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Adding Scroll Functionality to Standard 5-way Navigation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000179296D
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 293K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


The output of the system is thus a classic quadrature signal which can then be interpreted as a scroll in either direction. Such scrolling can be made more sophisticated by adding an acceleration feature which causes the list to be traversed at a faster pace should the rotation of the ring be faster. In this way, navigating long e-mail or song lists can be made much more pleasurable without impacting the form factor of the mobile device.

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090208 Avago Hot Wheel Article

Adding Scroll Functionality to Standard 5-way Navigation

Many handheld devices, particularly mobile phones, include 5-way navigation consisting of a center button surrounded by a ring that can be tilted toward each compass point.

But as handheld functionality increases with capabilities like e-mail and music, the incremental step-by-step approach of 5-way navigation quickly becomes tedious.  Far more pleasurable would be a means to easily and quickly scroll long lists.  Fortunately, the basic layout of 5-way navigation lends itself well to the addition of scroll by allowing the ring to rotate.  What is then needed is a means to sense this rotation without adding to the thickness of the device.

Again fortunately, the underlying structure of 5-way navigation lends itself to sensing ring rotation.  In particular, 5-way navigation consists of five dome switches and underlying contacts arranged in a “+” pattern inscribed within a circle that yields space between the outermost domes that can be used for sensing.

One way in which this wedge area can be used for sensing is by inserting a drive electrode area and two sense electrode area using the same fabrication technique used to generate the metal dome contacts.

On the underside of the ring, a thin conductor is added mimicking the footprint of the electrodes....