Pushbutton optical screen pointing device

Pushbutton optical screen pointing device
US006809723B2
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent No.:
Davis
(54)
US 6,809,723 B2
(45) Date of Patent:
PUSHBUTTON OPTICAL SCREEN
POINTING DEVICE
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
JP
2001006509 A
(75) Inventor: Je?'ery Davis, Mountain View, CA
(Us)
*
1/2001
........ .. H01H/43/02
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
“Seeing Eye” Mouse for a Computer System, US. patent
(73) Assignee: Agilent Technologies, Inc., Palo Alto,
CA (US)
(*) Notice:
Oct. 26, 2004
subject_to any disclaimer>_ the term of this
application Ser. No. 09/052,046, ?led Mar. 30, 1998.
Vince Lee, TEX Tennison, and Amanda Epume; TealDoc
User’s Manual, Program Version 3.03; Nov. 15, 1999.
Adobe Systems Incorporated; Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0
patent is extended or adJusted under 35
Guide; 1999
U'S'C' 154(k)) by 245 days‘
(21) APPL N05 09/855,013
(22) Filed:
May 14, 2001
LandWare, Inc., TakeNote! DOC and Memo Text Processor
for Palm Connected Organizers; 2000.
US. patent application Ser. No. 09/930,207, Hoshino et al.,
?led Mar- 14> 2002
(65)
* Cited by examiner
Prior Publication Data
US 2002/0167489 A1 Nov. 14, 2002
Primary Examiner—Kent Chang
(51)
Int. c1.7 ................................................ .. G09G 5/08
Assistant Ex“mi””_T°m Sheng
(52)
US. Cl. ...................... .. 345/166; 345/160; 345/165
(57)
(58)
Field of Search ....................... .. 345/163, 165—166,
345/169, 175, 160, 161
ABSTRACT
An apparatus for controlling 'the position of a screen pointer
for an electronic device having a display screen includes a
(56)
References Cited
5 578 813 A
5j644:139 A
11/1996 Allen et a1‘
7/1997 Allen et a1‘
pushbutton for selecting an item displayed on the display
screen. The pushbutton includes an imaging surface against
Which a portion of the tip of a human digit may be placed.
Alight source illuminates'that portion of the tip of the digit
that is placed against the imaging surface, thereby generat
5’786’804 A
5’994’710 A
7/1998 Gordon
11/1999 Knee et a1_
ing re?ected images. The apparatus includes a motion trans
ducer. A lens receives the re?ected images and directs the
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
6,005,490 A * 12/1999 Higashihara ,,,,,,,,, __ 340/:32572
re?ected images onto the motion transducer. The motion
6,057,540 A
6,151,015 A
transducer generates digital representations of the re?ected
images. The motion transducer generates a ?rst set of
5/2000 Gordon et al.
11/2000 Badyal et al-
6,336,727 B1 * 1/2002 Kim .......................... .. 362/23
6,670,946 B2 * 12/2003 End?“ a1‘ """""""" " 345/160
:1.
........... ..
2002/0135565 A1 *
9/2002
2003/0006965 A1 *
1/2003 Bohn ....................... .. 345/163
movement data based on the digital representations of the
re?ected images. The ?rst set of movement data is indicative
of
of
of
Gordon et al. .... ..
13 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets
U.S. Patent
0a. 26, 2004
Sheet 1 of4
US 6,809,723 B2
U.S. Patent
0a. 26, 2004
Sheet 2 of4
US 6,809,723 B2
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U.S. Patent
0a. 26, 2004
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Sheet 3 of4
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US 6,809,723 B2
38 58
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40
46
23
50
36A
56
77
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44
76
Fig. 2B
80
U.S. Patent
196
i
Oct. 26, 2004
10
I
Sheet 4 0f 4
198
/
US 6,809,723 B2
20
/
> COMMUNICATION
14
/
I
I
MOTION
DETECTION
DEVICE
DISPLAY
200
24
I
r
V0
V0
INTERFACE
INTERFACE <- KEYPAD
202/
204
(
PROCESSOR
206
208
/
/
DRIVER
<——*
Fig. 3
MEMORY
US 6,809,723 B2
1
2
PUSHBUTTON OPTICAL SCREEN
POINTING DEVICE
interest, a button on the mouse is activated With the ?ngers
of the hand holding the mouse. The activation serves as an
instruction to take some action, the nature of Which is
de?ned by softWare in the computer.
REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENTS
In addition to mechanical types of pointing devices like a
This application is related to the subject matter described
in the following US. patents: US. Pat. No. 5,578,813, ?led
Mar. 2, 1995, issued Nov. 26, 1996, and entitled FREE
conventional mouse, optical pointing devices have also been
developed, such as those described in the incorporated
patents and patent application. In one form of an optical
pointing device, rather than using a moving mechanical
HAND IMAGE SCANNING DEVICE WHICH COMPEN
SATES FOR NON-LINEAR MOVEMENT; US. Pat. No.
5,644,139, ?led Aug. 14, 1996, issued Jul. 1, 1997, and
10
entitled NAVIGATION TECHNIQUE FOR DETECTING
MOVEMENT OF NAVIGATION SENSORS RELATIVE
TO AN OBJECT; and US. Pat. No. 5,786,804, ?led Oct. 6,
desktop, and photo detectors Within the optical pointing
1995, issued Jul. 28, 1998, and entitled METHOD AND
SYSTEM FOR TRACKING ATTITUDE. These three pat
15
cameras, portable game devices, pagers, portable music
players (e.g., MP3 players), and other devices, it may be
Those techniques are a component in a preferred embodi
ment described beloW. Accordingly, US. Pat. Nos. 5,578,
20
AND POSITION TRANSLATION TYPE SCREEN
25
POINTER CONTROL FOR A COMPUTER SYSTEM;
US. Pat. No. 6,151,015, ?led Apr. 27, 1998, issued Nov. 21,
30
to highlight and select menu items is inef?cient and time
Some portable electronic devices also include indicators,
COMPUTER SYSTEM, are hereby incorporated herein by
such as blinking lights or audible indicators, to provide some
type of noti?cation to a user, such as a noti?cation that the
user has received an email message or voicemail message.
THE FIELD OF THE INVENTION
40
This invention relates generally to devices for controlling
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
For example, some telephones include a blinking light to
notify the user that the user has received a voicemail
a cursor on a display screen, also knoWn as pointing devices.
optical pointing device.
highlighted, the menu item is typically selected by pressing
another key on the cellular telephone. Using multiple keys
consuming, particularly for users Who are more familiar With
operating other types of screen pointing devices, such as a
35 mouse or trackball, or an optical pointing device.
reference.
This invention relates more particularly to a pushbutton
Some portable electronic devices include built-in screen
pointing devices. For example, some cellular telephones
around on a display screen to highlight menu items, such as
names or telephone numbers. Once a menu item has been
DEVICE; and US. patent application Ser. No. 09/052,046,
?led Mar. 30, 1998, entitled SEEING EYE MOUSE FOR A
mouse, it may be dif?cult to ?nd a suitable surface on Which
to operate the mouse.
include arroW keys that alloW a highlight bar to be moved
2000, and entitled PEN LIKE COMPUTER POINTING
the techniques described in US. Pat. Nos. 5,578,813, 5,644,
139, and 5,786,804. Therefore, US. Pat. Nos. 6,057,540 and
6,151,015, and US. patent application Ser. No. 09/052,046,
undesirable to use an external pointing device, such as a
mechanical mouse or an optical mouse, coupled to the
device. It is often inconvenient to carry around the additional
equipment. And With a mechanical pointing device like a
This application is also related to the subject matter
described in US. Pat. No. 6,057,540, ?led Apr. 30, 1998,
issued May 2, 2000, and entitled MOUSELESS OPTICAL
?led Mar. 30, 1998, entitled SEEING EYE MOUSE FOR A
COMPUTER SYSTEM. These tWo related patents and
patent application describe screen pointing devices based on
device, is optically sensed and converted into movement
information.
For portable electronic devices, such as cellular
telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital
ents describe techniques of tracking position movement.
813, 5,644,139, and 5,786,804 are hereby incorporated
herein by reference.
element like a ball in a conventional mouse, relative move
ment betWeen an imaging surface, such as a ?nger or a
message. Such indicators are typically provided by a stan
dalone LED on the device, on a display screen of the device,
or by an audio subsystem, and are not incorporated into a
45 screen pointing device.
