Browse Prior Art Database

Depth Force Capability for Pointing Stick Devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110205D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cragun, BJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

A method to enable stick pointing devices to provide depth/force Z-axis information is described. Sensors in the form of strain gauges or spring-loaded gears are added to the stick pointing device to provide Z-axis information, which supplements the X- and Y-axis information provided by standard devices. (Image Omitted)

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Depth Force Capability for Pointing Stick Devices

      A method to enable stick pointing devices to provide
depth/force Z-axis information is described.  Sensors in the form of
strain gauges or spring-loaded gears are added to the stick pointing
device to provide Z-axis information, which supplements the X- and
Y-axis information provided by standard devices.

                            (Image Omitted)

      A sensor is added to the pointing stick (either to the stick,
to its selection keys, or to an additional key) so it can provide
force/depth (Z) information.

      One possible implementation is to add a centered shaft to the
stick of the pointing stick, as illustrated in the figure.  Pressing
a pad on the shaft would in turn register on the sensor.  This could
be implemented with any of a number of currently available sensors.
A strain gauge would give the feeling of pressing against a hard
surface, while a spring loaded displacement sensor would feel more
like pressing the mechanism of a retractable ball point pen.

      Another possible implementation is to add force sensors to the
selection keys of the pointing stick.  These are special keys located
on the keyboard below the space bar.  Instead of "clicking" the
selection keys, the user would "press" the selection keys to the
desired "depth".  Different sensors could be used, though
spring-based gauges would likely be more ergonomically sound for use
with thumbs.

 ...