WO1988000371A1 - Peripheral controller - Google Patents

Peripheral controller Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1988000371A1
WO1988000371A1 PCT/US1987/001560 US8701560W WO8800371A1 WO 1988000371 A1 WO1988000371 A1 WO 1988000371A1 US 8701560 W US8701560 W US 8701560W WO 8800371 A1 WO8800371 A1 WO 8800371A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
displays
menu
key
display
controller
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1987/001560
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Peter A. Mccoy
Stephen R. Sweet
Peter Laughingwolf
Andrew B. Coy
Original Assignee
Newex, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US88227886A priority Critical
Priority to US882,278 priority
Application filed by Newex, Inc. filed Critical Newex, Inc.
Publication of WO1988000371A1 publication Critical patent/WO1988000371A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/247Telephone sets including user guidance or features selection means facilitating their use; Fixed telephone terminals for accessing a variety of communication services via the PSTN network
    • H04M1/2471Configurable and interactive telephone terminals with subscriber controlled features modifications, e.g. with ADSI capability [Analog Display Services Interface]
    • H04M1/2472Configurable and interactive telephone terminals with subscriber controlled features modifications, e.g. with ADSI capability [Analog Display Services Interface] with programmable function keys
    • 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
    • G06F3/021Arrangements integrating additional peripherals in a keyboard, e.g. card or barcode reader, optical scanner
    • 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
    • G06F3/0227Cooperation and interconnection of the input arrangement with other functional units of a computer
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/02Input arrangements using manually operated switches, e.g. using keyboards or dials
    • G06F3/023Arrangements for converting discrete items of information into a coded form, e.g. arrangements for interpreting keyboard generated codes as alphanumeric codes, operand codes or instruction codes
    • G06F3/0238Programmable 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
    • G06F3/16Sound input; Sound output
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/271Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously controlled by voice recognition
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/274Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc
    • H04M1/2745Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips
    • H04M1/27455Retrieving by interactive graphical means or pictorial representation

Abstract

A peripheral controller (10) for a controllable device, such as a personal computer (12) and the like. The peripheral controller (10) is, in a preferred embodiment, interconnected between a standard keyboard (16) input-output (I/O) and a controllable device such as a personal computer (12). The peripheral controller provides a visually variable keyboard display (50) where each of the keys (60) represent a particular function. Voice or touch actuation of the keys (60) by a user will enable a specified one of functions. The peripheral controller (10) has applications to virtually any controllable device having keyboard type I/O controls such as a personal computer (12) and the like.

Description

PERIPHERAL CONTROLLER

Background of the Invention

The present invention relates to a controller, desirably peripheral controller, for a controllable device such as personal computer, telephone set, or virtually any othe type of controllable device which utilizes some form o keyboard type input.

Controllable devices such as a personal computer, and a conventional telephone set are, of course, very wel known in the art. The operation of a personal computer i in general controlled by means of a keyboard, which has plurality of keys similar to that of a conventiona typewriter. A typical personal computer keyboard usuall includes a plurality of function keys.

For example, the well known personal computer manufacture and sold by International Business Machine Corporatio includes a keyboard which has a plurality of function keys, designated Fl, F2,...,FN. Each function key can be pro grammed to effect a desired function when actuated, such a controlling the display of a particular item on a CR monitor, changing the format of the text in a word proces sing environment, and many other applications. A user wit such a keyboard either must memorize the particular func tions of the function keys and/or have some form of template accompanying the keyboard to aid in the operation of a particular function key. This, of course, is undesirable for a user, as it serves to confuse and otherwise can make the operation of the personal computer awkward.

In a telephone environment, the standard telephone push¬ button keys form a "keyboard" which enable the standard type of telephone communications. In addition, the telephone set "keyboard" enables the user to perform many desired func¬ tions such as accessing a voice message system for any personal messages stored in his "mailbox," using a parti¬ cular coding scheme to learn about the current status of a particular stock listing on the stock market, and many other types of functions. However, in a telephone environment, the keyboard accessing by the instrument itself is still quite limited in order to enable a user to easily and quickly perform the desired functions such as described above.

