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Wireless user input device for switching between menus, screens or applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132278D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Dec-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Dec-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A cube, or other polyhedron, with a wireless device which indicates to a receiver which face is uppermost. The cube is turned by hand to change mode in some device or application.

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Wireless user input device for switching between menus , screens or applications

There are many software packages which require screens to be switched without distractions appearing on that screen (such as a mouse pointer). Keyboards can be used, but are error prone, as the key to press may depend on package. There are hand held switches and push-buttons which provide a simple interface, but these lack flexibility.

Examples:
1) In a computer controlled examination, computers need to be activated, paused and deactivated simultaneously. The invigilator also needs to know the current state of the examination computers unobtrusively.

    2) During a presentation, the speaker may not have direct access to the controlling computer. They might need to be able to skip between slides smoothly without breaking their rhythm

    3) In a walk in freezer in a warehouse, light switches and thermostat controls are prone to freezing, and might need to be handled by users wearing heavy gloves.

    A new type of user input device is usable in these and many other applications.The device resembles a cubical die, large enough to rest stably on a flat surface and light enough to be easily turned over. The cube has writing or icons on each side. A sensor works out which face is uppermost and a wireless link communicates this information to one or more computers, which use the information to control their display.

    Different shapes could be used, but the cube is most convenient. One cube gives 6 possibilities, for example up to 6 sections of a presentation. Two cubes give 36, so that for example a presentation could be split into 6 subsections with 6 slides each.

The cube can have a number of different implementations:
1) The cube is solid object, but the surface it rests on reads information about its attitude, with an optical sensor, an induction loop or an RFID tag.

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    2) The cube has a gravity switch (a metal ball bearing in a shaped internal space) which completes circuits to tune an induction loop or RFID tag which can be read from some distance (See diagram above).

    3) The cube has one or more gravity switches and an internal power sourc...