EP1016215A2 - Keyboard using a high-speed multiplexed serial connection and incorporating i/o device - Google Patents

Keyboard using a high-speed multiplexed serial connection and incorporating i/o device

Info

Publication number
EP1016215A2
EP1016215A2 EP19970943288 EP97943288A EP1016215A2 EP 1016215 A2 EP1016215 A2 EP 1016215A2 EP 19970943288 EP19970943288 EP 19970943288 EP 97943288 A EP97943288 A EP 97943288A EP 1016215 A2 EP1016215 A2 EP 1016215A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
keyboard
devices
computer
multiple
distinct
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.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP19970943288
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Michael J. Ure
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.)
Ure Michael J
Original Assignee
Michael J. Ure
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 US67209496A priority Critical
Priority to US672094 priority
Application filed by Michael J. Ure filed Critical Michael J. Ure
Priority to PCT/US1997/011793 priority patent/WO1997050027A2/en
Publication of EP1016215A2 publication Critical patent/EP1016215A2/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/02Input arrangements using manually operated switches, e.g. using keyboards or dials
    • G06F3/023Arrangements for converting discrete items of information into a coded form, e.g. arrangements for interpreting keyboard generated codes as alphanumeric codes, operand codes or instruction codes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F13/00Interconnection of, or transfer of information or other signals between, memories, input/output devices or central processing units
    • G06F13/38Information transfer, e.g. on bus
    • G06F13/40Bus structure
    • G06F13/4004Coupling between buses
    • G06F13/4022Coupling between buses using switching circuits, e.g. switching matrix, connection or expansion network

Abstract

In a personal computer system, the omnipresent keyboard connection (201) is 'souped up' by applying to the connection a known high-speed multiplexed serial connection protocol (203). Peripheral devices (213, 215, 217, 221, 223) are then incorporated into the keyboard, thereby minimizing cable and desktop clutter while providing a full feature set. Examples of peripheral devices that may be included in the keyboard include a PC CardTM or Card BusTM slot (213), a smart card read/write unit (215), speakers (221), microphones (223), etc. Consumers may thereby be afforded a greater degree of choice, since keyboard models are generally easier than computer models to make, ship, and inventory.

Description

7/50027 PCMJS97/11793

KEYBOARD USING A HIGH-SPEED MULTIPLEXED SERIAL CONNECTION AND INCOPORATING I/O DEVICE

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to computer I/O for personal computers.

2. State of the Art

Personal computing is presently in a state of flux as personal computers having computing power rivaling the mainframe computers of not many years ago become widely available at affordable prices. Available computing power has passed the threshold required for many computationally intensive tasks, making possible multimedia, or media-rich, computing without the need for expensive hardware. Because of strong consumer demand, opportunities for computer hard¬ ware and software companies have seldom seemed brighter, and personal comput¬ ing appears to have nearly taken on the status of a national obsession.

The usefulness of personal computers, however, depends on the ability to connect to the computer varied peripheral devices including keyboard, mouse, dis¬ play, printer, scanner, disk drive, modem, speakers, a microphone, etc. A typical computer is provided with specific connectors for many of these devices as well as general-purpose connectors that may serve any of a wide variety of devices. Despite the desirability of such expansion capabilities, the result is often a maze of cables and a crowded, visually distracting work area. To avoid this situation, com¬ puter makers are continually exercising trade-offs between what to include internal to the computer and what to provide external connections for. Still, as the breath¬ taking pace of innovation in personal computers continues, considerable difficulty remains in providing connections to the computer in order to achieve an attractive trade-off between functionality on the one hand and simplicity on the other.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention address the foregoing problem by first recognizing that the one connection already present in the bulk of all desktop systems is a key¬ board connection. The present invention, generally speaking, "soups up" the omni¬ present keyboard connection by applying to the connection a known high-speed multiplexed serial connection protocol. Peripheral devices are then incorporated into the keyboard, thereby minimizing cable and desktop clutter while providing a full feature set. Examples of peripheral devices that may be included in the key¬ board include a PC Card™ or Card Bus™ slot, a smart card read/write unit, speak¬ ers, microphones, etc. Consumers may thereby be afforded a greater degree of choice, since keyboard models are generally easier than computer models to make, ship, and inventory.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The present invention may be further understood from the following description in conjunction with the appended drawing. In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a computer keyboard including an i/o device; and

Figure 2 is a hardware block diagram of the keyboard of Figure 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to Figure 1, a perspective view is shown of a keyboard 100 in accordance with one aspect of the invention. In an illustrated embodiment, the keyboard 100 does not differ substantially from a conventional keyboard in the arrangement or feel of the keys. Keys are arrayed in three principle areas of the keyboard, including a "QUERTY" area 101, a function-key area 103, and a numeric keypad area 105. In operation as a keyboard therefore, the keyboard 100 may be indistinguishable from a conventional keyboard.

Unlike a conventional keyboard, however, the keyboard 100 incorporates additional features that further enhance its operation and increase its value and util¬ ity. Although multiple such features are illustrated in Figure 1 for purposes of illus- tration, a given keyboard may include from only one such feature to many such features, depending on the particular model of the keyboard.

Along an edge of a keyboard housing 107 may be located one or more slots (109, 111) to receive record-bearing media. These media may include, for exam¬ ple, a PC Card™ or Card Bus™ Card, a smart card, a credit card or other card pro¬ vided with a magnetic stripe, etc. Of particular advantage is a slot for receiving a hybrid card reader capable of reading both a smart card and a magnetic card and housed in the form of a PC Card. Various aspects of such a hybrid card reader are disclosed in the following U.S. Patents, incoφorated herein by reference: 5,331,138, 5,375,037 and 5,625,534.