A principal problem with such existing keyboard type input/- output devices is the limitation of not easily providing hierarchical type functions. For instance, it is known in the prior art to provide displays of a main menu on a CRT terminal which can then be accessed to any one of a plural¬ ity of sub-menu displays. However, this accessing is typically effected by the keyboard type instruments des¬ cribed above, such as actuation of a function key. This accessing of hierarchical displays is compounded by the limited capability of the standard input/output keyboard type instruments. Summary of the Invention

It is an object of the present invention to provide controller for a controllable device such as a persona computer, mainframe or mini-computer, a telephone statio set and many other types of controllable devices.

In one embodiment, the present invention includes a peri pheral controller for a controllable device such as personal computer. The peripheral controller include keypad display means for electronically displaying a plur ality of visually variable function key menu displays whic include a main menu key display and one or more hierarchica sub-menu key displays, where each of the plurality of ke displays represents a specified function.

The' peripheral controller further includes processor mean including memory means for storing one or more preprogramme device control programs which effect a plurality of speci fied functions of the controllable device, such as th personal computer.

The processor means is responsive to actuation of any one o the main menu key displays for visually varying the mai menu display to one or more of the hierarchical sub-men displays. The processor means is further responsive t actuation of any one of the hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect the specified function of the controllable device.

As a specific example of the operation of the peripheral controller for a personal computer environment, the peri¬ pheral controller is connected between a standard keyboard and the personal computer itself. The peripheral controller controls the display of a main menu which represents a plurality of general functions. A user actuates the main menu, either through touch or voice actuation, and in response the peripheral controller will change the display to a specified sub-menu display. Assume, for example, a user wants to display a graphical chart and depresses or actuates a main menu display (again, either through voice or touch actuation) . The peripheral controller changes the display to a sub-menu display where, for example, one of the sub-menu functions may be "graph files," among other pos¬ sible functions. The user actuates the "graph files" display and the peripheral controller changes the display to a variation of, for example, charts to be displayed on the personal computer monitor. The "charts command" displayed on the sub-menu display could include "line chart," "bar chart," "pie chart" and "scatter chart." The user can actuate a desired particular chart command, such as bar chart, and in response th peripheral controller will control the personal computer to display the desired bar chart on the monitor.

As can be seen, the present invention provides a significant improvement over prior art devices in terms of effecting desired functions on a controllable device such as a per¬ sonal computer. As will also become apparent, the present invention has many other applications. For example, the aspects of the present invention are applicable to telecommunications such as a standard telephone set.

Many other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Brief Description of the Drawings

Fig. 1 depicts a block diagram of a peripheral controll according to the present invention.

Fig. 2 depicts a perspective view of the peripheral contro ler depicted in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3A depicts a sequence of hierarchical display functio according to the present invention depicted in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3B depicts a more detailed sequence of hierarchica processing functions according to the present invention.

Fig. 4 depicts a flow chart depicting the general operatio of the peripheral controller of Fig. 1.

Figs. 5A and 5B depict a schematic diagram of the periphera controller of Fig. 1.

Figs. 6A and 6B depict a further variation of the periphera controller according to the present invention.

Fig. 7 depicts another embodiment of a peripheral controlle according to the present invention for telecommunication applications.

Fig. 8 depicts a further embodiment of a controller fo telecommunications applications according to the presen invention.

Fig. 9 depicts a telephone main menu display for th telecommunications controller of Figs. 7 and 8.

Fig. 10 depicts a telephone data entry screen for th telecommunications peripheral controller of Figs. 7 and 8. Fig. 11 depicts a telephone model name directory screen for the telecommunications controller of Figs. 7 and 8.

Fig. 12 depicts a block diagram of a telephone interface for connection to the peripheral controller of Fig. 1.

Fig. 13 depicts a further example of the operation of a peripheral controller according to the present invention utilizing voice actuation.

Detailed Description of the Drawings

Referring now to Figs. 1-13, the novel aspects of a control¬ ler for a controllable device will now be described. Several preferred embodiments of particular applications of the present invention will be described in detail. One pre- ferred embodiment relates to a controller for a personal computer. The controller can be in the form of a peripheral controller connected via buses to a personal computer keyboard and to a personal computer itself. Alternatively, the controller according to the present invention can be incorporated into a personal computer keyboard, as will be described.

