WO2018025097A1 - Physical keyboard assembly for a touch device - Google Patents

Physical keyboard assembly for a touch device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018025097A1
WO2018025097A1 PCT/IB2017/053379 IB2017053379W WO2018025097A1 WO 2018025097 A1 WO2018025097 A1 WO 2018025097A1 IB 2017053379 W IB2017053379 W IB 2017053379W WO 2018025097 A1 WO2018025097 A1 WO 2018025097A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
movable member
member
physical keyboard
touch device
104a
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2017/053379
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Chothe SIDDHANT NARENDRA
Priyank Prashant RANGPARIA
Shaswat Ranjan JENA
Gaurav Mittal
Original Assignee
Siddhant Narendra Chothe
Rangparia Priyank Prashant
Jena Shaswat Ranjan
Gaurav Mittal
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to IN201611022744 priority Critical
Priority to IN201611022744 priority
Application filed by Siddhant Narendra Chothe, Rangparia Priyank Prashant, Jena Shaswat Ranjan, Gaurav Mittal filed Critical Siddhant Narendra Chothe
Publication of WO2018025097A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018025097A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B21/00Teaching, or communicating with, the blind, deaf or mute
    • G09B21/001Teaching or communicating with blind persons
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1626Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers with a single-body enclosure integrating a flat display, e.g. Personal Digital Assistants [PDAs]
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F1/00Details not covered by groups G06F3/00 – G06F13/00 and G06F21/00
    • G06F1/16Constructional details or arrangements
    • G06F1/1613Constructional details or arrangements for portable computers
    • G06F1/1633Constructional details or arrangements of portable computers not specific to the type of enclosures covered by groups G06F1/1615 - G06F1/1626
    • G06F1/1662Details related to the integrated keyboard
    • G06F1/1669Detachable keyboards
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/02Constructional features of telephone sets
    • H04M1/23Construction or mounting of dials or of equivalent devices; Means for facilitating the use thereof
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/22Details of telephonic subscriber devices including a touch pad, a touch sensor or a touch detector

Abstract

A physical keyboard assembly (100) for a touch device (10) is provided. The assembly (100) includes a static member (102), which defines a first channel (224). A first movable member (104a) is configured to be received by the static member (102). The first movable member (104a) is operable to be slid in the channel (224) defined by the static member (102) to engage the static member to the touch device (10). A physical keyboard (106) configured to be received by the static member (102).

Description

TITLE OF THE INVENTION PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY FOR A TOUCH DEVICE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS AND PRIORITY

[0001] The present application claims priority from Indian patent application No:

201611022744 filed on July 11, 2016.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Unless otherwise indicated herein, the materials described in this section are not prior art to the claims in this application and are not admitted to be prior art by inclusion in this section.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0003] The disclosed subject matter relates to the field of assistive technology and more particularly but not exclusively to accessibility devices for visually impaired people.

[0004] Visually impaired face several challenges in performing day-to-day activities.

The challenge lies in mobility, way finding, interacting with the environment and people, among others. Assisting devices for the visually impaired in the field of navigational support have found applications widely in the recent past. However, there are still other areas of concern, where dependency of a visually impaired person on other individuals has not been completely rooted out.

[0005] One such area is communication, that is, while using or operating an electronic device. In the modern era of communication, most part of communication and information sharing happen using communication devices. As such, the visually impaired people are not privileged to enjoy the features such devices have to offer. When it comes to operating a smart phone or a tablet, visually impaired people find difficulties to efficiently operate or use or interact with input devices, such as, the soft keyboard / software keyboard / onscreen keyboard or touchpad. The real challenge lies in sensing the location of the right keys on the keyboard/keypad. [0006] Over the recent past, assistive technology has been developed with a view to provide assistance to the visually impaired people to operate computers and laptops. Appropriate assistive technology includes speech synthesis, braille printers, braille displays and optical character recognition, among others. These technologies have proved successful in providing assistance while accessing computer displays and keyboards, among others.

[0007] However, such special purpose devices need to be integrated with the computers and laptops, and there is likelihood that such devices may be specific to a particular application and may not be supported by some of the computers and laptops due to compatibility issues. Moreover, such devices may often be priced high, which may not be affordable to every individual visually impaired person for personal use.

[0008] In case of a computer, laptop or a mobile phone, a visually impaired person may be made to learn the location of the keys on the keypad and their functions over the time, with experience. However, for a smart phone or tablet, with a virtual keypad or a touchpad, the surface or the screen of the phone may not be able to provide friendly access to a visually impaired person.

