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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A DATA PROCESSING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/065430
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A data processing device comprising at least one unit (1) for inputting data, one unit (2) for displaying data and one processing unit (3) for signal communication between the inputting unit and the processing unit and between the displaying unit and the processing unit. The inputting unit has an inputting surface (4) designed to emit signals to the processing unit when being touched, for transmitting information regarding touching positions (7) on the inputting surface, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit arranged to display the respective touching position at a displaying position (8), assigned to the respective touching position, on a displaying surface (5) of the displaying unit, and/or the inputting unit has an inputting surface designed, when functions are displayed at different positions of a displaying surface of the displaying unit, to receive information about these functions from the processing unit and in accordance with the information received provide execution for the respective function at an inputting position, assigned to the respective function position on the displaying surface, on the inputting surface of the inputting unit.

Inventors:
Söderlund, Kjell (Box 279 Bollnäs, S-821 23, SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2000/000784
Publication Date:
November 02, 2000
Filing Date:
April 26, 2000
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Söderlund, Kjell (Box 279 Bollnäs, S-821 23, SE)
International Classes:
G06F3/02; G06F3/023; G06F3/041; G06F3/0488; G06F3/0489; (IPC1-7): G06F3/033; B41J5/10
Foreign References:
US5633660A1997-05-27
EP0938037A21999-08-25
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bjerkén, Håkan (Bjerkéns Patentbyrå KB Box 1274 Gävle, SE-801 37, SE)
Olsson, Jan (Bjerkéns Patentbyrå KB Box 1274 Gävle, S-801 37, SE)
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Claims:
Claims
1. A data processing device comprising at least one unit (1) for inputting data, one unit (2) for displaying data and one processing unit (3) for signal communication between the in putting unit and the processing unit and between the dis playing unit and the processing unit, characterized in that the inputting unit has an inputting surface (4) designed to emit signals to the processing unit when being touched, for transmitting information regarding touching positions (7) on the inputting surface, through the processing unit, to the dis playing unit arranged to display the respective touching posi tion at a displaying position (8), assigned to the respective touching position, on a displaying surface (5) of the display ing unit.
2. A device according to claim 1, characterized in that the in putting surface (4) is designed, when functions (12) are dis played at different positions of the displaying surface (5) of the displaying unit (2), to receive information about these functions from the processing unit (3) and in accordance with the information received provide execution for the respective function at an inputting position (13), assigned to the respec tive function position on the displaying surface, on the input ting surface of the inputting unit (1).
3. A data processing device comprising at least one unit (1) for inputting data, one unit (2) for displaying data and one processing unit (3) for signal communication between the in putting unit and the processing unit and between the dis playing unit and the processing unit, characterized in that the inputting unit has an inputting surface (4) designed, when functions (12) are displayed at different positions of a dis playing surface (5) of the displaying unit, to receive informa tion about these functions from the processing unit and in ac cordance with the information received provide execution for the respective function at an inputting position (13), assigned to the respective function position on the displaying surface, on the inputting surface of the inputting unit.
4. A device according to claim 3, characterized in that the in putting surface (4) is designed to emit signals to the proc essing unit (3) when being touched, for transmitting informa tion regarding touching positions (7) on the inputting surface, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit (2) ar ranged to display the respective touching position at a dis playing position (8), assigned to the respective touching po sition, on the displaying surface (5) of the displaying unit.
5. A device according to claim 2,3 or 4, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) of the inputting unit (1) is designed to continuously provide executing positions (13) on the input ting surface corresponding to functions (12) displayed on the displaying surface (5), such as icons, windows etc., by means of information from the processing unit (3), in accordance with a computer program used in the processing unit, for ex ample a word processing program.
6. A device according to claim 2,3,4 or 5, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) is designed to execute the func tion (12) which corresponds to the executing position effected when an executing position (13) on the inputting surface is touched by a touching object (11), for example the fingers of an operator, while the executing position is effected by said object with at least a lowest predetermined pressure and during at least a shortest predetermined period.
7. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the displaying surface (5) is designed to display at least some part of the inputting surface (4).
8. A device according to claim 7, characterized in that the in putting surface (4) has at least any inputting and/or executing position (13) and the displaying unit (5) is designed to display this position.
9. A device according to claim 7, characterized in that the in putting surface (4) has an inputting means (6) for inputting data and/or executing functions (12) and the displaying sur face (15) is designed to at least partially display said input ting means.
10. A device according to claim 9, characterized in that the in putting surface (4) has a set of keys (6) for inputting data and/or executing functions (12) and the displaying surface (15) is designed to at least partially display said set of keys.
11. A device according to claim 1 or 4 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) of the inputting unit (1) is designed to emit signals to the processing unit (3) when being touched, for transmitting in formation, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit (2) which is designed to continuously illustrate on the dis playing surface (5) the finger placing (11) of an operator, or placing of another touching object, on the inputting surface of the inputting unit.
