Browse Prior Art Database

Computer Communications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000045556D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Garwin, RL: AUTHOR

Abstract

An efficient, flexible means of communicating with a computer is to select items shown in a display ("menu") on a display screen. In its simplest form, the menu could simply be a reproduction of a keyboard, in which case the interaction with the computer would be precisely the designation of the desired keys.

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Computer Communications

An efficient, flexible means of communicating with a computer is to select items shown in a display ("menu") on a display screen. In its simplest form, the menu could simply be a reproduction of a keyboard, in which case the interaction with the computer would be precisely the designation of the desired keys.

More generally, the display could involve a higher level of communication-- words, boxes with explanations, and the like. Finally, the display could represent conveniently a geometrical field, so that spatial instructions are convenient to provide. One application of the latter is the positioning of a cursor for text processing.

One present means for cursor positioning is the use of four keys on a keyboard or tablet, acting respectively to move the cursor in the directions up, down, left, and right.

Other means for cursor positioning involve the use of a "mouse", or track ball.

One item to be overcome in cursor positioning is the necessity not only to observe the desired position of the cursor but the current position of the cursor, in order to move it to the desired position by an incremental approach. In this regard, there is room for two methods of operation. First, for menu select and gross positioning, it is most convenient to have the cursor move always from a home position, so that one need not search the screen visually to locate the cursor before deciding how to move it. In many applications such as text processing, however, one wants to move the cursor just a little bit (for instance, to the next letter position in a word), in which case it is more efficient to move the cursor incrementally in the same small region.

Thus, there should be choice between reset of the cursor to a home position and a non-reset mode. Another use for positioning a cursor or indicator derives from the inability of some individuals, because of a physical or other handicap, to use conventional means of communicating with a computer, such as a keyboard. Individuals with cerebral palsy may have poor control of arms or legs, and may retain good control only of eyes. Individuals who have suffered a stroke may have best control over a particular finger. A means is provided for such individuals (in addition to fully functioning users) to interact effectively with a computer.

A device is provided that allows small motions of, for example, the nose left and right, up and down, to be converted into the motion for positioning of a spot on a display, in order to select chosen portions of the display and to call forth action by the computer or other instrument. Other parts of the body may be used in similar fashion.

Functionally, the linkage between the nose and the computer has a magnification which may be chosen by the user (or automatically by the system). It has also two modes--one in which the indicator (henceforth called "cursor") remains stationary...