[0009] Currently there are various means by which a peripheral/external keyboard is coupled or integrated to a smart phone. However, the drawback lies in the fact that the specifications of the smart phone may have to match the specifications of the external keyboard/keypad. Another drawback may lie in the dimensions or size. Currently, there are external keyboards specific to the make, brand and size of a particular phone.

[0010] In light of the foregoing discussion there is a need for an improved physical keyboard assembly that can be used with touch devices of different dimensions. SUMMARY

[0011] An embodiment provides a physical keyboard assembly for a touch device is provided. The assembly includes a static member, which defines a first channel. A first movable member is configured to be received by the static member. The first movable member is operable to be slid in the channel defined by the static member to engage the static member to the touch device. A physical keyboard is configured to be received by the static member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the Figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements and in which:

[0013] FIG. 1A is an isometric view of a physical keyboard assembly 100 engaged to a touch device 10;

[0014] FIG. IB is an isometric view of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0015] FIG. 1C is an exploded view of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0016] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a static member 102 of the of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0017] FIGs. 3A and 3B are isometric view of movable members 104a, 104b of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0018] FIG. 3C is an exploded view of the static member 102 and the movable members 104a, 104b of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0019] FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a physical keyboard 106 of the physical keyboard assembly 100 of FIG. 1A;

[0020] FIG. 5 is an illustration of the exemplary slot 506 defined in the physical keyboard 106 in which ridges 501 are provided; [0021] FIG. 6A is an illustration of another exemplary static member 102b and movable members 104a, 104b;

[0022] FIG. 6B is an illustration of a bottom surface 504 of another exemplary physical keyboard 106a;

[0023] FIG.7 is an illustration of yet another exemplary static member 102a and a movable member 104, in which the static member 102a defines only a first channel 224;

[0024] FIGs. 8A and 8B are illustrations of another exemplary static member 102 and physical keyboard 106;

[0025] FIGs. 9A and 9B are illustrations of yet another exemplary static member

102 and movable members 104 (only one illustrated);

[0026] FIG. 10A is an exploded view of another exemplary movable members (104c and

104d) and physical keyboard 106b; and

[0027] FIG. 10B is an illustration of the physical keyboard 106b of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

I. OVERVIEW

II. FIRST EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

III. SECOND EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

IV. THIRD EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

V. FOURTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

VI. FIFTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

VII. SIXTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0028] The following detailed description includes references to the accompanying drawings, which form part of the detailed description. The drawings show illustrations in accordance with example embodiments. These example embodiments are described in enough detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the present subject matter. However, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures and components have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the embodiments. The embodiments can be combined, other embodiments can be utilized or structural and logical changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken as a limiting sense.

[0029] In this document, the terms "a" or "an" are used, as is common in patent documents, to include one or more than one. In this document, the term "or" is used to refer to a nonexclusive "or," such that "A or B" includes "A but not B," "B but not A," and "A and B," unless otherwise indicated.

I. OVERVIEW

[0030] Embodiments provide a physical keyboard assembly for touch device the physical keyboard assembly may be mounted on or overlaid on a surface of the touch device. The application of the physical keyboard overlaid on a surface of a touch device may lie in the area of assistive technology for the visually impaired. The physical keyboard may be integrated or coupled, using existing communication protocol, with the touch device for providing assistance to visually impaired people or to people who prefer physical keyboard over virtual keyboards.

[0031] The assembly includes a static member, one or more movable members and a keyboard. The static member includes a base with a top surface and a bottom surface. The bottom surface of the base may rest on one surface of the touch device and the top surface interfaces with the keyboard. The base defines a first channel and a second channel. The first and the second channels are configured to receive movable members through the channels. The movable member includes an arm and support member. The movable member is configured to be operably slid into the channel formed by the static member. A first movable member is received by the first channel and a second movable member is received by the second channel. The movable member enables locking/engaging of the static member to the touch device. The physical keyboard is configured to be received by the static member such that the top surface of the base of the static member interfaces a base of the keyboard. Slots are defined ontwo opposite surfaces of the base of the keyboard. The slots receive lateral projected portions extending from two elevated portions formed towards the two ends of the base of the static member. The configuration of the slots and lateral projected portions enables the keyboard to be slid relative to the static member.