12. A device according to claim 11 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) is arranged when being touched, to control the displaying surface (5), through the processing unit (3), to display the re spective touching position (7) in the shape of a sign, for ex ample a point, a circle or an arrow, and/or in the shape of a special light or colour scheme.
13. A device according to claim 11 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) is arranged, when being touched, to control the displaying surface (5), through the processing unit (3), to display the re spective touching position (7) in the shape of a mark with a size and a shape substantially corresponding to the size and the shape of the surface part of the inputting surface which is in contact with a touching object (11) at the present touching position.
14. A device according to claim 11 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) is arranged, when being touched, to control the displaying surface (5), by the processing unit (3), to display the respec tive touching position (7) in the shape of a contour line sub stantially corresponding with the size and the shape of the contour of the surface part of the inputting surface which is in contact with a touching object (11) at the present touching position.
15. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the processing unit (3) is provided with a computer program for the required controlling of signal communication between the inputting unit (1) and the processing unit and between the displaying unit (2) and the processing unit.
16. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the displaying unit (2) has a combined displaying and inputting surface designed for both displaying and inputting of data.
17. A device according to claim 16, characterized in that the displaying unit (2) has a combined displaying and inputting surface designed to emit signals to the processing unit when being touched, for transmitting information regarding touching positions on the displaying and inputting surface, by the proc essing unit, to a second unit, for example the inputting unit.
18. A device according to claim 16 or 17, characterized in that the displaying unit (2) has a combined displaying and input ting surface designed, when functions at different positions of a second unit are displayed, for example the inputting unit, to receive information of these functions from the processing unit and in accordance with the information received to pro vide executing for the respective function at an inputting po sition, assigned to the respective function position on said second unit, on the displaying and inputting surface of the displaying unit.
19. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting unit (1) has a combined inputting and displaying surface designed for both inputting and displaying data.
20. A device according to claim 19, characterized in that the inputting unit (1) has a combined inputting and displaying surface designed, when a second unit connected to the proc essing unit is touched, for example the displaying unit, to dis play the respective touching position at a displaying position, assigned to the respective touching position, on the inputting and displaying surface of the inputting unit.
21. A device according to claim 19 or 20, characterized in that the inputting unit (1) has a combined inputting and displaying surface designed to display functions at different positions of the inputting and displaying surface and the functions are ex ecutable at the inputting and displaying surface and/or at a second unit, for example the displaying unit.
22. A device according to claim 2 or 3 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that surface parts (13) of the inputting surface (4) assigned for executing of the re spective function (12) displayed on the displaying surface (5) have substantially the same mutual positions that the function representations (12) have on the displaying surface.
23. A device according to claim 2 or 3 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that surface parts (13) of the inputting surface (4) assigned for executing the respec tive function (12) displayed on the displaying surface (5) have substantially the same mutual sizes that the function repre sentations (12) have on the displaying surface.
24. A device according to claim 2 or 3 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that surface parts (13) of the inputting surface (4) assigned for executing the respec tive function (12) displayed on the displaying surface (5) have substantially the same shapes that the function representa tions (12) have on the displaying surface.
25. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that it is designed to display the data, input by means of the inputting unit (1), on the displaying unit (2).
26. A device according to claim 19 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that it is designed to dis play the data, input by means of the inputting unit (1), on the inputting and displaying unit.
27. A device according to claim 16 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that it is designed to dis play the data, input by means of the displaying unit (2), on the displaying and inputting surface.
28. A device according to claim 16 and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that it is designed to dis play the data, input by means of the displaying unit (2), on a second unit, for example the inputting unit.
29. A device according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the inputting surface (4) of the inputting unit (1) is of the type"touchcontrol"surface.
30. A device according to claim 16, and possibly any further preceding claim, characterized in that the displaying and in putting surface of the displaying unit (12) is of the type "touchcontrol"surface.
Description:
A data processinq device THE FIELD OF THE INVENTION AND PRIOR ART This invention relates to a device for data processing, compris- ing at least one unit for inputting data, one unit for displaying data and one processing unit for signal communication between the inputting unit and the processing unit and between the dis- playing unit and the processing unit When computers of different kinds are used, for example per- sonal computers, usually a first unit in the shape of a keyboard is utilise to make it possible for a user to perform the opera- tions such as data inputting and executing of different functions as desired. For example, a keyboard is used in word processing for inputting the signs required, such as letters, figures etc. The keyboard is usually located in front of the user as in type writ- ing. The result of the inputting by the user is shown on a second unit. This second unit is for example a display unit placed at eye-level in front of the user.

