Browse Prior Art Database

Combined-User Interface for Computers, Television, Video Recorders, And Telephone, Etc.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000101605D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 139K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dinwiddie, JM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A portable, single-user interface device is described which enables a user to implement many operational functions in systems that incorporate combined utilization within a single logical unit, such as a computer, TV, VCR, telephone, etc.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 43% of the total text.

Combined-User Interface for Computers, Television, Video Recorders, And Telephone, Etc.

       A portable, single-user interface device is described
which enables a user to implement many operational functions in
systems that incorporate combined utilization within a single logical
unit, such as a computer, TV, VCR, telephone, etc.

      With the advent of integrated devices incorporated within a
single system unit, the concept described herein provides a means of
actuating any device function and manipulating the functions from a
portable remote device. The functions are applicable to both
home-related systems and industrial uses.

      The primary physical interface is a portable hand-held remotely
operated unit with a touch-pad actuating device. The touch-pad
provides a surface which detects pressure applied by a finger or any
other stylus-like object and transmits the position and pressure of
the touch to the controlling hardware and software of the system. The
touch-pad incorporates a separate on/off switch.  The purpose of the
switch is to activate or deactivate the touch-pad, not the unit it
controls, so that the touch-pad can be set aside without fear of
accidental contact causing unwanted action.  Conventional pointing
devices, such as a mouse or joystick, utilizing one or more buttons,
as well as a keyboard, may also be used.

      The touch-pad enables the user to perform several generic
actions which, in turn, cause corresponding reactions by the system
unit.  The functions and applications are reflected on the screen
through the use of action icons and windows.  The term action icon is
used to mean a small image representing a function.  The image can be
shaped similar to a button with a label, or it may have a shape which
illustrates the functional representation, such as a TV set or a
telephone.  The icon has the appearance of three dimensions.  When
touch-pad activation moves the cursor over a particular action icon,
increasing the pressure on the touch pad has the effect of activating
the corresponding function and the icon changes shape as to appear
depressed.  This action would be analogous to pushing a button.

      Controls, such as volume or contrast, that are analog in
function are represented by an icon resembling a slider control or a
similar shape, such as a knob.  The user positions the cursor on the
icon using the touch-pad and then presses the pad to move the slider
control to correspond to the desired effect.  Other controls, such as
channel selection, are discrete but multi-valued.  They are similar
to the analog control where selecting and moving this control
produces the desired effect, causing a corresponding change in the
content of the associated window.

      Windows are used to show different information "on top of"
other information.  For some applications, the window has the shape
representing the type of information it contains.  The shape of a TV
set represe...