WO2002010899A1 - Rapid positioning cursor control device - Google Patents

Rapid positioning cursor control device Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2002010899A1
WO2002010899A1 PCT/NO2001/000313 NO0100313W WO0210899A1 WO 2002010899 A1 WO2002010899 A1 WO 2002010899A1 NO 0100313 W NO0100313 W NO 0100313W WO 0210899 A1 WO0210899 A1 WO 0210899A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
cursor
aiming
characterised
wheel
utility
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NO2001/000313
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Steinar Pedersen
Original Assignee
Steinar Pedersen
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

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0354Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 2D relative movements between the device, or an operating part thereof, and a plane or surface, e.g. 2D mice, trackballs, pens or pucks
    • G06F3/03543Mice or pucks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0362Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 1D translations or rotations of an operating part of the device, e.g. scroll wheels, sliders, knobs, rollers or belts
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/038Control and interface arrangements therefor, e.g. drivers or device-embedded control circuitry
    • G06F3/0383Signal control means within the pointing device
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/033Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/033
    • G06F2203/0333Ergonomic shaped mouse for one hand
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/033Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/033
    • G06F2203/0334Ergonomic shaped mouse for vertical grip, whereby the hand controlling the mouse is resting or gripping it with an attitude almost vertical with respect of the working surface

Abstract

The described invention represents a utility for use with cursor control devices (1) and control modules for computers, communication units and other equipment posessing a screen or display; where activation of programs and functions are achieved by positioning a cursor on top of an icon, a symbol or another active area of the screen ('activable target area'). The utility comprises an aiming wheel (5) that can move a visualisable aiming line originating from the cursor position in any direction on the screen, and direct the aiming line towards a desired, activable or non-activable target area; where the utility furthermore encompasses an activation function ('trigger button') (4) by which the operator may launch the cursor and send it along the aiming line when the latter has assumed a desired direction.

Description

Rapid positioning cursor control device

The described invention represents a utility for use in connection with cursor control devices and steering modules for computers, communication devices and other types of equipment posessing a screen or a display, where the utility provides an opportunity to move the cursor from an existing position to a pre-selected point on the screen by means of depressing an activation button.

The most popular devices used for control of cursors and other graphic symbols and objects on the PC-screen are mice, trackballs, steering buttons, joysticks and touchpads . Several different varieties of the mouse are described in U.S. Pat. 3,541,541; U.S. Pat. 3,892,963; U.S. Pat. 3,541,521 and U.S. Pat. 4,464,652.

Many attempts have been made to change the shape and functionality of the mouse in order to improve its ergonomic properties. Examples of such improvements are the use of invaginations on the sides of the mouse and the use of rubber-like patches on the surface. These features provide a better grip and make forward and backward movements easier to perform. The basic control mode, implying gripping the mouse with thumb and fourth or fifth finger is however, not changed.

Another example is the so-called "vertical mouse" (Animax International ASA) consisting of a flat "mouse" with a vertical handgrip on the top. This mouse is controlled in a similar way as a joystick or gear stick. The right and left mouse buttons are combined in a bi-functional switch, operated by the thumb.

Other systems use index finger control or incorporate control sticks that are gripped by fingers or hand, as e.g. described in U.S. Pat. 4,736,191; U.S. Pat. 4,680,577; PCT/US89/05662 ; EP A3 0,295,368; EP Al 0,640,937; U.S. Pat. 4,719,455; PCT/JP89/01148; PCT/CA90/00022 ; U.S. Pat. 4,935,728 and EP A3 0,556,936.

This inventor has developed cursor control devices that are described in Norwegian patents 300943, 305147, 305048, 305148 and 305150, and in PCT/NO96/00077, PCT/NO98/00233, PCT/N098/242, PCT/NO98/00267 and PCT/NO99/00054. The device's control module comprises a hand or finger grip (control stick) , mounted vertically on a guide plate that can be moved in the horizontal plane by means of the stick. The control module is preferably seized by the thumb and index finger and handled according to a writing- or drawing motion.

