Feeds

Sony Ericsson ‘invents’ drag-and-drop for handhelds

'Point and flick' file transfer

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sony Ericsson has applied for a patent that, if granted, would give it ownership of a data-transfer method for portable devices which allows users to send files from one device to another with the flick of a finger.

Sony Ericsson's patent application
Lisa selects a file on-screen and flicks it to Simon

Recently released documents describe how data, such as MP3 files, can be selected on-screen and then ‘flicked’ - using a touchscreen-detected gesture, or a gadget's joystick - in the direction of another compatible device to initiate an automatic data transfer over a short distance.

It sounds a little like virtual catch, but with text documents, photos, music files and so on.

The patent application, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2006 but updated last week, seems biased towards mobile phones, but it's general enough to take in handheld games consoles, and music and media players.

Sony Ericsson is equally broad-minded - why tie yourself down? - when it comes to short-range transmission technology. It reckons the technique is as applicable to today's Bluetooth and yesterday's infra-red as it does to future near-field commmunications (NFC) systems.

What the application doesn't cover in detail is how the system gains its directionality. That's easy with line-of-sight technologies like infra-red, but for Bluetooth, the system would need to be able to detect which recipients the source device is 'pointing' at and then remove from the list any that aren't paired with the source or authorised to accept files from it.

We wish Sony Ericsson luck, but we're minded of Sony's original notion behind its Memory Stick card format: that the card could pick up and drop off data by literally tapping files presented on PCs' screens.

That technique never made it out of Sony's labs, and we wonder if Sony Ericsson's 'flick'n'file' system will either.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.