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Method and Apparatus for Entering Key Strokes through a Steering Wheel

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013445D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jun-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

People are spending increasing amounts of time in their automobiles. Cellular phones are already being used for conventional conversation while driving, and the use of the web through a cellular phone is increasing very rapidly. More "pervasive" computing devices will be used in the car. There are certain applications for which the demand for web connectivity in the car is clear. For example, placing trade orders in the stock market is very time critical and often a client would not like to delay the order even by minutes, so being able to do it on-line from the car while driving could be of great help. On the other hand, attention to the road conditions is extremely important for safety. Changing channels on the radio while driving compromises attention to the road and sometimes results in accidents. Similarly, dialing numbers on a cellular phone in the car compromises attention. Some benefit can be gained by voice recognition solutions. Thus, a driver may "tell" the cell phone which number to dial or enter URL information to the computer using voice recognition. One major drawback of this approach is privacy. Very often the driver is not alone in the car and talking to the computer would involve all the passengers listening. The driver may wish not to share with the other passengers the telephone numbers he is dialing, the URLs he is using, and certainly not passwords he is entering for placing trades of securities. So, there is a clear need for a solution of the driving safety problem and the privacy issues involved in entering small amounts of data into a computer, a hand held device, a cell phone, etc., while driving.

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Method and Apparatus for Entering Key Strokes through a Steering Wheel

People are spending increasing amounts of time in their automobiles. Cellular phones are already being used for conventional conversation while driving, and the use of the web through a cellular phone is increasing very rapidly. More "pervasive" computing devices will be used in the car. There are certain applications for which the demand for web connectivity in the car is clear. For example, placing trade orders in the stock market is very time critical and often a client would not like to delay the order even by minutes, so being able to do it on-line from the car while driving could be of great help. On the other hand, attention to the road conditions is extremely important for safety. Changing channels on the radio while driving compromises attention to the road and sometimes results in accidents. Similarly, dialing numbers on a cellular phone in the car compromises attention. Some benefit can be gained by voice recognition solutions. Thus, a driver may "tell" the cell phone which number to dial or enter URL information to the computer using voice recognition. One major drawback of this approach is privacy. Very often the driver is not alone in the car and talking to the computer would involve all the passengers listening. The driver may wish not to share with the other passengers the telephone numbers he is dialing, the URLs he is using, and certainly not passwords he is entering for placing trades of securities. So, there is a clear need for a solution of the driving safety problem and the privacy issues involved in entering small amounts of data into a computer, a hand held device, a cell phone, etc., while driving.

The proposed solution is for car manufacturers and/or manufacturers of electronic accessories to build a keypad (dialpad) onto the steering wheel and connect it to an outlet on the dashboard; even in a car without a dialpad built onto the wheel, a small flat dialpad can be attached to the wheel with a cord connecting it to an outlet that is attached to the dashbo...