Browse Prior Art Database

Force Sensing Mouse Pad

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000122431D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

McLean, JG: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a force sensing pad device which, when used with a conventional mouse or trackball, will provide a third or z-axis input to a computer.

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

Force Sensing Mouse Pad

      This article describes a force sensing pad device which,
when used with a conventional mouse or trackball, will provide a
third or z-axis input to a computer.

      The device disclosed herein is in the form of a pad upon which
a mouse may be operated.  Such pads are in common use.  Force-sensing
devices are added within the pad to add a third axis of control.  The
pad detects changes in the downward pressure placed upon the mouse by
the user, and translates changes in this pressure into z-axis mouse
steps.  The conventional mouse plugs into the computer base.  The
signals from the mouse are accepted and combined with the z-axis
information from the pad and then outputted to a 3-D mouse output
port.

      The drawing is an exploded perspective view of the device
showing the use of force-sensing resistors (FSRs) within the pad.
FSRs are devices whose resistance changes as a function of applied
pressure.  Several force-sensing devices are arrayed under the pad
surface, and the total pressure is calculated.

      Various other methods of force sensing can be used, such as
piezoelectric pressure transducers (PPTs), variable capacitance
devices, and surface-acoustic wave (SAW) sensing.

      The pad device can be used to obtain a third (z-axis) movement
or picking.  However, the device is not limited to a 3-D selection or
picking.  It can be used to translate or magnify an object or image.
For example, the user may display a 3-D molecular graphic, or an
image of the ground from an airplane.  This control device can allow
the user to magnify the molecular model or the image.  Alternatively,
the third dimensional control can be used to translate a model in a
direction orthogonal to the standard 2-D screen directions.

      The pad of this disclosed device allows a third dimension of
input to a computer to be included with the standard two-dimensional
input of a typical mouse.  The third dimension from the device is
software controlled to provide a third dimension to a graphical
drawing or other analog controls.  The t...