A considerable part of traditional computer work that is assisted by a control device (e.g. mouse) involves moving the cursor back and forth on the computer screen, particularly in connection with activation of programs and functions . This implies positioning the cursor on top of an icon, a symbol, a name/expression on a menu line, a graphical activation switch or a text-link, whereupon one of the mouse buttons is used to activate said function. Context-associated menus called upon by the right mouse button may eliminate some of the cursor movement, while scrolling wheels and scrolling buttons may reduce the use of arrow keys for vertical and horizontal panning of documents. However, a majority of tasks and functions requiring the use of a control device still implies moving the cursor from one part of the screen to another, with accompanying possibility of developing stress symptoms (SRI; "repetitive stress injury").

This inventor has surprisingly discovered that operational weaknesses and SRI-development associated with the classical mouse, the vertical mouse and other traditional control devices may be dramatically reduced if the device is equipped with a utility that "fires" or "shoot" the cursor towards the target. Thus, the hand or finger movements that usually relocates the cursor from one given position to a defined target area may be greatly reduced and so also a considerable part of the stressful screen work. Important provisions for this function are that the device is equipped with a wheel that is functioning as an aiming utility ("aiming wheel" or "direction wheel"), a function that calls upon and visualises a line on the screen ("aiming line" or "direction line") that signify the direction of the cursor movement, in addition to a switch function ("trigger button" or "trigger switch") that will send or "shoot" the cursor along the aiming line towards the target .

With the classical mouse, the aiming wheel may advantageously be mounted in a horizontal position on the left side and thereby be operated (rolled or turned) by means of the thumb. In a preferred embodiment the mouse will be equipped with a plateau, upon which the thumb may rest during operation of the aiming wheel. This plateau may also incorporate a switch functioning as a trigger button, implying that both the aiming and "launching" of the cursor are performed by using the thumb. (The "aiming wheel" is used in this context as representing all kinds of physical utilities that have the capability of directing the aiming line towards a target, but preferentially, this utility is also shaped as wheel or circular disc) .

With other embodiments of the invention the trigger switch is incorporated in the aiming wheel and activated by tilting the wheel relative to the rotation plane, or pushed in the direction of the rotation axis.

The aiming wheel and the trigger button are suitable for incorporation in all known control devices, both free standing devices and control modules incorporated in portable units . With the vertical mouse both the aiming wheel and trigger switch may e.g. be mounted in the lower part of the thumb plateau, below the bi-functional switch serving as traditional mouse buttons. Alternatively, the aiming wheel may be localised in the front of the handgrip below the position of the index finger, available for operation by the latter. With portable computers, the aiming wheel and trigger button may be localised in front of the keyboard (between keyboard and operator) , in a way that depends upon which cursor control system is used. They may e.g. be positioned in conjunction with the switch functions of a steering button (TrackPoint™) , in the rear part of a touch pad (between the touch pad and the space bar) or surrounding a track-ball. A large part of the aiming wheel will be hidden in the chassis, making only a smaller segment visible and accessible to the operator. With most devices utilising the invention, both the aiming wheel and trigger button are commonly operated by the thumb, due to this being ergonomically advantageous and because the thumb is usually not assigned other essential steering and activation tasks (as e.g. the index finger, the third and the fourth finger that operate the right and left mouse button and the scrolling wheel) .