II. FIRST EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0032] Referring to the figures, more particularly to FIGs. 1A-1C, an exemplary physical keyboard assembly 100 for touch device 10 is provided. The physical keyboard assembly 100 includes a static member 102, one or more movable members 104 and a physical keyboard 106. The physical keyboard assembly 100 may be mounted on or engaged to the touch device 10. As an example, the physical keyboard assembly 100 may be overlaid on the area of the touch device 10 where the virtual keyboard of the touch device 10 typically appears. The touch device 10, as an example can be smart phone, tablet and touch enabled display screens.

[0033] Referring to FIG. 2, the static member 102 includes a base 202. The base 202 includes a top surface 204 and a bottom surface 206. At least a part of the bottom surface 206 may rest on a touch enabled surface of touch device 10, when the assembly 100 is coupled to the touch device 10. The top surface 204 may interface with a bottom surface of the keyboard 106 when the keyboard 106 is coupled with the static member 102. The base 202 further includes a first end 208 and a second end 210.

[0034] A first elevated portion 212 may extend in upwards (relative to base 202) from a position, which is at the or towards the first end 208 of the base 202. Likewise, a second elevated portion 214 may extend upwards (relative to base202) from a position, which is at the or towards the second end 210 of the base 202.

[0035] The first elevated portion 212 and the first end 208 defines a first opening 216.

The first opening 216 is formed at a position where the first elevated portion 212 intersects with the base 202. Likewise, the second elevated portion 214 and the second end 210 defines a second opening 218. The second opening 218 is formed at a position where the second elevated portion 214 intersects with the base 202. The first opening 216 and the second opening 218 may allow reception of movable members 104 into respective channels 224, 226.

[0036] The first elevated portion 212 defines a first lateral projected portion220, which extends from the first end 208 towards the second end 210 of the base 202. Likewise, the second elevated portion 214 defines a second lateral projected portion 222, which extends from the second end 210 towards the first end 208 of the base 202.

[0037] The base 202 may be configured to define a first channel 224 and a second channel 226. The first channel 224 and the second channel 226 may be configured to receive complementing structures (movable members 104) through them. The first channel 224 may be extend along the length of the base 202 from the first end 208 towards the second end 210 and may end at a divider 215 that separate the first channel 224 from the second channel 226. Likewise, the second channel 226 extends from the second end 210 towards the first end 208 and may end at the divider 215. The divider 215 may coincide with an axis of the base 202 which divides the static member 102 into two equal parts. The position of the divider 215 may be the midpoint of the base 202 of the static member 102.

[0038] In an embodiment, the first channel 224 may include angled teeth 228 on its inner surface 221. Similarly, the second channel 226 may include angled teeth 230 on one of its inner surfaces 223. The angled teeth 228, 230 may be configured to coincide with teeth of a complementary structure received through the channels 224, 226, when the complementary structure is engaged with thestatic member 102.

[0039] Referring to FIGs. 3A-3C, the physical keyboard assembly 100 may include two movable members 104. A first movable member 104a includes a first arm 302a and a first support member 304a. Similarly, a second movable member 104b includes a second arm 302b and a second support member 304b. Each of the arms 302a, 302b has a top surface 306a, 306b and a bottom surface 308a, 308b. The movable members 104 may be configured to be operably slid into the channels 224, 226 and engage with the static member 102.

[0040] The arm 302a and the support members 304a forming the first movable member 104a may define "L" shaped movable member 104. The arm 302a may be received through the channel 224 when the movable member 104 slides into the channel 224 to engage with the static member 102. The support member 304a may be configured to provide support to the static member 102 to remain engaged with the touch device 10. The support member 304a upon encountering at least a surface (ex: side surface or rim) of the touch device 10 as a consequence of the first arm 302a of the first movable member 104a being slid relative to the static member 102 restricts further sliding in the direction that resulted in said encounter, thereby locking the static member 102 to the touch device 10.

[0041] The arm 302a of the first movable member 104a may be configured to be received through the first opening 216 and into the first channel 224, to engage/couple the movable member 104a to the static member 102. The encounter between the support member 304a and rim of the touch device 10 restricts further sliding of the arm 302a in the direction that resulted in the encounter and locks/engages/couples the static member 102 to the touch device 10.

