WO2008003331A1 - 3d mouse and method - Google Patents

3d mouse and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008003331A1
WO2008003331A1 PCT/EG2006/000025 EG2006000025W WO2008003331A1 WO 2008003331 A1 WO2008003331 A1 WO 2008003331A1 EG 2006000025 W EG2006000025 W EG 2006000025W WO 2008003331 A1 WO2008003331 A1 WO 2008003331A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
φ
θ
input
finger
mouse
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EG2006/000025
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French (fr)
Inventor
Cherif Atia Algreatly
Original Assignee
Cherif Atia Algreatly
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Publication date
Application filed by Cherif Atia Algreatly filed Critical Cherif Atia Algreatly
Priority to PCT/EG2006/000025 priority Critical patent/WO2008003331A1/en
Priority claimed from US11/654,740 external-priority patent/US20080010616A1/en
Priority claimed from US11/906,520 external-priority patent/US20080062126A1/en
Publication of WO2008003331A1 publication Critical patent/WO2008003331A1/en

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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
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0481Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance
    • G06F3/04815Interaction with three-dimensional environments, e.g. control of viewpoint to navigate in the environment

Abstract

A mouse and method controlling the cursor over a computer display in two and/or three dimensions using the spherical coordinates system (p, ϑ, and φ). Said mouse comprised of horizontal scroll wheel 201, vertical scroll wheel 202, and another horizontal scroll wheel 203 to be rotated to provide immediate input for (ϑ), (φ), and (p) respectively. The cursor visualizes the values of (p, ϑ, and φ) in three dimensions enabling the user to handle three-dimensional drawing programs, GUI's, or interactive graphics intuitively. The invention introduces other alternatives of different mice mechanisms, virtual keyboards, touchpad's, tilt wheels, scroll balls, trackballs, pointing sticks, and joysticks that use the spherical coordinate system achieving a plurality of advantages that are lacking in the use of the conventional computer input devices.

Description

3D Mouse and Method Technical Field

This invention relates generally to computer pointing devices and methods, and, more particularly, to a mouse controlling the cursor over a computer display in two and/or three dimensions. Background Art

Many mice have been invented since the beginning of the 70's: the early mice of the Stanford Research Institute, U.S. Pat. No. 3,541,541, the mechanical mice of Xerox Corporation, U.S. Pat. No 3,987,685; the optical mice of Mouse System Corporation, U.S. Pat. No. 4,364,035, the 3D ring mice of IBM Corporation, U.S. Pat. No. 5,095,302, the laser optical mice of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Pat. No. 5,274,361, the 3D input mice of Philips Corporation, U.S. Pat. No. 5,784,052, and the optical sensor mice of OmniVision Technologies Inc., U.S. Pat. No. 6,765,555.

However, all the previous invented mice use the Cartesian coordinates system whether in two or three-dimensions (x and y, or x, y, and z). This proposed 3D mouse uses the spherical coordinates system (p, θ, and φ), which gives many advantages that are lacking in the other mice such as: the ability to control the cursor's exact distances and angles in two or three dimensions over a computer display without moving the mouse or even aligning the mouse or the user's hand in any specific direction, in addition to handling three dimensional drawing programs, GUI's, or interactive graphics with an innovative input device and simple method. Description of Invention hi the spherical coordinates system as shown in FIG. 1, a point (P) is represented by a tuple of three components (p, θ, and φ). Where (p) is the distance between the point (P) and the origin, (θ) is the angle between the positive x-axis and the line from the origin to the point (P) projected onto the xy-plane, and (φ) is the angle between the z-axis and the line from the origin to the point (P).

FIG. 2 presents a 3D mouse comprised of three scroll wheels numbered 201, 202, and 203. The first scroll wheel 201 is on the left side of the mouse and has its axis perpendicular to the mouse pad surface. It can be'rotated horizontally anti- or clockwise by the thumb finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (θ). The second scroll wheel 202 is on the top side of the mouse and has its axis parallel to the mouse pad surface. It can be rotated vertically "up" or "down" by the index or middle finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (φ). The third scroll wheel 203 is on the right side of the mouse and has its axis perpendicular to the mouse pad surface, it can be rotated horizontally anti- or clockwise by the middle or ring finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (p).

To operate this 3D mouse, the user rotates the first scroll wheel 201 to determine (θ) the angle of the cursor in xy-plane, then rotates the second scroll wheel 202 to determine (φ) the angle of the cursor relative to the xy-plane (or the z-axis), and rotates the third scroll wheel 203 to determine (p) the movement distance of the cursor, hi case of working in two-dimensions; subsequently, there is no need to use the second scroll wheel 202 since the third dimension doesn't exist. In such cases the spherical coordinates system will change into a polar coordinates system in two dimensions.

