Browse Prior Art Database

Keyboard With Reduced Row-To-Row Spacing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039536D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Rochester, N: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a keyboard wherein the row-to-row spacing is reduced by approximately twenty percent over existing keyboard designs. It is traditional to design keyboards so that the successive keys in a row are spaced at 19 mm (3/4") intervals, and so that the successive rows are also spaced at 19 mm intervals. Smaller keyboards have been made with both dimensions reduced and with size and/or spacing reduced for less important keys. While there is a good reason for the key-to-key spacing in a row to be 19 mm, there appears to be no equally good reason for not reducing the row-to-row spacing. The reason for the 19 mm key-to-key spacing in a row is that there are many people whose finger joints are wide enough that they would have trouble typing if the spacing were reduced.

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Keyboard With Reduced Row-To-Row Spacing

This article describes a keyboard wherein the row-to-row spacing is reduced by approximately twenty percent over existing keyboard designs. It is traditional to design keyboards so that the successive keys in a row are spaced at 19 mm (3/4") intervals, and so that the successive rows are also spaced at 19 mm intervals. Smaller keyboards have been made with both dimensions reduced and with size and/or spacing reduced for less important keys. While there is a good reason for the key-to-key spacing in a row to be 19 mm, there appears to be no equally good reason for not reducing the row-to-row spacing. The reason for the 19 mm key-to-key spacing in a row is that there are many people whose finger joints are wide enough that they would have trouble typing if the spacing were reduced. Adjacent keys in a row are typed with adjacent fingers which would get in each others' way if the keys were too closely spaced. However, this reason does not apply to the row- to-row spacing since the different keys in a column are all typed by the same finger. Furthermore, finger tips are thinner in the row to row direction than when measured along a row. Data from tests leads to a proposal for a keyboard design that may allow the row-to-row spacing to be reduced without causing people to feel that the keyboard is crowded. It may also allow people to make

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the transition to the smaller spacing easily and pleasantly. The proposal includes a particular shape of the top of the keys that is believed to make typing easier for touch typists who are not high...