Other applications of the present invention relate to, for example, telecommunications and particularly to a conven¬ tional telephone, either as a peripheral controller or as a stand-alone controller model for use with a telephone handset. As will become apparent, other applications of the aspects of the present invention are quite numerous. The specific preferred embodiments will now be described in detail. However, it is to be clearly understood that the scope of the present invention and the various applications are not to be limited to the preferred embodiments described herein. Rather, the scope of the present invention should only be construed in conjunction with the accompanying claims. Referring now to Fig. 1, a block diagram of one preferre embodiment of the present invention is depicted for control ling a personal computer. Controller 10 in Fig. 1 i connected to a personal computer (PC) 12 which desirably i a personal computer manufactured by International Busines Machines Corporation. The controller 10 in Fig. 1 is in th form of a peripheral controller and is connected to PC 1 via bidirectional bus 14. Also, controller 10 is connecte to a PC keyboard 16 via bidirectional bus 18.

Controller 10 includes an input/output buffer 26 connecte to bus 14. Buffer 26 is connected to a central processor 20 via bidirectional send/receive data bus 30.

Controller 10 includes an input buffer 22 connected to the PC keyboard 16 via bidirectional bus 18. Buffer 22 is connected to the central processor.20 via monitor keyboard bus 34.

The controller 10 of Fig. 1 further includes a key function and screen memory 40 connected to central processor 20 via bus 42. Peripheral controller 10 of Fig. 1 further includes a liquid crystal display (LCD) 50 connected to receive control and data information from central processor 20 via bus 52. Controller 10 also includes a clear membrane matrix keyboard 60, which receives appropriate scan control information from processor 20 via X-scan bus 54 and Y-scan bus 56. Peripheral controller 10 of Fig. 1 also includes an expansion port 70 connected to central processor 20 via bus 72 for connection to additional devices, as will be described.

Central processor 20 is typically a Z-80 Zylog CPU with built-in memory. The size of the memory depends on the specific application, such as 96K memory for controlling a personal computer or, for example, a memory of 16 megabytes. The clea membrane matrix keyboard 60 of Fig. 1 is typically manufactured by Epson America which, as will be described, provides for displaying of a plurality of "keys" which can be visually varied by appropriate means, such as voice or touch actuation (as described above) .

A liquid crystal display (LCD) 50 of Fig. 1 is typically available through Sharp Corporation. Central processor 20 controls liquid crystal display 50 via appropriate control information on bus 52 and controls keyboard display 60 via X-scan and Y-scan buses 54, 56, respectively.

The actual operation of the peripheral controller 10 de¬ picted in Fig. 1 will be described in more detail. Referring now to Fig. 2, a perspective view of a peripheral controller 10 interconnected to a PC keyboard 16 via bus 18 is de- picted. Peripheral controller 10 of Fig. 2 is also con¬ nected to PC 12 via bus 14, as described in connection with the block diagram depicted in Fig. 1.

In Fig. 2 , for purposes of description, assume that PC 12 includes a monitor 13 with a bar chart 15 depicted or displayed on the face of monitor 13. It will be assumed for purposes of describing the operation of the present inven¬ tion that a user wishes to display such a bar chart 15 as depicted on monitor 13 of Fig. 2.

In order to understand this aspect of the present invention, and referring now to Fig. 3, a sequence of hierarchical operations will be described which enable a user to display a bar chart on monitor 13 of Fig. 2.

The present invention provides for means of changing or visually varying displays on a liquid crystal display 50 of Figs. 1 and 2 in a hierarchical fashion. The LCD 50 of Fig. 3A corresponds to the LCD 50 of Figs. 1 and 2. For purposes of explanation, assume that peripheral control ler 10 initially has a display on the LCD 50 as depicted b Main Menu display 100 in Fig. 3. The display of Main Men 100 is visually apparent to a user on LCD 50 of Figs 1 an 2.

In Fig. 3, assume that the displays of Main Menu 100 are plurality of specified functions such as "FILING COMMANDS, "PRINTER COMMANDS," "LOTUS COMMANDS" and the other command as illustrated in Main menu 100 of Fig. 3.

If a user wishes to display a bar chart such as depicted i Fig. 2, a typical sequence of steps according to the presen invention could be as follows:

First, the user would actuate a suitable function, such a touching the FILING COMMANDS display in Main Menu 100 o Fig.3. When the user touches or actuates this function, peripheral controller 10 of Figs. 1 and 2 will visually var the display of LCD 50 to a Sub-Menu display 102 as depicte in Fig. 3. This provides a visually variable sub-men display in which the plurality of specified functions hav now been changed to, for example, "GRAPH FILES," among othe desired functions, as depicted in Sub-Menu 102.