The cursor shape when using the spherical coordinates system and this 3D mouse differs from the conventional one; this can be seen in FIG. 3 which shows this new shape which consists of a circle that gives the feeling of the xy-plane, a radius which rotates horizontally according to the rotation of the first scroll wheel 201 to indicate the value of (θ), a sloped dotted line which rotates vertically according to the rotation of the second scroll wheel 202 to indicate the value of (φ), and protracts when the user rotates the third scroll wheel 203 anticlockwise and retracts when the rotation is clockwise to indicate the value of (p), in the same time; said sloped dotted line serves as a ray reaching all possible targets of the cursor direction on the computer display. It is possible; if needed, to indicate three digits around the spherical cursor to illustrate the numerical values of (p, θ, and φ) as shown in the next figure (FIG. 4).

As a demonstration, FIG. 4 shows a three dimensional shape drawn by this 3D mouse in 7 simple steps, wherein the first four cursor steps 401, 402, 403, and 404 are located in the xy-plane, hence there is no indication for (φ) the sloped doted line of the cursor. The lx cursor step 407 is located in the z-axis direction; thereby there is no indication for (θ) the rotating radius. The 5th and 6th cursor steps 405 and 406 indicate (θ) and (φ); these appear where it is simple to specify the exact angle of the cursor in three dimensions with the help of the digits or the numerical values that appear with the different cursor rotations.

In general, there are many advantages of using the spherical coordinates system and this 3D mouse. To begin with, there is no need to use a pad or any specific surface to support the mouse for proper function; the user can stand, lay supine, or even walk around using a wireless model of this 3D mouse. Such positions enable the user to use the mouse in business presentations or during traveling in a car or plane.

Another advantage of this 3D mouse is in the realm of interactive three-dimensional graphics; the scroll wheels' rotations are directly translated into changes in the virtual camera's orientation. For example, in some games, this 3D mouse can control the direction in which the player's "head" faces; rotating the first scroll wheel 201 horizontally "anti- or clockwise" will cause the player to turn around both "anti- or clockwise", and rotating the second scroll wheel 202 "up or down" will cause the player to look "up or down". Generally, in games that need aiming or shooting in three- dimensions, this 3D mouse is a perfect tool.

An innovative advantage of this 3D mouse is using a three-dimensional GUI as the one shown in FIG.5, which contains different layers of GUIs in third dimensions. In such applications, it is possible for the user with this 3D mouse to penetrate, or fly up or down to reach a specific GUI, or to view all of the GUIs from a specific point of view. In the previous figure, there are two different cursor paths; the first path 501 is a path in the xy- plane which penetrates the 1st and 2nd GUI to view the 3rd one, and the second path 502 which will be described subsequently; is a circular path which flies up to view the 2nd and 3rd GUIs from a specific point of view. In such GUIs, it is easy for this 3D mouse to drag-and-drop any icons from one GUI to another in third dimensions. This facility enables the user to customize his/her preferred three dimensional GUI. Also, the drag- and-drop function is a great tool for three dimensional drawing programs that can be done simply by this 3D mouse.

One more advantage of this 3D mouse is to replace the computer keyboard with a virtual circular keyboard as the one shown in FIG.6. This virtual circular keyboard contains all the buttons of the computer keyboard in a circular arrangement wherein the user can rotate the first scroll wheel 201 to target any button, and in cases where more than one button is targeted by the cursor ray (the sloped dotted line), then the user can rotate the second scroll wheel 202 or the third scroll wheel 203 to protract or retract the cursor tangentially to reach the specific button needed. Such innovation integrates the computer keyboard and mouse into only one input device (the 3D mouse) which can handle the entire keyboard typing and mouse movements without even moving the 3D mouse on any surface (in addition to the possibility of using this 3D mouse in different body positions as mentioned previously).

Moreover, the order of using the three scroll wheels of this 3D mouse gives us an innovative method to move the cursor on the computer screen in a circular path in three dimensions. The default for the user is to start rotating the first scroll wheel 201 to provide an input for (θ) and/or rotating the second scroll wheel 202 to provide an input for (φ), then lastly, rotating the third scroll wheel 203 to provide an input for (p). But if the user begins by rotating the third 203 and first 201 scroll wheels respectively, the cursor will immediately move/draw a circle in the horizontal xy-plane; this circle can be rotated vertically about x- or y-axis; if the user rotates the second scroll wheel 202. Also if the user starts by rotating the third 203 and second 202 scroll wheels respectively, immediately the cursor will move/draw a circle in vertical yz- or xz-plane; this circle can be rotated horizontally about z-axis; if the user rotates the first scroll wheel 201. It is worthy of note that the radius of such circles is of (p) value and the center of said circles is the starting point of the cursor. Obviously, this type of cursor movement is lacking in most interactive virtual reality or three-dimensional programs due to the inability of the traditional mice to account for circular movement.