It Would be desirable to provide an optical screen pointing
device for use in a portable electronic device that combines
The use of a hand operated pointing device for use With
a computer and its display has become almost universal. By
screen pointer motion control, selection capabilities, and
far the most popular of the various devices is the conven
tional (mechanical) mouse, used in conjunction With a
indication functions into a single compact device.
cooperating mouse pad. Centrally located Within the bottom
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
surface of the mouse is a hole through Which a portion of the
underside of a rubber-surfaced steel ball extends. The mouse
One form of the present invention provides an apparatus
for controlling the position of a screen pointer for an
electronic device having a display screen. The apparatus
includes a pushbutton for selecting an item displayed on the
display screen. The pushbutton includes an imaging surface
against Which a portion of the tip of a human digit may be
pad is typically a closed cell foam rubber pad covered With
a suitable fabric. LoW friction pads on the bottom surface of
the mouse slide easily over the fabric, but the rubber ball
does not skid. Rather, the rubber ball rolls over the fabric as
55
placed. A light source illuminates that portion of the tip of
the mouse is moved. Interior to the mouse are rollers, or
the digit that is placed against the imaging surface, thereby
Wheels, that contact the ball at its equator and convert its
rotation into electrical signals representing orthogonal com
60
ponents of mouse motion. These electrical signals are
coupled to a computer, Where softWare responds to the
signals to change by a AX and a AY the displayed position
of a pointer (cursor) in accordance With movement of the
mouse. The user moves the mouse as necessary to get the 65
displayed pointer to a desired location or position. Once the
pointer on the screen points at an object or location of
generating re?ected images. The apparatus includes a
motion transducer. A lens receives the re?ected images and
directs the re?ected images onto the motion transducer. The
motion transducer generates digital representations of the
re?ected images. The motion transducer generates a ?rst set
of movement data based on the digital representations of the
re?ected images. The ?rst set of movement data is indicative
of motion of the tip of the digit across the imaging surface.
US 6,809,723 B2
4
3
Cellular telephone 10 includes poWer button 12, display
Another form of the present invention provides a method
of controlling the position of a screen pointer for an elec
tronic device having a display screen. A pushbutton for
selecting an item displayed on the display screen is pro
vided. A portion of an appendage of the human hand is
screen 14, highlight bar 16, menu items 18A—18C
(collectively referred to as menu 18), motion detection
device 20, and a plurality of pushbuttons 24. Pushbuttons 24
are also referred to as keypad 24. Motion detection device 20
includes indicator ring 21 and pushbutton 23. A user turns
cellular telephone 10 on/off using poWer button 12. A menu
18, including a plurality of menu items 18A—18C, is dis
placed against the pushbutton. A portion of the appendage
that is against the pushbutton is illuminated. Images
re?ected from the portion of the appendage are focused onto
an array of photo detectors. Output values of the photo
played to a user on display screen 14. In one embodiment,
detectors are digitiZed, thereby generating digital represen 10 menu items 18A—18C are names or phone numbers. For
menu items 18A—18C that are names, cellular telephone 10
tations of the re?ected images. At least one version of a ?rst
stores
an associated telephone number for each such name.
one of the digital representations is correlated With at least
Although one embodiment of the present invention is
one version of a second one of the digital representations to
generate a ?rst set of motion data indicative of motion in
orthogonal aXes across the pushbutton by the appendage.
The position of the screen pointer is adjusted in accordance
described in the conteXt of a menu 18 and a highlight bar 16,
15
selectable items (e.g., selectable icons) that are individually
With the ?rst set of motion data.
identi?ed by placing the movable screen pointer over a
desired item.
Another form of the present invention provides a portable
electronic device including a display screen for displaying a
plurality of selectable items and a pointer movable by a user
to identify particular ones of the selectable items. A motion
sensing pushbutton senses movement across the pushbutton
A user highlights a particular one of the menu items
18A—18C by moving highlight bar 16. In one embodiment,
highlight bar 16 is moved by rubbing ?nger 22 against
motion detection device 20, and more particularly against
by an imaging surface. The pushbutton is con?gured to
generate a ?rst set of movement data indicating a ?rst
movement of the imaging surface across the pushbutton, and
alternative embodiments use other display arrangements,
such as a movable screen pointer (e.g., an arroW) and
25
pushbutton 23. If ?nger 22 is moved upWard against motion
detection device 20, highlight bar 16 moves upWard through
is con?gured to generate a selection signal When pushed by
menu items 18A—18C. If ?nger 22 is moved doWnWard
a user. A controller is con?gured to move the pointer based
on the ?rst set of movement data to identify a ?rst selectable
item. The controller is con?gured to select the ?rst menu
doWnWard through menu items 18A—18C. After a desired
one of the menu items 18A—18C has been highlighted With
against motion detection device 20, highlight bar 16 moves
highlight bar 16, the highlighted menu item is then selected.
