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Haptic/Physical Input Supplement for Touch-Based Devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246015D
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to take advantage of the senses the tablet already possesses and incorporate physical attachments with the existing screen to enable accurate and user-friendly input methods.

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Haptic/Physical Input Supplement for Touch -Based Devices

Touchscreen tablets are ubiquitous for mobile computing and remote control. Compact and versatile, with proper programming tablets can emulate many other input devices, especially when multi-touch is available. With limited or no haptic feedback, however, the user cannot entirely execute fine or rapid control by touch. Typing on a touchscreen, even with key-clicks simulated via the vibration motor, is awkward. Finding and rotating a knob to a specific position requires watching the knob's animation, which can be difficult with a user's fingers obstructing the view. Adjusting a slider, unless it is physically keyed relative to the edge of the screen, is difficult. In addition, the user has no indication of the previous value without looking, which makes minor/smooth adjustment difficult.

Many of these issues exist in other computer input devices. In those spaces, often the correct answer is to go back to physical controls when the controls' behavior better suits the needs of the application. For example, a user can couple-in a keyboard via Bluetooth*.

The novel solution is a method to take advantage of the senses the tablet already possesses. A physical keyboard is designed to snap over a touchscreen, with each key generating a "touch" in a location that matching software recognizes. This provides the user with an accurate, touch-operated keyboard. Given ten-point multi-touch, data entry speed and accuracy can approach that of a similarly sized traditionally encoded keyboard.

Similarly, a new set of knobs or sliders each moves a contact on the touchscreen. These have a continuous haptic representation of the current settings, which permits both fine and rapid adjustment, including reliable simultaneous adjustment. Because many tablets and phones include a magnetometer, a physical control can also rotate a magnet with which to interact.

Other physical interactions are similarly possible, converting the tablet's existing "senses" into forms to which it is already responsive. For example, a camera implements current methods of gesture recognition; a device could similarly i...