US20110032125A1 - Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same - Google Patents

Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20110032125A1
US20110032125A1 US12908328 US90832810A US2011032125A1 US 20110032125 A1 US20110032125 A1 US 20110032125A1 US 12908328 US12908328 US 12908328 US 90832810 A US90832810 A US 90832810A US 2011032125 A1 US2011032125 A1 US 2011032125A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
keys
letter
character entry
number
mode
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12908328
Inventor
Wen Zhao
Runbo Fu
Xin Jin
Pokin Yeung
Karen A. Rudnitski
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
BlackBerry 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

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/72Substation extension arrangements; Cordless telephones, i.e. devices for establishing wireless links to base stations without route selecting
    • H04M1/725Cordless telephones
    • H04M1/72519Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status
    • H04M1/7258Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status by using keys with multiple functionality defined by the current phone mode or status
    • 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
    • G06F3/0202Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the input device
    • G06F3/0219Special purpose keyboards
    • 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
    • G06F3/041Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/60Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers
    • H04M1/6033Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers for providing handsfree use or a loudspeaker mode in telephone sets
    • H04M1/6041Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use
    • H04M1/6058Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use involving the use of a headset accessory device connected to the portable telephone
    • H04M1/6066Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use involving the use of a headset accessory device connected to the portable telephone including a wireless connection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/72Substation extension arrangements; Cordless telephones, i.e. devices for establishing wireless links to base stations without route selecting
    • H04M1/725Cordless telephones
    • H04M1/72519Portable communication terminals with improved user interface to control a main telephone operation mode or to indicate the communication status
    • H04M1/72522With means for supporting locally a plurality of applications to increase the functionality
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/02Constructional features of telephone sets
    • H04M1/23Construction or mounting of dials or of equivalent devices; Means for facilitating the use thereof
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/02Details of telephonic subscriber devices including a Bluetooth interface
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/70Details of telephonic subscriber devices methods for entering alphabetical characters, e.g. multi-tap or dictionary disambiguation

