The patent's assignee for patent number 8624878 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many electronic devices have a keyboard or similar input device with which a user interacts to provide an input to an electronic or computing device. Most keyboards consist of an arrangement of buttons that act as mechanical buttons or switches that are pushed by the user to provide input to the computing device. Each key of the keyboard typically has an engraved or printed character on the key that corresponds to the symbol that is input to the computer when the particular key is pressed by the user. In some situations, several keys may be pressed simultaneously or in sequence to produce actions or commands for the computing device.
"Some keyboards and other computing input devices have done away with mechanical switches and instead employ a touch-sensitive surface input. One example of a touch-sensitive surface input device is a touch screen, such as those found at automatic teller machines (ATMs) or on personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, tablet computing devices and other mobile computing devices. To provide an input using a touch screen, the user presses or touches a surface with either the user's finger or a stylus device. The input device senses the touch, determines its location on the touch screen and generates the corresponding input. Thus, the position of the user's finger is determined by the touch screen and the corresponding command is inputted to the electronic device. Other touch-sensitive surface input devices may employ materials other than glass, such as a metal or plastic.
"In general, touch-sensitive surface or related input devices may be less reliable in determining a pressed command or intended input when compared with a traditional mechanical keyboard. For example, some touch screens often require that a user tap on the screen several times before detecting the command. Further, touch-sensitive surface input devices often fail to distinguish between when a user is merely resting on the surface of the device or actively selecting a letter or other input."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "One embodiment may take the form of an input device for a computing system. The input device may comprise a capacitive sensor configured to detect a location of an input to the input device and a piezoelectric sensor configured to detect an acoustic signature created from the input. Further, the acoustic signature may be compared to a database of reference acoustic signatures that indicate the location of the input to the input device.
"Another embodiment may take the form of a method for detecting an input to an input device of a computing system. The method may comprise the operations of receiving a first acoustic pulse at a first piezoelectric sensor and comparing the first acoustic pulse to a first database comprising a plurality of first reference acoustic signatures to determine the location of the input. In addition, the method may comprise the operations of receiving a second acoustic pulse at a second piezoelectric sensor and comparing the second acoustic pulse to a second database comprising a plurality of second reference acoustic signatures to determine the location of the input.
"Yet another embodiment may take the form of a computing system. The computing system may comprise an input device including an input surface and configured to receive an input to the computing system from a user and a computer-readable storage device configured to store a database of reference acoustic signatures. The computing system may also include a capacitive sensor configured to detect a location of the input on the input surface and a piezoelectric sensor configured to detect the at least one acoustic signature representing the input, such that the detected at least one acoustic signature is compared to the database to determine the location of the input."
For additional information on this patent, see: Sarwar, Mushtaq A.; Leung,
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