The user then depresses (actuates) the GRAPH FILES functio as displayed in Sub-Menu 102. In response, the periphera controller will visually vary the display 50 to a Secon Sub-Menu 104, as depicted in Fig. 3. The user then de presses (actuates) the displayed function BAR chart, a depicted in Second Sub-Menu 104 of Fig. 3. In response, th peripheral controller 10 will control the display of the ba chart 15 depicted on monitor 13 of Fig. 2.

As will be apparent, the peripheral controller 10 of Figs. 1 and 2 includes a keyboard display means for electronically displaying a plurality of visually variable function key menu displays, which include a main menu display (such as depicted by Main Menu 100 of Fig. 3) and one or more hier¬ archical sub-menu key displays (such as Sub-Menus 102 and 104 of Fig. 3). Each of the plurality of key displays represents a specified function, as previously described.

The peripheral controller of Fig. 1 includes a processor means (central processor 20) and a memory means (including key function and screen memory 40) for storing one or more pre-programmed device control programs which correspond to a plurality of specified functions of the personal computer 12 of Fig. 1.

The processor means is responsive to actuation of any one of the main menu displays depicted in Fig. 3 for visually varying the main menu display to one of the hierarchical sub-menu displays such as sub-menu 102 and 104. The proces¬ sor means is further responsive to actuation of any one of the hierarchical sub-menu displays (such as actuation of the bar chart function of sub-menu 104) to effect or permit one of the specified functions of the controllable device. In the example described above, the peripheral controller enables the display of the bar chart depicted in the monitor 13 of Fig. 2. This example of operation should be compared with the limited capabilities of a conventional PC keyboard in order to display such a bar chart.

As will be described in more detail herein,, the preferred embodiments of the invention permit actuation of the key¬ board display via touch actuation (or touch sensitivity) or, alternatively, via voice actuation (or voice sensitivity) . The touch sensitivity or voice sensitivity provide different means for visually varying the menu displays. It is there¬ fore intended that the scope of the present invention would cover either form of actuation. As will become apparent, the controller 10 according to th present invention can visually vary the display of a plural ity of functions such as depicted in Main Menu 100 an Sub-Menus 102, 104 of Fig. 3A. It should be understood tha keyboard display 60 can be visually varied through a se quence of steps, as previously described above and depicte in Fig. 3A.

Each menu includes a plurality of specified functions, a illustrated in Fig. 3A. Each "key" depicted in the mai menu of Fig. 3 can be defined as chaining to another sub menu, if necessary. Further, each "key" (or function) ca also give a command to the computer to send a complete ne set of menus to controller 10 and then execute that set o menus. This provides a means of creating.any hierarchica structure of commands to the controllable device that th user wishes.

As a further example of the operation of a controlle according to the present invention, reference is now made t Fig. 3B, which depicts a more detailed sample user session The sequence of events depicted in Fig. 3B will enable better perception of the aspects of the present invention.

In Fig. 3B, assume for purposes of explanation that a Mai Menu 120 is displayed on the liquid crystal display (LCD) 5 of Figs. 1 and 2. In Fig. 3B, a series of "actions" by user are illustrated in the right-hand column.

First, Main Menu 120 displays a plurality of visuall variable function key menu displays, as illustrated in Fig. 3B. For purposes of explanation, assume that the use presses the key "RUN WORD STAR." In response, controller 10 of Fig. l will send a data string to personal computer 12 via bus 14 which is representative of the command SEND MENU WORD STAR. In response, controller 10 will load the WORD STAR MENUS and will visually vary main menu 120 to, for example, menu 122 depicted in Fig. 3B.

Next, the user may press the key entitled "OPEN DOCUMENT" and controller 10 of Fig. 1 will chain to, for example, menu #2 (122).

Referring again to Fig. 3, assume controller 10 of Fig. 1 is displaying menu #2, and assume that the user will press the key identified as "OTHER MENUS." The controller then might change the hierarchical display to, for example, menu #6, as depicted in Fig. 3B.

Assume further that the user actuates the key identified as "SAVE AND VIEW MENU." The controller would then send a data string identified as "control K" to the PC 12 of Fig. 1 and the display would chain to menu #3 of Fig. 3B.

The user then might depress the key identified as "SAVE AND EXIT" so that the controller sends a control string identi¬ fied as "X" to the PC 12 and changes the display back to the Main Menu 120. The user then might depress (or actuate) the key "RUN LOTUS" and the controller sends a string identified as "SEND MENU LOTUS" to the PC 12 and the controller loads the LOTUS menus.