Abstract

An apparatus and method for telephony tone signal and character code generation for QWERTY keyboards includes a QWERTY style keyboard, a processor and a keyboard mode control software module. The QWERTY style keyboard has a plurality of letter keys, wherein each letter key is configured to generate a unique input signal. The processor is coupled to the keyboard and is configured to convert each unique input signal generated by the letter keys into a character code and/or a telephony tone signal. The keyboard mode control software module operates on the processor, and controls whether the processor converts the unique input signals from the letter keys into character codes or telephony tone signals.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation of the application titled “Multifunctional Keyboard For A Mobile Communication Device And Method Of Operating The Same,” application Ser. No. 12/607,468, filed Oct. 28, 2009, which in turn is a continuation of the application titled, “Multifunctional Keyboard For A Mobile Communication Device And Method Of Operating The Same,” application Ser. No. 10/004,001, filed Nov. 1, 2001, which is related to the following prior application: “Apparatus And Method For Telephony Tone Signals and Character Codes Generation For QWERTY Keyboards Or The Like,” U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/246,321, filed Nov. 7, 2000. These prior applications, including the entire written description and drawing figures, are hereby incorporated into the present application by reference. This application is further related to application titled “Multifunctional Keyboard For A Mobile Communication Device And Method Of Operating The Same,” Application No. (NOT YET ASSIGNED, Attorney Docket No. 10273-US-CNT(2), filed even date herewith.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates generally to the field of keyboard user interfaces. In particular, the invention provides a multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Advances in communication technology have created a convergence between the fields of data and telephony communications. Traditional communication devices, however, typically include two separate interfaces; one for telephony communication, and one for data communication. Other known communication devices utilize the limited character mapping available on a typical telephone keypad to perform data entry functions. For instance, current telephone keypads map keys to characters on a one-to-many basis: 12 keys (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,*, 0, #) correspond to 26 characters (ABC, DEF, GHI, JKL, MNO, PQRS, TUV, WXYZ). In addition, most such telephone keypads do not include many of the characters from the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character code. In other known communication devices, including many cellular phones, data may be entered with a typical telephone keypad by repeatedly pressing a key to cycle through a number of associated character codes. For instance, repeatedly pressing the keypad key “2” on a typical cellular phone may cycle through the characters A, B, C, a, b, c, and 2.
  • SUMMARY
  • A multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device includes a keyboard, a processor and a keyboard mode control software module. The keyboard has a plurality of letter keys, wherein each letter key is configured to generate a keyboard output signal. The processor is coupled to the keyboard and is configured to convert each keyboard output signal generated by the letter keys into a character code and/or a telephony tone signal. The keyboard mode control software module operates on the processor, and controls whether the processor converts the keyboard output signals from the letter keys into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an exemplary multifunctional keyboard having keys that are mapped to both telephony tone signals and character code signals;
  • FIG. 2 is another exemplary multifunctional keyboard in which the keys are arranged for optimal use with a hand-held device;
  • FIGS. 3 a and 3 b illustrate an additional exemplary multifunctional keyboard for a communication device in which a plurality of character entry keys can function as either letter entry keys or number entry keys;
  • FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a mobile communication device utilizing a multifunctional keyboard;
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of the mobile communication device shown in FIG. 4;
  • FIG. 5 a is a top view of an additional mobile communication device utilizing a multifunctional keyboard;
  • FIG. 5 b is a side view of the additional mobile communication device shown in FIG. 5 a;
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an exemplary mobile communication device utilizing a multifunctional keyboard;
  • FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating an exemplary method for controlling the operational mode of the multifunctional keyboard in a communication device; and
  • FIG. 8 is a flow diagram illustrating the modes of operation for the multifunctional keyboard.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to the drawing figures, FIG. 1 is an exemplary multifunctional keyboard 10 having keys 12 that are mapped to both telephony tone signals and character code signals. The multifunctional keyboard 10 is preferably a QWERTY style keyboard in which each of the letter keys 12 also corresponds to a number, although a different keyboard style could be used such as a Dvorak or AZERTY keyboard. The number corresponding to a letter key 12 on the multifunctional keyboard 10 is preferably based on the number/character correspondence on a traditional telephone keypad. For instance, the number two (2) on a traditional telephone keypad corresponds to all of the letters A, B and C. Similarly, the letter keys A, B and C on the multifunctional keyboard 10 each correspond to the number two (2).
  • The multifunctional keyboard 10 is multifunctional in the sense that it operates in at least two modes: a telephony mode and a data mode. In the telephony mode, a key 12 pressed on the multifunctional keyboard results in a telephony tone signal for communicating with a voice communication network. The telephony tone signal may, for example, be a Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) signal commonly used for dialing a phone number in voice communication networks. In the data mode, pressing the same key 12 on the multifunctional keyboard 10 will result in the generation of a character code, such as an American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character code.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the multifunctional keyboard 10 may also operate in a joint mode. In the joint mode of operation, depressing keys on the multifunctional keyboard 10 results in the simultaneous generation of both telephony tone signals and character codes. For example, pushing the Q key may result in both an ASCII code for the letter Q and a DTMF signal representing the number seven (7).
  • FIG. 2 is another exemplary multifunctional keyboard 20 in which the keys are arranged for optimal use with a hand-held mobile communication device. The keys of the multifunctional keyboard 20 preferably comprise a QWERTY style keyboard, although other keyboard styles could be utilized, having a plurality of letter keys 22, a plurality of number keys 24, specialized keys 26 and a space bar 28. Each of the letter 22 and number 24 keys preferably correspond to a character code while the keyboard 20 is in data (or joint) mode, and correspond to a telephony tone signal while the keyboard 20 is in telephony (or joint) mode. In addition, one or more of the specialized keys 26 may have functions that vary depending upon the mode of the multifunctional keyboard 20. For instance, one specialized key 26 may perform a “line feed” function while the keyboard 20 is in data mode, and a “talk” function while the keyboard 20 is in telephony mode. In addition, the multifunctional keyboard 20 may include one or more mode keys 29 that switch the keyboard 20 from one operational mode (telephony, data or joint) to another.
  • FIGS. 3 a and 3 b illustrate an additional exemplary multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 for a communication device in which a plurality of character entry keys can function as either letter entry keys 32 or number entry keys 35. Similar to the multifunctional keyboards 10, 20 described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, this multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 may operate in telephony mode, data mode, and possibly joint mode. In addition, however, this multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 utilizes less keys by providing a letter entry mode, shown in FIG. 3 a, and a number entry mode, shown in FIG. 3 b. While in letter entry mode, the keyboard 30 preferably comprises a QWERTY style keyboard 30, although other keyboard styles may be utilized, having a plurality of letter entry keys 32, specialized keys 33 and a space bar 34. If a letter entry key 32 is pressed while the keyboard 30 is in letter entry mode, a telephony tone signal and/or a character code corresponding to the letter on the key may be generated, depending upon the operational mode (telephony, data or joint) of the keyboard 30. When the keyboard 31 is in number entry mode, however, a number of the keys are remapped to provide a numerical keypad, preferably comprising a plurality of number entry keys 35, specialized keys 33, a space bar 34 and a plurality of non-functional keys 36. If a number entry key 35 is pressed while the keyboard 31 is in number entry mode, a telephone tone signal and/or a character code corresponding to the number on (or represented by) the key may be generated, depending upon the operational mode of the keyboard 31 (telephony, data or joint).
  • Preferably, the character entry keys that function as both number entry and letter entry keys, depending upon the entry mode, have both a number and a letter printed on the key. For example, the “Q” key shown in FIG. 3 a and the corresponding “1” key shown in FIG. 3 b would preferably have both a “Q” and a “1” printed on the key. The numbers shown in parentheses represent the telephony tone signals corresponding to the letter or number character, and would preferably not be printed on the key. It should be understood, however, that other printing arrangements are contemplated. In addition, the keyboard 30, 31, or the communication device utilizing the keyboard 30, 31, preferably includes some means to indicate whether the keyboard is in number or letter entry mode. For example, when the keyboard 30, 31 is in one of the letter or number entry modes, an icon may appear on a display, a particular audible tone may sound when a key is pressed, an LED may light, or some other indication means may be activated.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 may be provided in conjunction with a displayed software user interface. For instance, the multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 may by represented on a display, such as a liquid crystal display (“LCD”). In this embodiment, touching the LCD within the boundaries of a drawn key representation is equivalent to pressing a key on the keyboard 30, 31. In addition, an LCD embodiment of the multifunctional keyboard 30, 31 may include a function in which the symbols displayed on each drawn key change with the operational mode to emphasize the particular telephony signal and/or character code to be generated by each key.
  • FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a mobile communication device 40 utilizing a multifunctional keyboard 30. The keys of the multifunctional keyboard 30 are preferably uniformly distributed across the device 40 such that approximately half of the QWERTY keys are positioned on the left hand side of the device 40, and the remaining half of the QWERTY keys are positioned on the right hand side of the device 40. In addition, the QWERTY keys are preferably tilted at angles to facilitate easy thumb typing while the mobile device is held between the hands of a mobile device user.
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view 41 of the mobile communication device 40 shown in FIG. 4. The communication device 40 preferably includes an ear bud 42 that is detachably fitted within a cavity 44 in the device housing. The ear bud 42 preferably includes a speaker portion 46 proportioned to fit within the ear of a communication device user and a microphone portion 48 that extends towards the user's mouth. When fitted into the device user's ear, the ear bud 42 may, for example, be used to establish voice communication through the mobile communication device 40. It should be understood, however, that the mobile communication device 40 is not limited to embodiments having a detachable ear bud 42. In other embodiments, such as the embodiment described below with reference to FIGS. 5 a and 5 b, voice communication may be enabled with other means, such as a speaker and microphone fixedly mounted on the device or an ear piece and microphone connected to the device 40 through an electrical terminal or jack.
  • FIG. 5 a is a top view of an additional mobile communication device 40A utilizing a multifunctional keyboard 30. The communication device 40A preferably includes a speaker 46A and a microphone 48A fixedly mounted on the device. When positioned near the device user's head, the speaker 46A and the microphone 48A may, for example, be used to establish a voice communication though the communication device 40A.
  • FIG. 5 b is a side view 42A of the additional mobile communication device 40A shown in FIG. 5 a. The communication device 40A preferably includes a jack 44A for connecting a headset having an earpiece and microphone to the device 40.
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an exemplary mobile communication device 50 utilizing a multifunctional keyboard 51. The device 50 preferably includes a main module 53 and an ear bud module 55. The multifunctional keyboard 51 is included in the main module 53 along with a tone signal generation circuit 52, a keyboard mode control software module 54 operating on a processor 56, and a memory device 62 having a configuration store 61 and a service store 63. In an alternative embodiment, however, the processor 56 may be replaced by an alternative processing unit, such as a field programmable gate array (“FPGA”) or a software interpreter module.
