Browse Prior Art Database

Light controlled hands free keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129296D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

An alternative data entry system which enables alphanumeric or other data entry without a need for manual intervention. Data selections are made by directing a light beam towards a two dimensional character matrix having a layout derived from a conventional keyboard, each row and column of the matrix being provided with a light sensor. The system is thus suited for physically handicapped individuals, or those whose hands are otherwise not free for data entry.

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Light controlled hands free keyboard

There are cases where computer users may need (by decision or because are unfortunately forced to) to work with a keyboard without using hands. In such a case it would be helpful to use a keyboard controlled by a light beam. Disclosed is a device that can help to use a normal keyboard without hands. It acts like a keyboard by means of a light beam and light sensors. Components of the disclosed device are light sensors, light beam source, a software driver interface and an adaptable frame holding the sensors.

     The keys present in a normal keyboard may be logically organized in rows and columns (a matrix). By means of two coordinates (one indexing a specific row and one indexing a specific column), it is possible to locate a specific keyboard key.

     A set of photo sensors can be organized (as shown in fig. 1) in a frame around the normal keyboard. This frame holding the light sensors can be part of the keyboard (it may or may not be detachable from it) or it can be a separate optional additional device, added on top of it, in case of need.

According to the keys present on the keyboard and their layout, the software driver interface of the frame may enable or disable a certain number of sensors, so that there will be the possibility to select a specific key by means of a row-column selection criteria.

     The user may select a row photo sensor by pointing a light beam (for example fixed to a helmet) (Fig. 2) and once the sensor has been activated, a column photo sensor may be activated. The key at the intersection of the selected row and column is the one that will be selected by the frame software driver (Fig. 2). This selected key will be passed to the computer unit as if it was selected by typing on a normal keyboard. The activation mechanism may be based...