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Data input arrangement

Info

Publication number
WO1996001585A1
WO1996001585A1 PCT/FI1995/000397 FI9500397W WO1996001585A1 WO 1996001585 A1 WO1996001585 A1 WO 1996001585A1 FI 9500397 W FI9500397 W FI 9500397W WO 1996001585 A1 WO1996001585 A1 WO 1996001585A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
measuring
measurement
sensors
input
data
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/FI1995/000397
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Tapio Tammi
Original Assignee
Polar Electro Oy
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

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/0002Remote monitoring of patients using telemetry, e.g. transmission of vital signals via a communication network
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/68Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient
    • A61B5/6887Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient mounted on external non-worn devices, e.g. non-medical devices

Abstract

According to the present invention, a standard, manual data input arrangement of a data processing device is characterized in that it includes means (13, 14, 15) for measuring one or more psychophysical and/or biological quantities and means for transferring information obtained as a response to said measurement performed by said means for measuring to said data processing device. In one advantageous embodiment, sensors (13, 14, 15) measure the heart rate, body temperature and skin conductivity from the surface of the skin. Said measurement information is used to determine a person's state of stress based on known methods of analysis, which state is output on a computer display. Said measurement can be made while working, by touching sensors situated close to each other (13, 14, 15) in a mouse, for example. The present invention can be used to implement an easy-to-use measuring device that determines stress while a person is working.

Description

Data input arrangement

The present invention is directed to a standard, manual data input arrangement, such as a keyboard, or a data input arrangement which includes a movable instrument that operates together with a display, such as a mouse, control stick, control ball or stylus, of a data processing device, such as a computer.

Measuring devices that register a person's psychophysical condition have long been used as instruments in medical care. Among the most important quantities that are continuously or at least intermittently measured are the heart rate and it's changes, body temperature and blood pressure, and possibly also fluid balance, skin conductivity, blood glucose and blood oxygen or carbon dioxide content. With the increase in scientific training, similar measuring devices have been developed for athletes to define their state of exertion, which in addition to measuring heart rate, measure typical quantities such as muscle tension and the muscle's lactic acid content. As a rule, these devices measure quantities that reflect the psychophysical condition through different types of skin sensors. The measurement can be galvanic, in which case the sensor measures the resistance, capacitance or potential difference between two or more electrodes which are touching the surface of the skin. The measurement can be based on changes occuring in the conductivity of electrical components which touch the surface of the skin. With sensors based on electromagnetism, the measurable quantity is determined by an electromagnetic signal which is reflected from or generated by the object being measured and which is usually optical. Optical sensors usually operate in the range of visible light or infrared light. Acoustic sensors also measure a signal which is reflected or generated by the object being measured and which is a pressure signal. The measuring frequencies of acoustic sensors typically vary from the hearing range to the ultrasonic range. Other sensors that measure body functions are based on the measurement of pressure, force and their changes from the surface of the skin.

Pulse and pulse variation sensors are usually based either on EKG measurements (electrocardiogram) or on the detection of an advancing pulse of blood in the veins by optical reflection or permeation measurement. One alternative method of measuring pulse is to ascertain a^pressure signal produced by the contraction of the heart and the resulting pulse of blood by means of a pressure sensor placed on the surface of the skin. Pulse measurement can also be realized with sensors based on ballistocardiography, which measure a person's weight change caused by the force produced in the aortic arch as the heart contracts. Skin conductivity is measured with a galvanic conductivity or resistance measurement between two or more conducting electrodes.

The best known sensors which measure body temperature are constructions based on thermistors, temperature sensitivity of semiconductors or thermal flow, where the measurement is a touch-sensitive measurement. Depending on the type of sensor, the measurement lasts about 5 - 60 seconds.

In blood pressure measurement, the old method based on palpitation and listening is generally used along with derivatives of that method which have been developed. For continual measurement, various servo or tonometric methods have been developed.

Muscle tension can be determined through electrodes that are placed on the surface of the skin over a muscle and which detect electrical EMG signals (electromyography). An amplifier is usually connected to the sensor. At present, a small blood sample is needed to determine the lactic acid concentration in the muscle. An optical analysis is usually performed on the blood sample. In the future, it may be possible to perform diverse analyses of blood samples without puncturing the skin by using opto-acoustic sensors, for example.

