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1. WO2020185098 - ILLUMINATED CHARGING CONNECTOR OR DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE OR SYSTEM OPERABLE BASED ON PACKAGING STATUS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. An electronic connector for connecting with an electronic device, the electronic connector comprising :

a device connection element for electronically and physically connecting to a corresponding port of the electronic device;

an illumination circuit having at least one illumination source; and an on-board power source for supplying power to the illumination source.

2. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a cable extending from the device connection element for electrically connecting the device connection element to another device or power source.

3. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 2, further comprising a second connection element at an opposing end of the cable to the device connection element, for electrically connecting to another device or to an external power source.

4. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 3 wherein the illumination circuit further comprises a controller configured to operate the illumination source based on a connection status of the second connection element with the external power source.

5. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 4 wherein the controller is configured to operate at least one of the illumination source(s) in accordance with an externally-powered mode of operation when the second connection element is connected to the external power source.

6. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 5 wherein the controller is configured to operate the at least one illumination source(s) to output a substantially constant brightness in the externally-powered mode of operation.

7. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6 wherein the controller is configured to increase a brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) when the second connection element is connected to the external power source.

8. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 5 to claim 7 wherein the controller is configured to operate at least one of the illumination source(s) via the on-board power source in accordance with an internally-powered mode of operation when the second connection element is not connected to the external power source.

9. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 8 wherein, in the internally-powered mode of operation, the illumination circuit is configured to draw an average current from the on-board power source that is substantially lower than the average current drawn in the externally powered mode of operation.

10. An electronic connector as cla imed in either one of cla im 8 or claim 9 wherein in the internally-powered mode of operation, the controller is configured to control at least one of the illumination source(s) via a fading, illumination signa l having a current profile that oscillates between a maximum current value and a minimum current value.

11. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 5 to claim 10 wherein each of the illumination source(s) is operable to illuminate the device connection element when activated.

12. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the on-board power source is an energy storage device.

13. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 12 wherein the energy storage device is rechargeable.

14. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the illumination circuit comprises a controller configured to control operation of the illumination source(s) .

15. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 14 wherein the illumination circuit further comprises at least one light sensing device configured to output ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness surrounding the connector, and the controller is configured to control a brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) based on the ambient light signals of at least one of the lig ht sensing device(s).

16. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 15 wherein the controller is configured to reduce the brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) when the ambient light signals of the corresponding light sensing device(s) indicate a reduced ambient light brightness.

17. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 15 or claim 16 wherein the controller is configured to increase the brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) when the ambient light signa ls of the corresponding light sensing device(s) indicate an increased ambient light brightness.

18. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 15 to claim 17 wherein the controller is configured to control at least one of the illumination source(s) based on ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness sensed during periods of deactivation of the illumination source.

19. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 15 to claim 18 wherein at least one of the light sensing device(s) is configured to receive light from regions that are substantially non-overlapping with a region of light generated by the illumination source(s) .

20. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 15 to claim 19 wherein the controller is configured to determine the ambient light brightness using any one or more of the following parameters determined from an output of at least one of the light sensing device(s) : a maximum intensity of light, an averaged intensity of light over a period of time, a waveform shape of light with a time-varying amplitude, and/or a frequency of a periodic and time-varying brightness waveform.

21. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 14 to claim 20 wherein the controller is configured to activate at least one of the illumination source(s) based on one or more user-activated input signals.

22. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 14 to claim 21 wherein the controller is configured to alter a brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) based on one or more user-activated input signals.

23. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 21 or claim 22 wherein the connector further comprises a touch sensor and the user-activated input signal is indicative of a user touching the connector on or in the vicinity of the touch sensor.

24. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 23 wherein the controller is configured to increase a brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) upon receiving an input signal indicative of a user touching the connector on or in the vicinity of the touch sensor.

25. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 24 wherein the controller is configured to gradually increase brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) upon receiving an input signal indicative of a user touching the connector on or in the vicinity of the touch sensor.

26. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 23 wherein the controller is configured to decrease a brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) upon receiving a signal indicative of a user no longer touching the connector on or in the vicinity of the touch sensor.

27. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 26 wherein the controller is configured to gradually decrease brightness of at least one of the illumination source(s) upon receiving a signal indicative of a user no longer touching the connector on or in the vicinity of the touch sensor.

28. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 21 to claim 27 wherein the controller is further configured to operate each of the illumination source(s) responsive to the user-activation signals as per the operation of the illumination source(s) as claimed in any one or more of claim 15 to claim 18.

29. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 14 to claim 28 wherein the controller is configured to operate the illumination circuit in one of a plurality of predefined modes of operation, comprising a standard mode of operation in which the illumination source(s) may be activated for at least a period of time during the standard mode of operation, and a sleep mode in which the illumination source(s) is(are) substantially deactivated until at least one predetermined trigger condition is detected by the controller.

30. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 29 wherein the illumination circuit is configured to draw power from the on-board power source during the sleep mode.

31. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 29 or claim 30 wherein the controller is configured to trigger the illumination circuit into the standard mode and automatically activate at least one of the illumination source(s) upon detection of the predetermined trigger condition.

32. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 29 to claim 31 wherein the predetermined trigger condition is indicative of removal of packaging associated with the connector.

33. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 32 wherein the connector further comprises a packaging detection element configured to output data indicative of a presence or absence of packaging located at or adjacent to the packaging detection element, and wherein the predetermined trigger condition is determined by the controller from the output of the packaging detection element.

34. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 33 wherein the packaging detection element is a light sensing device configured to output data indicative of a surrounding ambient light brig htness.

35. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 34 wherein the predetermined trigger condition is an ambient light brightness that is at or above a predetermined brightness threshold .

36. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 34 or claim 35 wherein the light sensing device is located at or adjacent to at least one the illumination source(s) activated when the predetermined trigger condition is detected .

37. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 29 to claim 36 wherein the controller is further configured to automatically operate the connector in the sleep mode when a predetermined sleep-mode trigger condition is detected.

38. An electronic connector as claimed in cla im 37 wherein the sleep mode trigger condition is indicative of the connector being packaged .

39. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 37 or claim 38 wherein in the sleep mode the controller is substantially intermittently operated during one or more time intervals to enable detection of the predetermined trigger condition, and is otherwise deactivated for a remaining period of the sleep mode to conserve energy of the on board power source.

40. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 37 to claim 39 wherein the connector comprises a packaging detection element configured to output data indicative of presence or absence of packaging located at or adjacent to the packaging detection element, and wherein the predetermined sleep trigger condition is determined by the controller from the output of the packaging detection element.

41. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 40 wherein the packaging detection element is a light sensing device configured to output data indicative of a surrounding ambient light brig htness.

42. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 41 wherein the predetermined sleep trigger condition is an ambient light brightness that is at or below a predetermined darkness threshold .

43. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 41 or claim 42 wherein the light sensing device is located at or adjacent to the illumination source(s) activated when the predetermined trigger condition is detected .

44. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 41 to claim 43 wherein the predetermined sleep mode trigger condition comprises any combination of one or more of:

an ambient light brightness that is at or below a predetermined darkness threshold ;

a first timer value that is at or above a predetermined first timer threshold period; and/or

a second timer value that is at or above a predetermined second timer threshold period.

45. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 29 to claim 44 further comprising non-volatile electronic memory or extremely low power memory accessible by the controller for writing a new mode of operation of the device thereto and reading a current mode of operation therefrom.

46. An electronic connector as claimed in claim 45 wherein the controller may be configured to trigger a new mode of operation based on a mode of operation written into the memory.

47. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein at least one of the illumination source(s) is configured to illuminate the device connection element.

48. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the on-board power source and at least one of the illumination source(s) are located at the same connection end of the connector.

49. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the at least one illumination source comprises a single illumination source.

50. An electronic connector as claimed in any one of claim 1 to claim 48 wherein the at least one illumination source comprises a plurality of illumination sources.

51. An electronic device comprising :

an electronic visual interface;

an on-board power source configured to supply power to the electronic visual interface; a nd

a controller configured to automatically activate the electronic visual interface upon detection of a predetermined trigger condition ind icative of removal of packaging associated with the electronic device.

52. An electronic device as claimed in claim 51 wherein the electronic device further comprises a packaging detection element configured to output data indicative of a presence or absence of the packaging adjacent to the detection element, and the controller is configured to identify the predetermined trigger condition using the output data of the packaging detection element.

53. An electronic device as claimed in claim 52 wherein the packaging detection element comprise a light sensing device configured to output data indicative of a surrounding ambient light brightness, and the predetermined trigger condition is based on at least a light sensing output indicative of an ambient light brightness that is at or above a predetermined minimum brightness threshold .