The aiming line has an important function, as it indicates in which direction the cursor will move when it is "launched" by the trigger button. The aiming line may be constantly visible forming a line (broken, continuous, coloured, grey, etc.) originating in the cursor's present position. In a preferred embodiment the aiming line becomes visible when the aiming wheel is touched, either due to a light pressure against the wheel (activating a switch function) or due to a miniscule turning motion. The direction of the aiming line when it appears will, in a preferred embodiment be parallell to the Y-axis, in a direction towards the top edge of the screen. Alternatively the orientation of the aiming line may be controlled by a logical function, whereby the initial direction of the line may be dependent upon the position of the cursor. As an example, the screen may be subdivided into four or six quadrants, where a cursor position in a quadrant in the lower half of the screen produces a start direction of +Y (90°; upwards), whereas a cursor position in a quadrant in the upper half of the screen produces a start direction of -Y (270°; downwards) . Alternative start directions are +X and -X with the cursor on the left and right side of the screen, respectively. This principle may be varied, and e.g. provide start direction of 135° with the cursor in the lower, right quadrant, 315° with the cursor in the upper, left quadrant, and 225° with the cursor in the upper, right quadrant.

Upon bringing up (visualising) the aiming line, it is directed towards the target by rotating the aiming wheel horizontally. The aiming wheel may be rotated indefinitely in both directions around its axis, thus allowing the aiming line to be positioned at any angle relative to its initial direction.

Due to a large part of cursor positioning has as its purpose to put it on top of an icon, a function on a menu line, a graphical activation button, a text line representing a link, etc. ("activable target area"), preferred embodiments of the invention include a function that produces a signal when the aiming line is directed towards, or is crossing said target areas. Activation of the signalling function may imply that the aiming line changes character, e.g. assumes another colour, becomes broader/thicker, starts "flashing" or "blinking", etc. Alternatively, the icon, menu function, link or activation button that is crossed by the aiming line may change character, e.g. change colour, "lighten up", start flashing, etc. In some instances the aiming line may cross more than one activable target area, whereby several subsequent icons, menu functions or activation buttons along the same line will change character and indicate that they represent potential cursor targets.

In some instances it may be advantageous to provide the aiming line with the property of preferred directions, i.e. giving the aiming line "affinity" towards icons, menu functions and activation buttons, etc., making it be "drawn" towards these screen symbols when it is at a distance below a certain limit . This function is optional and may be called upon by the operator.

When the aiming line is directed towards, or crossing the targeted active area, the cursor is launched or "shot" towards the target by means of the trigger button. The movement of the cursor from start to target may take place instantaneously. However, in preferred embodiments the cursor will move at a certain speed towards the target, permitting the operator to observe and control that the final destination of the cursor is as intended. The speed of the movement may be controlled by the operator and incorporated in the utility as a selectable and adjustable option.

If the first "hit" is not the intended target, but the destination target is localised further down the aiming line, a further movement of the cursor may be instigated immediately by a second activation ("click") of the trigger button.

In certain instances it may be advantageous to get a visible or audible indication of target hit. According to the invention this may be achieved by the making the cursor change character (shape, colour, etc.), by making the target symbol change character (e.g. appearing with shaded contours) , or by making a hit be associated with a sound signal, a light signal or a vibration or "kick" associated with the control device (tactile response) by means of e.g. an electro-mechanical utility.

If the aiming line is not crossing an activable area, the cursor will move uninterrupted towards the outer edge of the screen after launch.

When the operator intends to activate the target function immediately after a hit, and when there is no doubt about the correct target function being hit, activation may be instigated by double-clicking the trigger button as part of the launch procedure. Thus, a subsequent use of the left mouse button (or return key) which is normally required for function activation is made redundant.

Another function that may be utilised according to the invention is to control the length of the cursor movement and to interrupt motion at a selected point along the aiming line. This may be achieved by launching the cursor by pressing the trigger button and keeping it depressed, and subsequently releasing the button when the cursor has reached the desired point. Alternatively, the same result may be achieved by starting the cursor with a single click and interrupting its motion with a second click before the cursor has reached an activable target area.

An even more precise control of the movement may be achieved if this is executed by means of a vertical scrolling wheel (which is standard in most modern control devices) . With this embodiment, the aiming line is directed towards the desired target area by means of the aiming wheel, whereupon the scrolling wheel is used to move the cursor towards said target .