Devices according to prior art have important disadvantages since the user when using such a device have to move the gaze from the display unit, where the result of the inputting is illus- trated, to the keyboard, where the inputting takes place, for the purpose of ensuring that the fingers are placed in the right posi- tions and thus produce the sign intended on the display unit, which in turn leads to unnecessary eye movements and inter- ruptions of the work.

Other operations, especially executing of functions displayed on the display unit, are usually handled with a third unit, a so called mouse, which may be moved and is located beside the key- board, and by means of which a mark on the display unit, in the shape of for example a small arrow, may be moved into a posi- tion desired on the display unit. By the mouse different functions are activated by that the mouse first is put into a position so that the placing of the arrow on the display unit becomes the one de- sired, i. e. so that the arrow is placed on the function displayed on the display unit, which function the user want to execute, and after that a"click"is performed, i. e. a key of the mouse is pushed to accomplish the present function.

The using of existing devices including a mouse unit are associ- ated with large disadvantages. For example when the user use a device including a keyboard and a mouse, the user must leave the contact to the keyboard when the mouse is handled and move one hand to the mouse to grip the mouse, move it to the desired position and then push down a key of the mouse. In most cases, then the gaze has to be changed to make sure that the operator is convinced that the placing of the hand becomes the one intended in the changeover between the handling of the keyboard and the mouse. The working method to first handle the keyboard and then perform a quick movement for handling the mouse with precision is not rational and time consuming as well as uncomfortable to the operator. This results in many cases also in wearing injuries for the user because the movement de- scribed is frequently repeated.

THE OBJECT OF THE INVENTION The object of the invention is to provide a data processing de- vice in which the disadvantages mentioned above have been re- duced to a large extent, i. e. to provide a data processing device in which according to a first aspect of the invention unnecessary

