News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Optical Touch Control Apparatus", for Approval

May 15, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Lin, Cho-Yi (Hsin-Chu, TW); Chang, Yen-Min (Hsin-Chu, TW), filed on October 19, 2012, was made available online on May 1, 2014.

The patent's assignee is PixArt Imaging Incorporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an optical touch control apparatus which generates a control signal by optically detecting the movement of an input device, and a method thereof.

"Touch-control apparatuses have become widely used in many applications, such as touchpad in a notebook computer, touch screen in an automatic teller machine, touch panel in a PDA or an electronic dictionary, etc. Presently there are resistance-type and capacitance-type touch control apparatuses. A resistance-type touch control apparatus senses the touched position by voltage drop; when its screen is touched, a circuit is conducted which results in a voltage drop in the horizontal axis and a voltage drop in the vertical axis. The amounts of the voltage drops are different depending on the touched position, and therefore the x-y coordinates of the touched position may be obtained. A capacitance-type touch control apparatus includes an ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) glass substrate. A uniform electric field is formed over its surface by discharging from its corners. When a conductive object, such as a human finger, conducts current away from the electric field, the lost amount of current may be used to calculate the x-y coordinates of the touched position."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An object of the present invention is to provide a novel optical touch control apparatus which is neither resistance-type nor capacitance-type; it detects the movement of an input device by an optical approach. Thus, the input device does not have to exert pressure on a screen or a pad, nor does it have to be conductive. In addition, no complicated manufacturing process is required; the cost of the touch control apparatus according to the present invention is much lower than that of a resistance-type or capacitance-type touch control apparatus.

"Another object of the present invention is to provide a method for controlling a touch control apparatus.

"To achieve the above and other objects, and as disclosed by one embodiment of the present invention, an optical touch control apparatus comprises: a light guide module having an optical information capturing position, the light guide module guiding light to the optical information capturing position, and generating optical information according to light input through or reflected from the optical information capturing position; and an image sensor module for sensing the optical information, and generating an electronic signal according to the optical information.

"Preferably, the optical touch control apparatus comprises an infrared light source. Also preferably, a lens module is interposed between the light guide module and the image sensor module. Moreover, the optical touch control apparatus may further comprise a feedback control circuit which controls illumination of the light source according to the optical information generated by the light guide module. Preferably, the electronic signal generated by the image sensor module may be processed by a processor circuit to generate an output signal for controlling a cursor, or for providing other functions, or for generating three-dimensional information.

"In addition, according to another embodiment of the present invention, a method for controlling an optical touch control apparatus comprises: providing a light guide module having an optical information capturing position; causing the light guide module to generate optical information according to light input through or reflected from the optical information capturing position; and sensing the optical information, and generating an electronic signal according to the optical information.

"The optical touch control apparatus of the present invention preferably includes at least one scattering layer. The light source emits light and at least one input device operated by a user reflects the emitted light to be received by the image sensor module. Since different motions of gestures of the input device cause different images on the image sensor module, the optical touch control apparatus then transforms the images into electric signals for controlling the pointer shown on a display or for activating particular programs running on a host. The scattering layer is configured to scatter the light emitted from the light source or the light reflected from the object. Without the scattering layer, the reflected light may have too strong intensity before the input device really touches the second module and causes misoperation.

"The present invention is able to be integrated with the conventional structure of optical mouse or trackball mouse by adding the optical touch control apparatus of the present invention and changing related periphery devices. In an aspect of the present invention, the first module and the second module included in the optical touch control apparatus may share the same light source.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings.

"FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment according to the present invention.

"FIG. 2 explains how to calculate three-dimensional information.

"FIG. 3 shows a second embodiment according to the present invention.

"FIG. 4 shows a third embodiment according to the present invention.

"FIG. 5 shows an application of the third embodiment in a mobile phone.

"FIG. 6(a)-6(e) shows several embodiments of the scattering layer of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Lin, Cho-Yi; Chang, Yen-Min. Optical Touch Control Apparatus. Filed October 19, 2012 and posted May 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4265&p=86&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140424.PD.&OS=PD/20140424&RS=PD/20140424

Keywords for this news article include: PixArt Imaging Incorporation.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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