Browse Prior Art Database

Conformal Cover for a Handheld Computer Unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112844D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

McLean, JG: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is the use of a resilient, conformal clear plastic or rubber sheath as a cover, which can be applied to a handheld computer unit when inclement conditions are expected or encountered.

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

Conformal Cover for a Handheld Computer Unit

      Disclosed is the use of a resilient, conformal clear plastic or
rubber sheath as a cover, which can be applied to a handheld computer
unit when inclement conditions are expected or encountered.

      As shown in Fig. 1, a cover 10 is applied or removed through
rolling or unrolling over a handheld computer unit 12, generally in
the manner in which a surgical glove is put on or removed.  In this
way, a thin waterproof shield is placed between unit 12 and the
environment.  After cover 10 is removed, it may be left in a
rolled-up condition for easy storage.

      Computer unit 12 may be, for example, a tablet computer using a
proximity stylus device for input, instead of a keyboard.  Such a
device includes a screen 14, which is used both as an LCD display
device and as a data input tablet, with movements of a stylus (not
shown) along the surface of screen 14 being recorded as inputs to the
unit.  Since such recording is enabled by proximity of the stylus to
the screen, rather than by contact between the stylus and the screen,
such movements can be readily sensed through the thin layer of
plastic or rubber forming cover 10.  Also, if cover 10 is suitably
transparent, the LCD display of screen 14 can be viewed through the
fully-installed cover.  Another factor favoring the operation of unit
12 within cover 10 is the use of recessed membrane-type switches 16,
which can be easity operated through the cover, for certain
functions, such as controlling the brightness and contrast of the LCD
display.  Furthermore, since a tablet computer of this type requires
no media insertion or removal during normal operation, cover 10 does
not complicate the use of the device by blocking a diskette slot.

Also, since unit 12 does not rely on the inward flow of air through
vents for cooling, a waterproof seal may be applied around the entire
unit.

      A sealing mechanism may be used for closing the open end of
cover 10.  As shown in Fig. 2, a molded rim bead 18 may be folded
over a flap 20 extending from an opposite side of cover 10, and over
a mating rim bead 22, to form a seal.  Alternatively, excess cover
material may be folded over the underside of unit 12, to be held
together by a rubber band (not shown) or other flexible closure.

      An alternative closure method, shown in Fig. 3, uses
interlocking ribs 24 molded along the opening of cover 10, with the
cover being closed and sealed in the general manner of a ZIPLOC* food
storage bag.

      Cover 10 may be manufactured by a process currently used to
make surgical gloves.  In thi...