[0042] The arm 302a may include a slot 310a. The slot 310a may resemble "V" shape from the top view of the arm 302a. The "V" shaped slot enables compression of a portion of the arm 302a so that tooth/teeth 314a is disengaged from the teeth 228 provided in the first channel 224, thereby enabling sliding of the first movable member 104a in a direction, which otherwise is restricted due to the inclination of the teeth 228 and tooth/teeth 314a. The top surface 306a of the arm 302a may further include one or more slits 312a. The slit 312a is provided such that when the movable member 104a is engaged with the static member 102, the slit 312a is accessible by a user through the first channel 224, upon disengaging the keypad 106 from the static member 102. The slit 312a may be provided at a position on the top surface 306a of the arm 302a towards the end which faces away from the first support member 304a. The slit 312a may enable the user to apply force to compress the portion of the first arm 302a as discussed earlier.

[0043] The arm 302a may be provided with angled tooth/teeth 314a towards the end of the arm 302a, which faces away from the first support member 304a. The angled teeth 314a may be configured to coincide with angled teeth 228 provided on the inner surface (wall) 221 of the first channel 224, thereby defining a ratchet mechanism which allows linear motion of the first movable member 104a in a first direction 229, with an option to lock the first movable member 104a at a selectable position along the first channel 224 while the first movable member 104a is engaged with the static member 102.

[0044] The second movable member 104b resembles the first movable member 104a. The arm 302b may be received through the second channel 226 while the movable member 104b slides into the channel 226 to engage with thestatic member 102. The support member 304b may be configured to provide support to the static member 102 to remain engaged with the touch device 10. The support member 304b upon encountering the rim of the touch device 10 as a consequence of the second arm 302b of the second movable member 104b being slid relative to the static member 102 restricts further sliding in the direction that resulted in said encounter, thereby locking the static member 102 to the touch device 10.

[0045] The arm 302b of the second movable member 104b may be configured to be received through the second opening 218 and into the second channel 226, when the movable member 104b is slid to engage with the static member 102. The encounter between the support member 304b and a surface of the touch device restricts further sliding of the arm 302b in the direction that resulted in the encounter and locks the static member 102 to the touch device 10. The arm 302b may include a slot 310b. The slot 310b may resemble "V" shape from the top view of the arm 302b. The "V" shaped slot enables compression of a portion of the arm 302b so that tooth/teeth 314b is disengaged from the teeth 230 provided in the second channel 226, thereby enabling sliding of the second movable member 104b in a direction, which otherwise is restricted due to the inclination of the teeth 230 and tooth/teeth 314b. The top surface 306b of the arm 302b may further include one or more slits 312b. The slit 312b is provided such that when the movable member 104b is engaged with the static member 102, the slit 312b is accessible by a user through the second channel 226, upon disengaging the keypad 106 from the static member 102. The slit 312b may be provided at a position on the top surface 306b of the arm 302b towards the end which faces away from the second support member 304b. The slit 312b may enable the user to apply force to compress the portion of the arm 302b as discussed earlier.

[0046] The arm 302b may be provided with angled tooth/teeth 314b towards the end of the arm 302b, which faces away from the second support member 304b. The angled teeth 314b may be configured to coincide with angled teeth 230provided on the inner surface (wall) 223 of the second channel 226, thereby defining a ratchet mechanism which allows linear motion of the second movable member 104b in a second direction 231, with an option to lock the second movable member 104b at a selectable position along the second channel 226 while the second movable member 104b is engaged with the static member 102. [0047] Referring to FIGs. 4 and 5, the keyboard 106 may be an alphanumeric keyboard. The keys on the keyboard 106 may be in the "QWERTY" layout. The keys of the keyboard 106 may be elevated in nature. One or more keys may be provided, which when activated, may enable reception of numeric or special characters as input when standard keys on the keyboard are pressed by the user.

[0048] The keyboard 106 may include one or more special function keys in addition to regular keys. The special function keys may be configured for specific operation such as changing layout of the screen, selection of content on the screen, swipe from one direction to another, speech to text, text to speech conversion and talk back, among others. These special functions may be enabled by an application installed on the touch device 10. The application may run on platforms such as android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry, among others.

[0049] The keyboard 106 may be configured to be an accessibility device for the users to navigate around the device by providing input through one or more keys. For example, for a visually impaired user, the accessibility device may be used to provide input through one or more special function keys to navigate around or operate or use the touch device.