item based on the selection signal generated by the push
In one embodiment, a highlighted menu item is selected by
button.
pushing doWn on pushbutton 23 With ?nger 22. In one form
of the invention, after a highlighted menu item has been
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective vieW of a cellular telephone With
an optical, pushbutton screen pointer device according to
35
With the selected name.
one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2A is an eXploded vieW illustrating the main com
ponents of one embodiment of an optical, pushbutton screen
pointer device according to the present invention.
FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional vieW taken along section lines
2B—2B in FIG. 2A illustrating the screen pointer device
shoWn in FIG. 2A after assembly.
FIG. 3 is an electrical block diagram of major components
of the cellular telephone shoWn in FIG. 1.
selected by a user, cellular telephone 10 automatically dials
the selected phone number, or the phone number associated
In addition to performing item selection, motion detection
device 20 may be used to perform a variety of other
functions, depending upon the particular type of portable
40
electronic device that motion detection device 20 is used in.
Such uses include, but are not limited to, moving a screen
45
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
pointer around a display screen and selecting displayed
items in virtually any type of device, causing a picture to be
taken in a portable camera, and causing video and/or sound
recording to begin in a recording device.
In one embodiment, pushbutton 23 lights up When
touched by a user. In one form of the present invention,
pushbutton 23 also lights up to provide some type of
In the folloWing detailed description of the preferred
noti?cation to a user, such as a noti?cation that the user has
received an email message or voicemail message, a noti?
embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying
draWings, Which form a part hereof, and in Which is shoWn
by Way of illustration speci?c embodiments in Which the
invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other
cation of an incoming call, or other noti?cation. In one
embodiments may be utiliZed and structural or logical
lights up to provide some type of noti?cation to a user.
changes may be made Without departing from the scope of
embodiment, motion detection device 20 includes indicator
ring 21, Which surrounds pushbutton 23, and Which also
55
Motion detection device 20 may be con?gured to provide a
the present invention. The folloWing detailed description,
variety of different noti?cations With pushbutton 23 and
therefore, is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope
indicator ring 21, by causing pushbutton 23 and/or indicator
of the present invention is de?ned by the appended claims.
ring 21 to blink together or separately, to blink at different
FIG. 1 is a perspective vieW of a portable electronic
device 10 With an optical, pushbutton screen pointer device
20 according to one embodiment of the present invention. In
rates, or to emit different colors of visible light. In one
the embodiment shoWn in FIG. 1, portable electronic device
10 is a cellular telephone. In an alternative embodiment,
device 10 may be any type of portable electronic device
having a display screen, including a personal digital assis
tant (PDA), digital camera, portable game device, pager,
portable music player, or other device.
embodiment, each type of visual indication provided by
pushbutton 23 and indicator ring 21 correspond to a par
ticular type of noti?cation. For example, indicator ring 21
could blink tWo times in quick succession, pause for a brief
period of time, and then blink tWo times in quick succession,
65 and so on, to indicate that the user has 2 voicemail messages.
Pushbutton 23 could blink in similar manner to indicate the
number of received email messages.
US 6,809,723 B2
5
6
FIG. 2A is an exploded vieW illustrating the main com
ponents of one embodiment of a motion detection device 20
skin and any other micro texture features are visible in the
plane of surface 38, just as if they Were a part of surface 38.
Lens 58 focuses light from those features onto an array of
photo detectors 77, Which is part of movement sensor 76.
Movement sensor 76 automatically acquires and tracks any
suitable image. When tracking an image, movement sensor
according to the present invention. Motion detection device
20 includes outer mechanical frame 23, lens assembly 40,
internal mechanical frame 50, and circuit assembly 70.
Outer mechanical frame 23 acts as a pushbutton as described
in further detail beloW, and is also referred to as pushbutton
23. Outer mechanical frame 23 includes cylindrical frame 32
and ?ngers 36A and 36B. Fingers 36A—36B are attached to
an outer surface of cylindrical frame 32 and eXtend generally
76 produces incremental (X, Y) signals.