  • The processor 56 receives keyboard output signals from the multifunctional keyboard 51 and converts these output signals into telephony tone signals, character codes or both. The mode of operation (data, telephony or joint) for the multifunctional keyboard 51 is preferably determined by the keyboard mode control software module 54 based on either the current requirements of the device 50, a selection by the user of the device 50, or possibly based on some other triggering event. The keyboard mode control software 54 may, for example, set the device 50 to a particular keyboard mode when a software application is executed on the device 50 and possibly when a particular operation is executed by the software application. For instance, if an address book application is executed, the keyboard mode control software 54 will preferably automatically set the multifunctional keyboard 51 to a preferred mode. When entering or editing an address book entry, data mode is the preferred mode for editing or entering a name, email address, or street address field, whereas joint mode is the preferred mode for editing or entering a telephone number field. Conversely, when retrieving an address book entry, data mode is the preferred mode for retrieving a name, email address, or street address, whereas either telephony mode, joint mode or data mode may be the preferred mode for retrieving a telephone number depending upon the purpose for which it is being retrieved. For instance, if a telephone number is retrieved from an address book in order to initiate a voice communication, the number will preferably be retrieved in telephony or joint mode.
  • The configuration store 61 and the service store 63 located in the memory device 62 are preferably used by the keyboard mode control software 54 to determine which operational mode (data, telephony or joint) is required for a particular application. In a preferred embodiment, however, the operational mode of the keyboard 51 may also be selected or overridden by a user of the mobile device 50. For instance, with reference to FIG. 2, a mobile device user may preferably select or trigger a change in the keyboard mode by pressing one of the mode keys 29.
  • Similarly, the letter entry or number entry modes for the keyboard embodiment 30, 31 shown in FIG. 3, is preferably also controlled by the keyboard mode control software 54. Similar to the operational modes (data, telephony or joint), the number and letter entry modes may be automatically selected by the keyboard mode control software 54 based on the application currently executing on the device 50, may be selected by the device user, or may possibly be selected by some other triggering event. For instance, if a voice communication application is executed on the device 50, the keyboard mode control software 54 will preferably automatically set the keyboard 51 to number entry mode (and telephony or joint mode) so that a telephone number may be dialed. If the user then desires to enter the telephone number using letters, the user may preferably trigger the keyboard mode control software 54 to switch the keyboard 51 to letter entry mode. For example, with reference to FIGS. 3 a and 3 b, the user may be able to switch between letter and number entry modes by pressing the “NUM,” “CAP,” and/or “ALT” key, selecting a mode from a pull-down menu, pressing a specialized key, holding down a key for a predetermined period of time, or by some other means.
  • Referring again to FIG. 6, once an operational mode (and possibly one of the letter or number entry modes) for the multifunctional keyboard 51 has been selected, either automatically or by a user, the keyboard mode control software module 54 instructs the processor 56 to convert the keyboard output signals to telephony tone signals and/or character codes. If the communication device 50 is in data or joint mode, then the keyboard output signals are converted into character codes, such as ASCII codes. If the communication device 50 is in telephony or joint mode, then telephony tone signals, such as DTMF signals, are generated. Then, as the telephony tone signals and/or character codes are generated, they may be transferred to a buffer by the processor 56 to await further processing. For instance, if a telephone number is entered into the device 50 while the keyboard 51 is in joint mode, then the character codes and DTMF tone signals for the telephone number are preferably stored in a buffer until the user initiates the call, for example by pressing a “send” key. Once the call is initiated, the DTMF tones are further processed to execute the call, and the character codes may, for example, be further processed to log the call.
  • The tone signal generation circuitry 52 may be used by the processor 56 to generate the telephony tone signals while the multifunctional keyboard 51 is in telephony or joint mode. In an alternative embodiment, however, digital telephony tone signals may be generated directly by the processor 56, or by a digital signal processor. In addition to telephony tone signals, the tone signal generation circuitry 52 may also generate audible tones preferably at the option of the communication device user. The audible tones may be used, for example, to notify the user when a key is pressed on the multifunctional keyboard 51. In alternative embodiments, the tone signal generator may generate distinctive tones when a telephony tone signal or character code is generated.
  • In addition to the components and software relating to the multifunctional keyboard 51, the main module 53 also preferably includes a pair of antennas 58, 60 (although a single antenna structure could be used), a memory device 62, an LCD display 64, at least one rechargeable battery 66, a long-range RF transceiver 68, one or more short-range RF transceivers 70, a power supply and recharging circuit 72, a cradle interface circuit 74, and an auxiliary input device such as a thumbwheel 76. The main module 53 may also include a pressure-sensitive writing tablet. Operationally, the long-range RF transceiver 68 is used to send and receive information from a long-range wireless network, and the one or more short-range RF transceivers 60 are used to send and receive information from the ear bud module 55, and possibly from other local devices such as an RF interface cradle, or a local printer coupled to a LAN, or other types of printing or display devices.
  • The ear bud module 55 is preferably an RF-enabled ear-piece that may be connected to (both mechanically and electrically) the main module 53 as described above. The ear bud module 55 preferably includes a microphone and a speaker 78, a short-range wireless transceiver 80, an antenna 82, a rechargeable battery 84, and possibly an integral processor 86. Operationally, the short-range wireless transceiver 80 is used to establish an RF link between the ear bud module 55 and the main module 53.
  • FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating an exemplary method 90 for controlling the operational mode of the multifunctional keyboard 51 in a communication device 50. This exemplary method 90 may, for example, be executed by the software mode control software module 54 described above. In step 92, the communication device 50 is idle. The device 50 preferably remains idle until the processor 56 receives a trigger in step 94. The trigger may, for example, be initiated by an unprocessed key stroke, the activation of a switch, an incoming message, an alarm condition, the activation of a software application, or any other type of event that may be detected by the device 50. For instance, the multifunctional keyboard 51 may include a specialized key that triggers a keyboard mode change, or a mode change may be automatically triggered by the detection of some event such as the activation of a software application or a selection by the user of the device.
  • Once a mode change has been triggered in step 94, the type of service (data, telephony or joint) required by the device 50 is determined in steps 96 and 100. The required service may be determined, for example, by accessing the service store 63 locally maintained in a memory location 62 on the device 50. The service store 63 preferably includes a log indicating the type of service required by each software application on the device 50 and also preferably includes a default service. For the purposes of the illustration shown in FIG. 7, the default service is the data mode. It should be understood, however, that either the telephony mode or the joint mode could also be the default service for the mobile device 50. In a preferred embodiment, the system also accesses the configuration store 61 maintained in the memory location 62 to determine if a preferred mode has been selected for a particular application or triggering event. The configuration store 61 preferably includes user configurable preferences relating to the modes of operations. For instance, the configuration store 61 may indicate that the joint mode is preferred when the communication device 50 connects to a particular telephone number or IP address.
  • In step 96, the system determines whether the software application currently operating on the device (or other triggering event) requires the multifunctional keyboard 51 to operate in joint mode. If so, then the multifunctional keyboard 51 is set to joint mode in step 98. Otherwise, the device 50 determines whether telephony mode is required in step 100. If the current software application (or other triggering event) requires telephony mode, then the keyboard 51 is set to telephony mode in step 102. If neither joint mode nor telephony mode are required, however, then the multifunctional keyboard 51 is set to data mode, its default mode of operation, in step 104. The modes of operation are detailed below with reference to FIG. 8.
  • While the multifunctional keyboard 51 is in a particular operational mode, an asynchronous mode change may preferably be initiated upon the receipt of an additional trigger. This type of mode change is asynchronous in the sense that the change may preferably be initiated at any point during the operational modes described below with reference to FIG. 8. Asynchronous mode changes are illustrated in FIG. 7 by the dotted lines from the three operational modes (steps 98, 102 and 104) returning to step 94 at which a trigger is received. If no asynchronous mode change is received, however, the keyboard 51 preferably remains in the same operational mode until the currently executing software application completes its operations, at which point the system returns to an idle state at step 92.
  • In a preferred embodiment, more than one application may be running on the device 50 at the same time, possibly requiring concurrent operation of more than one keyboard mode. For instance, if several applications are executing on the device 51, one application may be in the foreground (the active application) while the other applications are in the background (the idle applications). In this instance, the multifunctional keyboard 51 will preferably operate in the mode associated with the foreground application. Then, as the device user (or the device itself) switches from the foreground application to an idle application, an asynchronous trigger is preferably generated to change keyboard modes. Preferably, before the device 50 switches from one application and associated keyboard mode to another, the current mode associated with the foreground application is stored in the service store 63. Then, when the idle application returns to the foreground and becomes active, the stored keyboard mode associated with the application is detected from the service store 63.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow diagram illustrating the exemplary modes of operation 110 for the multifunctional keyboard 51. In step 112, the device 50 enters a keyboard mode, such as the joint mode, telephony mode or data mode. Then, when a device user presses a key on the multifunctional keyboard 51 (step 114), the system 50 preferably determines whether a user notification function has been enabled in step 116. The user notification function may preferably be configured by the device user to generate an audible tone as a key is pressed. To determine the user notification configuration, the system 50 preferably detects one or more notification flags set by the user and stored in the configuration store 61. Preferably, notification flags may be stored in the configuration store 61 to either enable or disable the notification function for the data, telephony and joint modes. If the notification function has been enabled for the current keyboard mode, then the device 50 generates an audible tone in step 118. In a preferred embodiment, the audible tone generated in step 118 is different for each keyboard mode, thus enabling the device user to determine the current mode.
  • In step 120, the device 50 generates a character code and/or telephony tone signal corresponding to the key pressed by the user and a corresponding keyboard output signal from the multifunctional keyboard 51. As described above, the signal generated in step 120 depends upon the operational mode of the multifunctional keyboard 51. If the multifunctional keyboard 51 is in joint mode, then the system 50 generates both a character code and a telephony tone signal in step 120. If the multifunctional keyboard 51 is in telephony mode, then the system 50 generates a telephony tone signal. If the multifunctional keyboard 51 is in data mode, then a character code is generated. Once the appropriate character and/or telephony tone signal has been generated in step 120, the system 50 determines whether the current application or other triggering event requiring the current keyboard mode is complete in step 122. If the application is complete, then the system exits its current keyboard mode in step 124 and returns to an idle state. Otherwise, the system 50 remains in the current mode and awaits another keystroke at step 114. As was described above with reference to FIG. 7, however, asynchronous mode changed may occur from within any step of FIG. 8.
  • In addition to the embodiments described above with reference to FIGS. 1-8, additional embodiments are contemplated which allow the operations of the multifunctional keyboard to be carried out on a lower system level without need for an actual keyboard or a telephony tone signal generator. For example, a communication device may include a translation mode wherein the mode control software translates key codes to telephony signals, and the key codes are provided by voice recognition software recognizing keys spoken by a user, or, alternatively, the key codes being provided from storage. In such an embodiment, the mode control software preferably translates input character codes to generate telephony signals and/or output character codes, the input character codes being interpreted as if they were generated by use of a multifunctional keyboard, thus enabling the communication device to be easily adapted to a variety of sources of input characters of which a keyboard is but one example.
  • This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art.

