Browse Prior Art Database

Keyboard-Integrated Thumb-Ball with Switch

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105962D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Pickover, CA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a computer input device called a thumb-ball for a variety of applications. The thumb-ball is a thumb-sized trackball (1-1.5 inch diameter) which can be mounted on a small keyboard, wand, or remote control box, and has a built in make-and-break switch or switches so that the depression of the ball as well as its rotational movement is detected.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 72% of the total text.

Keyboard-Integrated Thumb-Ball with Switch

      Disclosed is a computer input device called a thumb-ball for a
variety of applications.  The thumb-ball is a thumb-sized trackball
(1-1.5 inch diameter) which can be mounted on a small keyboard, wand,
or remote control box, and has a built in make-and-break switch or
switches so that the depression of the ball as well as its rotational
movement is detected.

      Movement generally associated with a mouse can be easily
incorporated using the thumb ball.  Placing a thumb-ball on the upper
left and right corners of a small keyboard would facilitate both left
and right hand (as well as ambidextrous users).

      The ball may also be integrated into the front or side of the
CRT chassis itself.  This would be particularly useful when keyboards
are unavailable (as in museum displays, shopping mall touch-screen
applications, and other demonstration settings...) The concept may be
applied to TV screens, TV remote controls, hand-held calculators,
VCR's, music synthesizers, and other devices.  Note that it would not
be difficult for the amount of pressure being applied to the ball to
produce a continuous input, rather than the on-off switching
mentioned.  Force feedback to the user of the thumb-ball is also
possible.  This means that as the ball is turned, the user feels
resistance to movement or detents.  The use of other-shaped "balls"
may also have use, for example, small cylindrical rollers can be
mounted perpe...