Browse Prior Art Database

Soft Adaptive Follow-Finger Keyboard for Touch-Screen Pads

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106377D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 4 page(s) / 173K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gantenbein, D: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is an emulated soft keyboard presented on a touch-sensitive display, with the key positions and keyboard geometry adaptive to the user's hands. Such keyboards and their dynamic adaptation algorithms can be built as applets (mini-applications or pre-defined screen elements) part of the operating system software. In many environments, especially for mobile computers, soft keyboards provide for a cost and weight effective solution to the problem that a keyboard must be available but is not always needed, at the same time providing added flexibility relative to physical keyboards. In particular, instead of the human keyboard operator having to adapt to the particular keyboard, the software-emulated keyboard can adapt to the characteristics of a particular human operator's hands.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 47% of the total text.

Soft Adaptive Follow-Finger Keyboard for Touch-Screen Pads

      Disclosed is an emulated soft keyboard presented on a
touch-sensitive display, with the key positions and keyboard geometry
adaptive to the user's hands.  Such keyboards and their dynamic
adaptation algorithms can be built as applets (mini-applications or
pre-defined screen elements) part of the operating system software.
In many environments, especially for mobile computers, soft keyboards
provide for a cost and weight effective solution to the problem that
a keyboard must be available but is not always needed, at the same
time providing added flexibility relative to physical keyboards.  In
particular, instead of the human keyboard operator having to adapt to
the particular keyboard, the software-emulated keyboard can adapt to
the characteristics of a particular human operator's hands.

The following is a description of the features:

o   Scalable keyboard:  100% (personal-computer standard), 90%
    (sub-notebook standard), 50% (personal-organizer standard), and
    any other numeric size.  Manual scaling using menu buttons
    corresponding to the standard values and a slider for numeric
    changes, or through mouse/pen/finger reshaping of the frame with
    standard values having a snapping effect, or automatically by
    adjusting to the overall handprint (spread of 10 fingers).

o   Movable keyboard:  to any area on the screen.  Manual moving by
    menu button or header-line dragging, or automatically by
    following the overall handprint (average finger position draft).

o   Rotatable keyboard:  horizontal and vertical positions, or any
    other angle on the touch-screen.  Manual rotation using menu and
    spin buttons or corner dragging, or automatically by following
    the overall handprint (average inter-finger angle trend).

o   Adjustable keys:  support for non-standard individual key
    position, angle, size and maybe even shape.  Manual setting using
    center/corner/edge dragging, or automatically by following the
    individual finger impact patterns (statistics of the finger
    impact-points for each key).

o   Customizable keyboard:  standard US English, German, French,
    etc., and user-defined derived keyboards.  Manual customization
    using a global selection list to set to a standard or
    user-defined keyboard, with individual pull-down lists for each
    key to further customize individual keycaps, or through a
    programming interface.

The described manual keyboard adjustments should always be possible.
At least parts of this function is easily implemented via current
windowing user interfaces.  The additional function may be
implemented as applet controlling the soft keyboard.  Multiple
keyboards might get instantiated.  The applet would typically create
and service the soft keyboard window(s), and also implement the
automatic follow-finger/hands adaptation...