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Keyboard Improvement: Integrated "Well" For Writing Instrument Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014733D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 66K

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Keyboard Improvement: Integrated "Well" For Writing Instrument


Disclosed here is an idea for improving the design of a keyboard to include a "well" which can be used as a "holder" for a writing instrument.

Statement of Problem

Typically, users of computers & POS (Point of Sale) equipment also have a need for a pen or pencil at their work station, but may not have much room to work in. A POS terminal in a supermarket is a good example of an environment where the terminal operator has very little space to work in. Operators usually carry pens in pockets due to the lack of a suitable place to put the pen, or the pen is rested somewhere on the top of the POS terminal. Operators who place the pens in their pockets usually need to waste time retrieving the pen from their pocket. Operators who place the pen on the POS equipment may have trouble retrieving the pen when it is needed if it has rolled beneath a piece of hardware, or gotten lodged between two hardware devices (such as a printer & keyboard). Real estate is tight in such an environment, and retailers are generally unwilling to introduce new paraphernalia to the environment due to initial cost, replacement costs, potential breakage, space used, etc, so the introduction of a simple "desk organizer" type holder for the pens would solve the initial problem, but probably create other residual problems as well.

Disclosed Solution - Integrate a "well" into the design of existing keyboards to be used as an upright pen holder

The proposed solution is to integrate a pen holder "well" (or "wells") into the POS keyboard. The "well" creates a holder which will allow the pen to stand in an up-right position for easy (and quick) retrieval. In an environment where margins are low, every time savings can be a potential profit improvement for the retailer.

The benefits are:

Quick retrieval/replace of pen in its holder --> labor savings realized over time for retailer

Pen stands upright

Easy to grab

Pen writes more reliably since pen is held in upright position

"Known" location of the instrument


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Time not spent locating pens in pockets, or in equipment "crevices"

No additional space used at the checkout stand (no need for "organiz...