In one embodiment, in addition to illuminating an imag
ing or Work surface, such as ?nger 22, for purposes of
10
doWnWard. Atop surface of cylindrical frame 32 is generally
concave in shape, and is covered by top cover 38, as can be
better seen in FIG. 2B. Hole 34 is formed in cylindrical
the user. In alternative embodiments, an additional LED or
multiple LEDs, including different colored LEDs, are used
to emit visible light through surface 38 to provide indica
frame 32 near the center of the frame.
Lens assembly 40 includes top portion 42, bottom portion
44, and middle portion 46. Top portion 42 of lens assembly
15 tions or noti?cations.
Lifting the ?ngertip aWay from surface 38 by even a feW
thousandths of an inch defocuses the image and produces a
loss of tracking. This condition is detected Within motion
40 is generally circular in shape, and ?ts Within hole 34 of
cylindrical frame 32 When assembled. Middle portion 46 of
lens assembly 40 is substantially holloW, and is angled With
detector 76, and in one embodiment, the production of
incremental (X, Y) signals ceases. This has the effect of
leaving highlight bar 16 unchanged at Whatever location it
respect to bottom portion 44, as can be better seen in FIG.
2B. Bottom portion 44 of lens assembly 40 is generally
cylindrical in shape.
currently occupies, and is eXactly the same as When a user
Internal mechanical frame 50 includes opening 52, col
of a mouse removes his hand from the mouse. When the
umns 54, recess 56, and lens 58. Recess 56 is formed on a
top surface of internal mechanical frame 50, and is shaped
25
to partially conform to an outer surface of cylindrical frame
32. Opening 52 is formed near the center of a top surface of
coordinates (X, Y) Will have the value (0, 0). This leaves the
eXisting position of highlight bar 16 undisturbed until such
assembly 40 is positioned Within opening 52, and outer
time as it is deliberately moved by the motion of the
?ngertip, and corresponds exactly to a mouse user’s place
mechanical frame 23 is positioned over recess 56, as shoWn
in FIG. 2B. Lens 58 is positioned Within opening 52 of
internal mechanical frame 50. Four columns 54 are attached
to a bottom surface of internal mechanical frame 50, and are
used to attach internal mechanical frame 50 to circuit
ment of his hand back on the mouse Without moving it.
Motion sensor 76 uses eXactly or substantially the same
technique as the imaging and navigation arrangement
described in the incorporated Patents. In the particular
operational settings described therein, it Was desirable that
there be some magni?cation of the image before it reached
assembly 70.
Circuit assembly 70 includes light emitting diode (LED)
72, motion sensor 76, printed circuit board (PCB) 80, and
support chips 82. LED 72, motion sensor 76, and support
40
center of PCB 80, and is generally cylindrical in shape to
to an outer surface of columns 54 of internal mechanical
the sensor, because of the small siZe of the micro-features
being imaged and tracked (e.g., paper ?bers). Here, the
features on the ?ngertip are really quite large in comparison,
conform to an outer surface of bottom portion 44 of lens
assembly 40. Recesses 78 are formed near the corners of
PCB 80, and are generally cylindrical in shape to conform
?ngertip is subsequently replaced on surface 38, motion
detector 76 appreciates that an image has been acquired,
and, in one embodiment, treats that acquisition as though a
reset has been performed. That is, until there has been neW
motion subsequent to the neW acquisition, the incremental
internal mechanical frame 50, and is shaped to conform to
an outer surface of lens assembly 40. When assembled, lens
chips 82 are attached to PCB 80. Hole 74 is formed near the
motion detection, LED 72 also emits visible light through
surface 38 to provide a type of indication or noti?cation to
so that magni?cation is not used in one embodiment. Even
45
frame 50. When assembled, columns 54 of internal mechani
though one form of an imaging and navigation mechanism
is described in the incorporated Patents, a brief overvieW of
the technique is provided beloW.
LED 72, Which is an IR LED in one embodiment, emits
cal frame 50 are positioned Within recesses 78 of circuit
light that is projected by lens assembly 40 onto a region 38
assembly 70, and bottom portion 44 of lens assembly 40 is
that is part of a Work surface to be imaged for navigation. In
positioned Within hole 74, as shoWn in FIG. 2B.
one form of the present invention, motion sensor 76 is an
Indicator ring 21 (shoWn in FIG. 1) is not shoWn in FIGS.