Lastly, the greatest advantage of using the spherical coordinates system is giving us a number of alternatives for the 3D input devices that support the system and enables the user to choose the suitable device for different tasks or work. These alternatives are as follows:

1- FIG. 7 shows an alternative for this 3D mouse where the first scroll wheel 701 is rotated horizontally to provide immediate input for (θ), the second scroll wheel 702 is rotated vertically to provide immediate input for (φ), and the 3D mouse is moved (as the regular mouse movement on a surface) to provide immediate input for (p). In this case, the x and y movement values of the mouse are converted to only one value of (p) according to the following equation;

P = ( χ2 + y 2 ) 0'5

That is in case of the movement of the mouse is in/closer to the direction of the radius and sloped dotted line, and;

Figure imgf000004_0001

That is in case of the movement of the mouse is in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius or sloped dotted line.

2- FIG. 8 shows another 3D mouse that looks like a conventional mouse in addition to two selection switches 801, and 802 on the left side of the mouse. Wherein pressing the first selection switch 801 by the thumb finger one time to be "on" and another time to be "off, and when moving the mouse while the first selection switch 801 is "on" then the immediate input for (θ) is provided. Also pressing the second selection switch 802 by the thumb finger one time to be "on" and another time to be "off and when moving the mouse while the second selection switch 802 is "on" then the immediate input for (φ) is provided. Also; moving the mouse without pressing or pressing twice on any of the selection switches, provides immediate input for (p). However, all the movements of the mouse for the inputs of (θ), (φ), and (p) convert the x and y movements values to only one value, according to the following equations; Θ = ( x2 + y2 ) 0-5 φ = (χ 2 2 + y 2 ) α5 P = ( *2 + y 2 ) 0-5

Whereas this one value is positive if the movement angle of the mouse is equal to or greater than zero and less than 180 degrees, and is negative if the movement angle of the mouse is equal to or greater than 180 degrees and less than 360 degrees. Or this one value is positive if the movement of the mouse is forward and is negative if the movement of the mouse is backward.

3- FIG. 9 shows a 3D mouse that uses a tilt wheel that rolls up and down to provide immediate input for (φ), and tilts left and right to provide immediate input for (θ), in addition to moving the mouse to provide immediate input for (p) as described previously in FIG. 7.

4- FIG. 10 shows a mouse comprised of horizontal scroll wheel 1001 that rotates anti- or clockwise to provide immediate input for (θ), and vertical scroll wheel 1002 that rotates "up" and "down" to provide immediate input for (φ), where the input of (p) is provided by moving the user's finger on a touchpad surfaces 1003 and 1004 wherein the finger movement in/closer to the direction of the radius or the sloped dotted line of the cursor provides positive input for (p), and the finger movement in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius or the sloped dotted line provides negative input for (p).

5- FIG. 11 shows a 3D mouse comprised of horizontal scroll wheel 1101 that rotates anti- or clockwise to provide immediate input of (θ), vertical scroll wheel 1102 that rotates "up" and "down" to provide immediate input of (φ) and two pressure sensitive buttons 1103 and 1104 that detect the user's finger pressing to provide positive and negative input for (p) respectively.

6- In the previous 3D mouse in FIG.l 1, it is possible to eliminate said two pressure sensitive buttons and make said two scroll wheels 1101 and 1102 do this function in addition to their rotation to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ); as will be described subsequently. In this case pressing the scroll wheel 1101 laterally from "left" to "right" by the thumb finger provides immediate positive input for (p), and pressing the scroll wheel

1102 vertically from "up" to "down" by the ring or middle finger provides immediate negative input for (p).

7- FIG. 12 shows a 3D mouse comprised of two perpendicular scroll rings, the first one is horizontal scroll ring 1201 that rotates anti- or clockwise to provide immediate input for (θ), and the second one is vertical scroll ring 1202 that rotates vertically to provide immediate input for (φ). In the same time; pressing said horizontal scroll ring 1201 laterally form "left" to "right" by the thumb finger provides immediate positive input for (p), and pressing said vertical scroll ring 1202 vertically from "up" to "down" by the ring or middle finger provides immediate negative input for (p); as will be described subsequently.

8- hi the previous 3D mouse in FIG. 12, it is possible to replace said perpendicular scroll rings with a scroll ball which can be rotated horizontally to provide immediate input for (θ), and rotated vertically to provide immediate input for (φ), further pressing laterally form "left" to "right" by the thumb finger on said scroll ball provides positive immediate input for (p), and pressing vertically from "up" to "down" by the ring or middle finger on said scroll ball provides immediate negative input for (p); as will be described subsequently. 9- FIG. 13 shows a different alternative for providing immediate input for (p, θ, and φ) using the movement of the user's finger on a touchpad surface that senses the direction of the finger motion. Wherein the circular anticlockwise movement 1301 provides immediate positive input for (θ); and the circular clockwise movement 1302 provides negative input for (θ). The vertical movement from "down" to "up" 1303 provides immediate positive input for (φ), and the vertical movement from "up" to "down" 1304 provides immediate negative input for (φ). Also the horizontal movement from "left" to "right" 1305 provides immediate positive input for (p), and the horizontal movement from right to left 1306 provides immediate negative input for (p).