[0050] In an embodiment, the keyboard 106 may include communication module which enables input from the keyboard 106 and to be communicated to the touch device 10 via radio frequency communication technologies. Examples of RF communication technology include near field communication means (NFC), infrared means and Bluetooth. Wireless technology standard such as BLE (Bluetooth Low energy) may be used. Alternatively, communication is enabled via USB and audio jack connection between the keyboard 106 and the touch device 10, which may also enable charging of battery provided in the keyboard 106.

[0051] Additionally, keyboard 106 may include provisions, such as an audio jack 402 for example, a 3.5mm audio jack or an USB port 404, which enables the keyboard to connect to a speaker or a microphone. As an example, a user may be enabled to plug in a speaker or a microphone to the keyboard 106 to listen to music or speak to callers.

[0052] Two opposite surfaces of the keyboard 106 may define a first slot 506 and a second slot 508. The slots 506, 508 receive the first lateral projected portion 220 and the second lateral projected portion 222, respectively, of the static member 102 when the keyboard 106 is received by the static member 102. The slots 506 and 508 are configured to complement the first lateral projected portion 220 and the second lateral projected portion 222. The physical keyboard 106 is retained at a selectable position relative to the static member 102 by way of friction fit between the first lateral projected portion 220 and the slot 506 and between the second lateral projected portion 222 and the slot 508.

[0053] The reception of the first lateral projected portion 220 into first slot 506 and the reception of the second lateral projected portion 222 into second slot 508 allow the keyboard 106 to slide relative to the static member 102.

[0054] Referring to FIG. 5, at least one of the first slots 506 and the second slot 508 defines one or more ridges 501. The ridges 501 may be defined after intervals along the length of the slots 506, 508. The ridges 501 enable the keyboard 106 be retained in a position (once slid and released) relative to the static member 102. The ridges 501 may restrict sliding up or down of the keyboard 106 under its own weight, but allows sliding upon application of force by a user.

Usage of the physical keyboard assembly 100

[0055] The arms 302a and 302b of the movable members 104 are received through the first and the second openings 216 and 218 and slid into the first channel 224 and the second channel 226 respectively, of the static member 102.

[0056] The keyboard 106 is forced towards the base 202 of the static member such that the first lateral projected portion 220 is received into the first slot 506 and the second lateral projected portion 222 is received into the first slot 508 of the keyboard 106. The keyboard 106 can now be slid relative to the static member 102.

[0057] The static member 102 with keyboard 106 is placed over the screen of the touch device 10 such that the base 202 of the static member 102 rests on the touch device 10. The movable members 104 are further slid towards each other till its support members 304 encounter the rims of the touch device 10, thereby restricting further motion of the movable members 104 in said directions, thereby engaging/coupling the physical keyboard assembly 100 to the touch device 10. [0058] Disengaging the physical keyboard assembly 100 from the touch device 10 may require pulling the keyboard 106 from the grip of the static member 102. The movable members 104 may be disengaged from the static member 102 by accessing the slits 312a and 312b and applying external force on the slits 312a, 312b so that the external force results in retraction of the "V" shaped openings 310a and 310b in a direction away from the teeth 228 and 230, thereby disengaging teeth 228 and 230 from teeth 314a and 314b. Upon disengagement, the arm 302a may be slid in a direction opposite to direction 229 and towards direction 231. Likewise, 302b may be slid in direction opposite to direction 231 and towards direction 229.

III. SECOND EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0059] Referring to FIG. 7, an alteration of the previous embodiment is explained. In the current embodiment, only the first movable member 104a is provided, and to suit the current configuration, an altered static member 102a defines only the first channel 224. Further, since the second movable member 104b is absent in this embodiment, the second support member of the second movable member 104b may be made part of the static member 102 by way of support member 702.

IV. THIRD EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0060] Referring to FIGs. 6 A and 6B, a modified version of the first embodiment is described. As compared to the first embodiment, a modified static member 102b does not have teeth defined in its first channel and second channel.

[0061] Further, modifications are made to the first movable member 104a and the second movable member 104b. "V" shaped slots, slits and teeth 314 defined on the side are absent in the movable members 104. Instead, angled teeth 602a may be provided on the top surface of the arm of the movable member 104a. Angled teeth 602a may be provided along the length of the top surface of the arm 302a. Angled teeth 602a may extend from (or close to) one edge of the top surface 306a of arm to or towards the opposite edge. Angled teeth 602a may be configured to coincide with another set of corresponding angled teeth to define ratchet mechanism.

[0062] Likewise, teeth 602b may be provided on the top surface of the arm of the second movable member 104b. The inclination of the teeth 602a and teeth 602b may face each other.

