GB2472855A - Computer input device - Google Patents

Computer input device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2472855A
GB2472855A GB0914639A GB0914639A GB2472855A GB 2472855 A GB2472855 A GB 2472855A GB 0914639 A GB0914639 A GB 0914639A GB 0914639 A GB0914639 A GB 0914639A GB 2472855 A GB2472855 A GB 2472855A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
surface
thumb
mouse
finger
device
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Withdrawn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
GB0914639A
Other versions
GB0914639D0 (en
Inventor
James Patrick Bowden
Stephen Anthony Bowden
Original Assignee
James Patrick Bowden
Stephen Anthony Bowden
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
Application filed by James Patrick Bowden, Stephen Anthony Bowden filed Critical James Patrick Bowden
Priority to GB0914639A priority Critical patent/GB2472855A/en
Publication of GB0914639D0 publication Critical patent/GB0914639D0/en
Priority claimed from GB1000810.0A external-priority patent/GB2472880B/en
Publication of GB2472855A publication Critical patent/GB2472855A/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Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical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
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0354Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 2D relative movements between the device, or an operating part thereof, and a plane or surface, e.g. 2D mice, trackballs, pens or pucks
    • G06F3/03543Mice or pucks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/033Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/033
    • G06F2203/0333Ergonomic shaped mouse for one hand

Abstract

A computer input device or mouse 10, comprising an upstanding body 12 with a planar base 14 in contact with a work surface, the body being vertically elongate and having a thumb surface 40 for engagement by only the tip of the thumb, and an opposed finger surface 42, 44 for engagement by only the tip of one or more fingers. In use, the side of the wrist and hand are in contact with the work surface to avoid pronation of the hand 58. The thumb surface 40 may be concave, with the finger surface 42, 44 may be convex. The device may be symmetrical about a plane trough the thumb and finger surfaces, and can switch between right and left handed use by means of a push button. The finger surfaces 42, 44 may have switches or buttons underneath, and a scroll wheel 46 in between. The device may also taper inwardly and outwardly from the base. The resolution of a motion sensor or image reader of the device may be altered by switch means.

Description

Title: Computer Input Device

S Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a computer input device, particularly an electronic computer input device such as a so-called mouse, typically for controlling the position of a pointer or cursor of a graphical user interface.

Background to the Invention

Computer mice are widely used as computer input devices, but have been implicated in a variety of upper limb disorders including repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), often is attributed to mouse designs that require the hand and wrist of a user to be held in a position that is generally towards full pronation, i.e. with the palm facing down and held generally parallel to a work surface on which the mouse is located, and with the fingers and thumb splayed out over the mouse. Attempts have been made to produce alternative designs of mouse. For example, US 6,396,479 and US 6,795,058 disclose small body mouse designs intended to be gripped between the tips of the thumb and fingers of the user, but that still require the hand and wrist of the user to be in a generally pronated position. US 5,648,798 discloses a computer mouse comprising a large generally hemispherical body designed to be gripped in the palm of the user, with the side of the wrist and hand resting in part on a hand support of the device and in part on a work surface, i.e. with the hand and wrist halfway between full supination and full pronation, with the fingers and thumb stretched around the body.

Summary of the Invention

o According to the present invention there is provided a computer input device comprising a body having a generally planar base for resting on a work surface, the body being elongate in a direction extending away from the base and having a thumb surface for engagement by only the tip of a thumb of a user and an opposed finger surface for engagement by only the tip of one or more fingers of the user, with the hand of the user resting on the work surface with the side of the hand and wrist in contact with the work surface.

The thumb and finger surfaces are positioned on the body to be engaged by only the tips of the thumb and fingers of a user with the side of the wrist and hand of the user resting on a work surface on which the mouse is located, i.e. with the hand and wrist in avoidance of full pronation, such that the palm is generally halfway between being parallel to the work surface and at a right angle to the work surface. To this end, the io thumb surface is desirably positioned to be at a suitable location vertically above the work surface, typically between 30 and 70 mm above the work surface, with the finger surface in generally opposed relationship. Such positioning will suit most sizes of hand, although it would be possible to produce devices in accordance with the invention in a range of different sizes to suit different hand sizes.