10- FIG. 14 shows a pointing stick that is sensitive to the directional movements of the user's finger wherein moving the finger on the pointing stick from "left" to "right" provides immediate positive input for (θ), and from "right" to "left" provides immediate negative input for (θ). Moving the finger on the pointing stick from "down" to "up" provides immediate positive input for (φ), and from "up" to "down" provides immediate negative input for (φ). Moving the finger on the pointing stick in/closer to the direction of the radius and the sloped doted line provides immediate positive input for (p), and in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius and the sloped doted line provides immediate negative input for (p). However, such a pointing stick can be fixed on the top side of the mouse as shown hi the previous figure, or incorporated in laptop or desktop keyboard.

11. The directional movements of the previous pointing stick can be used with a joystick; in this case instead of moving the finger on the pointing stick, the user tilts the joystick in the same directions as in the previous example of the pointing stick except that the "left" and "right" movements can be replaced with an anti- or clockwise circular movement to provide; respectively, immediate positive and negative input for (θ).

12- In some 3D mice as in FIG. 7, FIG. 8, and FIG. 9, it is possible to use the conventional Cartesian coordinates system and the spherical coordinates system with the same mouse to enable the user to change from one system to the other when needed; this can be done by clicking the right mouse button to invoke a contextual menu to enable the user to select the system.

13. All the previous devices input the tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of the spherical coordinates system in three steps; one by one, however it is possible to input (θ, and φ) or (p, θ, and φ) one time using a trackball that is manipulated with the palm or the fingers of one's hand, such manipulation provides immediate input for (θ, and φ) one time, and in order to provide the immediate input for (p); the user will press laterally from "right" to "left" to provide the positive input value for (p), and press vertically from "up" to "down" to provide the negative input value for (p). If the user pressed on the trackball while he or she is manipulating or rotating the trackball; the three values of (p, θ, and φ) will be provided one time.

Finally, it is important to note that if these 3D mice alternatives become commercially available, it is believed that developers of current mouse-friendly software systems would come up with innumerable additional uses and applications. Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 is a spherical coordinates system where a point (P) is represented by a tuple of three components (p, θ, and φ).

FIG. 2 is the proposed 3D mouse comprised of three scroll wheels numbered 201, 202, and 203. FIG. 3 is the cursor shape of the proposed 3D mouse which consists of a circle that gives the feeling of the xy-plane, a radius to indicate the values of (θ), and a sloped dotted line to indicate the value of (φ) and (p), and serves as a ray reaching all possible targets of the cursor direction on the computer screen.

FIG. 4 is a demonstration of a three dimensional shape drawn by the proposed 3D mouse in 7 simple steps

FIG. 5 is a three-dimensional GUI contains different layers of GUIs where the user of the proposed 3D mouse can penetrate, or fly up or down to reach a specific GUI, or to view all of the GUIs from specific point of view.

FIG. 6 is a virtual circular keyboard contains all the buttons of the computer keyboard in a circular arrangement to be used with the proposed 3D mouse.

FIG. 7 is an alternative for this 3D mouse comprised of two scroll wheels to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ), in addition to the conventional mouse movement to provide immediate input for (p).

FIG. 8 is an alternative of the proposed 3D mouse that looks like a conventional mouse with two selection switches on the left side of the mouse.

FIG. 9 is an alternative of the proposed 3D mouse that uses a tilt wheel to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ), in addition to the conventional mouse movement to provide immediate input for (p).

FIG. 10 is an alternative of the proposed 3D mouse comprised of two scroll wheels to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ), and touchpad surface on the top side of the muse to provide immediate input for (p).

FIG. 11 is an alternative of the proposed 3D mouse comprised of two scroll wheels to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ), and pressure sensitive buttons mounted on the top surface of the 3D mouse to provide immediate input for (p).

FIG. 12 is an alternative of the proposed 3D mouse comprised of two perpendicular scroll rings to provide immediate input for (θ) and (φ), and in addition to; said scroll wheels can be pressed laterally or vertically to provide immediate input for (p).

FIG. 13 is a different alternative for providing immediate input for (p, θ, and φ) using the movement of the user's finger on a touchpad surface that senses the direction of the finger motion.

FIG. 14 is a different alternative for providing immediate input for (p, θ, and φ) by using pointing stick that is sensitive to the directional movement of the user's finger. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

The alternatives of the 3D mouse invention are simple and straightforward and can utilize a number of existing technologies to easily and inexpensively achieve the spherical coordinates system input. However, the invention included some main parts that are described in the following points:

1. The scroll wheels can be carried out in a similar fashion to the regular mouse scroll wheels by using optical encoding disks including light holes, wherein infrared LED's shine through the disks and sensors gather light pulses to convert the rotation of the scroll wheel into inputs for (p), (θ), or (φ).

Also it is possible to use light-emitting diodes and photodiodes to detect the movement of the user's finger rather than rotating the scroll wheels, in this case the scroll wheel will be a fixed wheel with a light hole to enable detecting the movement of the user's finger. Another method is to use a special-purpose image processing chip to detect the motion of the user's finger through the wheel light hole and translate this motion into immediate inputs for (p), (θ), or (φ).

