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Original Publication Date: 2010-Dec-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Dec-02
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

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John Mese: INVENTOR [+4]


Computer keyboards commonly contain levels of germs and bacteria worse than bathroom facilities. Alcohol wipes are one means of sanitizing keyboards, but they are a bother carry when traveling, and risk getting the electronics wet. It is also difficult to get down in the nooks between keys and clean the keyboard effectively. UltraViolet-C (UVC) wand lights are another available means, but they are also bulky and bothersome to carry when traveling. They are also somewhat hard to use effectively, requiring the user to hold the lamp steady over the keyboard for 10-20 seconds at a time, and to make sure every surface has been properly exposed to the light.

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We propose to integrate an UVC light source within the notebook system, such that the user can easily run a sanitization cycle having confidence that the duration, exposure, and coverage will be sufficient and the potentially dangerous UVC radiation will be safely enclosed within the notebook.

Our first embodiment places the UVC lamps, which are nominally similar to CCFL lamps used in LCDs, underneath the keyboard on the floor of the keyboard well (see attached drawings). To initiate a sanitization cycle, the user would release a catch, lift the keyboard out of the well, turn it over so the keys face downwards, and place it back in the well. Then the user would close the notebook system lid and the cycle would start automatically. A simple interlock, such as plunger switches on both sides of the well, would prevent the lamps from turning on unless the keyboard was secured in the right orientation and the system lid closed.

Our second embodiment anticipates the availability of UVC-emitting OLED materials. Notebook display screens would be built with a percentage of the pixels as UVC emitters, which would only be turned-on when the system lid was closed and a sanitization cycle initiated. The keyboard would remain in its normal orientation, facing the display.

Our third embodiment places a row of UVC-emitting LEDs at the top of the display bezel, oriented downwards similar to the ThinkLight. To sanitize the keyboa...