Browse Prior Art Database

Keyboard With Optically Changeable Key Symbols

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000041543D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hoevel, LW: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A keyboard for a computer terminal, typewriter or other keyed manual data input device is constructed with keys having translucent tops through which the user can see images of character symbols that are optically transmitted to the keys from a CRT screen. This enables the same keyboard to be used for processing texts in different languages or symbol systems. As shown in the figure, character symbols are projected upon the screen of a small CRT (1 inch x 1 inch, for example) from which they are transmitted through optical fibers to the keyboard keys that are to be used for generating such characters. Each symbol is transmitted by a bundle of optical fibers associated with a 7 x 9 matrix of points for each key. This requires 63 x N fibers for each key, N being the number of fibers needed to define a single point in the matrix.

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Keyboard With Optically Changeable Key Symbols

A keyboard for a computer terminal, typewriter or other keyed manual data input device is constructed with keys having translucent tops through which the user can see images of character symbols that are optically transmitted to the keys from a CRT screen. This enables the same keyboard to be used for processing texts in different languages or symbol systems. As shown in the figure, character symbols are projected upon the screen of a small CRT (1 inch x 1 inch, for example) from which they are transmitted through optical fibers to the keyboard keys that are to be used for generating such characters. Each symbol is transmitted by a bundle of optical fibers associated with a 7 x 9 matrix of points for each key. This requires 63 x N fibers for each key, N being the number of fibers needed to define a single point in the matrix. Such an arrangement will accommodate color changes if a color CRT is used. The top of each key is translucent, and each key structure contains a mirror and lens to focus an image of the transmitted symbol onto the keytop. Since the fibers are not mechanically attached to the keys, the symbol image will be defocused when a key is depressed, but this is not a problem inasmuch as the keytop is covered by the operator's finger at this time. The symbols displayed on any or all keys may be changed by making corresponding changes in the CRT image display. This enables a text-processor operator to selec...