The invention may also be used in conjunction with 3D- software. Here, the aiming wheel may be used to determine the direction in the horizontal plane while the scrolling wheel is used to provide direction in the vertical plane. When the aiming line has hit the target in virtual space, the trigger button is used to "shoot" the cursor towards the target object. The same functions as described above may also be utilised for 3D purposes.

The utility will as a standard incorporate a timer-function, optionally turning off the aiming line after a pre-determined time interval if there has been no activity associated with the described function.

According to the invention, a utility is described for use in conjunction with cursor control devices and control modules for computers, communication units and other types of equipment posessing a screen or display, or communicating with equipment posessing a screen or display; where the activation of programs and functions is performed by positioning a cursor on top of an icon, a symbol, a word/expression, a menu line, a word or sentence representing a link, a graphic push-button, or equivalent active areas of the screen (common term: "activable target area" or "target function"); where the utility encompasses an aiming wheel that can move a visual aiming line on the screen in any direction and "point" the aiming line towards a desired activable or non-activable target area, where the utility has an activation function ("trigger button") by which the operator may launch or shoot the cursor along the aiming line when the latter has attained the desired direction. The aiming line may be constantly visible, or be visualised on command by touching or moving the aiming wheel. The utility may furthermore be equipped with a function that makes the aiming line change character when it is directed towards an activable target area (change colour, width, start blinking, etc.); where an alternative function may result in the target area changing character when it is crossed by the aiming line (change colour, shape, start blinking, etc.). A third function may make the target area or the cursor change character when the target area is hit by the cursor (change colour, shape, start blinking, provide a sound signal, give a tactile response, etc.) . The utility may also be equipped with a command function implying that the target function is activated once the cursor is launched (e.g. by double- clicking the trigger button) , in addition to a control function allowing the cursor movement to be terminated at a random position along the aiming line (e.g. by a second click of the trigger button or by the movement being controlled by a scrolling wheel, etc.) . The utility may also be used to control cursors and objects in a virtual space, e.g. when used in conjunction with 3D-software.

The aiming wheel may utilise an opto-electronic sensor, generating pulses when rotated, or be based on other optical, capacitive, conductive or similar principles that are known to a person skilled in the art. The trigger button may constitute a separate unit that is activated independently of the aiming wheel, or be associated with the aiming wheel and be activated by a force dissimilar to the rotational force (e.g. radial pressure, tilting motion, etc.).

Preferred embodiments will now be described by means of examples with reference to accompanying figures, where:

Fig. 1 shows a PC-mouse with aiming wheel and trigger button according to the invention, seen in perspective.

Fig. 2 shows the mouse illustrated in Fig. 1, seen from above .

Fig. 3 shows a vertical section of the mouse illustrated in Fig. 1. Fig. 4A and Fig. 4B show details of a sensor used in conjunction with the aiming wheel.

Fig. 5 shows a portable PC with a mouse according to the invention, with screen graphics and cursor.

Fig. 6A - Fig. 8C illustrate different applications of the invention, where the aiming line is directed by means of the aiming wheel and the cursor is launched by means of the trigger button.

Fig. 9 shows a mouse of a different shape equipped with scrolling wheel, aiming wheel and trigger button.

Fig. 10 illustrates an individual scrolling and aiming wheel and their relative spatial orientation.

Fig. 11A - Fig. 11C illustrate use of a scrolling wheel to move the cursor to a non-activable target area.

Fig. 12 illustrates use of an aiming wheel and scrolling wheel for controlled positioning of a cursor in virtual space.

Fig. 13 illustrates a portable PC with incorporated aiming wheel and trigger button.

Fig. 14 shows a detail of the control module used by the PC illustrated in Fig. 13.

Fig. 15A - Fig. 15B show an aiming wheel with associated trigger function.

