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Browse Prior Art Database

Modular Computer Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121116D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 65K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chefalas, T: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A keyboard layout is set forth that is modular and can be customized by users to meet specific preferences and functions.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 82% of the total text.

Modular Computer Keyboard

      A keyboard layout is set forth that is modular and can be
customized by users to meet specific preferences and functions.

      Keyboards play a central role in human-computer interface.
There are many variations in keyboard layout, especially for numeric
keypad, local editing keys, function keys, cursor control keys, and
special keys.

      With the proliferation of microcomputers of different kinds
with different keyboard layout, users are often asked to switch from
one keyboard layout to another.  Differences in keyboard layout cause
confusion and lower productivity. There are keyboards that have
retraceable keytops and accompanying software that allows
reassignment of functions, but the physical layout of keys still
limits flexibility.

      Keys on a typical keyboard can be grouped into classes such as:
$  Character keys
$  Numeric keys
$  Function keys
$  Local editing keys
$  Special keys

      Instead of placing all the keys in a single package, we propose
to provide modules which can be plugged in to meet specific needs.
There will be modules for each group.  The user can then arrange the
modules as necessary, plug them together, and come up with a
customized keyboard.

      There can be other modules such as mouse, joystick and tablet
modules.

      Referring to the figure, to keep the ends of the keyboard
protected, we need two end modules - one for the right and the other
for the left.  En...