Finally, the display is changed to menu #1 and the sequence can continue.

As illustrated in Fig. 3B, many variations of a hierarchical display means are depicted which enable a single LCD display means to be visually varied by a user and which provide significant improvements over the prior art, as previously described.

Referring now to Fig. 4, a firmware flow chart is depicted in which a σeneral cycle of operation in connection with a personal computer is depicted. In Fig. 4, after power u initialization, a directory is downloaded from the compute to the controller memory and the available files are dis played on the LCD 50 of Fig. 1.

A user then will poll any peripherals initially by actuatin a particular function key. This enables a branching to th next menu and returning to the polling of peripherals.

If the polling of peripherals is a command from the compu ter, the sequence is to evaluate the command and either loa a new menu, reinitialize or change to another menu.

If the user depresses a key on the personal computer key board 16 of Fig. 1, this could be a change in the environ ment such that a new menu is displayed.

Referring now to Figs.SA and 5B, a schematic diagram of th personal controller of Fig. 1 is depicted.

Referring now to Figs. 5A and 5B, a schematic diagram of th peripheral controller 10 of Fig. 1 is depicted. In Figs. 5 and 5B (which will be characterized as a composite Fig. 5) , the numeral designations of the components and buses of Fig. 1 are depicted. For example, bus 18, which connects P keyboard 16 to an input buffer 22, appears in Fig. 5. Bus 18 includes clock and data lines which are input through a suitable switch 24 to an input buffer 22 (which is typically LS541) . The output buffers in Fig. 5 include buffer 26 (typically 74LS373) in conjunction with buffers 27.

Bus 14 of Fig. 1, which connects the controller 10 with PC 12, appears in the upper left-hand portion of Fig. 5, and which includes clock and data lines.

The central processor 20 of Fig. 1 is desirably a Z80 CMOS microprocessor 20, as depicted in Fig. 5. The LCD module interface 52 is depicted generally by numeral 52 in Fig. 5, which corresponds to LCD control and data bus 52 of Fig. 1.

The interface to the LCD display 50 of Fig. 1 is controlled by an Epson E1330 liquid crystal display controller 40, as depicted in Fig. 5. Controller 40 contains its own memory which: corresponds to key function and screen memory 40 of Eig, ϊ~ Controller 40 of Fig. 5 contains its own built-in program which permits communication between processor 20 and controller 40, which enables the control of variable dis¬ plays on the keyboard 60. This would include the changing

of the size of the keys of keyboard 60 so that virtually any type of size key can be provided, according to the present invention.

As indicated in Fig. 5, controller 10 includes memories 28 which can be expanded using suitable bank select circuitry to additional add-on memory card 29. Also, the expansion port 70 appears at the bottom of Fig. 5.

Controller 10 of Fig. 5 includes the capability of communi¬ cating with a controllable device with a synchronous clock and data line which, for example, can emulate a PC keyboard. The controller also can receive an asynchronous clock line which then acts as a UART to accept data from a controllable device. Thus, the controller according to the embodiment depicted in Fig. 5 can, in effect, emulate a PC keyboard in order to effect communications, either unidirectional or bidirectional, with a controllable device such as PC 12 of Fig. 1.

If the switch 24 of Fig. 5 is disabled, keyboard 16 of Fig. 1 is essentially cut off from PC 12. If analog switch is enabled, communications from keyboard 16 directly to PC 12 are also permitted. Hence, controller 10 of Fig. 5 can easily be implemented with a controllable device either as peripheral controller or as a means of emulating a keyboard, as described above.

Referring now to Figs. 6A and 6B, a variation of the peri pheral controller 10 of Fig. 2 is depicted. In Fig. 6, controller 11 for a controllable device could be incorpor ated with keyboard 16, rather than as a separate periphera apparatus. Controller 11 incorporates all of the function of peripheral controller 10 of Fig. 1. This aspect of th present invention is depicted in Figs. 6A and 6B.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, another preferred embodiment of controller is depicted i Figs. 7 and 8, which incorporate features for telecommunica¬ tions applications.

In Fig. 7, controller 23 could be utilized with a standar telephone 21 via a telephone cord 25. Controller 23 in cludes a visually variable display means 31. Controller 23 is in turn connected to a conventional telephone wall plug via bus 27.

