Browse Prior Art Database

Converting a Fingerpad to a Three Dimensional Pointing Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123257D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lection, DB: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The computer industry is on the verge of adopting and exploiting 3D as the way of the future for displaying data. This is in evidence by the emergence of 3D in games, for data visualization, in web applications, and by the fact that all new PC's are shipped with a specialized bus for graphics, and with a 3D accelerator card to accelerate display of 3D data.

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Converting a Fingerpad to a Three Dimensional Pointing Device

   The computer industry is on the verge of adopting and
exploiting 3D as the way of the future for displaying data.  This is
in evidence by the emergence of 3D in games, for data visualization,
in web applications, and by the fact that all new PC's are shipped
with a specialized bus for graphics, and with a 3D accelerator card
to accelerate display of 3D data.

   Of course 3D display can be done on existing
equipment.  When the user views data in 3D the user also needs a 3D
pointing device to allow the user to navigate within the 3D display.

   Several current PC systems, both portable, and desktop are
shipped with a pointing device called a finger pad.  These kinds of
pads come in several varieties.  Some are small, with a 3 inch by 4
inch surface the user touches with a finger to move the mouse
pointer.  The mouse pointer moves on the screen to the relative
position the user touched on the finger pad.  Other larger pads
exist also, the user typically uses a stylus with these kinds of
devices and these kinds of devices typically offer handwriting
recognition as well as mouse pointer placement.  Finally, most PDA
sized devices these days offer mouse positioning via touching the
screen with a stylus or finger.

   All of these devices have a common design attribute.  They
also offer X/Y axis placement of the mouse cursor on the GUI by
translating the user relative X/Y position of the user's touch on
the pointing surface.  This is all that is needed for 2D
applications, but this kind of device does not currently provide 3D
X/Y/Z input to the system.

   The idea allows these devices, by merely updating their
software driver, to produce 3D navigation data.  This is
accomplished by allocating a "slice" of the pad to be the "Z" axis
input area.  Consider the following example:

   The left diagram shows the current art.  As the user
touches the pad, the position of the touch is translated into an X/Y
position and sent to the GUI to have the mouse cursor moved to that
spot on the GUI.  Wit...