eye movements and interruptions of the work are avoided when data are input and functions are executed, and/or a data proc- essing device by which according to a second aspect of the in- vention inputting of data and executing of all functions may be performed by means of one and the same unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The object mentioned above in the first aspect of the invention is obtained by providing a device in which the inputting unit has an inputting surface designed to emit signals to the processing unit when being touched, for transmitting information regarding touching positions on the inputting surface, through the proc- essing unit, to the displaying unit arranged to display the re- spective touching position at a displaying position, assigned to the respective touching position, on a displaying surface of the displaying unit.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention in which the inputting surface of the inputting unit is designed to emit signals to the processing unit when being touched, for transmit- ting information, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit which is designed to continuously illustrate, on the display- ing surface, the finger placing of an operator on the inputting surface of the inputting unit, and especially together with an- other embodiment of the invention in which the inputting surface has a set of keys and the displaying surface is designed to dis- play the keys included in the set of keys, a very efficient means for the operator when data is input is obtained. In this connec- tion the operator may continuously see his own finger placing in relation to the inputting unit on the displaying unit without the need to move the gaze from the displaying unit to the inputting unit and vice versa. Herethrough the operator may instead un- interruptedly focus the displaying unit with the purpose of en- suring that the fingers are placed at the keys desired and that

the data intended is input, which contributes to a more rational way of working and fewer interruptions of the work.

The other aspect of the invention provides for the object set up by providing a data processing device in which the inputting unit has an inputting surface designed, when functions are displayed at different positions of a displaying surface of the displaying unit, to receive information about these functions from the proc- essing unit and in accordance with the information received pro- vide execution for the respective function at an inputting posi- tion, assigned to the respective function position on the dis- playing surface, on the inputting surface of the inputting unit.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention according to said second aspect, in which the inputting surface of the in- putting unit is designed to continuously provide executing posi- tions on the inputting surface corresponding to functions dis- played on the displaying surface, such as icons, windows etc., by means of information from the processing unit, in accordance with a computer program used in the processing unit, for exam- ple a word processing program, and especially together with a further embodiment of the invention in which the inputting sur- face is designed to execute the function which corresponds to the executing position effected when an executing position on the inputting surface is touched by a touching object, for exam- ple the fingers of an operator, while the executing position is effected by said object with at least a lowest predetermined pressure and during at least a shortest predetermined period, a device is obtained which for an operator makes it possible to put in the data required and executing the functions required at one and the same unit in an easy and rational way and therethrough avoid the movements of the hand between two different units otherwise required but undesired.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention in accordance with the second aspect, in which the inputting sur-

face is designed to emit signals to the processing unit when be- ing touched, for transmitting information regarding touching po- sitions on the inputting surface, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit arranged to display the respective touching position at a displaying position, assigned to the respective touching position, on the displaying surface of the displaying unit, a device is obtained which enables that executing of the various functions may be performed both in a rational way by short hand or finger movements on the inputting unit and while the operator may focus the displaying unit all the time.

Further advantages and advantageous characteristics of the in- vention will appear in the following description and remaining dependent claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS With reference to the appended drawings, below follows a de- scription of preferred embodiments of the invention cited as ex- amples, in which: Fig 1 is a schematical block diagram of a device according to the invention comprising a unit for inputting data, a unit for displaying data and a processing unit for sig- nal communication, Fig 2 is a schematical illustration of a device according to the invention and Fig 3 is a schematical illustration of an alternative em- bodiment of the device according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In fig 1 the data processing device according to the invention is schematically illustrated. The device comprises an inputting unit

1, a displaying unit 2 and a processing unit 3. The inputting unit 1 is provided with an inputting surface 4 for inputting data and executing functions and the displaying unit is provided with a displaying surface 5 for displaying data and functions. The proc- essing unit 3 is connected to the both units by means of con- ducting members 14 for signal transferring between the units and the signal transferring is suitably performed electrically and/or optically, but also any kind of wireless transferring would be applied. Thus, the processing unit 3 provides for communica- tion between the inputting unit 1 and the processing unit and be- tween the displaying unit 2 and the processing unit. Further- more, the processing unit 3 provides other processing functions generally applied in the computer field and for this reason the processing unit 3 accommodates the components and software required for controlling various functions of the units included in the device.