In use, the device is gripped between the thumb and finger tips of a hand of a user, typically the index and middle fingers, in a "pencil-type" pinch grip, with the side of the hand and wrist of the user resting on the work surface, i.e. in avoidance of full pronation, and the body of the mouse may be moved in the space between the thumb and fingers by flexing the joints of these digits in a "writing" action to cause movement of the device with respect to the work surface. Such movement need not require whole hand movements, nor shoulder movements, and so can reduce stresses on the musculoskeletal system of a user. n addition, the grip is well suited to both small scale fine precision positioning of the device and larger scale movements.

Moreover, this grip facilitates use of the device on the centre line of the user's body, which is of benefit where very precise control of movement of the device is required.

The device is thus held in a manner which avoids movement towards full pronation of the hand and wrist and hence reduces the likelihood of the device causing upper limb o disorders.

The elongate body has a height that is greater than the space in between the thumb surface and the finger surface, with the finger and thumb surfaces on generally opposed faces of the upstanding body.

S The thumb surface is preferably concave. This can assist in location of the tip of the thumb.

The finger surface is preferably convex. This can assist in comfortable placement of the tip of the one or more fingers.

The body conveniently has a front surface including the finger surface and a rear surface including the thumb surface, with two side surfaces. The thumb surface is desirably between 30 and 70 mm from the base, as explained previously.

is The body preferably tapers inwardly, both in width (between the side surfaces) and depth (between the front and rear surfaces) in an upward direction from the base, with both the front and rear surfaces desirably curving rearwardly.

The body is preferably symmetrical about a plane perpendicular to the base, passing through the thumb surface and the finger surface. This means that the device can be held either by a right hand or left hand of a user. In this case, the device includes appropriate circuitry and switch means so that movement of the device translates into appropriate computer input, e.g. movement of a cursor on a computer screen. The switch means conveniently comprises a push button to cycle between left and right conditions, preferably in association with a display, e.g. an LED, indicating the current mode of the device.

The front to back spacing (or depth) between the thumb and finger surfaces is preferably not more than 40 mm, more preferably not more than 30 mm and yet more o preferably not more than 25 mm to facilitate a pencil-type pinch grip, yet should be sufficiently large for accommodation of functionalities, e.g. buttons, and for ease of use, with the spacing between the thumb and finger surfaces preferably being at least miii and more preferably at least 20 mm.

The side to side spacing (or width) transverse to the depth is preferably dimensioned to fit comfortably in the gap between the thumb and fingers of a user, with the total width of a symmetrical device preferably being not more than 70 mm, more S preferably not more than 60 mm and yet more preferably not more than 50 mm.

The device preferably includes switch means underlying the finger surface for operation by finger pressure. Such switch means conveniently comprise one or more relatively moveable portions constituting "buttons" on the convex finger surfaces, io preferably two buttons for operation by index and middle fingers. Surprisingly, it is found that the device can be manipulated by gripping the buttons without resulting in accidental operation of the buttons when moving the device. In a symmetrical, ambidextrous embodiment, the buttons may extend across the full width of the device.

is A scroll wheel is desirably provided in the finger surface. Where the finger surface is provided with two buttons for operation by index and middle fingers, the scroll wheel is preferably provided between the buttons. The scroll wheel is preferably of larger diameter than usual, e.g. having a diameter of around 30 mm, as this reduces the force required to rotate the scroll wheel and hence reduces the tendency of the device to rotate during operation of the scroll wheel.

The device preferably has switch means (and appropriate circuitry) to alter the resolution of the device, e.g. between 400, 800 and 1600 dpi resolution settings, e.g. in the form of a push button, preferably with an associated display, such as one or more LEDs, indicating the resolution of the device.

The device preferably includes memory means to store settings of the device, such as the sense of the device (left or right) and the resolution so that these are retained when the device is not connected to a powered computer.

The device may include a wire for connection to a computer in a conventional manner, or may be arranged for wireless operation, in known manner.

A preferred embodiment of a computer mouse in accordance with the invention will now be described, by way of illustration, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: S Figure 1 is a perspective view of a computer mouse embodying the invention; Figure 2 is an underneath plan view of the mouse of Figure 1; Figure 3 is a top plan view of the mouse of Figure 1; Figure 4 is a rear view of the mouse of Figure 1; Figure 5 is a front view of the mouse of Figure 1; is Figure 6 is a side view of the mouse of Figure 1; and Figures 7 and 8 are perspective views from behind and in front, respectively, of the mouse of Figures ito 6 held in a right hand of a user of the mouse.

