CA2537491A1 - Handheld electronic device and keypad providing enhanced usability and reduced size, and associated method - Google Patents

Handheld electronic device and keypad providing enhanced usability and reduced size, and associated method Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2537491A1
CA2537491A1 CA 2537491 CA2537491A CA2537491A1 CA 2537491 A1 CA2537491 A1 CA 2537491A1 CA 2537491 CA2537491 CA 2537491 CA 2537491 A CA2537491 A CA 2537491A CA 2537491 A1 CA2537491 A1 CA 2537491A1
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CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
key
input
linguistic element
another
pair
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
CA 2537491
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
CA2537491C (en
Inventor
Jason T. Griffin
Steven Henry Fyke
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
BlackBerry Ltd
Original Assignee
Research in Motion Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP05251030.2 priority Critical
Priority to EP20050251030 priority patent/EP1696448B1/en
Application filed by Research in Motion Ltd filed Critical Research in Motion Ltd
Publication of CA2537491A1 publication Critical patent/CA2537491A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of CA2537491C publication Critical patent/CA2537491C/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H13/00Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch
    • H01H13/70Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard
    • H01H13/702Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard with contacts carried by or formed from layers in a multilayer structure, e.g. membrane switches
    • H01H13/705Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard with contacts carried by or formed from layers in a multilayer structure, e.g. membrane switches characterised by construction, mounting or arrangement of operating parts, e.g. push-buttons or keys
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H13/00Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch
    • H01H13/70Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard
    • H01H13/78Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard characterised by the contacts or the contact sites
    • H01H13/807Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard characterised by the contacts or the contact sites characterised by the spatial arrangement of the contact sites, e.g. superimposed sites
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H23/00Tumbler or rocker switches, i.e. switches characterised by being operated by rocking an operating member in the form of a rocker button
    • H01H23/28Tumbler or rocker switches, i.e. switches characterised by being operated by rocking an operating member in the form of a rocker button with three operating positions
    • H01H23/30Tumbler or rocker switches, i.e. switches characterised by being operated by rocking an operating member in the form of a rocker button with three operating positions with stable centre positions and one or both end positions unstable
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H2215/00Tactile feedback
    • H01H2215/054Tactile feedback common to all switch sites
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H2221/00Actuators
    • H01H2221/008Actuators other then push button
    • H01H2221/016Lever; Rocker
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H2225/00Switch site location
    • H01H2225/01Different switch sites under one actuator in same plane
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H25/00Switches with compound movement of handle or other operating part
    • H01H25/04Operating part movable angularly in more than one plane, e.g. joystick
    • H01H25/041Operating part movable angularly in more than one plane, e.g. joystick having a generally flat operating member depressible at different locations to operate different controls

Abstract

An improved handheld electronic device, keypad, and method in accordance with the invention meet these and other needs. An improved handheld electronic device having an improved keypad provides enhanced usability and reduced size by organizing its keys in pairs, with a pair of keys being disposed on a support. Each key of a pair of keys is individually actuatable. An actuation of a key causes a primary conductor associated with the key set to electrically to connect a pair of contacts and to cause a secondary conductor associated with the key to electrically connect another pair of contacts. The primary conductor is a collapsible dome or a tactile switch that can electrically connect the pair of contacts and that can provide a particular tactile feedback to the user. The secondary conductor is a conductor other than a collapsible dome or a tactile switch. An actuation of any key or of any pair of keys thus provides to the user a consistent tactile feedback, i.e., from a collapse of a single dome. An improved method in accordance with the invention is also disclosed.

