Microsoft Patent Apps For UI For Conversation View in Email,Sketch-based Password Authentication And More

1) User interface reading email conversations :

Conversation view in email allows us to read an email conversation in a convenient manner. Based on context, emails are grouped to form this view. Conversation views is now part of several web based services such as Hotmail, Gmail and desktop clients such as Outlook and even mobile mail clients such as iOS mail client, Windows Phone mail client.


Emails modeled as conversations are displayed in a user interface that enables users to read and interact with the emails within a conversation intuitively. Conversation breaks, such as those in an in-reply-to relationship between messages, are presented utilizing extra spaces between displayed message parts, excerpts of parent messages displayed above the message following the break, and/or graphical elements like broken connectors. Relationships between a user selected message and its parent within the conversation defined relationship are illustrated using graphical elements or schemes that focus on the selected message to avoid confusion due to information overload.

2) Sketch-based password authentication :

This may sound familiar to you, because Microsoft just demonstrated the actual product based on this patent. Windows 8 login screen has picture password option which lets you unlock the screen. This patent may be the basis for that feature.

A graphical password authentication method is based on sketches drawn by user. The method extracts a template edge orientation pattern from an initial sketch of the user and an input edge orientation pattern from an input sketch of the user, compares the similarity between the two edge orientation patterns, and makes an authentication decision based on the similarity. The edge orientations are quantized, and each edge orientation pattern includes a set of quantized orientation patterns each corresponding to one of the quantized edge orientations. The number of quantized edge orientations, as well as other parameters such as the dimension of the final orientation patterns and acceptance threshold, can be optimized either globally or user-specifically.

3)Dynamic projected user interface 

This patent may be related to Microsoft Surface vNext which may include some technologies such as Microsoft Lightspace and various other Microsoft research projects.

A dynamic projected user interface device is disclosed, that includes a projector, a projection controller, and an imaging sensor. The projection controller is configured to receive instructions from a computing device, and to provide display images via the projector onto display surfaces. The display images are indicative of a first set of input controls when the computing device is in a first operating context, and a second set of input controls when the computing device is in a second operating context. The imaging sensor is configured to optically detect physical contacts with the one or more display surfaces.

If any of our readers know how to differentiate between patent publication and issued patents, please help me out. I’m confused.

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