Touch sensitive equipment to locate out-of-sight sockets
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-06
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A system to make it easier to use out of sight connectors on electronic equipment, for example at the back of a piece of equipment. This disclosure describes the use of touch sensitive areas around connectors, combined with audio or visual feedback that guides the user towards the connector.
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Touch sensitive equipment to locate out -of-sight sockets
Electronic equipment such as amplifiers, telephony equipment and rack-mounted hardware often have large numbers of sockets in locations that are hidden from view (e.g. at the rear of the device).
Users of such devices find it hard to connect cables to the appropriate sockets, because it is difficult to locate the desired socket amongst several different connectors, in an out-of-sight location. Typically the user must resort to finding the socket by feel, or the time consuming process of moving the equipment for example, to get access to the rear panel.
This disclosure focuses on a solution for the user who needs to connect a plug into a socket in a hard-to-see location. The main idea is to add touch sensitive components to the panel on which sockets are mounted and to give feedback to the user on where they are touching the out-of-sight panel. The feedback tells the user which socket they are touching and may guide the user towards the socket they need.
Touch sensing is well known, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchscreen and: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitive
The invention is to have touch-sensitive areas on the panel of the equipment containing the sockets to be connected. When the user wants to connect a cable to the equipment, they reach around and touch one of the touch-sensitive areas on the equipment. The touch sensitive areas may be simple switches that detect the presence or absence o...