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Multi-Configuration Touch Pad

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012266D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Ray Trent: AUTHOR

Abstract

As notebook computers are more frequently used as desktop replacements, the purposes of the touch pad changes dramatically (it is rarely needed or used as a pointing device for the desktop role). The purpose of this invention is to add value to the touch pad in a dual-use mode of operation, as well as to allow use of advanced features without interfere with pointing. The invention is to store multiple user "profiles" of touch pad settings that are automatically selected by docking notifications, as well as by the user. This would allow, among other things, having a touch pad configuration that consists solely of advanced features (including the possibility of turning off pointing entirely).

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Multi-Configuration Touch Pad

Ray Trent, Synaptics Incorporated, San Jose, CA, USA

Short Summary and Purpose

As notebook computers are more frequently used as desktop replacements, the purposes of the touch pad changes dramatically (it is rarely needed or used as a pointing device for the desktop role). The purpose of this invention is to add value to the touch pad in a dual-use mode of operation, as well as to allow use of advanced features without interfere with pointing.

The invention is to store multiple user “profiles” of touch pad settings that are automatically selected by docking notifications, as well as by the user. This would allow, among other things, having a touch pad configuration that consists solely of advanced features (including the possibility of turning off pointing entirely).

General Description

The driver currently stores all the users’ settings in a unique registry key for each device. This could easily be extended to storing multiple sets of registry keys for each configuration.

The use of this invention is much broader in scope than existing multiple configuration mechanisms: the user could select to have tap zones (including potentially vastly extended tap zones over the entire TP surface), scrolling zones, 2 finger gestures, other controls such as volume controls, etc. enabled only while the notebook is docked, along with disabling pointing in this situation. In undocked mode, the user could select to have only pointing enabled.

Much less drastically, the user could simply choose to turn off tapping while docked.

There are many triggers that could be implemented to switch between the configurations, both passive and active. As mentioned, there could be a different configuration selected passively when docked vs. undocked, or on battery vs. plugged into the wall. However, equally exciting is the possibility of active selection on the part of the user. For example, a shift key could be assigned that switches the touch pad...