquisition of Ubiquisys, a developer of small-cell technologies for intelligent 3G mobile network connections, is evidence of this new focus.
This week in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we take a closer look at the Internet networking hardware developer’s recent innovations. Video conferencing has been a topic of interest for Cisco’s research and development teams, as two U.S. Patent & Trademark Office patent documents describe. One document, a patent application would protect a simpler system of establishing video conferencing connection. An US patent gives Cisco the right to protect a system of gauging member participation levels to make sure meeting members are paying attention.
Business marketing is a big topic in the digital world, and another Cisco patent application seeks to utilize a wide scope of user social interactions to build consumer profiles for smarter advertising. Other patent applications would protect systems of attaching metadata to media sessions for creating a diagnostic session log, and another protects methods of storing Bluetooth connections for quicker device authentication in call center systems.
Advertisement Campaign System Using Socially Collaborative Filtering
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130132197
Businesses that thrive on consumer spending are all interested in finding more effective ways of marketing their goods to potential customers. The use of social networks online has improved a business’s capacity to do just this, as user inputs can be used to build a consumer profile of potential interests for a user. This type of profile building to determine a consumer’s probable wants based on their likes or personality features is known as psychographic analysis.
Cisco Systems is hoping to protect a fuller system of psychographic analysis that can help create more efficient ad campaigns, saving businesses money on marketing. This system culls user-submitted social inputs from a variety of online applications, such as Netflix movie ratings, purchases made through Amazon.com and more. These “socially relevant gestures,” as the patent application calls them, are used to discern a browser’s level of affinity with a specific product or service.
Claim 1 of this Cisco patent application would protect:
“A method comprising: identifying, in a network, user selection preferences of an identified user having accessed the network, the identifying based on an accumulation of user selection inputs executed by the identified user, the user selection inputs accumulated relative to a context of input options presented to the user and identifying respective available network items, the accumulation relative to the context including an identification of the input options not having been selected by the identified user, the accumulation not including any rating values submitted by the identified user; classifying, by an apparatus in the network, the identified user into one of multiple user affinity categories relative to an advertisement campaign for a targeted product, the classifying based on determining whether one of the user selection inputs represents a view gesture of the user having viewed the targeted product; and the apparatus selecting an advertisement asset for delivery to the identified user based on the classifying of the identified user into the one user affinity category, the advertisement asset selected from among multiple advertisement assets associated with the respective user affinity categories for the advertisement campaign.”
System and Method for Exchanging Information in a Video Conference Environment
U.S. Patent No. 8446455
Video conferencing is a form of Internet communications that has had a lot of impact on the business world. Conducting virtual meetings in a digital meeting space allows a company to conduct business with geographically disparate partners or employees, saving money on travel and other costs. These systems are fairly robust, but computer systems developers are always trying to make the experience more effective for businesses.
This USPTO patent, awarded to Cisco Systems last week, would be able to gauge the participation level of different individuals involved in a video conference. This participation level is measured using many inputs, including speech frequency, speech volume, body language and even gaze metrics based on eye movement. A video conference administrator could use these participation levels to reconfigure an image display, giving those with higher participation levels a better display priority than those with lower participation levels.
As Claim 1 explains, Cisco has recently earned the right to protect:
“A method, comprising: monitoring a plurality of end users, wherein each user generates a plurality of inputs and the end users are involved in a video session in which a plurality of displays are used, wherein at least one of the inputs is associated with a frequency of speech of the end users; determining a participation level for each of the end users based on the inputs; and determining which image data associated with the end users is to be rendered on a selected one of the plurality of displays based on the participation levels.”
System and Method for Alerting a Participant in a Video Conference
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130120522
One cumbersome aspect of conducting video conferences is the time it takes to set up the meeting among participants, especially when trying to connect to the video feeds of other participants. Users must be notified that the connection will be attempted so that they can be in place once the other end user can view the video feed. This requires a lot of action on the part of the individual conducting the meeting to establish first contact and start the video connection.
This patent application, filed by Cisco, would aid businesses that engage in multi-point video conferencing with two or more participants. The system devised by Cisco would recognize when a meeting conductor is looking at a screen. Once that person’s gaze has been registered, a user on the other end is notified that they’re being contacted for a video conference.
As Claim 1 states, Cisco is seeking protections for:
“A method, comprising: identifying an active speaker of a video session; analyzing a signal from an originating endpoint associated with the active speaker; identifying a target participant with whom the active speaker seeks to interact; and providing a notification to the target participant that alerts the target participant that the active speaker is seeking to interact with the target participant.”
Method and Apparatus for Providing Session Description for a Media Session
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130132588
The Real-time Transfer Protocol (RTP) is an Internet protocol for digital communication that allows the free transfer of real-time data for a number of applications, including voice-over IP, video, audio and more. However, RTP is poor for creating a session log of digital media accessed by a user at a given time. To monitor a session, which can help diagnose network issues, metadata must be attached to the RTP stream in progress.
This system of providing session descriptions, devised by Cisco, would monitor intermediate network nodes used during a media session. These intermediate nodes process data sent by a source node, often an online application, and sent to a receiver node, eventually reaching a computer user. This system would create a session description pointer, also known as a “back-map,” which can create metadata about the media stream which is sent to the intermediate nodes in the system for analysis.
Claim 1 of this Cisco patent application would grant the company protections for:
“A method comprising: constructing at a source node, a session description pointer to a session description for a media session; inserting the session description pointer in a packet in a media stream of the media session; and transmitting the packet to a receiver node; wherein the session description pointer is configured for use in obtaining said session description by an intermediate node located between the source node and the receiver node.”
Pairing a Bluetooth Device to a Virtual Desktop in a Hosted Desktop Environment
U.S. Patent Application No. 20130115880
Hosted desktop environments are often utilized in call center applications, allowing a headset user to connect to an audio gateway for telephone communication. These desktop environments can be optimized for Unified Communications (UC) standards, which seek to create a unified user experience with computer systems through a device. Call centers operating in this way would allow a user to connect with audio gateways on various desktop environments through a wireless communication standard, such as Bluetooth.
This Cisco patent application would protect a system of making UC call centers more efficient by allowing quicker user authentications when accessing a different desktop environment. Current methods require headset users to enter login information every time they want to switch desktop client environments. This system would store pairing information created on the first connection between a user and a desktop environment to allow automatic authentication on future logins.
As Claim 1 describes, Cisco wants to protect:
“A method comprising: at a desktop thin client device, sending to a server a message comprising information configured to indicate that a user has logged on to the desktop thin client device; determining if the user is logging on for a first time; when the user logs on for the first time, receiving a message comprising a pseudo hardware address, wherein the pseudo hardware address is unique address associated with the user; assigning the pseudo hardware address to a client wireless device associated with the desktop thin client device; pairing the client wireless device with a user wireless device associated with the user using the pseudo hardware address; generating pairing information for a pairing between the client wireless device and the user wireless device; and sending the pairing information to the server for storage.”