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Input string permitting large user movements on a very small device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132172D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Dec-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Dec-05
Document File: 1 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

We propose a retractable string as an input mechanism for devices such as an mp3 player. This may be used for scrolling, and permits much larger user movements than can otherwise be provided in a tiny device.

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Input string permitting large user movements on a very small device

There is an increasing range of very small devices with large storage; in particular mp3 players and PDAs. A major issue with these devices is navigation of the file store and other large lists.

    Scrolling is one of the simplest navigation mechanisms, particularly on devices without keyboards. However, scrolling on these devices is very clumsy because the small size does not give easy space for significant movements. This disclosure proposes a large scrolling device for a small physical device.

    The device will include a pull-out string or tape ( conceptually similar to a retractable tape measure or a retractable dog lead). The device includes a measurement mechanism to determine the extension. This measurement will typically be used to control scrolling. It may be used to control other inputs (for example, pitch on a very compact electronic 'string' instrument).

    Measurement may be made in various ways. One specific embodiment [A] is to have an optical wheel connected to the spindle on which the string is wound; and to measure movement in the manner that movement of mouse wheels is measured [on pre-optical mice]. A second [B] is to use a patterned string, and to detect string movement using optical techniques similar to those of an optical mouse. [A] will probably be of use only for relative movement as the measure will depend on exactly how the string wraps. [B] can also give absolute measure if r...