A diverse selection of commercial devices that measure different states of exertion of the body has been produced that is based on sensors, methods of measurement and methods of analyzing measurement information which have been developed for the needs of the medical field and athletic training, and which are also suitable for self-care or amateur use. Some of these devices are small, portable measuring instruments which are designed almost exclusively for measuring body functions. Some of the devices can be realized by installing measurement software and a measuring unit including measuring sensors in industry-standard, commercial microcomputers. The measuring unit is usually installed in one of the computer's expansion slots.

In computer-based devices, measurement information produced by the sensors is transferred from the object being measured to the computer for storage and further processing either by cable or wirelessly as electromagnetic, e.g., optical, or acoustic signals, in which case the sensor end of the measuring unit has a sender and the computer end of the measuring unit has a receiver for transferring the signal. Measurement software often has characteristics which make it possible to compile individualized training programs which optimally exercise different body parts on the basis of gathered measurement information.

There are problems related to computer-based measuring devices of the prior art. One of the problems is the intricacy of their use. In order to begin measurement, preparative measures are required such as the setting up of the measuring program and the fastening of sensors to the surface of the skin at different parts of the body, e. g., the chest, arm, or leg, either with tape or straps. During pauses in measurements, sensors which are connected to the computer with cables have to be disconnected from the skin or the measuring unit has to be disconnected from the computer's expansion slot so that the person who is the object of the measurement can move farther away from the computer. Another problem related to usage is obtaining an adequate contact between the skin and the sensor. With some types of sensors, the formation of an air space between the skin and the sensor can distort measurement information or prevent it from forming. To alleviate this problem there are various gels commercially available which improve the contact, but which otherwise would not be necessary to use. One obvious hardware problem is the faults that easily develop in the cables of the measuring unit and the resulting interference in the transmission of measurement information from the sensor to the computer. Cable faults can be eliminated with a wireless connection but the production of this type of measuring unit is much costlier. Also, in some situations a problem can arise because of an inadequate number of computer expansion ports if many measuring units or other peripheral equipment has to be connected to the computer.

The measuring devices described above best serve people who are highly motivated and interested in knowing how their body is functioning, such as fitness enthusiasts, for whom the convenience of the device isn't its most important characteristic, but nevertheless is a significant criterion when purchasing the device. However, devices of the prior art are too complicated to be applied to the measurement of body functions while at work, e.g., for determining stress. This type of device, besides being easy to use, should also be simple and unobtrusive so that it would not unnecessarily overload the working environment.

A standard, manual data input arrangement of a data processing device according to the present invention is characterized in that it includes means for measuring one or more psychophysical and/or biological quantities and means for transferring information obtained as a response to the measurement made by the means for measuring to a data processing device.

The idea of the present invention is to situate a sensor or other similar instrument that functions as a means for measuring as part of a keyboard, mouse or other standard, manual data input device of a data processing device, such as a computer, and equip said data input device with means for providing the data processing device with information obtained as a response to measurements made by the means for measuring, which correspond to ordinary means for converting input data into a form that said data processing device is able to receive and process. Ordinary means for converting, for example, in a keyboard, are formed by a matrix of switches that convert a key depression into an electric signal. Means for measuring according to the present invention can be made up of a sensor which measures a quantity that depicts a person's psychophysical state from the surface of the skin during the depression of a key, which is directed to an area of the input device belonging to the means for measuring, or is activated by the depression of a key. As a response to the depression of a key, the means for providing information to the data processing device, which may be a circuit realized with commercial processor, memory and logic circuits and control software, which are connected to the means for measuring, may also activate the measurement software to process the measurement information and output it to the display of the computer.

In one advantageous embodiment the sensors measure the heart rate, body temperature and skin conductivity from the surface of the skin. From this measurement information a person's stress is defined, based on known methods of analysis, which stress information is output in a window opening on the computer screen. The measurement is performed when a person touches sensors situated close to each other in a mouse, for example, while working with the computer.

The present invention completely eliminates the need for a separate measuring unit and sensors attached to the skin, and thereby all the above-mentioned problems associated with cables, peripheral device connections and fastening of sensors. Furthermore, by applying the present invention, the measuring software does not necessarily have to be started up separately. The present invention can be used to realize an easy-to-use measuring device for determining stress while working.

