Browse Prior Art Database

Design for Adjustable Key Heights on a Computer Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106924D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Shrader, TJL: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a design to allow the user to adjust the height of the keys on a computer keyboard.

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

Design for Adjustable Key Heights on a Computer Keyboard

       Disclosed is a design to allow the user to adjust the
height of the keys on a computer keyboard.

      Computer users are offered a limited number of positions from
which to type.  Either the keyboard lays flat upon the desk or the
entire keyboard can be raised to a predetermined angle by extending
tabs underneath the front part of the keyboard.  The rows of keys for
both positions are static; each row is elevated slightly from the
previous one starting from the end closest to the user to the top
part of the keyboard away from the user.  Certainly, this design has
come about due to extensive ergonomic testing, but it fits the
"comfort level" of most users.  Those outside the norm, perhaps with
larger or smaller hands or with different comfort positions, are
forced to conform to this design.  An alternative design that could
not only give the same key heights and positions as with the typical
keyboard, but a multitude of different ones as well would greatly
increase the usability of the computer.

      For a row of keys on the keyboard, each key in the row would
consist of the key itself (a block that the user hits), a slender
support bar underneath it, and a swivel joint connected to a small
metal block. Each key is connected to its counterpart by a solid
linking bar that runs through each key's swivel joint.  This linking
bar insures that an entire row of keys are adjusted at the same
height and gives them additional support.  Each row of keys in the
keyboard has the same construction, and every row of keys lies on an
adjustable plane, described in the next paragraph.  (Note that
references to metal are for descriptive purposes only; they could be
made of other materials. The same is true for the location of the
adjustment gear on the keyboard, which is also discussed later.)

      The key rows can be moved to different heights by turning a
gear near the top of the keyboard.  When turned, this gear will raise
or lower the adjustable plane (located within the keyboard housing),
and correspondingly, each key row will be elevated to a different
proportional height. The teeth on the gear would be spaced close
together for finer control.

      The adjustable plane would be made of two solid blocks
connected by a tight elastic spring that would allow a greater
freedom of movement. Without the spring allowing the le...