The patent's inventors are Challener,
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Accelerometers have been utilized in electronic devices (e.g. a personal computer (PC)) to achieve various functions. For example, an accelerometer may be used to quick park a hard drive if it senses that the machine is in free fall (e.g. upon a laptop PC being dropped by a user).
"In addition to sensing free fall of a device, accelerometers can be utilized to ascertain many things related to the physical status of the device. For example, an accelerometer can be utilized to ascertain that the machine is tilted. Among the uses for accelerometers in this regard include upon determining that the device had been rotated 90 degrees, the accelerometer indicates such a tilt, therefore allowing the device to re-map the display so that the display is upright (i.e. the display is rotated 90 degrees as well). Thus, even with the device in such an orientation, a user can, e.g. read text displayed on the screen.
"Others have implemented computer programs (e.g. software) such that upon a determination that the device has been physically tapped, the accelerometer can ascertain that the device had been tapped in a particular sequence. The program would allow tap sequences thus sensed to indicate different inputs (e.g. utilize the ascertained taps as a communication means). For example, if a user taps the device twice, the device does one thing (e.g. executes some function); if a user taps the device three times, the device does another thing (e.g. executes another function). This amounts to a sort of Morse code to the machine as sensed through the accelerometer. However, a significant drawback to such tap sequencing is that the device is not enabled, via the accelerometer or any other known means, to determine where upon the device that the user has tapped.
"Accordingly, a need has arisen to address the shortcomings associated with the conventional arrangements discussed above."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The instant invention includes an apparatus, method and program storage device providing a combined tap sequence and camera based user interface.
"In summary, one aspect of the invention provides an apparatus comprising: an accelerometer; a laser light generating module; wherein the laser light generating module provides a plane of laser light over a surface coupled to the accelerometer; at least one camera; at least one processor; and a memory; wherein the memory stores instructions, executable by the at least one processor, enabling the apparatus to ascertain an occurrence of an input event utilizing inputs from the accelerometer and a location of the input event utilizing inputs from the at least one camera.
"Furthermore, an additional aspect of the invention provides a method comprising: providing a plane of laser light over a surface coupled to an accelerometer; ascertaining an occurrence of an input event utilizing inputs from the accelerometer; and ascertaining a location of the input event utilizing inputs from at least one camera.
"A further aspect of the present invention provides a program storage device readable by machine, tangibly embodying a program of instructions executable by the machine to perform a method, the method comprising: providing a plane of laser light over a surface coupled to an accelerometer; ascertaining an occurrence of an input event utilizing inputs from the accelerometer; and ascertaining a location of the input event utilizing inputs from at least one camera.
"For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other and further features and advantages thereof, reference is made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and the scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Challener,
Keywords for this news article include:
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