Microsoft awarded US patent for Multimode Interactive Television Chat

MUMBAI: Microsoft has been awarded a US patent for a Multimode Interactive Television Chat system. The patent was filed in 1999 by Zenith and subsequently assigned to Microsoft.

The idea is to combine the experience of TV watching with that of fan chartrooms and discussion areas, where viewers can interactively discus the development of a TV program without having to run all the way to their computer.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office document, "The system has a graphical user interface that can simultaneously display a combination of television and Internet content in various display modes. The display modes may have different proportions, positioning or other features of the Internet and television content. A viewer of the user interface device may change display modes, such as by selecting a link available in each of the display modes."

The television content being displayed may be a broadcast show and the Internet content may be chat from a chat room corresponding to the television show. Various display modes are provided for displaying the television show and corresponding chat, ranging from maximal television display and minimal chat display to minimal television display and maximal chat display.
Changing television channels may initiate a corresponding change in the chat room being participated in and the content being displayed.

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