Claims (32)

1. A keypad structured to be incorporated into a handheld electronic device, the keypad comprising:
a contact apparatus comprising a plurality of electrical contacts;
a button apparatus comprising a number of key sets, each key set of at least a portion of the number of key sets comprising a pair of keys and a support, the pair of keys being disposed on the support;
a primary conductor portion comprising a number of primary conductors that are elastically deflectable between a relaxed position and a deflected position, each primary conductor of at least a portion of the number of primary conductors in the deflected position electrically connecting together a pair of electrical contacts of the plurality of electrical contacts;
a secondary conductor portion comprising a number of secondary conductors that are movable between a first position and a second position, each secondary conductor of at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors in the second position electrically connecting together a pair of electrical contacts of the plurality of electrical contacts;
the pair of keys comprising a first key and a second key, the first key being movable between an unactuated position and an actuated position, the second key being movable between an unactuated position and an actuated position;
a primary conductor of the number of primary conductors which corresponds with the key set being in the deflected position when the first key is in the actuated position;
a first secondary conductor of the at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors which corresponds with the first key being in the second position when the first key is in the actuated position;
the primary conductor which corresponds with the key set being in the deflected position when the second key is in the actuated position; and a second secondary conductor of the at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors which corresponds with the second key being in the second position when the second key is in the actuated position.
2. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein the contact apparatus includes a printed circuit board, wherein the primary conductors and the secondary conductors are disposed generally between the printed circuit board and the keys, and wherein the support of a key set is disposed generally between the pair of keys of the key set.
3. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein the secondary conductors are conductive carbon elements movable by the key sets into conductive contact with the electrical contacts.
4. The keypad of Claim 3 wherein the button apparatus includes a flexible mount, at least a portion of the key sets of the number of key sets being disposed on the mount, and at least a portion of the secondary conductors of the number of secondary conductors being disposed on the mount, the mount being structured to be flexed when at least one of a first key and a second key of a key set of the at least a portion of the key sets is actuated.
5. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein the first key has a first linguistic element assigned thereto, wherein the second key has a second linguistic element assigned thereto, and wherein the key set has a third linguistic element assigned thereto.
6. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein a key set of the number of key sets is disposed adjacent another key set of the number of key sets, the another key set comprising another support and another pair of keys comprising another first key and another second key, the support between the first key and the second key providing a space between the first key and the second key, the another support between the another first key and the another second key providing another space between the another first key and the another second key, the key set and the another key set having a pitch space therebetween, the space and the another space being smaller than the pitch space.
7. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein the button apparatus includes a number of actuators, each key set of at least a portion of the number of key sets having associated therewith an associated actuator of the number of actuators which extends away from the key set in a direction generally toward the contact apparatus and which is engageable with an associated primary conductor of the number of primary conductors to move the associated primary conductor between the relaxed position and the deflected position.
8. The keypad of Claim 7 wherein the button apparatus includes a flexible mount disposed generally between the contact apparatus and at least a portion of the key sets of the number of key sets, and wherein at least a portion of the associated actuators are each one of a protrusion formed on the flexible mount and a protrusion that is formed on a key set of the number of key sets and that extends through an opening formed in the flexible mount.
9. The keypad of Claim 7 wherein at least a portion of the associated actuators are each disposed generally adjacent the support of the key set.
10. The keypad of Claim 1 wherein the first secondary conductor is disposed generally between the first key and the contact apparatus, and wherein the second secondary conductor is disposed generally between the second key and the contact apparatus.
11. A handheld electronic device comprising:

a processor apparatus comprising a processor and a memory;

an input apparatus comprising a keypad, the input apparatus being cooperable with the processor apparatus to provide input to the processor apparatus; and an output apparatus cooperable with the processor apparatus to receive signals from the processor apparatus and to provide output;

the keypad comprising a contact apparatus, a button apparatus, a primary conductor portion, and a secondary conductor portion;

the a contact apparatus comprising a plurality of electrical contacts;

the button apparatus comprising a number of key sets, each key set of at least a portion of the number of key sets comprising a pair of keys and a support, the pair of keys being disposed on the support;

the primary conductor portion comprising a number of primary conductors that are elastically deflectable between a relaxed position and a deflected position, each primary conductor of at least a portion of the number of primary conductors in the deflected position electrically connecting together a pair of electrical contacts of the plurality of electrical contacts;

the secondary conductor portion comprising a number of secondary conductors that are movable between a first position and a second position, each secondary conductor of at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors in the second position electrically connecting together a pair of electrical contacts of the plurality of electrical contacts;

the pair of keys comprising a first key and a second key, the first key being movable between an unactuated position and an actuated position, the second key being movable between an unactuated position and an actuated position;