Detailed Description of the Drawings

Referring to the drawings, a computer mouse 10 comprises an elongate, upstanding body 12 of rigid moulded plastics materials. The body 12 includes a generally planar base surface 14, a convex front surface 16 and a concave rear surface 18, two similar slightly upwardly tapering side surfaces 20, 22 and a top surface 24. The body is symmetrical about a plane extending perpendicular to the base surface 14, through the front, rear and top surfaces, 16, 18 and 24, respectively.

The base surface 14 is of generally rectangular configuration, with a maximum width o (between the side surfaces 20 and 22) of 58 mm and a maximum depth (front surface 16 to rear surface 18) of 45 mm. The base surface 14 is provided with a low friction pad 26 at each corner to facilitate sliding of the mouse on the base surface across the work surface (not shown). An optical motion sensor (not shown) forming part of a Cypress Semiconductor Corporation CYONS-2000 integrated circuit is set behind a laser aperture 28 in the base surface to measure movement of the mouse across the work surface. A resolution select switch 30 is provided in the base surface for adjusting the resolution, between 400, 800 and 1600 dpi resolution settings, with an S associated resolution indicator in the form of a tricolour LED 32.

The body 12 is of elongate, upstanding, generally tapering form, tapering inwardly both in width (between the side surfaces 20 and 22) and depth (between the front and rear surfaces 16 and 18), in a direction extending upwardly from the base surface 14, io with both the front and rear surfaces 16 and 18 curving rearwardly, and has a height of about 78 mm.

The rear surface 18 is generally rectangular, tapering slightly inwardly in an upwards direction, and is concave in form, defining a concave thumb surface 40 for is engagement by the tip of a thumb of a user. The centre of the thumb surface is located approximately 30 mm vertically above the base surface.

The front surface 16 is also generally rectangular, tapering slightly inwardly in an upward direction, and is convex in form, defining a first finger surface 42 for engagement by the tip of an index finger of a user and a second finger surface 44 for engagement by the tip of a middle finger of a user. The finger surfaces 42, 44 are formed by relatively moveable portions extending across the full width of surface 16, constituting mouse "buttons" that may be clicked by appropriate pressure of the finger tip of a user, causing a corresponding operation on an associated computer (not shown). Surprisingly it has been found that the mouse can be manipulated by gripping the buttons without resulting in accidental operation of the buttons when moving the mouse.

A scroll wheel 46, having a diameter of 30 mm, is symmetrically located between the o first and second buttons 42, 44.

The front-rear spacing between the thumb and finger surfaces is about 25 to 30 mm.

Cable 50 for connection of the mouse to an associated computer (not shown) extends from the centre of the bottom of the front surface 16.

The mouse 10 is symmetrical about a plane extending perpendicular to the base S surface 14, through the front surface 16, rear surface 18 and top surface 24, and is designed to be used by either the left hand or right hand of a user, thus constituting an ambidextrous mouse.

A mode switch 52 in the form of a push button is provided on the rear surface 18, io below the thumb surface 40, for switching the mouse between left handed and right handed operation modes, with associated mode indication LEDs 54, 56. The optical motion sensor and a rotary encoder (not shown) to which the scroll wheel 46 is connected include appropriate circuitry (not shown) so that movement axes and scroll wheel direction are reversed and translated into appropriate computer input for the is selected handedness of operation of the mouse.

The mouse also includes memory means (not shown) to store settings of the sense (left or right) and resolution, so that these are retained in the mouse, without the need for an associated powered computer.

In use of the mouse 10, the body 12 is gripped by a selected hand (in this instance a right hand 58) of a user, with the tip of the thumb 60 engaging the thumb surface 40 and the tips of the index finger 62 and middle finger 64 engaging the buttons 42, 44 in a pencil-type pinch grip, as shown in Figures 7 and 8, with the ulnar sides of the wrist 66 and hand 58 resting on the work surface and the wrist and hand thus avoiding a fully pronated condition. Switch 52 is operated to place the mouse into the appropriate operating condition (i.e. for right-handed use).

