Contoured keyboard with inverted modified trackball mouse
Original Publication Date: 2000-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
This publication presents an alternate computer keyboard design with integrated mouse control through movement of the keyboard. It combines many of the ergonomic features (contoured, partially vertical (ie, diagonal) into a design that maximizes use of natural finger, hand and wrist positions and motions. There are a variety of alternative computer keyboards and keyboard designs with ergonomic considerations including split, split vertical, flat contoured, and a variety of non-QWERTY, chording type versions. Additionally, these designs usually include an integrated trackpoint or touchpad mouse which attempts to provide easier mouse control nearer the keyboard. However, these disjoint designs are still missing the mark regarding "natural", comfortable hand/arm positioning and motion. Beginning with a standard keyboard, split the keyboard in half from the 'B'key, between the 'G' and 'H' keys, between the 'T' and 'Y' keys, between the '6' and '7' keys, and finally between the 'F5' and 'F6' keys. Rotate these halves about a point slightly above the 'F5' and 'F6' keys to make an angle of approximately 45 degrees between the two halves. Then rotate these two halves 45 degrees, with the 'B' and 'N' keys moving upward and the 'Q' and 'P' keys moving downward (ie, flip the keyboard halves from laying flat towards vertical but stopping diagonally at about 45 degrees). This 45 degree rotation allows for natural wrist positioning while still allowing visibility of particularly the number and function keys. Next, contour the two halves (with the center keys bowed away from the hands) to provide a natural motion and reach for the fingers to all the key rows. Add a padded, contoured wrist rest at the lower left and lower right of each keyboard half for the base of the wristbone. Then attach the two keyboard halves together into one integrated unit. Additionally, add a spacebar key easily accessible between the two thumbs and left and right mouse buttons (towards the direction of the index fingers).