a primary conductor of the number of primary conductors which corresponds with the key set being in the deflected position when the first key is in the actuated position;
a first secondary conductor of the at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors which corresponds with the first key being in the second position when the first key is in the actuated position;

the primary conductor which corresponds with the key set being in the deflected position when the second key is in the actuated position; and a second secondary conductor of the at least a portion of the number of secondary conductors which corresponds with the second key being in the second position when the second key is in the actuated position.
12. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein the contact apparatus includes a printed circuit board, wherein the primary conductors and the secondary conductors are disposed generally between the printed circuit board and the keys, and wherein the support of a key set is disposed generally between the pair of keys of the key set.
13. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein the secondary conductors are conductive carbon elements movable by the key sets into conductive contact with the electrical contacts.
14. The handheld electronic device of Claim 13 wherein the button apparatus includes a flexible mount, at least a portion of the key sets of the number of key sets being disposed on the mount, and at least a portion of the secondary conductors of the number of secondary conductors being disposed on the mount, the mount being structured to be flexed when at least one of a first key and a second key of a key set of the at least a portion of the key sets is actuated.
15. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein the first key has a first linguistic element assigned thereto, wherein the second key has a second linguistic element assigned thereto, and wherein the key set has a third linguistic element assigned thereto.
16. The handheld electronic device of Claim 15 wherein the memory includes a number of routines stored therein, at least one of the routines being executable on the processor to provide to the processor a plurality of input modes, the plurality of input modes including a first input mode and a second input mode, the processor in the first input mode being adapted to detect an actuation of the first key as an input of the first linguistic element and to detect an actuation of the second key as an input of the second linguistic element, the processor in the second input mode being adapted to detect an actuation of the first key as an input of the third linguistic element and to detect an actuation of the second key as an input of the third linguistic element.
17. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein a key set of the number of key sets is disposed adjacent another key set of the number of key sets, the another key set comprising another support and another pair of keys comprising another first key and another second key, the support between the first key and the second key providing a space between the first key and the second key, the another support between the another first key and the another second key providing another space between the another first key and the another second key, the key set and the another key set having a pitch space therebetween, the space and the another space being smaller than the pitch space.
18. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein the button apparatus includes a number of actuators, each key set of at least a portion of the number of key sets having associated therewith an associated actuator of the number of actuators which extends away from the key set in a direction generally toward the contact apparatus and which is engageable with an associated primary conductor of the number of primary conductors to move the associated primary conductor between the relaxed position and the deflected position.
19. The handheld electronic device of Claim 18 wherein the button apparatus includes a flexible mount disposed generally between the contact apparatus and at least a portion of the key sets of the number of key sets, and wherein at least a portion of the associated actuators are each one of a protrusion formed on the flexible mount and a protrusion that is formed on a key set of the number of key sets and that extends through an opening formed in the flexible mount.
20. The handheld electronic device of Claim 18 wherein at least a portion of the associated actuators are each disposed generally adjacent the support of the key set.
21. The handheld electronic device of Claim 11 wherein the first secondary conductor is disposed generally between the first key and the contact apparatus, and wherein the second secondary conductor is disposed generally between the second key and the contact apparatus.
22. A method of enabling input into a handheld electronic device of a type that includes an input apparatus having a pair of keys, the pair of keys including a first key having a first linguistic element assigned thereto and a second key having a second linguistic element assigned thereto, the pair of keys having a third linguistic element assigned thereto, the handheld electronic device being operable in at least a first input mode and a second input mode, the method comprising:

detecting in the first input mode at least one of:

