Browse Prior Art Database

Software-Configurable, Vandal-Resistant Keyboard With Encryption

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035674D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 69K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Christopher, RJ: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a touch-sensitive "keyboard" that offers several advantages over traditional keyboards. A major application of this invention is as an input device on public-access systems. Significant advantages of this invention include: 1. User-programmable key layout 2. Vandal-resistant touch surface 3. Easy-to-manufacture, low-cost hardware 4. Onboard encryption of data

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Software-Configurable, Vandal-Resistant Keyboard With Encryption

Disclosed is a touch-sensitive "keyboard" that offers several advantages over traditional keyboards. A major application of this invention is as an input device on public-access systems. Significant advantages of this invention include: 1. User-programmable key layout 2. Vandal-resistant touch surface 3. Easy-to-manufacture, low-cost hardware 4. Onboard encryption of data

The invention consists of a force-sensing touch panel in a housing that contains an associated electronic circuit 1 (see the figure). The housing has two parts: a touch plate 2, and a base 3. The base provides a rigid, immovable mechanical reference for transducers 4, as well as accommodating the electronic circuit 1 for the "keyboard". The touch plate is made of rigid, durable material (e.g., stainless steel) and presents a visible map of the key layout to users. The transducers are mounted between the base and the touch plate, so that any force applied to the touch plate is transmitted to the base through the transducers.

When the touch plate is pressed, the force applied distributes itself among the transducers in a way that depends upon the location of the point of contact. The resulting transducer signals are processed to determine the location of the touch. This touch location is then compared to the locations corresponding to "keys". If the touch lies within the area associated with a particular "key", appropriate action is taken.

Key reconfiguration can be implemented by changing the key template 5 on the surface of the touch plate, and at the same time changing the softwa...