We have been reporting about many Nokia patents in past. But some of these patents certainly are more interesting than others and with practical use cases, like the one we are reporting today!! The patent is related to enhanced “Lock Screen” of mobile devices and thus looks very feasible & usable in a real-life scenarios. The patent talks about “Method and apparatus for providing quick access to media functions from a locked screen”.
A method for providing quick access to functions from a locked screen may include receiving an indication of entry of an activation input at a user terminal while the user terminal is displaying a locked screen, causing a launch of an application associated with performance of a function associated with the application from the locked screen and without completion of an unlock procedure in response to the activation input, enabling the function to be performed while the activation input is provided, and causing the user terminal to revert to the locked screen in response to removal of the activation input. A corresponding apparatus and computer program product are also provided.
While, this is not the first time that we have seen media functions getting accessible from Lock Screens and Android devices in particular now allow access to camera from Lock Screen. But the patent has a very wide range of access to media functions, that has been illustrated in images above and below. One can access images, camera, video, microphone and more in Locked state and even gestures like and hovering can be used to interact with the device.
In an example embodiment, after an activation input in the form of a touch input has launched a camera application, a picture may be taken responsive to release of the touch input or responsive to another input inserted in connection with the touch input. However, in some cases, non-touching gestures may also be used input an activation input in situations where the device can detect hovering or the like and a particular non-touching gesture activity has been defined as an activation input. In still other examples, multiple key or touch inputs may be used to initiate the activation input that opens the camera application (e.g., holding two hard keys or initiating two touch events) and still one or more other inputs may take the picture prior to reverting to the locked state after the picture is taken. Moreover, in some cases, the key or touch inputs may be provided in a particular pattern to be recognized as an activation input. For example, two or three consecutive presses, a long-press followed by a short-press, pressing and holding two different keys, pressing one or more keys in a pattern or sequence and/or the like may all act as activation inputs with regard to particular functions or applications. Thus, the activation input may be a single event or multiple events having characteristics that qualify for recognition as an activation input. Moreover, it should be appreciated that similar activation activities may be undertaken for other media related functions such as rendering music or videos, or capturing of video or audio and/or the like. Moreover, in some examples, a hard key, a touch input or combinations of hard key and touch inputs may be used to provide an activation input with respect to a location related application. For example, an activation input may be provided to directly launch an application to indicate current location or to report or share current location with another person or entity. In this regard, for example, a mapping application may be launched to check a location of the device.
In some cases, device security may be enhanced by requiring the entry of a security code in order to exit the locked screen. An example embodiment enabling direct access to media functions without requiring entry of the security code would clearly speed up the action of performing the media function. In some cases, where the action is somewhat fleeting, example embodiments may enable quick access to media functions that permits their capture where other devices that require entry of the security code may miss the action before they are ready to perform the media function. Some users may, however, worry about abuse of the ability to perform media functions without entering a security code. For example, some users may worry that too many pictures may be taken without proper authentication being performed. In order to address this potential concern, some embodiments may provide for a limit to the number of media functions that can be performed without entry of the security code or some other formal authentication process being undertaken. In such an example embodiment, a threshold number of media functions may be performed using direct access via activation inputs. After the threshold number of media functions is reached, the security code may be required to be entered prior to allowing the user to continue to perform media functions. The threshold number may be user defined or factory set and may be user activated or deactivated. In some embodiments, any authorized entry where a formal authentication process is performed (even if it is not related to the use of activation inputs) may reset a counter that counts toward the threshold number.