Browse Prior Art Database

Digital X'' Typewriter Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000085741D
Original Publication Date: 1976-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Conway, DL: AUTHOR

Abstract

Described is a revision of the keyboard layout for electric typewriters which could result in much less fatigue and considerably greater speed for the typist. The revision is based on well-known Industrial Engineering concepts concerning human factors engineering and motion economy.

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Digital X'' Typewriter Keyboard

Described is a revision of the keyboard layout for electric typewriters which could result in much less fatigue and considerably greater speed for the typist. The revision is based on well-known Industrial Engineering concepts concerning human factors engineering and motion economy.

Older manual type keyboard designs were constrained by the physical dimensions of the human hand, keys had to be large enough and spaced far enough apart to allow the fingers to select and depress an individual key without interference from adjacent keys. The electric typewriter, however, has the potential to minimize the size of the keyboard and type of movements used to actuate the keys when performing a stroke.

Instead of forcing the typists to place their hands in a somewhat unnatural position to use the keys, the new proposed layout would be designed to fit a natural position of the hand; this would be more comfortable and reduce fatigue. Also, the various keys would be arranged around the four typing fingers on each hand in such a way that the distance required to stroke any key would be minimized. The nature of the movements will also be optimized (in terms of time and effort) as well as the distances of the movements.

While the key positions and distances between keys would be physically changed by the proposal, it is important to understand that the relative positions of keys and relative stroke directions would be the same as the present keyboard, i.e., the metal image of the keyboard would still be the same and the typists style would not be affected. An experienced typist could probably learn to use the new keyboard in a few minutes.

The design principal of the proposed machine is to anticipate the intent of an initial movement without requiring the entire movement to be completed. In the "touch" method for example, the right index finger rests on the `J' key on both the present and proposed keyboard. If, on the present keyboard, the typist wants to strike a `Y', the finger is moved up and to the left about 1 1/4'', placed on the key, and depressed 3/16''. Since a movement in that direction from the `J' key signals an intent to push the `Y' key, the proposed typewriter would anticipate this and type a `Y' on the paper after the finger had been moved 1/4'' 1/2'' (without having to depress a key).

Referring to the drawing it is seen that the proposed keyboard would be physically designed with only ten keys one key for each finger of each hand. These ten keys would be molded to fit on the fingertips (like small cups) and would move in any direction with the fingers. Downward motion of these keys would actuate the typebars for the letters on which the...