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PC Remote Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010953D
Publication Date: 2003-Feb-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 222K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Shawn Day: INVENTOR

Abstract

This invention is a device for controlling your PC (personal computer) from a distance, with a range approximating the length of a large conference room. It’s implementation in a portable PC can best be described as a “removable touch pad” that becomes the PC remote control when it is removed from the system. In a business setting, it can be used for controlling PowerPoint presentations while standing at the front of a meeting room. In a home setting, it can be used as a remote control for audio or DVD playback when the PC is hooked up to a home entertainment or television system. It can also be used to control a slide show of digital photographs while the PC is hooked up to a television set. These are only a few examples of potential uses for this invention.

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PC Remote Control

Shawn Day, Synaptics Incorporated, San Jose, CA, USA

Figure 1: Portable PC with Removable Remote Control

Short Summary and Purpose

This invention is a device for controlling your PC (personal computer) from a distance, with a range approximating the length of a large conference room. It’s implementation in a portable PC can best be described as a “removable touch pad” that becomes the PC remote control when it is removed from the system. In a business setting, it can be used for controlling PowerPoint presentations while standing at the front of a meeting room. In a home setting, it can be used as a remote control for audio or DVD playback when the PC is hooked up to a home entertainment or television system. It can also be used to control a slide show of digital photographs while the PC is hooked up to a television set. These are only a few examples of potential uses for this invention.

General Description

In a portable PC implementation, the touch pad and its buttons would be built into a plastic enclosure that snaps into the palm rest with a release mechanism similar to that of a device bay (see Figure 1). In addition to the touch pad and buttons, the removable device would contain a battery and wireless communication circuitry (most likely either RF or IR).

When docked with the host system, the unit would act like a normal pointing device and the battery would be in a charging cycle. When undocked, the device would operate off battery power and either continue to operate like a normal pointing device or else take on application-specific functionality for controlling presentations, audio-visual equipment, home entertainment equipment, video games, etc.

When docked, the device could either communicate with the host through electrical contacts or continue to communicate through the wireless connection.

Control of a PC requires both a pointing device and a means for entering text. The PC remote control described here accomplishes both using the touch pad. For pointing, the touch pad already embodies complete functionality. For entering text, the touch pad can allow handwriting input using a finger. The simplest way to distinguish pointing and handwriting operations would be to place a mode switching button on the remote control, but other techniques are possible.

For presentation control, the device can be bundled with software that provides more useful pointer control. For example, the pointer can be larger than the standard mouse pointer for easy visibility by the audience. Furthermore, since the touch pad can detect the presence or absence of a finger, the pointer can appear when the finger is touching...