Although the data processing device is illustrated as three sepa- rate units, it would very well be designed in another way where one or more of the units are integrated. For example, the input- ting unit 1 and the displaying unit 2 would be mechanically con- nected and the processing unit 3 and any of the other units would be integrated.

In one embodiment illustrated in fig 2 the device according to the invention has an inputting unit 1 including an inputting sur- face 4 in the shape of a keyboard 6, which may be used for in- putting data, such as letters, figures and various signs etc, for example in word processing. The keys 6 are designed to emit signals to the processing unit 3 when being touched, for trans- mitting information regarding touching positions 7 on the input- ting surface 4, i. e. on the keys 6, through the processing unit, to the displaying unit 2 arranged to display the respective touching position at a displaying position 8, assigned to the respective touching position 7, on the displaying surface 5. To achieve this the keys 6 are suitably so constructed that when being slightly

touched marks 9 are received, rings 9 in the example of the em- bodiment, on the corresponding key representations 15 dis- played on the displaying surface 5 of the displaying unit 2. Thus, the displaying unit 5 is designed also to display at least some part of the inputting surface 4, and more precisely in the exam- ple of the embodiment the displaying surface 5 has the charac- teristic to display the inputting means of the inputting unit 1, which means in this case is a set of keys 6.

Accordingly, this means that a slightly touch with a finger on a certain key of the inputting unit 1, for example the key 10 for the letter"R", result in that the corresponding key representation 15, i. e. the assigned displaying position 8 of the displaying unit 2, is completed with a ring 9. In the example this means that the key representation 15 receives the appearance"(D".

In this way an operator may receive information from the dis- playing unit 2 about his finger placing and be assure that the finger placing is the one desired without changing the gaze from the displaying unit 2 to the inputting surface 4. It is pointed out that within the scope of the invention the displaying surface 5 may be designed to mark a touching object 11, for example the fingers of an operator 11, on the displaying surface 5 in many different ways, and that the description and the illustration regarding rings 9 around letter signs should be regarded as an example only.

Other possible marks 9 are for example arrows, points or any other signs etc. Further marks or indications which may be used for this purpose are for example different illuminations or light and/or colour compositions of the displaying positions 8 as a consequence of that the inputting surface 4 being touched. In other applications, besides the placing of the touching positions 7, marks 9 based on the respective appearance of the contact surface, i. e. the shape and/or the size of the surface of the in- putting surface 4 of the inputting unit 1 which is in mechanical

contact with a touching object 11, may advantageously be used for displaying the touching positions 7.

The execution of inputting data or executing a function are suitably performed by that the inputting surface 4 of the input- ting unit, here the set of keys 6, is effected with a pressure higher than what is required for achieving the mark 9.

A number of technical solutions of the inputting unit 1 are possi- ble within the scope of the invention, and the inputting surface 4 may have various appearances depending on the application.

For example a set of keys 6 in which the keys are elevated and defined in a visible way, such as a conventional keyboard of a personal computer, may be used or alternatively an inputting surface 4 of"touch-control"type may be used, with or without visible information about the placing and function of the respec- tive key. In this connection"touch-control"surface is related to a surface with properties to registrate when being touched and emit signals in accordance therewith. The surface may be com- pletely plan or may have one or more elevations. However, the various inputting surfaces 4 have in common the quality to emit some kind of indication, for example an electrical or optical sig- nal, when being touched, which indication is recordable by means of the processing unit 3. In this connection the inputting surface 4 is suitably designed to emit a signal to be the basis of the mark 9 of the displaying unit 2 when being slightly touched in accordance with what is described above, and to emit a sec- ond signal to be the basis of the executing of the present data inputting/function when being touched with a higher pressure.

For handling and transferring of said signals the processing unit 3 includes suitably a computer program.

