Browse Prior Art Database

Three-Axis Touch-Sensitive Pad

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038404D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cannon, JW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a three-axis touch-sensitive pad for general computer input, cursor positioning and control. Much effort is being expended in the area of a simplified man/ machine interface. Menu-driven software, in which the user is presented a list of available options, is a common approach taken to achieve this simplification. Many hardware devices exist to make the selection task easier. Cursor control keys, mice, touch-sensitive screens (overlay on display) and touch-sensitive pads are common in the market place today. This disclosure deals with an improvement made to touch-sensitive pads. A touch-sensitive pad is a device consisting of a flat surface which represents a position on that surface (the location of a pointing object, such as a person's finger or a stylus) to the computer.

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Three-Axis Touch-Sensitive Pad

This article describes a three-axis touch-sensitive pad for general computer input, cursor positioning and control. Much effort is being expended in the area of a simplified man/ machine interface. Menu-driven software, in which the user is presented a list of available options, is a common approach taken to achieve this simplification. Many hardware devices exist to make the selection task easier. Cursor control keys, mice, touch-sensitive screens (overlay on display) and touch-sensitive pads are common in the market place today. This disclosure deals with an improvement made to touch-sensitive pads. A touch-sensitive pad is a device consisting of a flat surface which represents a position on that surface (the location of a pointing object, such as a person's finger or a stylus) to the computer. A typical application involves placing a cursor on a display in a position corresponding to the position on the pad. The user is then able to move his finger or other pointing object to control the cursor's location. The pad is activated by pressure applied to its surface by the pointing object.

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A problem can be involved in signaling to the computer that the task identified by the cursor, which has been controlled via the touch pad, should be executed. Mice make use of one or more buttons to accomplish this action. Approaches currently implemented on pads include separate buttons on the pad's mechanical housing similar to the mouse and areas of the pad's surface set aside to form soft keys for these functions. Both the separate button and soft key approaches require the user to remove the pointing device from its current position which identifies a task. The user has to move his hand to either the buttons or the soft keys in order to use them. The soft keys have the additional side effect of decreasing the usable area of the pad for the primary positioning activity. The...