The mouse 10 can be used either with both the ring finger 68 and little finger 70 o curled into the palm of the hand 58 or with only the little finger 70 curled into the palm of the hand and the ring finger 68 engaged with the portion of the front surface 16 of the mouse that adjoins the base surface 14, as shown in Figure 8. With the ring finger 68 engaged with this portion of the front surface 16 the ring finger 68 can also be engaged with the work surface, which can help when very precise control of movement of the mouse is required.

By flexing the joints of the thumb and fingers, the mouse (and hence an associated cursor of a graphical user interface) can be moved across the work surface in the space between the thumb 60 and fingers 62 and 64, and the mouse can be easily manipulated with both small scale fine precision positioning as well as large scale movements in a way that is ergonomically beneficial and that need not involve whole hand movements nor shoulder movements, thus reducing stresses to the musculoskeletal system. Further, because the mouse is held in a way that avoids a position that is towards the end of forearm pronation, use of the mouse is less likely to result in upper limb disorders. The configuration of the mouse also means that it can be used on the centre line of the user's body, which is of benefit where very precise control of movement of the mouse is required.

GB0914639A 2009-08-21 2009-08-21 Computer input device Withdrawn GB2472855A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0914639A GB2472855A (en) 2009-08-21 2009-08-21 Computer input device

Applications Claiming Priority (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0914639A GB2472855A (en) 2009-08-21 2009-08-21 Computer input device
GB1000810.0A GB2472880B (en) 2009-08-21 2010-01-19 Computer input device
EP10754537A EP2467769A1 (en) 2009-08-21 2010-08-11 Computer input device
PCT/GB2010/001525 WO2011020990A1 (en) 2009-08-21 2010-08-11 Computer input device
US13/390,842 US9285898B2 (en) 2009-08-21 2010-08-11 Computer input device

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB0914639D0 GB0914639D0 (en) 2009-09-30
GB2472855A true GB2472855A (en) 2011-02-23

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB0914639A Withdrawn GB2472855A (en) 2009-08-21 2009-08-21 Computer input device

Country Status (1)

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GB (1) GB2472855A (en)

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5576733A (en) * 1994-05-25 1996-11-19 Lo; Jack Ergonomic computer mouse
US5648798A (en) * 1995-02-13 1997-07-15 Hamling; Daniel T. Universal ergonomic computer mouse/trackball
US6072471A (en) * 1997-09-17 2000-06-06 Lo; Jack Ambidextrous upright computer mouse
US20030160765A1 (en) * 2002-02-28 2003-08-28 Gordon Gary B. Facile ergonomic computer pointing device
WO2005022374A1 (en) * 2003-08-29 2005-03-10 William Tan A computer mouse
US20050248533A1 (en) * 2004-05-05 2005-11-10 Sunplus Technology Co., Ltd. Apparatus for setting multi-stage displacement resolution of a mouse
CN200990072Y (en) * 2006-12-30 2007-12-12 刘凡 Vertical hand mouse
US20080042041A1 (en) * 2006-08-10 2008-02-21 Cheah Chiang S Computer input device with resolution control

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5576733A (en) * 1994-05-25 1996-11-19 Lo; Jack Ergonomic computer mouse
US5648798A (en) * 1995-02-13 1997-07-15 Hamling; Daniel T. Universal ergonomic computer mouse/trackball
US6072471A (en) * 1997-09-17 2000-06-06 Lo; Jack Ambidextrous upright computer mouse
US20030160765A1 (en) * 2002-02-28 2003-08-28 Gordon Gary B. Facile ergonomic computer pointing device
WO2005022374A1 (en) * 2003-08-29 2005-03-10 William Tan A computer mouse
US20050248533A1 (en) * 2004-05-05 2005-11-10 Sunplus Technology Co., Ltd. Apparatus for setting multi-stage displacement resolution of a mouse
US20080042041A1 (en) * 2006-08-10 2008-02-21 Cheah Chiang S Computer input device with resolution control
CN200990072Y (en) * 2006-12-30 2007-12-12 刘凡 Vertical hand mouse

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB0914639D0 (en) 2009-09-30

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)