Fig. 16 illustrates a "vertical mouse" with incorporated aiming wheel and trigger button. A more detailed description of the different parts of the devices and their function is given below:

Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show a PC-mouse 1, which has incorporated an aiming wheel 5 and a trigger button 4 according to the invention. In addition to a left 2 and a right 3 mouse button the mouse is equipped with a plateau 40 upon which the thumb may rest when maneuvering the aiming wheel 5. The trigger button 4 is integrated in the plateau. Fig. 3 represents a vertical section through the mouse, and illustrates schematically how one sensor is attached to the aiming wheel 5 and another sensor 9 is tracking the mouse movement in the X-Y plane. The sensor that is attached to the aiming wheel 5 is shown in greater detail in Fig. 4A and Fig. 4B, showing that it comprises a rotating "aperture screen" 6, a light source 7 and a photosensor 8. This sensor will generate pulses when the aiming wheel is rotated, and the number of pulses and their frequency are representative of the rotation angle and rotation speed. The detailed construction of this sensor and alternative sensors that may be utilised to measure the rotation of the aiming wheel will be known to people skilled in the art.

Fig. 5 illustrates a portable PC 10 with an attached mouse 1 that incorporates the utility as described. The PC screen 11 with its cursor 12 will be used in the following to illustrate embodiments of the invention. In addition to its physical parts described above, the utility comprises a signal generating system that is connected to the aiming wheel and trigger button, transmitting signals to the computer where they are interpreted by the device driver. Signals generated by these two control units will, by means of the driver and relevant software affect the screen appearance and result in special graphic effects. Signal handling and interactions with the screen graphics will be known to people skilled in the art. Fig. 6A represents the screen 11 from Fig. 5, and illustrates a graphic user interface used with a word processor. The cursor 12 is initially localised in the lower, right corner. When the aiming wheel is touched, an aiming line 13 appears on the screen. Initially, the aiming line is parallell to the Y-axis. In Fig. 6B the operator has, by means of the aiming wheel turned the aiming line 14 to a new direction, an angle

-α relative to the start position. The aiming line is now crossing an activable target area representing various font types for use in a document. When the operator is pressing the trigger button the cursor will move along the aiming line 14 and stop on top of the graphical arrow key, as illustrated in Fig. 6C .

In Fig. 7A the aiming line is turned an angle - relative to the start direction and is crossing two activable target areas; 1) a graphical arrow key bringing up a menu for font sizes and 2) a function named "Tools" on the menu line above. When the operator is pressing the trigger button (single click) , the cursor will move along the aiming line and position itself on top of the arrow key representing font sizes (Fig. 7B) . If the operator push the trigger button a second time, the cursor will move further along the aiming line to the next activable target area, "Tools" (Fig. 7C) . In the shown example the operator has made a "double click" of the trigger button, with the result that the menu for "Tools" also appears when the cursor hits this target area.

In Fig. 8A the aiming line has initially a direction where it is not crossing any activable target areas. When the trigger button is pressed, the cursor 12 will move towards the outer edge of the screen (Fig. 8B) . In Fig. 8C the aiming line is rotated to the left, but still not crossing an activable target area. If the operator pushes the trigger button the cursor will under normal circumstances move to the outer edge of the screen (position B) . However, in this example the operator has interrupted the cursor movement, either by means of a second single click of the trigger button or by keeping the trigger button depressed until the cursor has reached the position A, at which instance it was released.

Fig. 9 illustrates an alternative PC mouse 15 with a scrolling wheel 18 and a bi-functional mouse button 16 (substituting right and left mouse button) . The mouse is also equipped with a trigger button 17 and an aiming wheel 18. Fig. 10 illustrates the relative position of the two wheels, with the aiming wheel 18 having a horizontal and the scrolling wheel a vertical orientation.

