A recent Nokia patent reveals a very practical and welcome feature (if it ever makes to any of the Nokia phones in future). The patent talks about “Partial lock mode”. As the name suggests, this is indeed a lock mode for the phone, but beauty of this mode will be that it will allow content to be visible on the locked screen with some allowed user interactions.

In the illustration image, you can see a webpage opened in a browser, which can still be accessed when the phone gets locked. One can zoom the content (image) on the locked screen though other actions like panning or URL access may not be allowed.

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Here is bit of Blurb from the patent,

A terminal is configured to switch from an unlocked mode in which a first set of user interactions can be made through a user interface to effect certain functions, to a partial lock mode in which a different set of user interactions are made available to the user in relation to the same, or substantially similar, displayed content. Switching does not cause the currently-displayed content to entirely disappear, as in a conventional transition to a lock mode, but rather the same or substantially the same content continues to be displayed. Switching between the modes can take place in response to manual selection, for example using a hardware or software switch, or can take place automatically in response to one or more sensors of the apparatus detecting a predetermined operating condition, e.g. the user being in motion.

The patent proposes that this mode will get enabled in response to some hardware / software switch press or even on detecting some kind of motion. So, this actually takes care of the issue of accidental operation on touch displays. This partial lock mode will get enabled when you want to walk and access the content as well.

We many times encounter such situation, when inadvertently, due to the touch of finger the content disappears from the screen when we are in hurry or we suddenly starts moving. So, seems Nokia has found a solution for that!!

Touch-sensitive displays may be particularly susceptible to accidental operation. This accidental operation can cause software functions to be executed, which for example can result in a voice or data call being inadvertently made over a network, or unintentional interaction with an application running on the terminal. For this reason, many terminals provide a lock mode, typically as part of their operating system, which replaces displayed application content through which inputs can be received with a dedicated lock mode interface, usually a blank screen or a Screensaver such as a still image or an animation, in which virtually all user inputs are blocked. It is known also to provide a translucent overlay over a home screen when in locked mode. In order to exit the lock mode, a specific series of inputs are required. The lock mode is either manually selected or entered automatically following a period during which no user inputs are received. When the terminal is being used in a situation which makes it susceptible to accidental operation, for example when the user is walking, it would be desirable for the user to be able to continue to interact with content with a reduced risk of accidental operation. Clearly, the above-described lock mode is not suitable for this purpose as it switches from the current content to the lock screen and would require the user to manually exit this mode through the required sequence of unlocking inputs

Source: Espacenet