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Mouse Ball-Actuating Device With Force And Tactile Feedback

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099822D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 6 page(s) / 206K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

McLean, JG: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A technique is described whereby a mouse ball-actuating device, used with personal computers to actuate a cursor, provides orthogonal movement so as to allow variations in resistive force and tactile feedback to the user.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 37% of the total text.

Mouse Ball-Actuating Device With Force And Tactile Feedback

       A technique is described whereby a mouse ball-actuating
device, used with personal computers to actuate a cursor, provides
orthogonal movement so as to allow variations in resistive force and
tactile feedback to the user.

      Of the five human senses, only two (sight and hearing) are
generally used to receive the bulk of information generated by a
computer.  The human sense of touch is able to transfer large amounts
of information to the brain, as exemplified by the Braille system.
The concept described herein attempts to include the sense of touch
to the human computer interface relationship, specifically used
within mouse designs.  Two primary implementations of this concept
are described herein: resistive force feedback and tactile feedback.
These implementations may be used individually or in combination.

      To provide resistive force feedback, the mouse utilizes a ball
that rotates (rubs against) two shafts orthogonal to each other.  One
shaft rotates in the "X" direction and the other shaft rotates in the
"Y" direction.  Each shaft is attached to a disk with magnets along
its perimeter and is used for both position sensing and force
feedback.  Two electromagnets are used to provide force feedback.
The force feedback shafts are independent of the motion-sensing
rollers in the mouse.

      With the mouse utilizing two balls, it is considered practical
to apply the feedback to the second ball, leaving the primary sensing
ball "free rolling".  A feedback ball added to an optical mouse
utilizes this same idea.

      Generally, a host computer will provide a signal, in analog or
serial digital form, to the mouse when force feedback is desired.
This signal determines the amount of current to be applied to magnets
to determine the resistive force for mouse movement in each axis.  At
full force, the mouse cannot be moved and the shafts act as a brake.
Smaller resistances create various "feels".  Different resistances on
each shaft allow movement in a specific direction.  A momentary
increase in resistance may act as a tactile indication to a user that
an event has occurred. Actively changing the force feedback can
provide an apparent "groove", or path of least resistance, which may
assist the handicapped.

      The possible uses of the device include:
      -    Keeping the mouse inside of an area or path.
      -    Adding resistance to adjust the mouse "feel" to provide
stability to the hand.
      -    Providing a "path of least resistance" to ease selection
or tracing of a line in computer automated design (CAD) applications,
or making a detent at a window border on a screen, pulling the mouse
over to a cell in a spread sheet or in a menu or over to
a position in a dexterity teaching system.

      Tactile feedback, unlike force feedback which changes the mouse
movement "feel", uses the sense of touch (s...