A simultaneous use of the direction wheel and scrolling wheel is illustrated in Fig. 11A - Fig. llC. The screen in Fig. 11A is showing a table 20, where the operator intends to move the cursor 12 to a field in the upper left corner. This movement is initiated in Fig. 11B, where the aiming line 21 is rotated to the left, making it cross the target field. In Fig. 11C the operator has used the scrolling wheel to move the cursor along the aiming line to the intended destination. In many instances it may be simpler to use the mouse's traditional steering capabilities to move the cursor to a non-activable target area as in this example. However, when using large spreadsheets etc., where the target area is outside the screen limits, it may be appropriate to use the described function, as this method provides far better control of the scrolling than is obtained by "pushing" the cursor towards the rim of the screen using traditional mouse operation. It also permits a directional, two-dimensional scrolling which is different from the one-dimensional scrolling obtained by means of arrow keys . In Fig. 12 the aiming wheel and the scrolling wheel are used to move the cursor 12 in virtual space, e.g. for use in connection with software providing 3D visualisation. Here, the aiming wheel is used to turn the aiming line an angle in the horizontal plane, whereupon the scrolling wheel is used to lift the aiming line an angle β in the vertical plane. When the trigger button is activated the cursor 12 will move to a new position 23, provided that this is an activable target area or the movement controlled by means of a stop function.

Fig. 13 shows a portable PC 24 with a steering button 39, incorporating activation switches and an aiming wheel 25 according to the invention. The latter is shown in greater detail in Fig. 14, comprising the aiming wheel, the left 26 and right 27 mouse buttons, in addition to a trigger button that may either be localised in the bottom of the recess 28 in front of the aiming wheel, or be associated with the aiming wheel itself 29. An example of the latter embodiment is shown in Fig. 15A and Fig. 15B. Here, the aiming wheel 30 is tilted, forming an angle with the horizontal plane (Fig. 15B) . By doing this, a contact between the leads 31, 32 is established in the spring-loaded 33 switch function, which will activate the trigger mechanism. The example illustrates one possible option of connecting the switch mechanism to the aiming wheel. Other solutions will be known to people skilled in the art .

A similar position of the aiming wheel is appropriate when used in conjunction with a touch pad (not shown) , where the touch pad itself may be localised in front of the aiming wheel, corresponding to the position of the recess 28 in Fig. Fig. 16 shows the control utility incorporated in a vertical mouse comprising a handgrip 34 mounted on sculptured base plate 35. During the steering operation the thumb will rest upon a slanted plateau 36, in a position suitable for operating a bi-functional switch 36 serving as left and right mouse buttons. In the present example, the aiming wheel 38 (with associated trigger button) is placed in the lower part of the plateau 36 where it is easily reachable and operable by the thumb. An alternative position is in the front of the handgrip 34 below the position of the index finger.

Several of the devices illustrated and described above are intended for right-hand users . It will be obvious both for the professional and layman that some of the construction details need to be changed for left-hand users.