Also, using the optical sensor to take successive pictures of the user's finger while moving it on the wheel light hole, with LEDs to illuminate the finger that is being moved, where changes between one frame and the next are processed by the image processing part of the chip to be translated into inputs for (p), (θ), or (φ) using an optical flow algorithm. It is also possible in such mice to use a small laser instead of the LED.

2. In case of not using the third scroll wheel 203 and replacing it with the mouse motion to provide immediate input for (p) as in FIG. 7, in this case, as in conventional mechanical mice, a single rotating ball can be used to provide x and y input which is converted immediately into one value input for (p) as described previously. Also the single rotating ball can be replaced with any of the existing technology as optical mice, or laser mice, or inertial mice to detect the movement of the mouse rather than moving parts as in mechanical mouse.

3. The tilt wheels are essentially conventional mouse wheels that have been modified with a pair of sensors articulated to the tilting mechanism, these sensors are mapped to convert the "left" and "right" tilting to input for (θ).

4. The touchpad in FIG. 10 and FIG. 13 operate as in existing technologies by sensing the capacitance of the user's finger or the capacitance between sensors, wherein capacitive sensors are laid out along the horizontal and vertical axis of the touchpad; the location of the finger is determined from the pattern of capacitance from these sensors.

5. The pressure sensitive buttons or sensors can be used whether they are mounted on the top surface of the mouse as in FIG. 11 or inside the mouse in touch with the scroll wheels, or the scroll rings as in FIG. 12, or the scroll ball. In case of being inside the mouse as in FIG. 12; the sensors are fixed in touch with the bottom of the vertical scroll ring 1202 to detect the vertical pressure from "up" to "down" of the user's finger to provide immediate negative input for (p), and another sensors are fixed in touch with the right side of the horizontal scroll rings 1201 to detect the lateral pressure from " right" to" left" of the user's finger to provide immediate positive input for (p).

6. The scroll ball as is known in the art; consists of a ball housed in a socket containing sensors to detect rotation of the ball about horizontal and vertical axes. The horizontal rotation provides immediate input for (θ) and the vertical rotation provides immediate input for (φ). In addition to pressing the scroll ball to provide immediate input for the positive and negative inputs of (p) can be done by having sensors inside the mouse in touch with the right and bottom sides of the scroll ball, as described previously with the scroll rings.

7. The pointing stick operates as in existing technologies by sensing the applied force of the user' s finger typically by measuring the resistance of a material wherein the velocity of the cursor depends on the applied force.

8. The joystick can be an analog joystick that has continuous states, i.e. returns an angle measure of the movement in any direction in the plane or the space, or it can be a digital joystick that gives only on/off signals for four different directions combinations such as "up-right" or "down-left". To achieve the circular movement of the joystick that was mentioned previously; a metal ball that short-circuited contacts around the bottom shaft of the controller is used. 9. The trackball is an upside-down mouse that is manipulated with the fingers or palm of one's hand. In such cases the ball of said trackball has three rollers X, Y, and Z that grip said ball (similar to the x and y rollers of the mechanical mouse ball) to transfer the rotations of said ball into values of (θ and φ). While the positive and negative values of (p) are detected by utilizing sensors; as described previously with the scroll rings. Industrial Applicability

This invention can be employed in many industrial applications; some of them are as follows:

1. As an alternate for the conventional mouse that uses the Cartesian coordinates system to a new mouse that uses the spherical coordinates system instead.

2. A mouse to be used while traveling in cars or planes where there is no space for moving the regular mouse on a pad or surface.

3. In business presentations where the user can stand or walk around freely holding a wireless model of this 3D mouse that doesn't need a movement on a pad or surface.

4. In interactive three-dimensional graphics that need virtual camera's orientation to be handled completely by the mouse without using the keyboard.

5. For differently-abled (handicapped) people who have back problems and can't use the regular mouse or keyboard.

6. For normal people when they feel tired and need to lay supine or relax during computer use.

7. In computer games that need aiming in three-dimensions as flying airplanes or shooting rockets, or using guns.

8. In three dimensional drawing programs to draw, drag, drop, or navigate in three dimensions.

9. hi two-dimensional programs to enable the user to draw 3D objects and export or import to/from other three dimensional programs.

10. In two or three-dimensional programs to enable the user to align 2D or 3D objects in linear or circular arrangements.

11. In third-dimensional GUI's that contain different layers of GUIs and the need to reach or view specific GUI/GUIs.

12. With the virtual circular keyboard to handle the entire keyboard typing and mouse movements in different users' body positions as mentioned previously.

13. For touchpad of different displays of computer systems to control the movement of the cursor in three-dimensions by using the movement of the user's finger.

14. As a pointing sticks of displays of computer systems as laptops, games stations, or control bases for moving cursors or flying objects in three dimensions.

15. In controlling the joystick to move, navigate, or aim in three dimensions for different applications.

16. In gamepad to provide the user with an innovative device and method to input the movement needed in three dimensions.