The present invention is described in detail below, with references to the enclosed drawings. Figure 1 shows an embodiment of situating measuring sensors in a mouse according to the present invention,

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of situating the measuring sensors as part of a keyboard according to the present invention,

Figures 3a and 3b show another embodiment of situating measuring sensors in a mouse according to the present invention, and

Figure 4 shows still another embodiment of the present invention wherein a separate measuring unit is situated in conjunction with a standard, manual data input device.

A data input device according to the present invention includes, in addition to input means to implement input functions characteristic of said device, also input means which include measuring means, in practice, a sensor. The input of information is activated by touching or pressing a contact surface of the input means, which contact is converted to an electrical signal by a converting component belonging to the input means. The measuring means may be part of a converting component of the input means, such as a key which includes a switch element, whereupon said key functions both as a switch and a sensor. The measuring means may also be made up of means for measuring only.

An advantageous embodiment of the present invention is, therefore, a standard input device which functions like an input device of its type normally functions on the one hand, and which additionally is equipped with sensors that function as measuring means, on the other hand, already in the manufacturing stage. Measurement information produced by the sensors is integrated into the input information of the input device. The part of the input information that includes the measurement information can be channelled by means of software to be an input to measuring software in a Windows-type multi-program environment, for example. Such an implementation requires intelligent sensors or a separate processing unit connected to the sensors which can be realized, e.g., with commercial processor, memory and logic circuits and control software or an ASIC component especially designed for this purpose and which produces measurement information obtained as a response to the measurement made by the sensor for the data processing device and which is able to control implementation of the measurement and processing of the measurement results. By following the principle of implementation of the present invention described above, the sensors can be situated as part of an input device in which the input of information is based on touching or pressing, for example. Such input devices are, for example, a keyboard, mouse, control stick, control ball or touch-sensitive display, which is connected to a computer or other data processing device. The sensors are based on structures, techniques and materials well known in the art. The measurement may be galvanic, based on pressure or force, or based on changes in conductivity of an electrical component touching the object being measured. The measurement can also be made electromagnetically or acoustically, whereupon no direct contact is necessary between the object being measured and the sensor. A sensor based on optical measurement can be situated in the data input device beneath a transparent surface.

Figures 1 - 3 show different embodiments of situating sensors in a data input device. In figure 1, a mouse 11 contains an area 12 which includes sensors. In this example, two of the sensors 13, 14 function galvanically, being formed by two electrodes. A third sensor 15 may be optical or acoustic, for example. In the figure, the area 12 which includes the sensors is located between buttons 16 and 17 of the mouse so that it requires no effort to touch the sensors while working with the mouse. The sensor area 12 can function as an independent input means, whereupon the measuring function will be activated when the area is pressed. Alternately, the sensor area can be part of a converting component of a button 16 or 17, for example, whereupon the measurement will be activated when the button 16 or 17 is depressed. In that case the measurement can be made from the surface of the skin touching the sensor area 12 or without skin contact.

In figure 2, the corresponding area 21 that includes sensors is situated in the upper right-hand corner of a keyboard, which is usually free of keys that input normal character information. This type of sensor location is appropriate when measuring is done periodically or infrequently, because measurements caused by accidental contacts can be eliminated due to the sensors being located apart from the other keys.

The sensors can be located in clearly defined areas as shown in figures 1 and 2. On the other hand, e.g., for ergonomic reasons, it may sometimes be appropriate to situate the sensors in several separate areas, as shown in figures 3 a and 3b, or to locate the sensors individually, apart from each other, while taking into account the optimal use of the data input device.

Figures 3a and 3b show a mouse 31 viewed from the left face 32 and correspondingly from the right face 34. A sensor area 33 on the left face 32 is touched by the thumb, for example, and a sensor area 35 on the right face 34 is touched by the ring finger, for example. Placement according to figures 3a and 3b also provides longer and more continuous measurements by said sensors.