Claims

Patent Claims
1. Utility for use in connection with cursor control devices and control modules for computers, communication devices and other kinds of equipment posessing a screen or a display, or communicating with equipment posessing a screen or a display, where the activation of programs and functions is performed by positioning a cursor on top of an icon, a symbol, a word/expression, a menu line, a word or sentence representing a link, a graphically depicted push-button, or similar active areas of the screen (common name "activable target area" or "target function"); characterised in that the utility comprises an aiming wheel that can move a visualised aiming line originating from the cursor position in any direction on the screen and direct the aiming line towards a desired activable or non-activable target area; where the utility further comprises an activation function ("trigger button") by which the operator may launch the cursor and send it along the aiming line when the latter has attained the desired direction.
2. Utility according to claim 1; characterised in that the utility may be used to control movements of a cursor along the aiming line in a virtual space; where the aiming wheel is used for positioning the aiming line in the horizontal plane while the device's scrolling wheel is used for positioning the aiming line in the vertical plane.
3. Utility according to claims 1-2; characterised in that when the aiming line crosses one or more activable target areas and the trigger button is pressed, the cursor will move along the aiming line and stop on top of the first activable target area; where a second depression of the trigger button will make the cursor move to a potential next activable target area along the aiming line.
4. Utility according to claims 1-3; characterised in that when the aiming line is not crossing activable target areas or when the cursor is positioned on top of the last activable target area along the aiming line when the trigger button is pressed, the cursor will move further along the aiming line towards the edge of the screen.
5. Utility according to claims 1-4; characterised in that a single click of the trigger button will make the cursor move to the first activable target area along the aiming line or to the edge of the screen if the aiming line is not crossing activable target areas.
6. Utility according to claim 5; characterised in that a second single click of the trigger button after the cursor has started moving will interrupt the cursor movement instantaneously .
7. Utility according to claims 1-6; characterised in that pressing the trigger button and leaving it in a depressed position will send the cursor along the aiming line; where releasing the trigger button will stop the cursor movement instantaneously .
8. Utility according to claims 1-7; characterised in that a double click of the trigger button makes the cursor travel along the aiming line, activating the target function when the cursor hits the first activable target area.
9. Utility according to claims 1-8; characterised in that the utility has a function that allows the cursor speed to be controlled precisely along the aiming line.
10. Utility according to claims 1-9; characterised in that the utility has a function that allows the cursor to be moved back and forth along the aiming line by means of the control device's scrolling wheel or scrolling function.
11. Utility according to claims 1-10; characterised in that the aiming line may be visualised on the screen on command by touching or moving the aiming wheel .
12. Utility according to claims 1-11; characterised in that the appearance of the aiming line is altered when it is directed towards, or crossing an activable target area; where the alteration of appearance implies change of colour, change of width, change of structure, activation of a flashing (blinking) function, or similar features.
13. Utility according to claims 1-12; characterised in that the appearance of the target area is altered when it is hit by the aiming line; where the alteration of appearance implies change of colour, change of shape, appearance of shade effects, activation of a flashing (blinking) function, or similar features .
14. Utility according to claims 1-13; characterised in that the appearance of the target area and/or the cursor is altered when the target area is hit by the cursor; where the alteration of appearance implies change of colour, change of shape, shade effects, activation of a flashing (blinking) function, or alternatively production of a sound signal, a tactile response (kick or vibration) of the control device, or similar features .
15. Utility according to claims 1-14; characterised in that the aiming wheel has a horizontal or essentially horizontal orientation in the control device when this is operated on a horizontal working space.
16. Utility according to claims 1-15; characterised in that the aiming wheel has a position in the control device that makes it accessible for operation by the thumb.
17. Utility according to claims 1-16; characterised in that the signal generating system (the sensor) of the aiming wheel is based on optical, capacitive, conductimetric or similar electronic principles.
18. Utility according to claim 17; characterised in that the sensor utilises a light source, a rotating screen with multiple apertures and a photosensor, yielding pulses when the aiming wheel is rotated.
19. Utility according to claims 1-18; characterised in that the trigger button is associated with the aiming wheel and activated when said wheel is exposed to a force different to the force causing rotation; where the force implies a lateral (tilting; along the rotation axis) or radial/central pressure (towards the rotation axis), or equivalent.
20. Utility according to claims 1-19; characterised in that the trigger function constitutes a separate switch button.
PCT/NO2001/000313 2000-08-01 2001-07-20 Rapid positioning cursor control device WO2002010899A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NO20003909 2000-08-01
NO20003909A NO20003909D0 (en) 2000-08-01 2000-08-01 PC control tool simplified cursor positioning

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU8269701A AU8269701A (en) 2000-08-01 2001-07-20 Rapid positioning cursor control device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2002010899A1 true true WO2002010899A1 (en) 2002-02-07

Family

ID=19911448

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/NO2001/000313 WO2002010899A1 (en) 2000-08-01 2001-07-20 Rapid positioning cursor control device

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2002010899A1 (en)