Claims (30)

  1. 1. A communication device, comprising:
    a plurality of keys arranged in a QWERTY configuration, wherein each key of the plurality of keys is labeled with a letter of the alphabet;
    a plurality of character entry keys of the plurality of keys arranged in the QWERTY configuration that can function as either letter entry keys or number entry keys, wherein each character entry key is labeled with a letter of the alphabet and with a number;
    the device being configured to communicate the letter with which a character entry key is labeled when the character entry key is pressed while the device is in a letter entry mode and to communicate the number with which the character entry key is labeled when the character entry key is pressed while the device is in a number entry mode.
  2. 2. The device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of character entry keys are arranged in a row of keys of the communication device.
  3. 3. The device of claim 2, wherein the row is a top row of a keyboard of the communication device.
  4. 4. The device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of character entry keys are each labeled with a different number of the numbers 0-9.
  5. 5. The device of claim 4, wherein a first character entry key of the plurality of character entry keys is labeled with the letter Q and the number 1.
  6. 6. The device of claim 4, wherein the plurality of character entry keys further comprises a first character entry key labeled with the letter Q and the number 1, a second character entry key labeled with the letter W and the number 2, a third character entry key labeled with the letter E and the number 3, a fourth character entry key labeled with the letter R and the number 4, a fifth character entry key labeled with the letter T and the number 5, a sixth character entry key labeled with the letter Y and the number 6 a seventh character entry key labeled with the letter U and the number 7, an eighth character entry key labeled with the letter I and the number 8, a ninth character entry key labeled with the letter O and the number 9, and a tenth character entry key labeled with the letter P and the number 0.
  7. 7. The device of claim 6, wherein the plurality of character entry keys are arranged within a row of keys of the QWERTY configuration of the plurality of keys.
  8. 8. The device of claim 7, wherein the row is a top row of a keyboard of the communication device.
  9. 9. The device of claim 4, wherein the plurality of character entry keys are arranged within a row of keys of the QWERTY configuration of the plurality of keys.
  10. 10. The device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of keys comprise at least twenty-six keys.
  11. 11. The device of claim 10, wherein the plurality of character entry keys comprise at least ten of the twenty-six keys.
  12. 12. The device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of character entry keys comprise at least ten keys.
  13. 13. The device of claim 1, wherein in the letter entry mode the character entry key is mapped to the letter and the device is configured to communicate the letter when the character entry key is pressed and wherein in the number entry mode the character entry key is mapped to the number and the device is configured to communicate the number when the character entry key is pressed.
  14. 14. The device of claim 13, wherein the communication device further comprises a processor that maps the character entry key to the letter in the letter entry mode and maps the character entry key to the number in the number entry mode.
  15. 15. The device of claim 13, the communication device further comprising a processor and a keyboard control software module, wherein the keyboard control software module executing on the processor maps the character entry key to the letter in the letter entry mode and maps the character entry key to the number in the number entry mode.
  16. 16. The device of claim 1, the communication device further comprising a toggling element operable to toggle between the letter entry mode and the number entry mode.
  17. 17. The communication device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a processor coupled to the plurality of character entry keys;
    a keyboard mode control software module operating on the processor, the keyboard mode control software module controlling toggling between the letter entry mode in which the character entry key is mapped to the letter with which the character entry key is labeled and the number entry mode in which character entry key is mapped to the number with which the character entry key is labeled.
  18. 18. The communication device of claim 17, wherein the keyboard mode control software module further controls whether keyboard output signals generated when the plurality of character entry keys are pressed are converted into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  19. 19. The communication device of claim 18, further comprising:
    a plurality of software applications stored in a memory of the communication device and executed by the processor of the communication device, wherein the keyboard mode control software module detects which of the software applications is active in order to determine whether the generated keyboard output signals are converted into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  20. 20. The communication device of 19, wherein the memory comprises a service store memory location that associates each software application of the plurality of software applications with a keyboard mode that is detected by the keyboard mode control software module to determine whether the generated keyboard output signals are converted into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  21. 21. The communication device of 18, further comprising:
    a software application stored in a memory of the communication device and executed by the processor of the communication device, wherein the memory comprises a configuration store memory location that identifies a preferred keyboard mode for the software application, and wherein the preferred keyboard mode is detected by the keyboard mode control software module to determine whether the keyboard output signals are converted into character codes or telephone tone signals.
  22. 22. The communication device of 18, wherein the telephone tone signals are Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMP) signals.
  23. 23. The communication device of 18, wherein the character codes are American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character codes.
  24. 24. The communication device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of character entry keys are symmetrically distributed across a housing of the communication device.
  25. 25. The communication device of claim 24, wherein character entry keys of the plurality of character entry keys on a left-hand side of the housing are tilted at a negative angle from vertical and character entry keys of the plurality of character entry keys on a right-hand side of the housing are tilted at a positive angle from vertical.
  26. 26. A method of controlling an operational mode of a communication device, comprising:
    providing a plurality of keys arranged in a QWERTY configuration, with each key of the plurality of keys labeled with a letter of the alphabet, and a plurality of character entry keys of the plurality of keys that can function as either letter entry keys or number entry keys, wherein each character entry key of the plurality of character entry keys is labeled with a letter of the alphabet and with a number;
    providing a letter entry mode in which a letter of a pressed character entry key of the plurality of character entry keys is communicated;
    providing a number entry mode in which a number of a pressed character entry key of the plurality of character entry keys is communicated; and
    communicating the letter of a character entry key of the plurality of character entry keys when the character entry key is pressed in the letter entry mode and communicating the number of the character entry key when the character entry key is pressed in the number entry mode.
  27. 27. The method of claim 26, further comprising:
    controlling toggling between the letter entry mode in which the character entry key is mapped to the letter with which the character entry key is labeled and the number entry mode in which character entry key is mapped to the number with which the character entry key is labeled.
  28. 28. The method of claim 27, wherein a keyboard mode control software module operating on a processor of the communication device controls toggling between the letter entry mode and the number entry mode and controls whether keyboard output signals generated when the plurality of character entry keys are pressed are converted into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  29. 29. The method claim 28, further comprising:
    the keyboard mode control software module detecting which of a plurality of software applications stored in a memory of the communication device and executed by the processor is active in order to determine whether the generated keyboard output signals are converted into character codes or telephony tone signals.
  30. 30. The method of claim 28, further comprising:
    the keyboard mode control software module detecting a preferred keyboard mode of a software application executed by the processor of the communication device, the preferred keyboard mode identified in a configuration store memory location of a memory of the communication device.
US12908328 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same Abandoned US20110032125A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US24632100 true 2000-11-07 2000-11-07
US10004001 US7634080B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2001-11-01 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12607468 US8391468B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2009-10-28 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12908328 US20110032125A1 (en) 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12908328 US20110032125A1 (en) 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US14271612 US9071703B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2014-05-07 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12607468 Continuation US8391468B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2009-10-28 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US14271612 Continuation US9071703B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2014-05-07 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20110032125A1 true true US20110032125A1 (en) 2011-02-10