54. An electronic device as claimed in any one of claim 51 to claim 53 wherein the controller is further configured to automatically operate the electronic device in a sleep mode when a predetermined sleep-mode trigger condition is detected indicative of the electronic device being packaged.

55. An electronic device as claimed in claim 54 wherein in the sleep mode the electronic visual interface is substantially deactivated until the predetermined trigger condition is detected by the controller.

56. An electronic device as claimed in claim 54 or claim 55 wherein the electronic device is further configured to operate in a standard mode, and wherein in the sleep mode the electronic device is configured to operate in a substantially lower power state relative to the standard mode of operation.

57. An electronic device as claimed in claim 56 wherein the controller is configured to trigger the electronic device into the standard mode of operation upon detection of the predetermined trigger condition.

58. An electronic device as claimed in any one of claim 55 to claim 57 wherein, in the sleep mode the controller is substantially intermittently operated during one or more time intervals to enable detection of the predetermined trigger condition, and is otherwise deactivated for a remaining period of the sleep mode to conserve energy of the on-board power source.

59. An electronic device as claimed in any one of claim 54 to claim 58 wherein the electronic device is triggered into the sleep mode when at least one predetermined sleep mode trigger condition is detected by the controller.

60. An electronic device as claimed in claim 59 wherein the electronic device comprises a light sensing device configured to output data indicative of a surrounding ambient light brightness, and the predetermined sleep trigger condition is based on at least a light sensing output indicative of a n ambient light brightness that is at or below a predetermined darkness threshold .

61. An electronic device as claimed in any one of claim 51 to claim 60 further comprising non-volatile electronic memory or extremely low power memory accessible by the controller for writing a new mode of operation of the device thereto and reading a current mode of operation therefrom.

62. An electronic device as claimed in claim 61 wherein the controller is configured to automatically activate the electronic visual interface when the predetermined trigger condition is detected and when the current mode of operation stored in memory is a sleep mode.

63. An electronic connector for connecting with an electronic device, the electronic connector comprising :

a device connection element for electronically and physically connecting to a corresponding port of the electronic device;

an electronic, illumination circuit comprising :

an illumination source;

a light sensing device configured to output ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness surrounding the connector; and

a controller configured to control a brightness of the illumination source based on the ambient light signals of the light sensing device, such that the controller reduces the brightness of the illumination source when the ambient light signals of the light sensing device indicate a reduced ambient lig ht brightness.

64. A method for facilitating connection of an electronic connector with an electronic device, the method comprising the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the connector to illuminate a region surrounding the connector and improve visibility of the connector;

receiving ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness surrounding the electronic connector; and

controlling a brightness of the illumination source based on the ambient light signals, to reduce the brightness of the illumination source when the ambient light signals ind icate a reduced ambient light brightness.

65. An electronic connector for connecting with an electronic device, the electronic connector comprising :

a device connection element for electronically and physically connecting to a corresponding port of the electronic device;

a power source connection element for electronically connecting to an external power source; and

an electronic, illumination circuit having :

an illumination source; and

a controller configured to operate the illumination source based on a connection status of the power source connection element with the external power source.

66. A method for facilitating connection of an electronic connector with an electronic device, the method comprising the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the connector to illuminate a region surrounding the connector and improve visibility of the connector; and

controlling the illumination source based on a connection status between the connector and an external power source.

67. An electronic, illumination circuit comprising :

an illumination source; and

a controller configured to control a brightness of the illumination source by generating a n illumination signa l, the controller having :

a fading sub-circuit configured to fade the illumination signal between a maximum amplitude and a minimum amplitude; and

a pulse width modulator (PWM) sub-circuit configured to apply pulse width modulation to the illumination signal.

68. An electronic connector for connecting with an electronic device, the electronic connector comprising :

a device connection element for electronically and physically connecting to a corresponding port of the electronic device;

an electronic, illumination circuit comprising :

an illumination source; and

a controller configured to control a brightness of the illumination source by generating an illumination signal, the controller having :

a fading sub-circuit configured to fade the illumination signal between a maximum amplitude and a minimum amplitude; and

a pulse width modulator (PWM) sub-circuit configured to apply pulse width modulation to the illumination signal.