On a top surface of the keyboard 100, above the function keys, for exam¬ ple, there may be provided a speaker grill 113, to accommodate one or more com¬ puter speakers, and a microphone 115.

Referring to Figure 2, a hardware block diagram is shown of the keyboard of Figure 1. A serial port protocol engine 203 is coupled to a serial port connector 201 of the keyboard. The serial port protocol engine 203 may realize any of a num¬ ber of high-speed serial interconnect standard that provide for multiple simulta¬ neous digital data streams, including GeoPort™, Universal Serial Bus™ (USB.), etc. Further details concerning the GeoPort High Speed Serial Interface Protocol may be found in U.S. Patent 5,515,373, incorporated herein by reference. The pro¬ tocol engine may range in complexity from simple to complex. In one embodi¬ ment, the protocol engine is simple and easily realized. The data from the different devices is packetized (i.e., placed in "envelopes") and distinguished using different headers (i.e., different "address labels"). Within the computer, the data may be sorted out and processed appropriately (no aspect of which forms part of the present invention).

The serial port protocol engine 203 is coupled to an I/O controller 205. The I/O controller 205 includes circuitry to satisfy the particularized I/O requirements of each I/O device within the keyboard, and may be realized as an Application- Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), for example. As described previously, the I/O devices may include, in addition to conventional keyboard logic 207, a PC Card™ or Card Bus™ socket 213, a smart card read/write unit 215, a magnetic stripe reader 217, a speaker 221, a microphone 223, etc. The speaker and the microphone are preferably connected to the I/O controller through a sound chip 219, such as an audio codec.

It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention can be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essen¬ tial character thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore consid¬ ered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalents thereof are intended to be embraced therein.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A computer keyboard, comprising: means for multiplexing digital data relating to multiple distinct I/O devices into a single serial data stream; an I/O controller coupled to the means for multiplexing; and multiple distinct I/O devices coupled to the I/O controller, one of the multiple I/O devices being keyboard logic.
2. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein another of said multiple distinct I/O devices is one of the following: an IC card slot, a smartcard reader, and a mag¬ netic card reader.
3. A computer system, comprising: a serial port; and coupled to the serial port, a computer keyboard, the computer key¬ board including keyboard logic and at least one other distinct I/O device, and means for multiplexing digital data relating to the multiple distinct I/O devices into a single serial data stream.
4. The apparatus of Claim 3, wherein said at least one other distinct I/O device includes one of the following: an IC card slot, a smartcard reader, and a magnetic card reader.
5. A method of communicating between a computer and multiple peripheral devices, comprising the steps of: providing multiple peripheral devices within a keyboard enclosure; multiplexing digital data relating to the multiple distinct I/O devices into a single serial data stream; and inputting the single serial data stream to a serial port of the com- b
puter.
6. The method of Claim 5, wherein said multiple distinct I/O devices includes keyboard logic.
7. The method of Claim 6, wherein said multiple distinct I/O devices includes one of the following: an IC card slot, a smartcard reader, and a magnetic card reader.
EP19970943288 1996-06-27 1997-06-23 Keyboard using a high-speed multiplexed serial connection and incorporating i/o device Withdrawn EP1016215A2 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US67209496A true 1996-06-27 1996-06-27
US672094 1996-06-27
PCT/US1997/011793 WO1997050027A2 (en) 1996-06-27 1997-06-23 Keyboard using a high-speed multiplexed serial connection and incorporating i/o device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1016215A2 true EP1016215A2 (en) 2000-07-05

Family

ID=24697126

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP19970943288 Withdrawn EP1016215A2 (en) 1996-06-27 1997-06-23 Keyboard using a high-speed multiplexed serial connection and incorporating i/o device

Country Status (3)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1016215A2 (en)
JP (1) JP2002508094A (en)
WO (1) WO1997050027A2 (en)

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040068601A1 (en) * 2002-10-08 2004-04-08 Minebea Co., Ltd. Information input device with multiple memory card reader
GB2448355A (en) * 2007-04-12 2008-10-15 Tsung-Cheng Kuo Multimedia keyboard

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4431988A (en) * 1981-01-23 1984-02-14 Bristol Babcock Inc. Microprocessor-based keyboard/display unit for configuring control instruments
US4461013A (en) * 1981-04-06 1984-07-17 At&T Bell Laboratories Frequency modulation transmitter for voice or data
JPH01319882A (en) * 1988-06-20 1989-12-26 Tokyo Electric Co Ltd Bar code reader
US5339095A (en) * 1991-12-05 1994-08-16 Tv Interactive Data Corporation Multi-media pointing device
US5499108C1 (en) * 1992-07-29 2001-01-16 Primax Electronics Ltd Document-driven scanning input device communicating with a computer
US5515373A (en) * 1994-01-11 1996-05-07 Apple Computer, Inc. Telecommunications interface for unified handling of varied analog-derived and digital data streams
US5517569A (en) * 1994-03-18 1996-05-14 Clark; Dereck B. Methods and apparatus for interfacing an encryption module with a personal computer
US5459304A (en) * 1994-09-13 1995-10-17 At&T Ipm Corp. Smart card techniques for motor vehicle record administration

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
See references of WO9750027A2 *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO1997050027A3 (en) 1998-02-26
WO1997050027A2 (en) 1997-12-31
JP2002508094A (en) 2002-03-12
WO1997050027A9 (en) 1999-06-10

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