Family

ID=22930177

Family Applications (6)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10004001 Active 2024-09-04 US7634080B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2001-11-01 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12607468 Active 2023-08-29 US8391468B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2009-10-28 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12908328 Abandoned US20110032125A1 (en) 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12908311 Abandoned US20110043385A1 (en) 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US13193899 Active 2021-11-28 US8559622B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2011-07-29 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US14271612 Active US9071703B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2014-05-07 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Family Applications Before (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10004001 Active 2024-09-04 US7634080B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2001-11-01 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US12607468 Active 2023-08-29 US8391468B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2009-10-28 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Family Applications After (3)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12908311 Abandoned US20110043385A1 (en) 2000-11-07 2010-10-20 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US13193899 Active 2021-11-28 US8559622B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2011-07-29 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US14271612 Active US9071703B2 (en) 2000-11-07 2014-05-07 Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (6) US7634080B2 (en)
CA (1) CA2363244C (en)

Families Citing this family (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6489950B1 (en) 1998-06-26 2002-12-03 Research In Motion Limited Hand-held electronic device with auxiliary input device
US7705828B2 (en) 1998-06-26 2010-04-27 Research In Motion Limited Dual-mode mobile communication device
US6278442B1 (en) 1998-06-26 2001-08-21 Research In Motion Limited Hand-held electronic device with a keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs
CA2363244C (en) * 2000-11-07 2006-06-13 Research In Motion Limited Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same
US6842169B2 (en) * 2001-10-19 2005-01-11 Research In Motion Limited Hand-held electronic device with multiple input mode thumbwheel
US7257430B2 (en) * 2002-05-11 2007-08-14 Motorola, Inc. Self configuring multiple element portable electronic device
GB2404788B (en) * 2003-08-07 2006-08-23 Research In Motion Ltd Printed circuit board for a mobile device
JP4048435B2 (en) * 2003-10-23 2008-02-20 ソニー株式会社 Electronics
US7406696B2 (en) * 2004-02-24 2008-07-29 Dialogic Corporation System and method for providing user input information to multiple independent, concurrent applications
EP1920539A1 (en) * 2005-08-26 2008-05-14 KTF Technologies, Inc. User terminal for performing a plurality of applications simultaneously
US7869832B2 (en) * 2005-10-07 2011-01-11 Research In Motion Limited Device, system, and method for informing users of functions and characters associated with telephone keys
EP1921533A1 (en) * 2006-11-10 2008-05-14 Research In Motion Limited Method of mapping a traditional touchtone telephone keypad on a handheld electronic device and associated apparatus
US7642934B2 (en) * 2006-11-10 2010-01-05 Research In Motion Limited Method of mapping a traditional touchtone keypad on a handheld electronic device and associated apparatus
KR101266265B1 (en) 2007-03-12 2013-05-22 삼성전자주식회사 The mobile communication terminal and its dual tone multi-frequency signal output method has a QWERTY key
EP2031483A1 (en) * 2007-08-27 2009-03-04 High Tech Computer Corp. Keyboard of handheld electronic device
CN101546666B (en) * 2008-03-26 2012-07-18 深圳富泰宏精密工业有限公司 Keyboard component and electronic device with same
US20100241984A1 (en) * 2009-03-21 2010-09-23 Nokia Corporation Method and apparatus for displaying the non alphanumeric character based on a user input
EP2432199A1 (en) * 2010-09-17 2012-03-21 Research In Motion Limited Method and system for inputting DTMF tones from a smart phone keyboard
US20120071202A1 (en) * 2010-09-17 2012-03-22 Research In Motion Limited Method And System For Inputting DTMF Tones From A Smart Phone Keyboard
US8514180B2 (en) 2011-07-08 2013-08-20 Research In Motion Limited Method and apparatus pertaining to dynamically determining entered telephone numbers
USD665805S1 (en) * 2011-09-12 2012-08-21 Minebea Co., Ltd. Flat keyboard with character symbols
CN202542608U (en) * 2011-11-10 2012-11-21 李明 Universal elevator control disc
USD684582S1 (en) * 2011-12-01 2013-06-18 Google Inc. Keyboard
US9317455B2 (en) * 2012-01-05 2016-04-19 Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Virtual switching of information handling device components
JP1563675S (en) * 2016-04-08 2016-11-21
JP1563674S (en) * 2016-04-08 2016-11-21

