Original Publication Date: 1993-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Flores, D: AUTHOR [+3]
Described is a method herein that permits a user to move a mouse pointer in a three dimensional plane.
a method herein that permits a user to move a
mouse pointer in a three dimensional plane.
advent of the mouse a user now has the advantage of
being able to move the cursor across a terminal screen very quickly
and efficiently. A mouse, however, can only move in the vertical and
horizontal directions (hence it is a 2-dimensional mouse). This
article expands the capability of the mouse so that a user can move
not just in the horizontal or vertical directions but towards and
away from a point of reference on the screen (i.e., in 3 dimensions).
methodology adds a 3rd dimension to the standard
2-dimensional mouse. Currently, mouse users may move the cursor
across a terminal screen in the x and y directions (i.e., left,
right, up, down). With the implementation of this methodology the
user will be able to move the cursor in the z direction (into and
away from a point of reference). This new functionality allows a
user, especially one working in a 3-dimensional model, such as those
utilized in CAD/CAM systems, to move quickly to any point in this
3-dimensional space. By using this 3-dimensional mouse, a user will
be able to move the cursor in a straight line in 3-dimensional space.
We will exemplify the effectiveness of the 3-dimensional mouse using
the 3-d picture of the house (Fig. 1). A user desires to move the
cursor (controlled by the mouse) from point X to point Y. Using the
standard 2-dimensional mouse, a user can only move about area A (the
front side of the house and also the plane that coincides with area
A). The user cannot get to point Y thru the use of the mouse without
any additional software functionality (e.g., the application must
have a switch to permit a user to move into area B plane, the back
side of the house). Alternatively, a user utilizing the enhanced
capabilities of the 3-dimensional mouse would simply move the mouse
in a straight line from point X to point Y in 3-dimensional space.
This is possible only because the enhanced mouse has the additional
capability of moving in the z direction.
design of the 3-dimensional mouse is shown in
(Fig. 2). The enhancement that permits moving the cursor in the 3rd
dimension (z-axis) is provided by the lever or toggle located at the
left or right side of the mouse. This lever is placed at an
appropriate location so as to make it easy for a user to utilize his
or her thumb to move the lever up and down. The lever has three(3)
positions. NEUTRAL which keeps the cursor z-axis constant (i.e., z =
0, the mouse acts as a standard 2-dimensional mouse when the lever is
in the neutral position). If the lever is in the UP position, the
cursor moves positively in the z-axis (toward a reference point, i.e,
zoom in). Conversely, if the lever is in the DOWN position, the
cursor moves negatively in the z-axis (away from a reference point,
i.e., zoom out). The capabi...