US 8407356 Real time communications system

ABSTRACT – A computerized human communication arbitrating and distributing system, including a controller digital computer and a plurality of participator digital computers, each of the participator computers including an input device for receiving human-input information from a human user and an output device for presenting information to the user, each said user having a user identity. A connection, such as Internet, links the controller computer with each of the participator computers. Controller software runs on the controller computer to arbitrate in accordance with predefined rules including said user identity, which ones of the participator computers can interact in one of a plurality of groups through the controller computer and to distribute real time data to the respective ones of the groups. Participator software runs on each of the participator computers to handle a user interface permitting one said user to send a multimedia information message to the controller computer, which arbitrates which of the participator computers receive the multimedia information message and conveys the multimedia information message to the selected participator computers to present the multimedia information to the respective user.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention is directed to an apparatus, a manufacture, and methods for making and using the same, in a field of digital electrical computer systems. More particularly, the present invention is directed to a digital electrical computer system involving a plurality of participator computers linked by a network to at least one of a plurality of participator computers, the participator computers operating in conjunction with the controller computer to handle multiplexing operations for communications involving groups of some of the participator computers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Multiplexing group communications among computers ranges from very simple to very complex communications systems. At a simple level, group communications among computers involves electronic mail sent in a one way transmission to all those in a group or subgroup using, say, a local area network. Arbitrating which computers receive electronic mail is a rather well understood undertaking.

On a more complex level, corporations may link remote offices to have a conference by computer. A central computer can control the multiplexing of what appears as an electronic equivalent to a discussion involving many individuals.

Even more complex is linking of computers to communicate in what has become known as a “chat room.” Chat room communications can be mere text, such as that offered locally on a file server, or can involve graphics and certain multimedia capability, as exemplified by such Internet service providers as America On Line. Multiplexing in multimedia is more complex for this electronic environment.

On the Internet, “chat room” communications analogous to America On Line have not been developed, at least in part because Internet was structured for one-way communications analogous to electronic mail, rather than for real time group chat room communications. Further, unlike the an Internet service provider, which has control over both the hardware platform and the computer program running on the platform to create the “chat room”, there is no particular control over the platform that would be encountered on the Internet. Therefore, development of multiplexing technology for such an environment has been minimal.

Even with an emergence of the World Wide Web, which does have certain graphical multimedia capability, sophisticated chat room communication multiplexing has been the domain of the Internet service providers. Users therefore have a choice between the limited audience of a particular Internet Service provider or the limited chat capability of the Internet

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome such limitations of the prior art and to advance and improve the technology of group computer multiplexing to enable better computerized group communications.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a computerized human communication arbitrating and distributing system.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a group communication multiplexing system involving a controller digital computer linked to a plurality of participator computers to organize communications by groups of the participator computers.

It is still another object of the present invention to link the controller computer and the plurality of computers with respective software coordinated to arbitrate multiplexing activities.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a chat capability suitable for handling graphical, textual, and multimedia information in a platform independent manner.

These and other objects and utilities of the invention, which apparent from the discussion herein, are addressed by a computerized human communication arbitrating and distributing system. The system includes a controller digital electrical computer and a plurality of participator digital computers, each of the participator computers including an input device for receiving human-input information and an output device for presenting information to a user having a user identity. A connection such as the Internet links the controller computer with each of the participator computers.

Controller software runs on the controller computer, programming the controller computer to arbitrate in accordance with predefined rules including said user identity, which ones of the participator computers can interact in one of a plurality of groups communicating through the controller computer and to distribute real time data to the respective ones of the groups.

Participator software runs on each of the participator computers to program each of the participator computers to operate a user interface. The user interface permits one of the users to send and/or receive a multimedia information message to the controller computer, which arbitrates which of the participator computers receives the multimedia information message. The controller computer also conveys the multimedia information message to the selected participator computers to present the multimedia information to the respective user.

Therefore, for a computer system involving a plurality of programmed participator computers running the participator computer program can interact through a programmed controller computer with the controller computer multiplexing the communications for groups formed from the plurality, as well as arbitrating communications behavior.

 

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