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Patent Application Titled "Optical Navigation Apparatus and Optical Navigation Method" Published Online

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors HUANG, Yu-Hao (HSIN-CHU, TW); KAO, Ming-Tsan (HSIN-CHU, TW); GU, Ren-Hau (HSIN-CHU, TW); CHEN, Hsin-Chia (HSIN-CHU, TW); LIN, Yung-Chang (HSIN-CHU, TW); WANG, Tsung-Fa (HSIN-CHU, TW), filed on April 30, 2013, was made available online on June 19, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Pixart Imaging Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an optical navigation apparatus and an optical navigation method. More particularly, the present invention relates to an optical navigation apparatus and an optical navigation method that are capable of adjusting the displacement resolution.

"Computer mice are used as primary input devices for conventional computer peripheral devices. Users often use the computer mouse to move a cursor shown on a monitor, or even use the computer mouse to select the desired options, applications, etc. Therefore, computer mice have become an important bridge for communication between users and computers. Accordingly, computer mice that adopt various technologies have been developed by manufacturers. Particularly, over recent years, optical navigation apparatuses, such as Optical Finger Mice (OFMs) have also been developed.

"Such optical navigation apparatuses operate in the following principle: a beam of light is projected by a light source unit to a touch object (e.g., a reflective surface or a finger), the images are captured by an image sensing unit, and then a cursor shown on the monitor is controlled according to a piece of displacement information derived from the images. Since conventional optical navigation apparatuses have an invariable displacement resolution, operational errors tend to occur when the operation scenario or the operation varies. For example, when the cursor shown on the monitor has been moved to a target that is to be selected by the user, the user must use the optical navigation apparatus again to select the target through clicking. However, when clicking the target, the user's finger will not only move in the vertical direction but also often move in the horizontal direction, which might cause the cursor shown on the monitor to move towards a different position to result in a false click operation.

"Accordingly, there is an urgent need in the art to provide an optical navigation apparatus that is capable of adjusting the displacement resolution adaptively according to the different operations of the user."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "To solve the problem with the prior art, the present invention provides an optical navigation apparatus and an optical navigation method.

"The optical navigation apparatus of the present invention comprises a light source unit, an image sensing unit and a processing unit. The processing unit is electrically connected to the light source unit and the image sensing unit. The light source unit is configured to generate a beam of light. The image sensing unit is configured to capture a plurality of images within a time interval. The processing unit is configured to determine that the light is projected onto a touch object according to the images, calculate a piece of displacement information related to the touch object according to the images, generate a comparison result by comparing the piece of displacement information with a threshold, and set a displacement resolution of the optical navigation apparatus according to the comparison result.

"The optical navigation method of the present invention is for use in an optical navigation apparatus. The optical navigation apparatus comprises a light source unit, an image sensing unit, and a processing unit. The optical navigation method comprises the following steps of: (a) generating, by the light source unit, a beam of light; (b) capturing, by the image sensing unit, a plurality of images within a time interval; determining, by the processing unit, that the light is projected onto a touch object according to the images; (d) calculating, by the processing unit, a piece of displacement information related to the touch object according to the images; (e) generating, by the processing unit, a comparison result by comparing the displacement information with a threshold; and (f) setting, by the processing unit, a displacement resolution of the optical navigation apparatus according to the comparison result.

"The present invention can adjust the displacement resolution of the optical navigation apparatus according to the displacement information (e.g., a displacement velocity and/or a displacement amount) related to the touch object for manipulating the optical navigation apparatus. Therefore, by using the optical navigation apparatus and the optical navigation method of the present invention, various operations can be performed more accurately by the user.

"The detailed technology and preferred embodiments implemented for the subject invention are described in the following paragraphs accompanying the appended drawings for people skilled in this field to well appreciate the features of the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 depicts a schematic view of an optical navigation apparatus 1 according to a first to fourth embodiments;

"FIG. 2 depicts a schematic view of a sequence of time intervals t1, t2 according to a second embodiment;

"FIG. 3 depicts a schematic view of a sequence of time intervals t1, t2, t3 according to a third and fourth embodiments;

"FIG. 4 depicts a flowchart diagram of an optical navigation method according to a fifth embodiment;

"FIG. 5 depicts a flowchart diagram of an optical navigation method according to a sixth embodiment; and

"FIG. 6 depicts a partial flowchart diagram of an optical navigation method according to a seventh embodiment."

For more information, see this patent application: HUANG, Yu-Hao; KAO, Ming-Tsan; GU, Ren-Hau; CHEN, Hsin-Chia; LIN, Yung-Chang; WANG, Tsung-Fa. Optical Navigation Apparatus and Optical Navigation Method. Filed April 30, 2013 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5226&p=105&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Pixart Imaging Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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