One advantageous embodiment of the present invention is precisely a mouse which has standard mouse functions and which additionally functions as an important part of an advanced biological monitoring system. A user can use the standard mouse functions to make normal selections from menus or icons or other presented forms of multiple-choice items or otherwise use the mouse normally in the manner allowed by different applications. In a biological monitoring system the mouse functions as a sensor that primarily monitors the conductivity of the user's skin and may also monitor skin temperature and heart rate and heart rate changes, for example. Such a mouse is connected to software which allows the user to easily begin measuring quantities that depict his or her psychophysical condition while working and which will provide the user information about stress, for example, or biological activeness in general, based on the measurements. Implementation may be such that measurement of the biological and psychophysical quantities is performed in the applications in the background, and the user will be given reminders, depending on the results of the measurements. Functioning of the application can also depend on the results of the measurements.

The sensor can be part of a converting component of a key that inputs character data, which belongs to a data input device, for example, whereupon it can be located on the contact surface of the key, underneath the key cap or in a separate area next to the key, like the sensor area 12 shown in figure 1. Generally, the means for measuring may form at least part of the contact surface of the input device, which is comprised of, for example, only the contact surface of the key or also a surface including touch-sensitive sensors corresponding to the sensor area 12 of figure 1.

Measurement is performed during the period of contact, or the contact starts the measurement. Some types of sensors require several seconds to perform the measurement. In the case of such a sensor, a short key depression could perform the normal key function and a longer key depression could activate the measurement and possibly the measuring software. It is known that software can also be activated with other key-in sequences which are directed to either the sensors or the keys of the data input device. For example, the measurement can be activated by pointing to an activation area on the display screen with the mouse.

The present invention can advantageously be applied to the measurement of quantities that depict a person's psychophysical condition while the surface of the skin is in contact with a sensor. Quantities that are typically measured are the heart rate and changes in the heart rate, skin conductivity, skin temperature and the content of different substances in the blood. By selecting suitable sensors, such as sensors that measure the heart rate, skin temperature and skin conductivity, the condition of psychic exertion can be determined from the results of the measurements by means of different analytical methods. This information can be used not only as an isolated measurement result, but as input information for other software applications, such as computer games or other training programs in which stress control plays a central role in the completion of the program. One application of stress measurement could be an airplane simulator used in pilot training.

The present invention can also be realized by means of a measuring unit. The measuring unit can be located in a separate enclosure in conjunction with a keyboard, for example, as shown in figure 4. The enclosure 41 which includes sensors can be fastened to the end face or some other face of the keyboard 42 as shown in the figure. The measuring unit can also be located in the same enclosure as the data input device. Measurement information is transferred to a data processing device either wirelessly or by cable 43 according to the known techniques presented and referred to in the present application. A small measuring unit can be fastened in the same manner to the surface of a mouse.

By applying the present invention, an easy-to-use measuring device that specifically measures different body functions from the surface of the skin can be implemented. The device does not include separate sensors that must be fastened to the skin or separate cables. Sensors that require direct skin contact function without a medium that improves conductivity because their contact is naturally close when they are situated according to the present invention.

A data processing device that incorporates a data input device according to the present invention can be an ordinary microcomputer, a PDA or pocket micro, or even a hand-held radio telephone whose advanced data transfer technology can be applied to the transfer of measurement information. In a hand-held telephone, the sensors advantageously are part of the keyboard.

The present invention is not limited to the embodiments presented above, but can vary to the extent allowed by the enclosed claims.

Claims

Claims
1. A standard, manual data input arrangement of a data processing device, characterized in that it includes means (13, 14, 15, 21, 33, 35, 41) for measuring one or more psychophysical and/or biological quantities and means for transferring information obtained as a response to said measurement made by said means for measuring to a data processing device.
2. The standard manual data input arrangement according to claim 1, characterized in that said data processing device includes means for processing said information obtained as a response to said measurement.
3. The standard manual data input arrangement according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said information obtained as a response to said measurement includes a command to process said information.
4. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said means (13, 14, 15, 21, 33, 35, 41) for measuring include a contact surface and perform said measurement as a response to said contact surface being touched.
5. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any preceding claim, characterized in that it includes a keyboard.
6. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any preceding claim, characterized in that it includes a movable means such as a mouse, control stick, control ball or stylus that operates together with a display of said data processing device.
7. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said data processing device is a computer.
8. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that said data processing device is a communication terminal.
9. The standard manual data input arrangement according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said means (13, 14, 15, 21, 33, 35, 41) for measuring include means for measuring one or more of the following quanitites: skin conductivity, skin temperature, heart rate, change in heart rate.
PCT/FI1995/000397 1994-07-11 1995-07-10 Data input arrangement WO1996001585A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FI943283 1994-07-11
FI943283A FI943283A (en) 1994-07-11 1994-07-11 Data Entry Device

