Keyboard Having Touch Sensor Keys for Conveying Information Electronically
Summary This invention uses an array of sensors, which enable a human to use his fingers or tongue to convey information electronically. The sensors are arranged to produce signal patterns by responding to the positioning of the finger or tongue within the action area, with finger or tongue pressures as small as zero. Each signal pattern produced by the sensors is translated to an information signal corresponding to an item of information to be conveyed. The circuitry includes a background noise suppression system. Wireless transmission with a remote power source for the sensors and the transmitter is also possible.
The device is easier to use than well-known devices such as a joystick, mouse, or touchscreen, and it is much easier and less expensive to manufacture. Furthermore, it is small, highly sensitive, contains no moving parts and it will function with any reflective surface. It is also fast ï£¿the entire array can be sampled at least 60 times a second. It can be packaged to fit on a standard keyboard in place of another key, or as a piece that fits inside the roof of the mouth to be used by the tongue. This device may be useful to quadriplegics interfacing with a computer, for instance, or for surgeons to maneuver an optic camera while operating.
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