Browse Prior Art Database

Transparent Keyless Keyboard for Variable Terminal Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000089176D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 90K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cummings, TF: AUTHOR

Abstract

In Fig. 1, a transparent plate of plastic or glass 10 is the "keyboard" for an entry terminal, computer or TV terminal display, or a typewriter. There are no movable keys, only very slight finger-tip indentations 9 representing general position areas, as shown in Fig. 2 which shows a segment of sheet 10. A light source 11 is connected to fiber optic members 12 and 13 which project light beams across plate 10 to photoelectric sensors 14 and 15 connected via inverters 16 and 17, respectively, and lines 18, 19 and 20 to AND units A and B.

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Transparent Keyless Keyboard for Variable Terminal Applications

In Fig. 1, a transparent plate of plastic or glass 10 is the "keyboard" for an entry terminal, computer or TV terminal display, or a typewriter. There are no movable keys, only very slight finger-tip indentations 9 representing general position areas, as shown in Fig. 2 which shows a segment of sheet 10. A light source 11 is connected to fiber optic members 12 and 13 which project light beams across plate 10 to photoelectric sensors 14 and 15 connected via inverters 16 and 17, respectively, and lines 18, 19 and 20 to AND units A and B.

Lines 18 and 19 will be on because a finger above letter A has blocked the respective photocells to turn off those sensors controlling lines 18 and 19. On the other hand, the beam 24 is not interrupted, so line 20 is off, since its sensor 15 is on and the output is inverted by the inverter 17 associated with beam 24. Note that the finger interrupts light beams only at the coordinates touched. The fiber optic arrangement can be replaced by individual light sources.

Slight indentations 9 in the upper surface of plate 10 permit sending the light beams inside plate 10. Thus, physical contact of the finger in the indentations is required to interrupt transmission of a beam, since sense of touch is provided. The terminal display keyboard format in the form of a projected image (or a preprinted insert) is presented to the viewer through the plastic to automatically (or manually) define unique labels of a unique "keyboard" for each particular application. Each application is programmed to recognize the activated labels as they are so defined whenever touched. The user can di...