[0063] Modification is made to the bottom surface of the keyboard 106a. Atleast one tooth 604a is provided towards a first longitudinal edge (generally parallel to the first slot 506) of the bottom surface 504, such that tooth 604a and teeth 602a of the first movable member 104a define ratchet mechanism. Likewise, at least one tooth 604b is provided towards a second longitudinal edge (generally parallel to the second slot 508) of the bottom surface 504, such that tooth 604b and teeth 602b of the second movable member 104b define ratchet mechanism.

V. FOURTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0064] Referring to FIGs. 8A-8B, modifications are made to the slots defined in the keyboard 106 and the lateral projected portions defined in the elevated portions of the static member 102. The first elevated portion 212 may define aprotrusion 802. The protrusion 802 or at least a portion of the protrusion 802 may be received into a slot (806) which resembles slot 506, when the static member 102 is engaged to the keyboard 106. The protrusion resembles the lateral projected portions 220, 222.

[0065] The protrusion 802 may include a spring loaded ball 804. The protrusion 802 may define an opening such that at least a portion of the spring loaded ball 804 remains exposed through the opening.

[0066] The phrase "spring loaded ball" includes configuration that includes one or more elements that perform the functionality of the spring and the ball, in the current context. Such elements, as an example include, material that assumes a shape or form upon release of force, which when applied changes said shape or form of the material. Supplement to the ball, as an example includes generally cylindrical or a pin shaped members.

[0067] The second elevated portion 214 resembles the first elevated portion 212 and defines protrusions.

[0068] Two opposite surfaces of the keyboard 106 may define a first slot 806 and a second slot 808. The slots 806 and 808 may be provided on the surfaces that face the protrusion 802, when the keyboard 106 is received by the base 202 of the static member 102.

[0069] The first slot 806 may define a series of depressions 810. The depressions 810 defined by the first slot 806 may be configured to receive an exposed portion of the spring loaded ball 804. The portion of the ball 804 that is exposed is configured to be received by the depression 810 defined in the first slot 806. Reception of the spring loaded ball 804 into depression 810 enables the first movable member 104a to be slid to a selectable position relative to the static member 102 by application of force by a user. Upon releasing the said force the first movable member 104a is retained in the selectable position. While being retained in the selectable position, movable member 104a may not be allowed to slide further in the direction 229 or a direction opposite to direction 229.

[0070] Similarly, the second slot 808 defines a series of depressions to enable reception of a spring loaded ball into the depression thereby enabling the second movable member 104b to be slid to a selectable position relative to the static member 102 by application of force by a user. Such a configuration, simplifies sliding of the keyboard in both directions.

VI. FIFTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0071] Referring to FIGs. 9A-9B, the arm of the movable members 104 may be provided with a spring loaded ball 902 arrangement similar to spring loaded ball 804. The spring loaded ball 902 may be provided on the surface, which earlier defined teeth 314. [0072] A series of depressions 904 that resemble depressions 810 may be defined on the inner surfaces 221 and 223 of the channels 224 and 226 respectively.

[0073] In another embodiment, the spring loaded ball may be provided on the inner surfaces 221 and 223 of the channels 224 and 226 respectively and the depression may be provided on the movable members 104.

[0074] It shall be appreciated that, spring loaded ball arrangement of the current embodiment, as compared to the ratchet mechanism described earlier, enables easier sliding of the movable members 104 in both directions, relative to the static member 102.

VII. SIXTH EXEMPLARY PHYSICAL KEYBOARD ASSEMBLY

[0075] Referring to FIGs. 10A and 10B, a modified physical keyboard assembly 1000 is provided. As compared to earlier embodiments, the physical keyboard assembly 1000 may not include static member 102. Modifications are made to the movable members 104a and 104b of FIG. 6A. Further, modification is made to the keyboard 106a of the third embodiment. Slots 506 and 508 (FIG. 6B) or slots 806 and 808 (FIG. 8B) may not be defined on the two opposite ends of keyboard 106b, which is a modified version of keyboard 106a.