Claims

Claims
1. A device to determine a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said device comprised of: a) a first scroll wheel 201 on the left side of the mouse which has its axis perpendicular to the mouse pad surface, and can be rotated horizontally anti- or clockwise by the thumb finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (θ). b) a second scroll wheel 202 on the top side of the mouse which has its axis parallel to the mouse pad surface, and can be rotated vertically "up" or "down" by the index or middle finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (φ). c) a third scroll wheel 203 on the right side of the mouse which has its axis perpendicular to the mouse pad surface, and can be rotated horizontally anti- or clockwise by the middle or ring finger to provide, respectively, immediate positive or negative input for (P).
2. A touchpad surface that senses the direction of a finger's movements, and said movements are interpreted into a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said finger movements are interpreted as follows: a) a circular finger movement anticlockwise 1301 provides immediate positive input for (θ), and a circular finger movement clockwise 1302 provides immediate negative input for (θ); b) a vertical finger movement from "down" to "up" 1303 provides immediate positive input for (φ), and a vertical movement from "up" to "down" 1304 provides immediate negative input for (φ). c) a horizontal movement from "left" to "right" 1305 provide immediate positive input for (p), and a horizontal movement from "right" to "left" 1306 provides immediate negative input for (p).
3. A pointing stick that is sensitive to the directional movement of the user' s fingers and said movements of the user's finger are interpreted into a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinate system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said finger movements are interpreted as follows: a) moving the finger on the pointing stick from "left" to "right" provides immediate positive input for (θ), and from "right" to "left" provides immediate negative input for (θ). b) moving the finger on the pointing stick from "down" to "up" provides immediate positive input for (φ), and from "up" to "down" provides immediate negative input for c) moving the finger on the pointing stick in/closer to the direction of the radius and the sloped dotted line provides immediate positive input for (p), and in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius and the sloped dotted line provides immediate negative input for (p).
4. Two perpendicular scroll rings 1201 and 1202 to determine a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said two perpendicular scroll rings are comprised of: a) two perpendicular scroll rings sharing the same center, wherein the first scroll ring 1201 is a horizontal ring having its axis perpendicular to the mouse pad surface, and can be rotated horizontally anti- or clockwise by the thumb finger to provide immediate input for (θ), and the second scroll ring 1202 is a vertical ring perpendicular on said first scroll ring and has it axis parallel to the mouse pad surface, and can be rotated "up" and "down" to provide immediate input for (φ). b) Two sensors, the first of these being attached to said first scroll ring 1201 to detect the lateral pressure from "left" to "right" of the user's finger to provide immediate positive input for (p), and second sensor is attached to said second scroll ring 1202 to detect the vertical pressure from "up" to "down" of the user's finger to provide immediate negative input for (p).
5. A device to determine a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said device comprised of: a) a scroll ball housed in a socket containing sensors to detect the rotation of the ball about horizontal and vertical axes, wherein said scroll ball can be rolled horizontally anti- or clockwise to provide immediate input for (θ), and can be rolled vertically "up" or "down" to provide immediate input for (φ). b) Sensors to detect pressing the ball laterally from "left" to "right" by the thumb finger to provide immediate positive input for (p), and to detect pressing the ball vertically from "up" to "down" by the index finger to provide immediate negative input for (P).
6. A mouse to determine a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said mouse comprised of: a) a single rotating ball which means a sphere that is housed in the mouse and able to be moved in any direction with the mouse movement to provide immediate input for x and y that are converted to only one value of (θ), (φ), or (p) according to the following equations;
Figure imgf000011_0001
Whereas said one value of (θ), (φ), or (p) is positive if the movement angle of the mouse is equal or greater than zero and less than 180 degree, and said one value is negative if the movement angle of the mouse is equal or greater than 180 and less than 360 degrees b) a first selection switch 801 which is pressed one time to be "on" and a second time to be "off wherein being "on" means the mouse movement provides immediate positive input for (θ). c) a second selection switch 802 which is pressed one time to be "on" and a second time to be "off wherein being "on" means the mouse movement provides immediate positive input for (φ).
And the (p) value is provided when the mouse is moved without pressing, or pressing twice on any of the selection switches 801 and 802 which then means that said two selections switches 801 and 802 are effectively "off.
7. A joystick that is sensitive to the tilting of its stick and said tilting is interpreted into a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of a computer system, and said tilting is interpreted as follows: a) tilting the stick circularly anti-clockwise provides immediate positive input for (θ), and clockwise provides immediate negative input for (θ). b) tilting the stick from "down" to "up" provides immediate positive input for (φ), and from "up" to "down" provides immediate negative input for (φ). c) tilting the stick in/closer to the direction of the radius and the sloped dotted line provides immediate positive input for (p), and in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius and the sloped dotted line provides immediate negative input for (p).
