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Browse Prior Art Database

COMBINED KEYBOARD / TOUCH TABLET INPUT DEVICE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000026889D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 226K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

Systems with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are often called direct manipulation systems. One way to improve such systems is to provide more versatile input mechanisms in order to improve the range and directness of the manipulations the user can perform. Touch tablets have been shown to be very useful in increasing the range of direct manipulation actions a user is able to perform when interacting with a GUI. [2] In particular, two techniques have been developed for expanding the versatility of touch tablets as direct manipulation input devices. One such technique involves the concept of partitioning the touch sensitive surface of the tablet into multiple locations, or input windows, analogous to windows on a display screen, in order to create multiple virtual input devices. Touch actions on the surface of the tablet are interpreted differently depending on where each touch occurs, and thus a single touch tablet input device can serve to function as a number of virtual input devices. [ll A second technique involves providing touch tablets with the ability to sense the location (and possibly pressure) of each of many simultaneous points of contact. [3] Such a multi-touch tablet supports nearly simultaneous direct manipulation inputs, and when coupled with the technique of the multiple input windows just described, enables two-handed or multi-fingered input for a variety of closely coupled manipulations. For example, a user would be able to scroll through a window's contents with one hand while zooming or scaling with the other, or would be able to simultaneously adjust multiple parameters using linear controllers (called sliders.) Thus, providing a relatively large, multi-touch receptive touch surface that supports multiple input windows would be a useful additional input device in a direct manipulation system.

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

COMBINED KEYBOARD /TOUCH Proposed Classification TABLET INPUT DEVICE US. C1.341/022 William A. S. Buxton Int. C1. H03k 17/94

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL - Vol. 19, No. 2 MarcWApril 1994 109

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COMBINED KEYBOARD /TOUCH TABLET INPUT DEVICE(Cont'd)

Systems with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are often called direct manipulation systems. One way to improve such systems is to provide more versatile input mechanisms in order to improve the range and directness of the manipulations the user can perform. Touch tablets have been shown to be very useful in increasing the range of direct manipulation actions a user is able to perform when interacting with a GUI. [2] In particular, two techniques have been developed for expanding the versatility of touch tablets as direct manipulation input devices. One such technique involves the concept of partitioning the touch sensitive surface of the tablet into multiple locations, or input windows, analogous to windows on a display screen, in order to create multiple virtual input devices. Touch actions on the surface of the tablet are interpreted differently depending on where each touch occurs, and thus a single touch tablet input device can serve to function as a number of virtual input devices. [ll A second technique involves providing touch tablets with the ability to sense the location (and possibly pressure) of each of many simultaneous points of contact. [3] Such a multi-touch tablet supports nearly simultaneous direct manipulation inputs, and when coupled with the technique of the multiple input windows just described, enables two-handed or multi-fingered input for a variety of closely coupled manipulations. For example, a user would be able to scroll through a window's contents with one hand while zooming or scaling with the other, or would be able to simultaneously adjust multiple parameters using linear controllers (called sliders.) Thus, providing a relatively large, multi-touch receptive touch surface that supports multiple input windows would be a useful additional input device in a direct manipulation system. However, adding such a device to a conventional direct manipulation system that already includes a pointing device, such as a mouse, and a keyboard would add to the desktop space required for the system (called the system's footprint.)

The combined input device disclosed here is designed to permit the addition of a multifunctional touch tablet input device to a conventional direct manipulation system while maintaining the system's existing footprint. As shown in the Figures 1A and lB, this is accomplished by redesigning the conventional keyboard 20 to be the top surface of a two-sided (top and bottom) input device 10 and mounting the touch tablet 30 on the bottom surface. Keyboard 20 is a conventional QWERTY keyboard that has small raised feet 22, 24, 26 and 28 (or some similar mechanism) tha...