Browse Prior Art Database

Free Space Cursor/Pointer Movement Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000100217D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 143K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gunn, WA: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a device that allows the user to position the cursor or pointer on a display in free space. The user wears a small hardware device on the thumb and forefinger. It permits all of the function of a mouse or track ball but does not interfere with the user's typing surface. A finger-mounted thumb wheel or slide allows three-dimensional cursor/pointer control or other application-dependent function.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Free Space Cursor/Pointer Movement Device

       Disclosed is a device that allows the user to position
the cursor or pointer on a display in free space.  The user wears a
small hardware device on the thumb and forefinger. It permits all of
the function of a mouse or track ball but does not interfere with the
user's typing surface.  A finger-mounted thumb wheel or slide allows
three-dimensional cursor/pointer control or other
application-dependent function.

      A low-power, narrow-bandwidth transmitter/receiver, similar to
that found on most televisions or VCRs with remote hand-held devices,
is installed on the computer display.  In this case, the "thumb and
forefinger" device is actually a miniature transmitter/receiver
designed to fit on the thumb and forefinger in such a manner as not
to interfere with keyboard data entry.  Specifically, a two-way
device is placed on the anterior view of the thumb and the posterior
view of the forefinger.  This does not interfere with typing since
the contact position reflects the lateral or posterior-anterior
oblique view for the thumb and the anterior view for the forefinger.
Further, when thumb and forefinger are brought together, the anterior
view of the thumb is in contact with the lateral view of the
forefinger, as shown in the figure.  The hardware contact of the
component located on the lateral portion of the index finger would
have a rotary adjustment feature, the use of which would be software
application-dependent.  Fine tuning and adjustment in a
three-dimensional display might well be the primary use in a
computer-aided design application.

      The cursor pointing components could be located separately for
existing computers and might even be housed in a modified keyboard in
the future.

      Hardware may be designed to permit the user to insert thumb and
forefinger into a cursor control device. Pressure-sensitive switches
may cause the cursor control devices to be released to wrap around
the thumb and forefinger.  The device components are held in an
expanded position much like that of a flexible arm band of a wrist
watch prior to the owner moving it over the hand.  Removal activates
the device.  Bringing the thumb and forefinger together for some time
period (probably in the .25 to .5 second range), as described above,
brings cursor movement under control of the device.  Disengaging
thumb and forefinger leaves the cursor in the desired position.

      The software component controlling cursor movement is activated
when thumb and forefinger are brought together. The software equates
the contact point with the cursor position.  Movement of the hand
causes the cursor to move in the direction of the hand.  The
transmitter/receiver equipment takes two measures of the horizontal
and vertical movement of the hand-held components and dynamically
translates the changing angles into cursor movement.

      If the cursor is positioned at any selection area...