2A and 2B, but in one embodiment, is placed around the
integrated circuit (IC) having an array of photo detectors 77,
memory, and arithmetic circuits arranged to implement
image correlation and tracking functions described herein
and in the incorporated patents. An image of the illuminated
region, such as an image of the ?ngertip of ?nger 22, is
outer perimeter of cylindrical frame 32, and is electrically
coupled to circuit assembly 70.
FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional vieW taken along section lines
2B—2B in FIG. 2A illustrating the motion detection device
20 shoWn in FIG. 2A after assembly. As shoWn in FIG. 2B,
55
pushbutton 23 is rotated 180 degrees about its cylindrical
aXis from the position shoWn in FIG. 2A. Motion detection
projected through an optical WindoW to a package of inte
grated circuit 76 and onto the array of photo detectors 77.
Lens 58 aids in the projection of the image onto the photo
detectors.
device 20 tracks the movement of a Work surface or an
One preferred optical navigation technique according to
imaging surface, such as human ?nger 22, Which is pressed
against top cover 38 of pushbutton 23.
LED 72 emits light that is gathered and focused by lens
assembly 40 to illuminate top portion 42 of lens assembly 40
the present invention optically detects motion by directly
and top cover 38. Top cover 38 may be a glass or other Wear 65
imaging as an array of piXels the various particular optical
features visible at surface 38, much as human vision is
believed to do. IR light re?ected from a teXtured Work
surface pressed against surface 38 is focused onto a suitable
resistant layer applied to the top of pushbutton 23. When the
array (e.g., 16x16 or 24x24) of photo detectors 77. The
tip of ?nger 22 is pressed against surface 38, the ridges of
responses of the individual photo detectors are digitiZed to
US 6,809,723 B2
7
8
a suitable resolution (e.g., six or eight bits) and stored as a
frame into corresponding locations Within an array of
memory. In one embodiment, each pixel in a frame corre
sponds to one of the photo detectors.
The overall siZe of the array of photo detectors 77 is
more than four pixels per cycle, a measurement rate of 200
samples per second is needed. This rate is quite practical,
and it may be desirable to operate at several times this rate.
As shoWn in FIG. 2B, pushbutton 23 is positioned over
recess 56 of internal mechanical frame 50, and ?nger 36A of
pushbutton 23 extends through PCB 80. In one embodiment,
PCB 80 is attached to a main printed circuit board (not
preferably large enough to receive an image having several
features (e.g., ridges in the Whorls of skin). In this Way,
images of such spatial features produce translated patterns of
shoWn) of portable electronic device 10, and ?nger 36A is
positioned over a button or dome on the main printed circuit
pixel information as the ?ngertip moves. The number of
photo detectors in the array and the frame rate at Which their
contents are digitiZed and captured cooperate to in?uence
hoW fast the ?ngertip can be moved over surface 38 and still
board. Recess 56 alloWs pushbutton 23 to ?ex When pushed
by a user, Which causes ?nger 36A of pushbutton 23 to move
doWnWard through PCB 80 and actuate a button on the main
printed circuit board.
FIG. 3 is an electrical block diagram illustrating the major
be tracked. Tracking is accomplished by comparing a neWly
captured sample frame With a previously captured reference
components of a portable electronic device 10, such as
frame to ascertain the direction and amount of movement. 15
cellular telephone. Portable electronic device 10 includes
In one embodiment, the entire content of one of the
antenna 196, communications circuitry 198, motion detec
frames is shifted by a distance of one pixel successively in
each of the eight directions alloWed by a one pixel offset trial
tion device 20, display 14, input/output (I/O) interface 200,
I/O interface 202, keypad 24, processor 204, and memory
206. Motion detection device 20, display 14, and keypad 24
shift (one over, one over and one doWn, one doWn, one up,
one up and one over, one over in the other direction, etc.).
That adds up to eight trials. Also, since there might not have
are each coupled to I/O interface 202. I/O interface 202 is
also coupled to processor 204. Processor 204 communicates
been any motion, a ninth trial “null shift” is also used. After
With motion detection device 20, display 14, and keypad 24,
each trial shift, those portions of the frames that overlap each
other are subtracted on a pixel by pixel basis, and the
resulting differences are preferably squared and then
25
memory 206. Processor 204 uses driver 208 to control
highlight bar 16 on display 14 based on movement data
received from motion sensor 76 Within motion detection
device 20.