Citations (61)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4430639A (en) * 1981-05-21 1984-02-07 Benvar Associates, C/O Dale Bennett Visual message intercommunication unit and system
US4503288A (en) * 1981-08-31 1985-03-05 Novation, Inc. Intelligent telephone
USD278341S (en) * 1983-01-19 1985-04-09 Motorola, Inc. Portable terminal or similar article
US4613247A (en) * 1982-07-26 1986-09-23 Fwm Enterprises, Inc. Multiple format keyboard
US4799254A (en) * 1986-06-30 1989-01-17 Wang Laboratories, Inc. Portable communication terminal for remote database query
US4888815A (en) * 1987-09-18 1989-12-19 Uniden America Corporation Scanning radio receiver
US4999795A (en) * 1983-01-21 1991-03-12 The Laitram Corporation Portable keyboard operated alpha computer system with few keys and visual keystroke instructions
US5184830A (en) * 1989-01-10 1993-02-09 Nintendo Company Limited Compact hand-held video game system
US5217295A (en) * 1991-04-19 1993-06-08 Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc. Light apparatus and method for illuminating a compact computer video screen
US5334976A (en) * 1988-12-27 1994-08-02 Wang Laboratories, Inc. Keyboard with finger-actuable and stylus-actuable keys
US5336002A (en) * 1992-09-18 1994-08-09 Russo Malcolm G One-handed alphanumeric keyboard and method
US5367298A (en) * 1991-10-25 1994-11-22 Axthelm John K Data input terminal
US5375165A (en) * 1990-08-14 1994-12-20 Haber; Alan P. Computer keyboard having both a standard keyboard mode and a telephone control mode
US5410141A (en) * 1989-06-07 1995-04-25 Norand Hand-held data capture system with interchangable modules
US5426449A (en) * 1993-04-20 1995-06-20 Danziger; Paul Pyramid shaped ergonomic keyboard
US5436954A (en) * 1992-09-08 1995-07-25 Hitachi, Ltd. Foldable radio telephone set with rotary selector integral with foldable hinge element
US5457454A (en) * 1992-09-22 1995-10-10 Fujitsu Limited Input device utilizing virtual keyboard
US5500643A (en) * 1993-08-26 1996-03-19 Grant; Alan H. One-hand prehensile keyboard
US5581593A (en) * 1994-06-10 1996-12-03 Ultratec, Inc. Combination telephone and alphanumeric entry device
US5606712A (en) * 1992-07-20 1997-02-25 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Information managing apparatus capable of utilizing related information in different function modes
US5611031A (en) * 1994-04-29 1997-03-11 General Magic, Inc. Graphical user interface for modifying object characteristics using coupon objects
US5660488A (en) * 1993-04-29 1997-08-26 Miller; Timothy M. Ergonomically condensed QWERTY keyboard
US5672108A (en) * 1996-01-16 1997-09-30 Tiger Electronics, Inc. Electronic game with separate emitter
US5737394A (en) * 1996-02-06 1998-04-07 Sony Corporation Portable telephone apparatus having a plurality of selectable functions activated by the use of dedicated and/or soft keys
US5818437A (en) * 1995-07-26 1998-10-06 Tegic Communications, Inc. Reduced keyboard disambiguating computer
US5825353A (en) * 1995-04-18 1998-10-20 Will; Craig Alexander Control of miniature personal digital assistant using menu and thumbwheel
US5841374A (en) * 1997-01-28 1998-11-24 Abraham; Joseph N. Micro word-pad with tactile multifunctional keys
US5848356A (en) * 1995-10-02 1998-12-08 Motorola, Inc. Method for implementing icons in a radio communication device
US5893798A (en) * 1994-11-23 1999-04-13 Tiger Electronics, Ltd. Hand-held electronic game devices
US5920308A (en) * 1995-10-30 1999-07-06 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Keyboard with a wireless remote control receiver and a method of redefining a key function for remote control
US5931873A (en) * 1996-10-04 1999-08-03 Telxon Corporation Programmable mobile device with thumb wheel
US5952942A (en) * 1996-11-21 1999-09-14 Motorola, Inc. Method and device for input of text messages from a keypad
US5963197A (en) * 1994-01-06 1999-10-05 Microsoft Corporation 3-D cursor positioning device
US5974238A (en) * 1996-08-07 1999-10-26 Compaq Computer Corporation Automatic data synchronization between a handheld and a host computer using pseudo cache including tags and logical data elements
US5982520A (en) * 1996-03-28 1999-11-09 Xerox Corporation Personal storage device for application and data transfer
US5995026A (en) * 1997-10-21 1999-11-30 Compaq Computer Corporation Programmable multiple output force-sensing keyboard
US6006351A (en) * 1996-01-18 1999-12-21 Pocketscience, Inc. Electronic communications system and method
US6014429A (en) * 1996-08-12 2000-01-11 Lucent Technologies, Inc. Two-way wireless messaging system with transaction server
US6023779A (en) * 1996-01-18 2000-02-08 Pocketscience, Inc. Electronic, acoustical tone generating communications system and method
US6047196A (en) * 1995-11-24 2000-04-04 Nokia Mobile Phones, Ltd. Communication device with two modes of operation
US6047047A (en) * 1998-04-29 2000-04-04 3Com Corporation Telecommunication configurations for transceiving E-mail and methods of using same
US6046732A (en) * 1997-12-18 2000-04-04 Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha Method of allowing users to enter characters into electronic equipment by using cursor key and displaying user-entered characters
US6049697A (en) * 1998-06-18 2000-04-11 Scozzarella; Arlene Translator for messages transmitted to and received by a numeric pager
US6052070A (en) * 1996-03-20 2000-04-18 Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd. Method for forming a character string, an electronic communication device and a charging unit for charging the electronic communication device
US6081584A (en) * 1992-09-21 2000-06-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Data transmitting/receiving apparatus and data communication system
US6094197A (en) * 1993-12-21 2000-07-25 Xerox Corporation Graphical keyboard
US6102594A (en) * 1998-05-11 2000-08-15 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson Keyboard for touch typing using only one hand
US6107997A (en) * 1996-06-27 2000-08-22 Ure; Michael J. Touch-sensitive keyboard/mouse and computing device using the same
US6107994A (en) * 1992-12-24 2000-08-22 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Character input method and apparatus arrangement
US6148261A (en) * 1997-06-20 2000-11-14 American Calcar, Inc. Personal communication system to send and receive voice data positioning information
US6157323A (en) * 1998-02-25 2000-12-05 Tso; Kevin H. K. Button-key/cylindrical-key alphabetizer
US6212412B1 (en) * 1998-06-09 2001-04-03 Qualcomm Incorporated System and method for character case control in a wireless communication device
US6218966B1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2001-04-17 International Business Machines Corporation Tactile feedback keyboard
US6243789B1 (en) * 1995-12-26 2001-06-05 Intel Corporation Method and apparatus for executing a program stored in nonvolatile memory
US6241406B1 (en) * 1998-09-22 2001-06-05 Leung Lap Yan Computer keyboard
US6297795B1 (en) * 1997-02-24 2001-10-02 International Business Machines Corporation Small information processing apparatus
US6429855B2 (en) * 1997-03-31 2002-08-06 G & R Associates Incorporated Computer-telephony integration employing an intelligent keyboard and method for same
US6662020B1 (en) * 1999-08-27 2003-12-09 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) Arrangement for effecting secure transactions in a communication device
US6690417B1 (en) * 1997-09-30 2004-02-10 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Image processing method, an image processing apparatus, an image input device, a photographing device, a photographing system, a communication device, a communication system, and a storage medium
US6868145B1 (en) * 2000-10-24 2005-03-15 Vertizon Corporation Alphanumeric keyboard with telephone dialing capability
US6965372B1 (en) * 2000-03-24 2005-11-15 Woods Debra L User friendly keyboard

