Browse Prior Art Database

Method and Device for Virtualization and Lightening of the Layout of a Computer Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033687D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 85K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The invention is to replace existing keyboard lightening lamps with invisible lightening sources (e.g. ultraviolet lamp) that project luminescing keyboard image.

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Method and Device for Virtualization and Lightening of the Layout of a Computer Keyboard

Many keyboard input based devices, like laptops or ATMs, often need working in a dark environment by using special lamps that lighten their keyboard. One problem with this lightening in laptops is that the keys still have limited visibility, because the lightening lamps could not be powerful enough due to the limited power of the laptop battery. Another problem, which is common to all such keyboard devices, is that other people (seating or standing next to you) can see what you are typing, so that you always are at risk of disclosing a password or other sensitive information.

The invention is to replace existing keyboard lightening lamps with invisible lightening sources (e.g. ultraviolet lamp) that project luminescing keyboard image (using passive luminescence effect), so that the user will see the images of the keys clearly enough without the need to use a powerful lightening lamps. Another mode of such invisible lightening sources is the virtualization of the keyboard layout: the invisible lightening sources may project different (randomly selected) keyboard layout every time the user needs to type sensitive information. This virtualized keyboard layout will be visible only to the keyboard user, and is automatically supported by the keyboard controller, so that the software gets correct codes from the keyboard.

Figure 1 illustrates general idea of the invention. Invisible lightening source, e.g. ultraviolet projector or laser, connected to the USB port, projects key images (symbols like 'Q', 'W', 'E', etc.) onto the surface of actual keyboard keys. The projection mechanism is analogous to existing keyboard pattern projectors. The surface of the keyboard keys is covered with transparent passive luminescent layer (transparent luminescent ink), so that the projected key images are luminescing on the surface of the actual keyboard keys when the ultraviolet projector is on.

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* 1 - light source connected to the USB port

Invisible Light Sources may be realized as an ultra-violet projector or a laser that projects key images onto the surface of the actual keyboard keys, covered with transparent luminiscent ink or made of photopolymer which is capable of refracting light in the manner of a prism. Furthermore, the luminiscent layer is precisely configured to polarize the incident light falling on different areas of the screen so that it emerges from the front evenly to produce a bright and clear image (see Figure 2).

Key images are luminescing on the actual keybo...