[0076] First movable member 104c may be provided with angled teeth 1002a similar to angled teeth 602a on a top surface 306c of the arm 302c of the first movable member 104c. Likewise angled teeth 1002b similar to teeth 1002a may be provided on a top surface 306d of second arm 302d of second movable member 104d. The first arm 302c may include at least one pin 1004a and at leastone bore/hole/channel 1006a defined in the arm 302c, wherein the opening of the channel 1006a faces the second arm 302d during assembly. The pin 1004a extends from the surface of the first arm 302c, on which the pin 1004a is defined, towards the second arm 302d. Complementary pin 1004b and channel 1006b may be provided on the second arm 302d. The pin 1004b extends from the surface of the second arm 302d, on which the pin 1004b is defined, towards the first arm 302c.

[0077] The pin 1004a may be received into the channel 1006b thereby enabling linear motion of the first movable member 104c in the direction 229 (shown in FIG. 3C) until the first support member 304c encounters the rim of the touch device 10 and said encounter restricts further sliding in the direction 229, thereby locking the movable member 104c to the touch device 10.

[0078] Likewise, the pin 1004b may be received into the channel 1006a thereby enabling linear motion of the second movable member 104d in the direction 231(shown in FIG. 3C) until the second support member 304d encounters the rim of the touch device 10 and said encounter restricts further sliding in the direction 231 (shown in FIG. 3C), thereby locking the movable member 104d to the touch device 10.

[0079] Each of the support members 304c and 304d includes clamping structure 1005a, 1005b. The clamping structure 1005a, 1005b is configured to be engaged to the rim of the touch device 10 on opposite sides, thereby clamping/engaging the respective support member 304c, 304d to the touch device 10. In this embodiment, the clamping structure is a generally "C" shaped structure 1005a, 1005b having spring back action.

[0080] The keyboard 106b includes two sets of angled teeth 1008a, 1008b. First set of angled teeth 1008a may be provided towards a first longitudinal edge of the bottom surface 504b of keyboard 106b. Likewise, second set of angled teeth 1008b may be provided towards a second longitudinal edge of the bottom surface 504b.

[0081] The first set of angled teeth 1008a is designed to engage with the angled teeth 1002a provided in the first movable member 104c. Similarly, the second set of angled teeth 1008b is designed to engage with the angled teeth 1002b provided in the second movable member 104d. [0082] The keyboard 106b may be engaged to the movable members 104c, 104d by snap fit. In other words, the keyboard 106b is pressed against the movable members 104c, 104d, such that some of the teeth among the first set ofangled teeth 1008a engages with the angled teeth 1002a provided in the first movable member 104c, and that some of the teeth among the second set of angled teeth 1008b engages with the angled teeth 1002b provided in the second movable member 104d. It shall be noted that several teeth are provided both in the first and second set 1008a, 1008b to account for touch devices 10 of different width. Once the keyboard 106b is engaged with the movable members 104c, 104d, the keyboard 106b may be slid relative to the touch device 10 along the length of teeth 1008a, 1008b.

[0083] Embodiments provide a physical keyboard assembly for a touch device.

[0084] Embodiments provide means to attach the physical keyboard assembly to the touch device.

[0085] Embodiments provide a solution to enable visually impaired users to operate their touch devices through the physical keyboard assembly.

[0086] Embodiments provide a means for electrically coupling the physical keyboard assembly to the touch device.

[0087] The processes described above is described as sequence of steps, this was done solely for the sake of illustration. Accordingly, it is contemplated that some steps may be added, some steps may be omitted, the order of the steps may be re-arranged, or some steps may be performed simultaneously. [0088] The example embodiments described herein may be implemented in an operating environment comprising software installed on a computer, in hardware, or in a combination of software and hardware.

[0089] Although embodiments have been described with reference to specific example embodiments, it will be evident that various modifications and changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the system and method described herein. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.

