Browse Prior Art Database

Boardless Terminal Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099943D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kesselman, JJ: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A boardless keyboard has terminal keys which contain mini-transmitters. The keys can be arranged without the constraint of wire connections. Each key emits a unique signature code. The code is sent via free-space radio waves (e.g., frequency or amplitude modulation). Each key can send either a unique frequency or a stream of bits. The receiver of the information can be in a standard-looking keyboard in which the keys are mounted, or the receiver can be at another location. If the keys are mounted in a standard keyboard chassis, the chassis can shield the radio waves in order to comply with FCC regulations.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Boardless Terminal Keyboard

       A boardless keyboard has terminal keys which contain
mini-transmitters.  The keys can be arranged without the constraint
of wire connections.  Each key emits a unique signature code.  The
code is sent via free-space radio waves (e.g., frequency or amplitude
modulation).  Each key can send either a unique frequency or a stream
of bits.  The receiver of the information can be in a
standard-looking keyboard in which the keys are mounted, or the
receiver can be at another location.  If the keys are mounted in a
standard keyboard chassis, the chassis can shield the radio waves in
order to comply with FCC regulations.

      In one embodiment, a thin baseplate is used on which the keys
are placed.  This baseplate would have an embedded coil fed with AC
at 10 KHz or so.  The keys would be powered through a pickup coil in
their bases.  This baseplate could be wireless and get its power from
a single, larger battery.

      This keyboard has a number of advantages:
(1)  The keys can be arranged in any odd way a user or application
demands.
(2)  If each key has its own power unit, or can use solar power, the
keys can sit on any underlying structures, including walls, desks,
etc.  The foot of each key should, of course, be either a suction
cup, magnetic or adhesive.
(3)  The keyboard can be broken up into sub-keyboards for
applications needing simultaneous input from multiple users, or a
program can model the exact layout of the controls on a panel under
development.  The latter could also be done with a fixed matrix that
one can plug keys into as needed (instead of the radio wave
approach).  Note that the definition of "key" can include other
control devices -- sliders, pots, etc. -- as long as they honor the
same protocols, much like a mouse pretending to be a keyboard device.

      The device described here allows a user to mount terminal keys
on a flat table at any desired position.  The table remotely provides
power to the keys, and the keys remotely send a signal to the board
when pressed.

      Fig. 1 shows the ke...