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Method to Reuse Electrical Contacts in a Keypad and to Improve Key-Packing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020073D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 294K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Today's electronical devices may have many buttons or keys, like for example a keypad of a mobile phone. In such a keypad usually one electrical contact is used per functional key. The following text proposes a method which offers a reduction in the number of electrical contacts in a keypad and improves key-packing. The core of the idea is to introduce so called 'proto-keys' and 'meta-keys'. Hereby a proto-key has no functionality per se, but a combination of them is able to compose at least one meta-key which represents a certain functionality or value. In contrast to an 'active' proto-key, which is provided with an electrical contact, a 'passive' proto-key does not have an electrical contact, but is a mock-up employed for aesthetics and to achieve a better pressing surface. The keys are characterized by the following points (the mentioned figures show several embodiments):

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© SIEMENS AG 2003 file: 2003J13681.doc page: 1

Method to Reuse Electrical Contacts in a Keypad and to Improve Key-Packing

Idea: Carmen Santa-Cruz, DK-Aalborg

Today's electronical devices may have many buttons or keys, like for example a keypad of a mobile phone. In such a keypad usually one electrical contact is used per functional key. The following text proposes a method which offers a reduction in the number of electrical contacts in a keypad and improves key-packing. The core of the idea is to introduce so called 'proto-keys' and 'meta-keys'. Hereby a proto-key has no functionality per se, but a combination of them is able to compose at least one meta-key which represents a certain functionality or value. In contrast to an 'active' proto-key, which is provided with an electrical contact, a 'passive' proto-key does not have an electrical contact, but is a mock-up employed for aesthetics and to achieve a better pressing surface.

The keys are characterized by the following points (the mentioned figures show several embodiments):

a) Closely fitting (touching) individual proto-keys are used to generate a variety of meta-keys containing at least one electrical contact (Fig. 1-100,101, Fig. 3-307).

b) The multiple usage of different active proto-keys for more than one meta-key is possible (Fig. 1- 102,103).

c) Passive proto-keys are used to improve the contact surfaces of the meta-keys (Fig. 1-100,101).

d) A semi-elastic rack with tilting elements is used, integrated in two layers. The elements are utilized to connect the proto-keys and to provide a surface that can be touched and pressed conveniently. Furthermore, they build a uniform appearance of the keypad and provide for an adequate space to display the corresponding value of a meta-key. For example, in Figure 1-103A four proto-keys constitute one meta-key with the corresponding value "1" (associated action is pressing of "1"), showed by the character "1". In general, the associated action can be displayed to the user in a variety of manners, for instance across the surface of the corresponding proto-keys (see grey area in Fig. 1-100), in a cavity that is surrounded by the p...