8. A method for representing a pointer or cursor in three dimensions on a computer screen or the like by determining a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of the spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein (p) is the distance between a point (P) and the origin, (θ) is the angle between the positive x-axis and the line from the origin to the point (P) projected onto the xy-plane, and (φ) is the angle between the z-axis and the line from the origin to the point (p).
9. A method to input a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of a spherical coordinates system for a computer, wherein said three components represent a position of a cursor on a display of computer system, and said method comprised of: a) moving an object from "left" to "right" to provide immediate positive input for (θ), and from "right" to "left" to provides immediate negative input for (θ). b) moving said object from "down" to "up" to provide immediate positive input for (φ), and from "right" to "left" to provide immediate negative input for (φ). c) moving said object in or close to the direction of the angle of (θ) or (φ) to provide immediate positive input for (p), and moving said object in or close to the opposite direction of the angle of (θ) or (φ) to provide immediate negative input for (p).
10. A method to illustrate a cursor on a screen of a display unit of a computer system to indicate a tuple of the three components (p, θ, and φ) of the spherical coordinates, wherein said cursor is comprised of; a) a circle that gives the feeling of the xy-plane. b) a radius which rotates horizontally in xy-plane to indicate the value of (θ). c) a sloped dotted line which rotates vertically to indicate the value of (φ), and protracts and retracts to indicate the value of (p), and said sloped dotted line serves as a ray reaching all possible targets of the cursor direction on the computer screen.
11. A method to control the computer keyboard by using a virtual circular keyboard which contains the buttons of the computer keyboard in a circular arrangement wherein the user can control the direction of a cursor of a computer display and the movement of the cursor in the determent direction.
12. A method to control a cursor for a computer display to move/draw a circular path by using an input device comprised of: a) a first scroll wheel 203 which is rotated first to draw a radius of a circle of (p) value starting from a predetermined point on the computer display, wherein the anticlockwise rotation for said first scroll wheel protracts the radius length, and the clockwise rotation for said first scroll wheel retracts the radius length. b) a second scroll wheel 201 which is rotated horizontally after rotating said first scroll wheel 203 to draw a circle in xy-plane with radius equal to (p) and the center of said circle is said predetermined point which means the starting point of the mouse. c) a third scroll wheel 202 which is rotated vertically after rotating said second scroll wheel 201 to rotate said circle about x- or y-axis.
And if said third scroll wheel 202 is rotated before second scroll wheel 201, then said circle is drawn in xz- or yz-palne, and rotated about the z-axis.
13. The device of claim 1 wherein third scroll wheel 203 is a single rotating ball which means a sphere that moves in any direction with the mouse movement to provide immediate input for the x an y mouse movements and said two values of x and y are converted to only one value (p) according to the following equation:
P = ( χ 2 + y 2 ) 0 5
That is in case of the movement of the mouse is in/closer to the direction of the radius and sloped dotted line, and;
Figure imgf000013_0001
That is in case of the movement of the mouse is in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius or sloped dotted line.
14. The device of claim 1 wherein third scroll wheel 203 is two pressure sensitive buttons 1103 and 1104 mounted on the top surface of said device to provide immediate input for the positive and negative values of (p).
15. The device of claim 1 wherein said third scroll wheel 203 is a touchpad surfaces 1003 and 1004 that provides immediate input for (p) when the user's finger moves on, wherein the finger movements that are in/closer to the direction of the radius or the sloped dotted line of the cursor provide positive input for (p), and the finger movement in/closer to the opposite direction of the radius or the sloped dotted line of the cursor provide negative input for (p).
16. The device of claim 1 wherein said third scroll wheel 203 is two sensors, wherein the first sensor is in touch with said first scroll wheel 201 to detect the lateral pressure for "left" to "right" of the thumb finger to provide immediate positive input for (p), and the second sensor is in touch with said second scroll wheel 202 to detect the vertical pressure from "up" to "down" of the index or middle finger to provide immediate negative input for (P).
17. The device of claim 1 wherein said first 201 and second 202 scroll wheels are tilt wheels which roll up and down to provide immediate input for (φ), and tilt left and right to provide immediate input for (θ).
18. The device of claim 1 wherein said first 201 , second 202, and third 203 scroll wheels operate by using optical encoding disks that include light holes, wherein infrared LED's shine through the disks and sensors gather light pulses to convert the rotation of the scroll wheel to input for (p, θ, and φ).
19. The device of claim 1 wherein said first 201, second 202, and third 203 scroll wheels operate by using light-emitting diode and photodiodes to detect the movement of the user's finger wherein said scroll wheels are a fixed wheels which means a wheels that don't rotate and each one of them has a light hole to enable detecting the movement of the user's finger.
20. The device of claim 1 wherein said first 201, second 202, and third 203 scroll wheels operate by using special-purpose image processing chip to detect the motion of the user's finger and translate this motion to input for (p, θ, and φ).
21. The device of claim 1 wherein said first 201, second 202, and third 203 scroll wheels operate by using the optical sensor to take successive pictures of the user's finger during its movement on said scroll wheels, with LEDs to illuminate the finger that is being moved, where changes between one frame and the next are processed by the image processing part of the chip to be translated into input for (p, θ, and φ) using an optical flow algorithm.