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Publication Number Publication Date
WO1996001585A1 true true WO1996001585A1 (en) 1996-01-25

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WO (1) WO1996001585A1 (en)

Cited By (28)

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WO1999051144A1 (en) * 1998-04-06 1999-10-14 Thomas Michael Park Stress monitoring system
EP1153573A2 (en) * 2000-05-13 2001-11-14 Jaenam Kim Stethoscope mouse
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WO2002080762A1 (en) * 2001-04-06 2002-10-17 Medic4All Inc. A physiological monitoring system for a computational device of a human subject
DE10229672A1 (en) * 2002-04-26 2003-11-13 Tatung Co Mouse, which is for detecting a physiological signal and the ambient luminance in a position
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US7598878B2 (en) 2001-12-10 2009-10-06 Rami Goldreich Method and device for measuring physiological parameters at the wrist
EP2248461A2 (en) * 2008-03-04 2010-11-10 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Remote medical diagnosis device including bio-mouse and bio-keyboard, and method using the same
CN103781409A (en) * 2011-07-05 2014-05-07 沙特阿拉伯石油公司 Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving biomechanical health of employees
CN103781405A (en) * 2011-07-05 2014-05-07 沙特阿拉伯石油公司 Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
CN103796575A (en) * 2011-07-05 2014-05-14 沙特阿拉伯石油公司 Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving biomechanical health of employees
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US9256711B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2016-02-09 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for providing health information to employees via augmented reality display
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US9349280B2 (en) 2013-11-18 2016-05-24 At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. Disrupting bone conduction signals
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US9492120B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2016-11-15 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Workstation for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
US9582071B2 (en) 2014-09-10 2017-02-28 At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. Device hold determination using bone conduction
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WO1999051144A1 (en) * 1998-04-06 1999-10-14 Thomas Michael Park Stress monitoring system
EP1153573A2 (en) * 2000-05-13 2001-11-14 Jaenam Kim Stethoscope mouse
EP1153573A3 (en) * 2000-05-13 2002-11-27 Jaenam Kim Stethoscope mouse
US9430043B1 (en) 2000-07-06 2016-08-30 At&T Intellectual Property Ii, L.P. Bioacoustic control system, method and apparatus
WO2002051307A1 (en) * 2000-12-27 2002-07-04 Medic4All Inc. System and method for automatic monitoring of the health of a user
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DE10229672A1 (en) * 2002-04-26 2003-11-13 Tatung Co Mouse, which is for detecting a physiological signal and the ambient luminance in a position
WO2008061788A1 (en) * 2006-11-23 2008-05-29 Flore, Ingo Medical measuring device
US9603521B2 (en) 2006-11-23 2017-03-28 Ingo Flore Medical measuring device
US9060700B2 (en) 2007-09-07 2015-06-23 Ingo Flore Medical measurement device for bioelectrical impedance measurement
EP2248461A4 (en) * 2008-03-04 2013-03-20 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Remote medical diagnosis device including bio-mouse and bio-keyboard, and method using the same
EP2248461A2 (en) * 2008-03-04 2010-11-10 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Remote medical diagnosis device including bio-mouse and bio-keyboard, and method using the same
US8764655B2 (en) 2008-03-04 2014-07-01 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Remote medical diagnosis device including bio-mouse and bio-keyboard, and method using the same
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US9492120B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2016-11-15 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Workstation for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
CN103796575A (en) * 2011-07-05 2014-05-14 沙特阿拉伯石油公司 Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving biomechanical health of employees
US9830577B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2017-11-28 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Computer mouse system and associated computer medium for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
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US9462977B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2016-10-11 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
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US9526455B2 (en) 2011-07-05 2016-12-27 Saudi Arabian Oil Company Systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for monitoring and improving health and productivity of employees
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