69. An electronic connector for connecting with an electronic device, the electronic connector comprising :

a device connection element for electronically and physically connecting to a corresponding port of the electronic device;

an electronic, illumination circuit having :

an illumination source; and

a controller configured to operate the illumination circuit in one of a plurality of predefined modes of operation, comprising a standard mode of operation in which the illumination source may be activated for at least a period of time during the standard mode of operation, and a sleep mode in which illumination source is substantially deactivated until at least one predetermined trigger condition is detected by the controller.

70. A method for operating an electronic connector within various phases of a supply chain, the electronic connector comprising an illumination circuit having at least one illumination source and a controller configured to control the illumination circuit, and the method comprising the steps of:

triggering the illumination circuit into a sleep mode in which each illumination source is substantially deactivated when a shipping phase of the supply chain is detected by the controller, and

triggering the illumination circuit in a standard mode of operation in which at least one illumination source is capable of being activated by the controller during at least a period of time of the standard mode, when at least one predetermined trigger condition is detected by the controller indicative of the connector entering a retail or consumer phase of the supply chain .

71. An electronic device comprising :

an electronic visual interface;

an on-board power source configured to supply power to the electronic visual interface; a nd

a controller configured to automatically activate the electronic visual interface upon detection of a predetermined trigger condition indicative of termination of a shipping phase of the electronic device within a supply chain.

72. An electronic system comprising :

an electronic device having :

an electronic visual interface,

an on-board power source configured to supply power to the electronic visual interface, and

a controller configured to automatically activate the electronic visual interface upon detection of a predetermined trigger condition;

packaging for housing the electronic device; and

wherein the predetermined trigger condition is indicative of un-packaging of the electronic device from the package.

73. A method of operating electronic device having an electronic visual interface, the method comprising the steps of:

detecting a predetermined trigger condition indicative of termination of a shipping phase of the electronic device within a supply chain; and

activating the electronic visual interface when the predetermined trigger condition is detected.

74. A method of operating electronic device having an electronic visual interface, the method comprising the steps of:

detecting a predetermined trigger condition indicative of removal of packaging associated with the electronic device; and

activating the electronic visual interface when the predetermined trigger condition is detected.

75. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic connector for performing the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the connector to illuminate a region surrounding the connector and improve visibility of the connector;

receiving ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness surrounding the electronic connector; and

controlling a brightness of the illumination source based on the ambient light signals, to reduce the brightness of the illumination source when the ambient light signals ind icate a reduced ambient light brightness.

76. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic connector for performing the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the connector to illuminate a region surrounding the connector and improve visibility of the connector; and

controlling the illumination source based on a connection status between the connector and an external power source.

77. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic device for performing the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the electronic device to illuminate a region surrounding the device and improve visibility of the device;

receiving ambient light signals indicative of ambient light brightness surrounding the electronic device; and

controlling a brightness of the illumination source based on the ambient light signals, to reduce the brightness of the illumination source when the ambient light signals ind icate a reduced ambient light brightness.

78. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic device for performing the steps of:

activating an illumination source of the electronic device to illuminate a region surrounding the electronic device and improve visibility of the electronic device; and controlling the illumination source based on a connection status between the electronic device and an external power source.

79. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic device having an electronic visual interface, for performing the steps of:

detecting a predetermined trigger condition indicative of termination of a shipping phase of the electronic device within a supply chain; and

activating the electronic visual interface when the predetermined trigger condition is detected.

80. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic device having an electronic visual interface, for performing the steps of:

detecting a predetermined trigger condition indicative of removal of packaging associated with the electronic device; and

activating the electronic visual interface when the predetermined trigger condition is detected.

81. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic connector for performing the steps of:

triggering an illumination circuit of the connector into a sleep mode in which each illumination source of the circuit is substantially deactivated when a shipping phase of a supply chain associated with the connector is detected, and

triggering the illumination circuit in a standard mode of operation in which at least one illumination source of the illumination circuit is capable of being activated during at least a period of time of the standard mode, when at least one predetermined trigger condition is detected indicative of the connector entering a retail or consumer phase of the supply chain.

82. A computer readable medium having stored therein instructions executable by a processor of an electronic connector having an illumination source, for performing the steps of:

detecting a predetermined trigger condition indicative of removal of packaging associated with the connector; and

activating the illumination source when the predetermined trigger condition is detected .