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1437641A1 (en) * 2003-01-07 2004-07-14 Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique Haptic interface device of the ground-based type comprising at least two separate rotary digital actuators
WO2005119419A1 (en) * 2004-06-04 2005-12-15 Research In Motion Limited Scroll wheel with character input
WO2006017924A1 (en) * 2004-08-16 2006-02-23 Yong Xu Computer mouse with extra surface for thumb operation
US8098230B2 (en) 2004-05-11 2012-01-17 Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille Cites Scientifique Ground-based haptic interface comprising at least two decoupled rotary finger actuators

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0662669A2 (en) * 1994-01-06 1995-07-12 Microsoft Corporation 3-D Cursor positioning device
EP0674288A1 (en) * 1994-03-24 1995-09-27 AT&T Corp. Multidimensional mouse
US5914703A (en) * 1997-05-08 1999-06-22 Primax Electronics. Ltd. Cursor control device
WO2000003319A1 (en) * 1998-07-10 2000-01-20 Computouch A/S Method and system for improved communication between human and computer

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0662669A2 (en) * 1994-01-06 1995-07-12 Microsoft Corporation 3-D Cursor positioning device
EP0674288A1 (en) * 1994-03-24 1995-09-27 AT&T Corp. Multidimensional mouse
US5914703A (en) * 1997-05-08 1999-06-22 Primax Electronics. Ltd. Cursor control device
WO2000003319A1 (en) * 1998-07-10 2000-01-20 Computouch A/S Method and system for improved communication between human and computer

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1437641A1 (en) * 2003-01-07 2004-07-14 Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique Haptic interface device of the ground-based type comprising at least two separate rotary digital actuators
US8098230B2 (en) 2004-05-11 2012-01-17 Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille Cites Scientifique Ground-based haptic interface comprising at least two decoupled rotary finger actuators
WO2005119419A1 (en) * 2004-06-04 2005-12-15 Research In Motion Limited Scroll wheel with character input
WO2006017924A1 (en) * 2004-08-16 2006-02-23 Yong Xu Computer mouse with extra surface for thumb operation

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5923317A (en) Two-handed controller for video games and simulations
US5563628A (en) Hand held computer cursor controller and command input device
US7042441B2 (en) Input device including a scroll wheel assembly for manipulating an image in multiple directions
US6359611B2 (en) Finger controlled computer mouse
US6037930A (en) Multimodal touch sensitive peripheral device
US7084856B2 (en) Mouse having a rotary dial
US5666138A (en) Interface control
US4917516A (en) Combination computer keyboard and mouse data entry system
US5982356A (en) Ergonomic computer cursor control apparatus and mount
US7145551B1 (en) Two-handed computer input device with orientation sensor
US7710397B2 (en) Mouse with improved input mechanisms using touch sensors
US5164713A (en) Cursor position controller for use with mouse and display systems
US5661505A (en) Single hand-controlled computer input device
US20080165132A1 (en) Recognizing multiple input point gestures
US20050275637A1 (en) Method for displaying information responsive to sensing a physical presence proximate to a computer input device
US6181322B1 (en) Pointing device having selection buttons operable from movement of a palm portion of a person's hands
US5473347A (en) Integrated pointing and signaling device
US5805144A (en) Mouse pointing device having integrated touchpad
US6717569B1 (en) Control device with enhanced control aspects and method for programming same
US6323845B1 (en) Single finger controlled computer input apparatus and method
US7242387B2 (en) Pen-mouse system
US5963195A (en) Hardware-selectable mouse movement
US20090040175A1 (en) Input interface device with transformable form factor
US5914702A (en) Pointing device with wrap-around buttons
US5508719A (en) Pressure-actuated pointing device

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW MZ SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE TR BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GQ GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AE AG AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY BZ CA CH CN CO CR CU CZ DE DK DM DZ EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MA MD MG MK MN MW MX MZ NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG US UZ VN YU ZA ZW

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
DFPE Request for preliminary examination filed prior to expiration of 19th month from priority date (pct application filed before 20040101)
REG Reference to national code

Ref country code: DE

Ref legal event code: 8642

122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase
NENP Non-entry into the national phase in:

Ref country code: JP