Patent number 8599143 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In the last twenty years, the use of personal computing devices, such as desktop computer systems, laptop computer systems, handheld computers systems, and tablet computer systems, has grown tremendously. These personal computing devices provide users with a broad range of interactive applications, business utilities, communication abilities, and entertainment possibilities.
"Current personal computing devices provide access to these interactive applications via a user interface. Typical computing devices have on-screen graphical interfaces that present information to a user using a display device, such as a monitor or display screen, and receive information from a user using an input device, such as a mouse, a keyboard, a joystick, or a stylus. New personal computing devices are also being developed which use an interactive writing device to interact and non-interactive writing devices to interact with a writing surface.
"Many of these interactive writing devices have a need to detect the actual physical act of interfacing with the writing surface. One way current interactive writing devices accomplish this detection by utilizing an ink pen or stylus, to transmit pressure to a switch that is activated by writing pressure. This works well with styli, stick type pens, and some spring cushioned pens, because the entire length of the pen or stylus moves with the act of writing to apply direct pressure to the writing detection switch, and further, because there is no mode selector to interfere with the action of the writing detection switch. However, this limits the functionality of the writing device because such a switch configuration will not work properly, or sometimes at all, with a writing device such as a mechanical pencil or with a writing device that has multiple selectable modes of operation, because these devices can apply forces which defeat the operation of conventional writing sensing switch configurations."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "A need exists for a switch configuration to detect writing pressure in a writing device, which can be used with writing devices having multiple modes of operation and also with writing devices such as mechanical pencils that will not function properly, or sometimes at all, with conventional switch configurations. Various embodiments of the present invention have the above-described advantages and others that are described herein.
"In one embodiment, an apparatus for detecting writing pressure is comprised of a carrier. A mode selection device coupled to the carrier is operable to select writing modes. A switch coupled to the carrier is operable to move between a first state and a second state in response to writing pressure coupled to the switch. An actuator coupled to the carrier is configured to actuate the switch in response to pressure applied to the actuator in response to writing. Various writing inserts such as a multi-mode pen or a mechanical can be coupled to the carrier and operated with the mode switch. For instance, the mode switch can be used to select an automatic feeding mode of a mechanical pencil, a manual feeding mode of a mechanical pencil, or a non-marking stylus mode of a mechanical pencil, or retracted and extended modes of a pen. A tip activates the actuator in response to pressure applied to the tip. In one embodiment the switch is an electrical switch. In one embodiment, the switch is made of a mylar type material. In another embodiment the switch can detect varying levels of pressure.
"Another embodiment is in the form of a writing device. A writing insert is configured so that it can be coupled to a carrier. A tip coupled to the writing insert is configured to move a portion of the insert from a first position to a second position for the purpose of actuating a switch within the carrier in response to pressure applied to the tip. In one embodiment the writing device also has a mode selecting assembly configured for selecting modes of the writing insert. In one embodiment the mode selecting assembly can select modes of a pen insert. In another embodiment, the mode selecting assembly can select modes of a mechanical pencil insert, such as automatic feed mode, manual feed mode, or non-marking stylus mode. In one embodiment, the writing insert is keyed to automatically align within the carrier when inserted.
"Another embodiment of the present invention is a pressure sensitive writing assembly. The assembly is comprised of a carrier that is configured to receive a writing insert, a writing insert that can be slid into and coupled with the carrier, and a switch coupled to the carrier. An actuator coupled to the carrier is configured to activate the switch in response to pressure applied to the actuator by the writing insert. A tip coupled to the writing insert is configured to slidably move a portion of the writing insert when pressure is applied to the tip. A mode selector is coupled to the carrier and operable to select writing modes of the writing insert without interfering with the operation of the switch. In one embodiment, the carrier defines a channel for receiving the writing insert. In one embodiment, the writing insert has a plurality of ramps that interact with tabs on the carrier to rotatably key the writing insert. In one embodiment the switch is an electrical switch, which may be made of a mylar type material. In one embodiment the switch is a two-position switch. In one embodiment, the switch is a normally open switch. In one embodiment the switch senses varying levels of pressure applied to it. In one embodiment the writing insert is a pen insert and the mode selector can be used to select various writing modes of the pen insert. In another embodiment, the writing insert is a mechanical pencil insert, and the mode selector can be used to select various writing modes of the mechanical pencil."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Rymarz, Paul. Switch Configuration for Detecting Writing Pressure in a Writing Device. U.S. Patent Number 8599143, filed
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