[0090] Many alterations and modifications of the present invention will no doubt become apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art after having read the foregoing description. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. It is to be understood that the description above contains many specifications; these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the personally preferred embodiments of this invention.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A physical keyboard assembly (100) for a touch device (10), the assembly (100) comprising: a static member (102) defining a first channel (224); a first movable member (104a) configured to be received by the static member (102), wherein the first movable member (104a) is operable to be slid in the channel (224) defined by the static member (102) to engage the static member (102) to the touch device (10); and a physical keyboard (106) configured to be received by the static member (102).
2. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 1, wherein, the first channel (224) defines angled teeth (228) on at least one inner surface (221); and the first movable member (104a) comprises at least one tooth (314a), wherein the tooth (314a) of the first movable member (104a) and the teeth of the first channel (224) define a ratchet mechanism, wherein the ratchet mechanism allows linear motion of the first movable member (104a) in a first direction (229), with an option to lock the first movable member (104a) at a selectable position along the first channel (224).
3. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 1, wherein, the static member (102) comprises two elevated portions (212, 214) provided towards or at two opposite ends (208, 210) of the static member (102); the physical keyboard (106) defines two slots (506, 508) defined on opposite surfaces of the physical keyboard (106), wherein at least a part of each of the elevated portions (212, 214) is received by respective slot (506, 508), thereby enabling the physical keyboard (106) to be slid relative to the static member (102).
4. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 3, wherein the physical keyboard (106) is retained at a selectable position relative to the static member (102) by way of friction fit between the part of each of the elevated portions (212, 214) and the slots (506, 508).
5. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 3, wherein one among at least one the elevated portions (212, 214) and at least one slots (506, 508) defines a series of depressions (810), and the other comprises at least one spring loaded ball (804), wherein the ball (804) and the depressions (810) enable: the physical keyboard (106) to be slid to a selectable position with respect to the static member (102) by application of force by a user; and the physical keyboard (106) to be retained in the selectable position upon release of said force.
6. The physical keyboard assembly (100) according to any one of claims 1 and 2, further comprising a second movable member (104b), wherein the static member (102) defines a second channel (226), wherein the second movable member (104b) and the second channel (226) are mirror forms of the first movable member (104a) and the first channel (224), respectively.
7. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 1, wherein input from the physical keyboard (106) to the touch device (10) is communicated via radio frequency communication means, serial communication means or USB communication means.
8. The physical keyboard assembly (100) of claim 1, wherein one among the first channel (224) and the first movable member (104a) defines a series of depressions (904), and the other comprises at least one spring loaded ball (902), wherein the ball (902) and the depressions (904) enable: the first movable member (104a) to be slid to a selectable position with respect to the static member (102) by application of force by a user; and the first movable member (104a) to be retained in the selectable position upon release of said force.
9. The physical keyboard assembly (100) according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the first movable member (104a) comprises a support member (304a), which upon encountering at least one surface of the touch device as a consequence of the first movable member (104a) being slid relative to the static member 102, restricts further sliding in the direction that resulted in said encounter, thereby locking the static member to the touch device (10).
10. The physical keyboard assembly (100) according to claim 1, further comprising a second movable member (104b), which comprises a support member (304b), which upon encountering at least one surface of the touch device (10) as a consequence of the second movable member (104b) being slid relative to the static member (102), restricts further sliding in the direction (231) that resulted in said encounter, thereby locking the static member (102) to the touch device (10).
11. A physical keyboard assembly (1000) for a touch device (10), the assembly (1000) comprising: a first movable member (104c) engagable to the touch device (10), wherein the first movable member (104c) comprises a pin (1004a), a bore (1006a) and angled teeth (1002a); a second movable member (104d) engagable to the touch device (10), wherein the second movable member (104d) comprises a pin (1004b), a bore (1006b) and angled teeth (1002b); and a keyboard (106b) comprising a first set of angled teeth (1008a) and a second set of angled teeth (1008b); characterized in that, the pin (1004a) of the first movable member (104c) is configured to be received by the bore (1006b) of the second movable member (104d); the pin (1004b) of the second movable member (104d) is configured to be received by the bore (1006a) of the first movable member (104c); the angled teeth (1002a) of the first movable member (104c) is configured to be engaged to at least one tooth of the first set of angled teeth (1008a) of the keyboard (106b); and the angled teeth (1002b) of the second movable member (104d) is configured to be engaged to at least one tooth of the second set of angled teeth (1008b) of the keyboard (106b), thereby enabling the keyboard (106b) to be slid relative to the touch device (10).
PCT/IB2017/053379 2016-07-01 2017-06-08 Physical keyboard assembly for a touch device WO2018025097A1 (en)

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080192410A1 (en) * 2004-05-05 2008-08-14 Khyber Technologies Corporation Peripheral Unit Adapted to Variably Sized Handheld Host Devices
US20130334072A1 (en) * 2011-06-13 2013-12-19 Treefrog Developments, Inc. Housing for encasing a tablet computer

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080192410A1 (en) * 2004-05-05 2008-08-14 Khyber Technologies Corporation Peripheral Unit Adapted to Variably Sized Handheld Host Devices
US20130334072A1 (en) * 2011-06-13 2013-12-19 Treefrog Developments, Inc. Housing for encasing a tablet computer

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