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Pictorial Programmable Function Keys for Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061166D
Original Publication Date: 1986-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Huang, KT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A keyboard has long been the conventional input device to terminals and personal computers. Most of the keyboards used t have a set of programmable function (PF) keys which were hard labeled with PFn (n is an integer index for the PF key) on the top of the keyboards. Each program has its own set of commands for the user interface. They are usually defined in a profile to map each command into a corresponding PF key. Moreover, each user is able to define his own mapping of the PF keys. The flexibility of the use of the PF keys is a trade-off for the complexity of the many PF key settings. The use of these PF keys for each program is totally dependent on the user's memorization. This PF key interface is inconvenient and unreliable to many users.

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Pictorial Programmable Function Keys for Keyboard

A keyboard has long been the conventional input device to terminals and personal computers. Most of the keyboards used t have a set of programmable function (PF) keys which were hard labeled with PFn (n is an integer index for the PF key) on the top of the keyboards. Each program has its own set of commands for the user interface. They are usually defined in a profile to map each command into a corresponding PF key. Moreover, each user is able to define his own mapping of the PF keys. The flexibility of the use of the PF keys is a trade-off for the complexity of the many PF key settings. The use of these PF keys for each program is totally dependent on the user's memorization. This PF key interface is inconvenient and unreliable to many users.

A design of pictorial programmable function (PPF) keys for conventional keyboard has a number of advantages. On the top of each PF key, a small liquid crystal display (LCD) is located so that a pictorial picture for the corresponding command can be displayed. The outlook of each PF key would be similar to the top of a small LCD watch currently on the market. A set of pictorial images corresponding to the PF key setting will be sent from the system to the LCD when the system is 'power-on'. When a program with its own PF key setting is called, the profile of pictorial images for the PF key setting will replace the current PF key pictorial display. This allows different pictori...