In Fig. 8, a controller 43, which incorporates telephone functions with a telephone handset 41, is depicted. Display 47 is similar to the displays of Figs. 1 and 2, and control¬ ler 43 is connected to a wall outlet via bus 45.

The aspects of a telecommunications controller according to the present invention will now be described in conjunction with Figs. 9-11.

Referring now to Fig. 9, assume for purposes of explanation that a display 31 of Fig. 7 or display 47 of Fig. 8 is illustrated in Fig. 9 in the form of a telephone main menu. To find and dial a desired telephone number, a user first would select the "directory assistance" option from the telephone main menu depicted in Fig. 9. The displayed main menu will then change to the telephone data entry screen depicted in Fig. 10. By entering from one to 12 letters of the name on the data entry screen depicted in Fig. 10, and pressing an "enter" function, a name search is begun. The present invention provides a fast binary search on the list of; names and a screen appears wit up to eight names, begin¬ ning, with the closest alphabetic match, as depicted in Fig. I ... The user then selects a person to dial or, as illus¬ trated in Fig. 11, the next screen, last screen or return to main menu of Fig. 9.

To enter or delete a name from the controller, a user selects the appropriate option from the main menu depicted in Fig. 14, and the data entry screen depicted in Fig. 10. The controller then prompts the user for name and number entry.

With the addition of a dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) telephone dialer chip, and telephone interface circuitry known in the art, or a modem chip with an autodialer, the controller provides an intelligent telephone dialing capability with built-in name and phone number storage, as well as complete data entry and editing capabilities.

With suitable RAM storage, the telephone embodiment can store up to 500 names and associated phone numbers, and keep these sorted by name alphabetically for the user. With additional memory, more storage space is of course avail¬ able.

The telephone controller may be powered directly by the telephone line 27 depicted in Fig. 7 or with an external wall transformer. The telephone controller could have a battery to allow unplugging of main power without losing any memory content. Fig. 12 depicts the block diagram of a telephone interfac which includes a modem with autodialer and an expansio connector to expansion port 70 of Fig. 1.

Referring now to Fig. 13, a hierarchical sequence of opera tions is depicted which illustrates the voice actuation o voice sensitivity aspects of the present invention.

Speech recognition systems are currently available which when incorporated with the present invention, provide fo voice actuation or voice sensitivity.

With speech or voice recognition capability, a user of controller according to the present invention could follo the sequence of action depicted in Fig. 13. According t one embodiment of the present, invention, the main men depicted in Fig. 13 depicts a plurality of commands associ ated with a particular number. For example, the command NE DISK corresponds with number 1, as depicted in the main men of Fig. 13. Similarly, the WORK START command is associate with and corresponds to number 3.

With voice recognition capability, assume a user say "three" and in accordance therewith the controller i responsive and chains to a word star menu number 1, depicte in Fig. 13.

Assume further that the user says the number "one," whic corresponds to the command WRITE LETTER.

The controller responds as depicted in menu number 3, i which a letter is entered from a keyboard.

In menu number 3 of Fig. 13, a user can control a cursor by a particular voice actuation of a number, as indicated in the action taken column. After editing a letter, the user can exit from menu 3 and chain to, for example, menu no. 8.

If the user wishes to "save and exit," he merely says "two" and the voice actuation will perform the desired function.

The aspects of the present invention can be implemented with voice actuation or voice sensitivity, as well as touch actuation or touch sensitivity.

The controller according to the present invention can communicate either asynchronously or synchronously with both a host computer and the host's input device in a bidirec¬ tional fashion.

As illustrated in Fig* 1 an extender port 70 is also included to allow the addition of up to 253 more peripheral devices, which may include but are not limited to the following:

Parallel ports

RS 232 ports

HPIB interface

Analog to Digital Converters

Digital to Analog Converters

Relay control

Speech synthesizer

Speech recognition devices

Printer and/or plotter interfaces

Telephone Auto Dialer

Modem

Infrared transceiver/ultrasonic/FM transceivers

The extender port also allows memory expansion of up to 1 megabytes, using a bank select scheme for memory addressing.

In addition to the foregoing features, by adding a modem t the controller, it can be used as an online data entry an retrieval terminal for access to online services such as stock market prices, computer banking and computer shopping. These applications should become apparent in view of the foregoing detailed description.

A suitable computer program for controlling the overall operation of the controller need not be included in order to understand the various aspects of the present invention. One of ordinary skill in the art would understand the novel aspects claimed herein.