Family Cites Families (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5319096A (en) * 1992-04-03 1994-06-07 Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (1H-indol-1-yl)-2-(amino) acetamides and related (1H-indol-1-yl)-(aminoalkyl)amides, pharmaceutical composition and use
GB9517440D0 (en) 1995-08-25 1995-10-25 Esselte Dymo Nv Printing apparatus
RU2106864C1 (en) * 1995-10-23 1998-03-20 Николай Серафимович Зефиров New approach to treatment of alzheimer's disease
US6366653B1 (en) * 1996-09-19 2002-04-02 Acer Incorporated System for integrating a telephone to a computer
US6356258B1 (en) * 1997-01-24 2002-03-12 Misawa Homes Co., Ltd. Keypad
WO1999037025A1 (en) 1998-01-15 1999-07-22 Granite Communications, Inc. Data entry device having multifunction keys
US5938768A (en) * 1997-07-30 1999-08-17 Northern Telecom Limited Feature to facilitate numeric passcode entry
US6304746B1 (en) 1998-11-17 2001-10-16 Aether Systems, Inc. Method and system for providing formatted information via a two-way communications system
US6377685B1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2002-04-23 Ravi C. Krishnan Cluster key arrangement
CA2363244C (en) * 2000-11-07 2006-06-13 Research In Motion Limited Multifunctional keyboard for a mobile communication device and method of operating the same