22. The touchpad surface of claim 2 wherein said touchpad surface operates by sensing the capacitance of a finger, or the capacitance between sensors, wherein capacitive sensors are laid out along the horizontal and vertical axis of the touchpad, the location of the finger is determined from the pattern of capacitance from these sensors.
23. The pointing stick of claim 3 wherein said pointing stick operates by sensing applied force by measuring the resistance of a material, wherein the velocity of the cursor depends on the applied force.
24. The device of claim 5 wherein said scroll ball is a trackball which means upside- down mouse ball that is manipulated with the palm or fingers of one's hand.
25. The joystick of claim 7 wherein said joystick is an analog joystick that has continuous states return an angle measure of the movement in any direction in the plane or the space.
26. The joystick of claim 7 wherein said joystick is a digital joystick that gives only on/off signals for four different directional combinations such as "up-right" or "down- left".
27. The method of claim 8 wherein (φ) value is zero which means said spherical coordinates system will change into a polar coordinates system in two dimensions.
28. The method of claim 9 wherein said "moving an object from left to right" is a circular moving anticlockwise, and said "moving an object from right to left" is a circular moving clockwise.
29. The method of claim 9 wherein said method moves an object in any direction to provide immediate input for x and y that are converted to only one value of (θ), (φ), or (p)
Figure imgf000014_0001
Whereas said one value of (θ), (φ), or (p) is positive if the movement angle of the said object is equal or greater than zero and less than 180 degree, and said one value is negative if the movement angle of said object is equal or greater than 180 and less than 360 degrees
30. The cursor of claim 10 further three digits are around said cursor to indicate the numerical values of (p, θ, and φ).
31. A virtual circular keyboard of claim 11 further said direction of a cursor is controlled by rotating horizontal scroll wheel 201 which rotates ami- or clockwise to rotate said cursor anti- or clockwise, and said movement of the cursor is controlled by rotating horizontal scroll wheel 203 or vertical scroll wheel 202 to protract or retract said movement of the cursor to reach the button needed.
32. The device of claim 13 wherein said rotating ball is in touch with two rollers X, and Y that grip the ball and transform movement where optical encoding disks include light holes, and infrared LED's shine through the disks, and sensors gather light pluses to convertt X, Y, and Z velocities to (p, θ, and φ) values.
33. The device of claim 13 wherein said rotating ball is a light-emitting diode and photodiodes to detect the movement of the mouse rather than the rotating the ball.
34. The device of claim 13 wherein said rotating ball is a special-purpose image processing chip to detect the motion of the mouse and translate this motion to input for (p, θ, and φ).
35. The device of claim 13 wherein said rotating ball is an optical sensor to take successive pictures of the user's finger during movement, with LEDs to illuminate the surface that is being moved on, where changes between one frame and the next are processed by the image processing part of the chip to be translated into input for (p, θ, and φ) using an optical flow algorithm.
36. The device of claim 17 further said tilt wheel is conventional mouse wheel that has been modified with a pair of sensors articulated to the tilting mechanism.
37. The device of claim 18 wherein said LED's is a small laser.
38. The device of claim 21 wherein said LED's is a small laser.
39. The device of claim 33 wherein said LED's is a small laser.
40. A fixed wheel which means a wheel or part of a wheel that doesn't rotate and has a light hole to detect the directional rotation of the user's finger movement by using a light- emitting diode and photodiodes inside said fixed wheel to detect the movement of the user's finger instead of rotating the wheel.
41. The fixed wheel of claim 40 wherein said light-emitting diode and photodiodes are a special-purpose image processing chip.
42. The fixed wheel of claim 40 wherein said light-emitting diode and photodiodes are optical sensors that take successive pictures of the user's finger during finger movement on said fixed wheel, with LEDs to illuminate the finger that is being moved, where changes between one frame and the next are processed by the image processing part of the chip.
43. The fixed wheel of claim 40 wherein said fixed wheel is a transparent wheel which means there is no light hole and the detection of the directional rotation of the user's finger movement is done through the transparent materials of said fixed wheel.
44. The fixed wheel of claim 42 wherein said LED is small laser.
45. A trackball which means an upside-down mouse that is manipulated with the palm or the fingers of one's hand to provide immediate input for (θ, and φ) one time, and sensors are attached to said scroll ball to detect the lateral pressure from "right" to "left" of the user's finger to provide immediate positive input for (p), and detect the vertical pressing from "up" to "down" of the user's finger to provide immediate negative input for
(P).
46. The trackball of claim 45 wherein said lateral or vertical pressure occurs is in the same time of the manipulation or rotation of said trackball to provide immediate input for (p, θ, and φ) in the same time.
47. The track ball of claim 45 wherein said trackball is in touch with three rollers X, Y, and Z that grip the ball and transform movement where optical encoding disks include light holes, and infrared LED's shine through the disks, and sensors gather light pluses to convertt X, Y, and Z velocities to (p, θ, and φ) values.
48. A metod to enable the user to select between the Cartesian coordinates system or the spherical coordinates system by pressing the right mouse button to invoke a contextual menu to enable the user to select the system.
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