However, the source listing of the program for controlling the bidirectional communication aspects is appended herewith as Appendix A.

Claims

What is Claimed is:
1. A peripheral controller for a controllable device comprising keypad display means for electronically displaying a plurality of visually variable function key menu displays, including a main menu key display and one or more hierarch¬ ical sub-menu key displays, where each of said plurality of key displays represents a specified function, processor means including memory means for storing one or more preprogrammed device control programs which effect a plurality of specified functions of said control¬ lable device, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said main menu key displays for visually varying said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect one of said specified functions of said controllable device.
2. A peripheral controller as in Claim 1 wherein said keypad display means are touch sensitive for visually varying said menu displays.
3. A peripheral controller as in Claim 1 wherein said keypad display means is voice sensitive for visually varying said menu displays.
4. A peripheral controller for a personal computer compris¬ ing keypad display means for electronically displaying a plurality of visually variable function key displays, including a main menu key display and one or more hierarch¬ ical sub-menu key displays where each of said plurality of key displays represents a specified function, processor means including memory means for storing one or more preprogrammed personal computer control programs which effect a plurality of specified functions of said personal computer, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said main menu key displays for visually varying said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect one of said specified functions of said personal computer.
5. A peripheral controller as in Claim 4 wherein said keypad display means are touch sensitive for visually varying said menu displays.
6. A peripheral controller as in Claim 4 wherein said keypad display means are voice sensitive for visually varying said menu displays.
7. In a peripheral controller for a personal computer including keypad display means for electronically displaying a plurality of visually variable function keymenu displays, including a main menu key display and one or more hierarch¬ ical sub-menu key displays where each of said plurality of key displays represents a specified function and processor means, the improvement characterized by memory means for storing one or more preprogrammed device control programs which effect a plurality of specified functions of said personal computer. said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said main menu key displays for visually varying said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect one of said specified functions of said personal computer.
8.. A controller for a controllable device comprising keypad display means for electronically displaying a plurality of visually variable function key menu displays, including a main menu key display and one or more hierarch¬ ical sub-menu key displays, where each of said plurality of key displays represents a specified function, processor means including memory means for storing one or more preprogrammed device control programs which effect a plurality of specified functions of said control¬ lable device, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said main menu key displays for visually varying said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays, said processor means responsive to actuation of any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect one of said specified functions of said controllable device.
9. A controller as in Claim 8 including means for communi¬ cating bidirectionally with said controllable device.
10. A controller as in Claim 8 including means for communi¬ cating unidirectionally with said controllable device.
11. A controller as in Claim 9 or 10 including means for asynchronously communicating with said controllable device.
12. A controller as in Claim 9 or 10 including means for synchronously communicating with said controllable device. - 23 -
13. A peripheral controller for a telecommunications devic comprising keypad display means for electronically displayin a plurality of visually variable function key menu displays including a main menu key display and one or more hierarch ical sub-menu key displays, where each of said plurality o key displays represents a telecommunications function, processor means including memory means for storin one or more preprogrammed device control programs whic effect a plurality of specified functions of said control lable telecommunications device, said processor means responsive to actuation o any one of said main menu key displays for visually varyin said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-men displays, said processor means responsive to actuation o any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect on of said specified functions of said controllable telecommu nications device.
14. A control system comprising a controllable device, a controller wherein said controller include keypad display means for electronically displaying a plural ity of visually variable function key menu displays, includ ing at least a main menu key display or one or more hier¬ archical sub-menu key displays, where each of said pluralit of key displays represents a specified function, processor means including memory means for storin one or more preprogrammed device control programs whic effect a plurality of specified functions of said control¬ lable device, where said processor means are responsive to actuation of any one of said main menu key displays for visually varying said main menu display to one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays, or where said processor means are responsive to actuation of any one of said hierarchical sub-menu displays to effect one of said speci¬ fied functions of said controllable device.
PCT/US1987/001560 1986-07-07 1987-07-07 Peripheral controller WO1988000371A1 (en)

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EP0417362A1 (en) * 1987-09-04 1991-03-20 Copytele Inc. Data/facsimile telephone subset apparatus incorporating electrophoretic display
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EP0612986A1 (en) * 1993-02-26 1994-08-31 Mettler-Toledo AG Method for selecting and configuring weighing programs in a balance and an electronic balance
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