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Go anywhere computing apparatus

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016025D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Document File: 3 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The industry has created a wide-variety of portable computing devices. However, while each has it's particular usefulness, each also comes with limitations. PDAs are easy to transport, but have limited screen space and no keyboard. Keyboard add-ons are available and are quite popular, but require the user to carry an additional device. At the other extreme, laptop computers have functional keyboards and screens, but cannot fit into a form factor smaller than required by the devices. IBM made an attempt to reduce the footprint by introducing a "butterfly" keyboard, but the footprint was still limited by screen size. It is the intent of this invention to define a computing apparatus that is not footprint constrained by input and output device footprint. We do this by combining existing components in a novel way. We focus on eliminating the need for keyboard and monitor. The keyboard is replaced by a "projection" keyboard such as the one illustrated below. As shown below, a projection device connected to a computing apparatus projects an image of a keyboard. The device also has the ability to detect when a finger taps a virtual key. This keyboard was recently disclosed to the press. Note that it is pictured with a PDA, and solves a part of the PDA issue. However, to reduce its size, the PDA is still severely screen-space limited. To address this limitation, this apparatus includes a projection video system and, optionally, a pull up screen (think window shade). If 1

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Go anywhere computing apparatus

    The industry has created a wide-variety of portable computing devices. However, while each has it's particular usefulness, each also comes with limitations.

PDAs are easy to transport, but have limited screen space and no keyboard. Keyboard add-ons are available and are quite popular, but require the user to carry an additional device. At the other extreme, laptop computers have functional keyboards and screens, but cannot fit into a form factor smaller than required by the devices. IBM made an attempt to reduce the footprint by introducing a "butterfly" keyboard, but the footprint was still limited by screen size. It is the intent of this invention to define a computing apparatus that is not footprint constrained by input and output device footprint. We do this by combining existing components in a novel way. We focus on eliminating the need for keyboard and monitor. The keyboard is replaced by a "projection" keyboard such as the one illustrated below. As shown below, a projection device connected to a computing apparatus projects an image of a keyboard. The device also has the ability to detect when a finger taps a virtual key.

This keyboard was recently disclosed to the press. Note that it is pictured with a PDA, and solves a part of the PDA issue. However, to reduce its size, the PDA is still severely screen-space limited. To address this limitation, this apparatus includes a projection video system and, optionally, a pull up screen (think window shade). If

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no screen is provided, then the image is projected against a solid surface. Projection devices are well-known in art. The attached figure shows a rough schematic. Note that holographic technology can also be used for screen-less viewing.

projection com ponent

                                                        V irtual kbd projection and detection
entsputing elemther comOcom ponent

Figure 1

(O ther dim ensions possible, not to scale)

                                                      V irtual kbd projection and detection
entsputing elemth...