It is however also quite possible to arrange an executing posi- tion which is"stationary"both in this embodiment and in the em- bodiment described below and illustrated in fig 3. The wording

stationary executing position is related to one or more predeter- mined positions on the inputting unit 1 in which positions ef- fecting of all, on in any case a number of executions may be performed independently of which operation that is desired to be executed. However, these"stationary"executing positions are not stationary in the meaning that they not are able to move, but may be made possible to be placed at an optional position on the inputting surface 4 by the operator by means of a suitable software as desired. In the application of a stationary executing position a slightly touch of an arbitrary function inputting posi- tion on the inputting surface would emit a signal with the pur- pose of activating but not executing the present function and/or mark the function on the displaying surface, whereupon the function then would be executed by that the"stationary"exe- cuting position is touched.

In fig 3 a further embodiment of the data processing device ac- cording to the invention is illustrated, in which the inputting surface 4 is designed, when functions 12 are displayed at differ- ent positions of the displaying surface 5 of the displaying unit 2, to receive information about these functions 12 from the proc- essing unit 3 and in accordance with the information received provide execution for the respective function 12 at an inputting position 13, assigned to the respective function position on the displaying surface 5, on the inputting surface 4 of the inputting unit 1. Below particularly this embodiment will be described, but it is pointed out that characteristics of the embodiment previ- ously described very well may be combined with this embodi- ment.

By the fact that the inputting surface 4 of the inputting unit 1 is designed to continuously provide executing positions 13 corre- sponding to functions 12 displayed on the displaying surface 5, such as icons, windows etc., by means of information from the processing unit 3, in accordance with a computer program used in the processing unit 3, for example a word processing pro-

gram, the operator may continuously execute the respective function 12 at the inputting surface 4 by exerting a pressure on the respective executing position 13 by means of a touching object 11, for example the fingers.

To obtain a device which has a rational and easy way of work- ing, surface parts of the inputting surface 4 assigned for exe- cuting of the respective function 12 displayed on the displaying surface 5 have substantially the same mutual placings and/or sizes and/or shapes that the function representations 12 have on the displaying surface 5. Furthermore, the inputting surface 4 may possess characteristics in analogy with what is previously described with reference to fig 2, i. e. the inputting surface 4 may be so constructed that when the respective executing position 13 on the inputting surface 4 being pushed with a low pressure, a mark 9 of the placing of the touching object 11 is received at the corresponding function representation 12 on the displaying surface 5. In this way the two different main aspects of the in- vention is combined in one and the same device.

In fig 3 the executing positions 13 are shown with broken lines for illustration purposes so as to show the relation between the functions 12 displayed on the displaying unit 2 and the execut- ing positions 13. However, it is not necessary at all that the in- putting surface 4 is arranged to make the inputting positions 13 visible, which inputting positions 13 of the inputting surface 4 are executable at the moment, in the case when the operator may see his finger placing 11, or placing of another touching object on the inputting unit 1, by marks 9 on the displaying unit 2.

By a continuously variable inputting surface providing executing positions 13 in accordance with functions 12 displayed on the displaying surface 5 and a mark 9 of the finger placing on the in- putting surface 4 displayed on the displaying surface 5, a very efficient tool in data processing is obtained. In this connection

the operator may perform all operations at one and the same in- putting unit by minimal hand movements while the operator si- multaneously may continuously focus the displaying unit 2, with the purpose of receiving information about data inputting, exe- cuting of functions etc. and about the finger placing to be sure that the operation desired is marked and thus is the operation which will be executed in the following pushing.

It is obvious that the device according to the invention is not re- stricted to the exemplifying embodiments and within the scope of the invention it is for example possible to design the inputting unit as a combined inputting and displaying surface and/or de- sign the displaying unit as a combined displaying and inputting surface. In this way, the inputting unit may receive the charac- teristics of the displaying unit and vice versa and by that the two units may be alternately used for inputting and displaying.

Probably further modifications will be obvious for persons skilled in the art when the idea of the invention have been submitted. Accordingly, it is stressed that the invention is restricted only to the scope of protection defined by the following claims.