an actuation of the first key as being an input of the first linguistic element;
and an actuation of the second key as being an input of the second linguistic element; and detecting in the second input mode an actuation of the first key as being an input of the third linguistic element and an actuation of the second key as being an input of the third linguistic element.
23. The method of Claim 22 wherein said detecting in the first input mode includes detecting in a text mode, and wherein said detecting in the second input mode includes at least one of detecting in a telephone mode and detecting in a numeric mode.
24. The keypad of Claim 5 wherein the first linguistic element is a letter, wherein the second linguistic element is another letter, and wherein the third linguistic element is a numeral.
25. The keypad of Claim 5 wherein the third linguistic element is an alternate linguistic element to the first and second linguistic elements.
26. The keypad of Claim 5 wherein the first key is actuatable to input the first linguistic element and the third linguistic element, and wherein the second key is actuatable to input the second linguistic element and the third linguistic element.
27. The keypad of Claim 5 wherein the first key is actuatable to input the first linguistic element, wherein the second key is actuatable to input the second linguistic element, and wherein any portion of the pair of keys is actuatable to input the third linguistic element.
28. The handheld electronic device of Claim 15 wherein the first and second linguistic elements are letters, and wherein the third linguistic element is a numeral.
29. The handheld electronic device of Claim 15 wherein the first key is actuatable to input to the processor apparatus the first linguistic element and the third linguistic element, and wherein the second key is actuatable to input to the processor apparatus the second linguistic element and the third linguistic element.
30. The handheld electronic device of Claim 16 wherein the processor apparatus in the second input mode is adapted to detect an actuation of any portion of the pair of keys as an input of the third linguistic element.
31. The method of Claim 22, further comprising detecting in the second input mode an actuation of any portion of the pair of keys as being an input of the third linguistic element.
32. The method of Claim 22, further comprising detecting in the first input mode an actuation of either of the first and second keys as an input of a letter, and detecting in the second input mode an actuation of any portion of the pair of keys as an input of a numeral.
CA 2537491 2005-02-23 2006-02-22 Handheld electronic device and keypad providing enhanced usability and reduced size, and associated method Active CA2537491C (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP05251030.2 2005-02-23
EP20050251030 EP1696448B1 (en) 2005-02-23 2005-02-23 Handheld electronic device and keypad providing enhanced usability and reduced size, and associated method

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA2537491A1 true CA2537491A1 (en) 2006-08-23
CA2537491C CA2537491C (en) 2011-04-12

Family

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA 2537491 Active CA2537491C (en) 2005-02-23 2006-02-22 Handheld electronic device and keypad providing enhanced usability and reduced size, and associated method

Country Status (6)

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EP (2) EP2019402B1 (en)
CN (1) CN1862736B (en)
AT (2) AT475192T (en)
CA (1) CA2537491C (en)
DE (2) DE602005022510D1 (en)
SG (1) SG125237A1 (en)

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US7259339B1 (en) * 2006-09-08 2007-08-21 Palm, Inc. Enhanced key structure with combined keycap for a mobile computing device
US8989822B2 (en) 2006-09-08 2015-03-24 Qualcomm Incorporated Keypad assembly for use on a contoured surface of a mobile computing device
DE102007010678B3 (en) * 2007-03-02 2008-11-13 Diehl Ako Stiftung & Co. Kg control
JP5295678B2 (en) * 2008-07-31 2013-09-18 日本開閉器工業株式会社 Small switch
EP2405456B1 (en) * 2010-07-07 2016-10-19 BlackBerry Limited Key assembly for a mobile device
US8492666B2 (en) 2010-07-07 2013-07-23 Research In Motion Limited Key assembly for a mobile device
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CN107704123B (en) * 2017-09-01 2021-04-13 联想(北京)有限公司 Electronic equipment and processing method
SG11202007327SA (en) 2018-02-01 2020-08-28 Razer Asia Pacific Pte Ltd Key switch mechanisms, user input devices and methods of fabricating a key switch mechanism
US10747332B2 (en) * 2018-09-13 2020-08-18 Apple Inc. Flexible stabilized button input device

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP1696448B1 (en) 2008-12-24
DE602005011926D1 (en) 2009-02-05
CA2537491C (en) 2011-04-12
CN1862736A (en) 2006-11-15
CN1862736B (en) 2012-02-08
AT418788T (en) 2009-01-15
DE602005022510D1 (en) 2010-09-02
SG125237A1 (en) 2006-09-29
EP1696448A1 (en) 2006-08-30
EP2019402A1 (en) 2009-01-28
EP2019402B1 (en) 2010-07-21
AT475192T (en) 2010-08-15

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