Patent Citations (69)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4430639A (en) * 1981-05-21 1984-02-07 Benvar Associates, C/O Dale Bennett Visual message intercommunication unit and system
US4503288A (en) * 1981-08-31 1985-03-05 Novation, Inc. Intelligent telephone
US4613247A (en) * 1982-07-26 1986-09-23 Fwm Enterprises, Inc. Multiple format keyboard
USD278341S (en) * 1983-01-19 1985-04-09 Motorola, Inc. Portable terminal or similar article
US4999795A (en) * 1983-01-21 1991-03-12 The Laitram Corporation Portable keyboard operated alpha computer system with few keys and visual keystroke instructions
USD293241S (en) * 1985-10-16 1987-12-15 Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. Pocket terminal
US4799254A (en) * 1986-06-30 1989-01-17 Wang Laboratories, Inc. Portable communication terminal for remote database query
US4888815A (en) * 1987-09-18 1989-12-19 Uniden America Corporation Scanning radio receiver
US5334976A (en) * 1988-12-27 1994-08-02 Wang Laboratories, Inc. Keyboard with finger-actuable and stylus-actuable keys
US5184830A (en) * 1989-01-10 1993-02-09 Nintendo Company Limited Compact hand-held video game system
US5410141A (en) * 1989-06-07 1995-04-25 Norand Hand-held data capture system with interchangable modules
US5375165A (en) * 1990-08-14 1994-12-20 Haber; Alan P. Computer keyboard having both a standard keyboard mode and a telephone control mode
US5217295A (en) * 1991-04-19 1993-06-08 Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc. Light apparatus and method for illuminating a compact computer video screen
US5367298A (en) * 1991-10-25 1994-11-22 Axthelm John K Data input terminal
US5606712A (en) * 1992-07-20 1997-02-25 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Information managing apparatus capable of utilizing related information in different function modes
US5436954A (en) * 1992-09-08 1995-07-25 Hitachi, Ltd. Foldable radio telephone set with rotary selector integral with foldable hinge element
US5336002A (en) * 1992-09-18 1994-08-09 Russo Malcolm G One-handed alphanumeric keyboard and method
US6081584A (en) * 1992-09-21 2000-06-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Data transmitting/receiving apparatus and data communication system
US5457454A (en) * 1992-09-22 1995-10-10 Fujitsu Limited Input device utilizing virtual keyboard
US6107994A (en) * 1992-12-24 2000-08-22 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Character input method and apparatus arrangement
US5426449A (en) * 1993-04-20 1995-06-20 Danziger; Paul Pyramid shaped ergonomic keyboard
US5660488A (en) * 1993-04-29 1997-08-26 Miller; Timothy M. Ergonomically condensed QWERTY keyboard
US5500643A (en) * 1993-08-26 1996-03-19 Grant; Alan H. One-hand prehensile keyboard
USD357253S (en) * 1993-09-29 1995-04-11 Star Paging (Communications Equipment) Manufacturing Ltd. Chinese/English financial pager
US6094197A (en) * 1993-12-21 2000-07-25 Xerox Corporation Graphical keyboard
US5963197A (en) * 1994-01-06 1999-10-05 Microsoft Corporation 3-D cursor positioning device
US5611031A (en) * 1994-04-29 1997-03-11 General Magic, Inc. Graphical user interface for modifying object characteristics using coupon objects
US5581593A (en) * 1994-06-10 1996-12-03 Ultratec, Inc. Combination telephone and alphanumeric entry device
US5893798A (en) * 1994-11-23 1999-04-13 Tiger Electronics, Ltd. Hand-held electronic game devices
US5825353A (en) * 1995-04-18 1998-10-20 Will; Craig Alexander Control of miniature personal digital assistant using menu and thumbwheel
US5818437A (en) * 1995-07-26 1998-10-06 Tegic Communications, Inc. Reduced keyboard disambiguating computer
US5848356A (en) * 1995-10-02 1998-12-08 Motorola, Inc. Method for implementing icons in a radio communication device
US5920308A (en) * 1995-10-30 1999-07-06 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Keyboard with a wireless remote control receiver and a method of redefining a key function for remote control
US6047196A (en) * 1995-11-24 2000-04-04 Nokia Mobile Phones, Ltd. Communication device with two modes of operation
US6243789B1 (en) * 1995-12-26 2001-06-05 Intel Corporation Method and apparatus for executing a program stored in nonvolatile memory
US5672108A (en) * 1996-01-16 1997-09-30 Tiger Electronics, Inc. Electronic game with separate emitter
US6006351A (en) * 1996-01-18 1999-12-21 Pocketscience, Inc. Electronic communications system and method
US6023779A (en) * 1996-01-18 2000-02-08 Pocketscience, Inc. Electronic, acoustical tone generating communications system and method
US5737394A (en) * 1996-02-06 1998-04-07 Sony Corporation Portable telephone apparatus having a plurality of selectable functions activated by the use of dedicated and/or soft keys
US6052070A (en) * 1996-03-20 2000-04-18 Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd. Method for forming a character string, an electronic communication device and a charging unit for charging the electronic communication device
US5982520A (en) * 1996-03-28 1999-11-09 Xerox Corporation Personal storage device for application and data transfer
US6107997A (en) * 1996-06-27 2000-08-22 Ure; Michael J. Touch-sensitive keyboard/mouse and computing device using the same
USD383756S (en) * 1996-07-15 1997-09-16 Motorola, Inc. Selective call receiver
US5974238A (en) * 1996-08-07 1999-10-26 Compaq Computer Corporation Automatic data synchronization between a handheld and a host computer using pseudo cache including tags and logical data elements
US6014429A (en) * 1996-08-12 2000-01-11 Lucent Technologies, Inc. Two-way wireless messaging system with transaction server
US5931873A (en) * 1996-10-04 1999-08-03 Telxon Corporation Programmable mobile device with thumb wheel
USD386497S (en) * 1996-11-19 1997-11-18 Motorola, Inc. Selective call transceiver
US5952942A (en) * 1996-11-21 1999-09-14 Motorola, Inc. Method and device for input of text messages from a keypad
US5841374A (en) * 1997-01-28 1998-11-24 Abraham; Joseph N. Micro word-pad with tactile multifunctional keys
US6297795B1 (en) * 1997-02-24 2001-10-02 International Business Machines Corporation Small information processing apparatus
US6429855B2 (en) * 1997-03-31 2002-08-06 G & R Associates Incorporated Computer-telephony integration employing an intelligent keyboard and method for same
USD403362S (en) * 1997-06-17 1998-12-29 Watercore Limited Key-chain electronic game
US6148261A (en) * 1997-06-20 2000-11-14 American Calcar, Inc. Personal communication system to send and receive voice data positioning information
USD397369S (en) * 1997-09-23 1998-08-25 Tiger Electronics, Inc. Cabinet housing for a hand-held electronic game
USD399537S (en) * 1997-09-30 1998-10-13 Tiger Electronics, Inc. Electronic game housing
US6690417B1 (en) * 1997-09-30 2004-02-10 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Image processing method, an image processing apparatus, an image input device, a photographing device, a photographing system, a communication device, a communication system, and a storage medium
USD397728S (en) * 1997-09-30 1998-09-01 Tiger Electronics, Inc. Electronic game housing
US5995026A (en) * 1997-10-21 1999-11-30 Compaq Computer Corporation Programmable multiple output force-sensing keyboard
US6046732A (en) * 1997-12-18 2000-04-04 Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha Method of allowing users to enter characters into electronic equipment by using cursor key and displaying user-entered characters
US6157323A (en) * 1998-02-25 2000-12-05 Tso; Kevin H. K. Button-key/cylindrical-key alphabetizer
US6047047A (en) * 1998-04-29 2000-04-04 3Com Corporation Telecommunication configurations for transceiving E-mail and methods of using same
US6102594A (en) * 1998-05-11 2000-08-15 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson Keyboard for touch typing using only one hand
US6212412B1 (en) * 1998-06-09 2001-04-03 Qualcomm Incorporated System and method for character case control in a wireless communication device
US6049697A (en) * 1998-06-18 2000-04-11 Scozzarella; Arlene Translator for messages transmitted to and received by a numeric pager
US6241406B1 (en) * 1998-09-22 2001-06-05 Leung Lap Yan Computer keyboard
US6218966B1 (en) * 1998-11-05 2001-04-17 International Business Machines Corporation Tactile feedback keyboard
US6662020B1 (en) * 1999-08-27 2003-12-09 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) Arrangement for effecting secure transactions in a communication device
US6965372B1 (en) * 2000-03-24 2005-11-15 Woods Debra L User friendly keyboard
US6868145B1 (en) * 2000-10-24 2005-03-15 Vertizon Corporation Alphanumeric keyboard with telephone dialing capability

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
Nokia manual guide 900i, 7th June 1998, pages 126. *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US20110043385A1 (en) 2011-02-24 application
US20140243047A1 (en) 2014-08-28 application
US8391468B2 (en) 2013-03-05 grant
CA2363244A1 (en) 2002-05-07 application
US20020054676A1 (en) 2002-05-09 application
US20100048261A1 (en) 2010-02-25 application
CA2363244C (en) 2006-06-13 grant
US7634080B2 (en) 2009-12-15 grant
US20110304552A1 (en) 2011-12-15 application
US8559622B2 (en) 2013-10-15 grant
US9071703B2 (en) 2015-06-30 grant

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6661404B1 (en) Portable electronic apparatus
US6714802B1 (en) Portable communication apparatus having first and second user interfaces, and an accessory device comprising a keypad and a display for a portable radio telephone
US6470196B1 (en) Portable communication apparatus
US7102620B2 (en) Mobile electronic device
US20030119561A1 (en) Electronic device
US6587700B1 (en) Personal communicator with flip element display
US6829494B2 (en) Radio communication terminal and control method therefor
US20040229663A1 (en) Mobile electronic device with tactile keyboard
US20020146989A1 (en) Mobile telephone
US6377820B1 (en) Radio telephone
US7076275B1 (en) Method and system for single-step enablement of telephony functionality for a portable computer system
US5303288A (en) Multiple mode cellular telephone control device
US20020022503A1 (en) Mobile phone of dual display and method for displaying data using the same
US6212408B1 (en) Voice command system and method
US5581593A (en) Combination telephone and alphanumeric entry device
US5737394A (en) Portable telephone apparatus having a plurality of selectable functions activated by the use of dedicated and/or soft keys
US6453179B1 (en) User interface for a radio telephone
US5561710A (en) Interactive voice communication terminal with alpha and numeric keypad
US20040147278A1 (en) Electronic device with extendable keyboard
US6330461B1 (en) Mobile telephone apparatus
EP0802659A1 (en) Portable telephone with pivotally mounted keypad
GB2329300A (en) Mobile telephone with handwritten data input
US6295458B1 (en) Device for automatically generating an addressee number to which a short message is to be transmitted
CN1317919A (en) Mobile telephone with signal-key dialing function and its implementation method
US6259931B1 (en) Controlling a communication device with dual-mode telecommunications signaling

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: BLACKBERRY LIMITED, ONTARIO

Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:030831/0749

Effective date: 20130709