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Browse Prior Art Database

Joystick Function for Touch Sensitive Input Devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109907D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 5 page(s) / 202K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baker, RG: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a mechanical contacting device which attaches to a touchpad and software to recognize and translate contact to angular deflection data suitable for program use.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 34% of the total text.

Joystick Function for Touch Sensitive Input Devices

       This article describes a mechanical contacting device
which attaches to a touchpad and software to recognize and translate
contact to angular deflection data suitable for program use.

      Traditional joysticks have inherent problems associated with
their design related to the nature of mechanical components.  Since
potentiometers are mechanical devices with wiping contacts, they are
prone to unreliability, degradation of performance over time, and
limited lifetimes as compared to solid-state devices.  Furthermore,
since they are resistive in nature, calibration is needed at the
outset and later adjustment may be necessary after a period of use.
Springs which can wear out or break are also part of the standard
joystick assembly.

      In general, this joystick is a mechanical attachment for
touchpads which slips in place over the pad and makes contact as the
joystick is normally used.  It is a low profile device, designed
specifically in lightweight plastic materials.  In its proposed
implementation, herein, slide fittings would be molded into a
touchpad case to accommodate the joystick assembly.  Alternatively,
slides could be made which attach to some of the readily available
touchpads, allowing the ability to retrofit this joystick to existing
peripherals.  Two key advantages are that no additional cables or
connection points are required for the computer, and no additional
interfaces, electrical or mechanical, are needed for the computer to
interpret.

      One attachment method is shown in Fig. 1.  The joystick
assembly slides into place on the touchpad product, locking itself
into standard position with reference to the touchpad surface.
Detents are easily molded into the slide assembly to accomplish this.
The important feature is that the joystick assembly is easily
installed and removed and convenient for the user.

      The major elements of the joystick design are shown in Figs. 2a
to 2c.  These elements include:
1.   Mounting assembly and housing (Fig. 2a);
2.   Nylon contact and return element (Fig. 2b);
3.   The stick itself (Fig. 2c).

      The unique aspects of the housing are as follows. Referring to
Fig. 2a, this structure aligns the contact unit so that contact
points will repeatedly travel in designated zones on the touchpad
surface.  This is essential for software interpretation of joystick
position that translates into joystick input.  The housing also has
mechanical slide areas for mounting to the touchpad body, so it is
convenient to install and remove.  These slides are defined to mate
with matching tracks that must be designed onto individual brands of
touchpads.  The slides have mechanical detents to achieve a position
lock with the mating assembly.  As an option, a different subassembly
with matching tracks could use adhesive pads to provide physical
attachment of the mounting assembly.  This allows users w...