Communications are sent and received by device 10 via
antenna 196. Antenna 196 is coupled to communications
summed to form a measure of similarity (correlation) Within
that region of overlap. Larger trial shifts are possible, of
course (e.g., tWo over and one doWn), but at some point the
attendant complexity ruins the advantage, and it is prefer
able to simply have a suf?ciently high frame rate With small
trial shifts. The trial shift With the least difference (greatest
circuitry 198. Communications circuitry 198 includes stan
correlation) can be taken as an indication of the motion
dard communications components knoWn to those of ordi
nary skill in the art, such as ampli?ers, analog-to-digital
betWeen the tWo frames. That is, it provides raW movement
information that may be scaled and or accumulated to
provide highlight bar movement information (AX and AY)
35
of a convenient granularity and at a suitable rate of infor
Sensor 76 automatically detects When the ?ngertip has
majority of the pixels in the image have “gone dark.” The
receives incremental (X, Y) signals from motion sensor 76
40
Within motion detection device 20, indicating relative move
ment betWeen motion detection device 20 and a Work
process is actually someWhat more complicated than that, as
surface. Processor 204 also receives selection signals from
motion detection device 20, indicating that a user has pushed
explained beloW.
When the ?ngertip is removed from surface 38, the IR
light from the illuminating LED 72 no longer reaches the
photo detectors in the same quantity that it did previously, if
converters, digital-to-analog converters, modulators, and
demodulators. Processor 204 is coupled to communications
circuitry 198 via I/O interface 200.
In one form of the present invention, processor 204
mation exchange.
been removed from surface 38, by sensing that all or a
via I/O interface 202. Processor 204 is also coupled to
memory 206. In one embodiment, driver 208 is stored in
45
at all; the re?ecting surface is too far aWay or is simply not
in vieW. HoWever, if the ?ngertip is removed and the surface
38 is exposed to an intensely lit environment as a result, then
pushbutton 23. Using driver 208, processor 204 processes
the received incremental (X, Y) signals and selection
signals, and takes appropriate action. For example, if ?nger
22 is moved upWard against motion detection device 20,
processor 204 receives incremental (X, Y) signals from
the outputs of the photo detectors might be at any level. The
key is that the outputs of the photo detectors Will be uniform,
motion sensor 76 indicative of this upWard movement. In
response, processor 204 causes highlight bar 16 on display
14 to move upWard through menu items 18A—18C. If ?nger
or nearly so. The main reason that the outputs become
22 is moved doWnWard against motion detection device 20,
uniform is that there is no longer a focused image. All of the
image features are indistinct and they are each spread out
over the entire collection of photo detectors. Therefore, the
photo detectors uniformly come to some average level. This
processor 204 receives incremental (X, Y) signals from
55
is in distinct contrast With the case When there is a focused
received selection signals from motion detection device 20
indicate that a user has pressed pushbutton 23, processor 204
causes communications circuitry 198 to dial the phone
number associated With the currently highlighted menu item.
In one embodiment, the speed of movement of highlight bar
image. In the focused case, the correlations betWeen frames
(recall the one over, one over and one doWn, etc.) exhibit a
distinct phenomenon.
In operation, images should be acquired at a rate suf?cient
that successive images differ in distance by no more that
perhaps a quarter of the Width of the array, or 4 pixels for a
16x16 array of photo sensors. Experiments shoW that a
?nger speed of 50 mm/sec is not unreasonable. With 1:1
imaging, this corresponds to a speed at the array of 800
pixels per second. To meet a requirement of not moving
motion sensor 76 indicative of this doWnWard movement. In
response, processor 204 causes highlight bar 16 on display
14 to move doWnWard through menu items 18A—18C. If the
16 or other screen pointer is programmable by a user.
Processor 204 also transmits indicator light control sig
nals to motion detection device 20 via I/O interface 202. The
65
indicator light control signals control the lighting of indica
tor ring 21 and pushbutton 23 to provide various noti?ca
tions to the user.
US 6,809,723 B2
10
In one form of the present invention, a user may enter free
3. The apparatus of claim 2, Wherein the apparatus is
hand drawings into portable electronic device 10 by moving
con?gured to emit visible light through the pushbutton When
the pushbutton is touched.
4. The apparatus of claim 2, Wherein the apparatus is
con?gured to emit visible light through the pushbutton to
?nger 22 against motion detection device 20. Entered draW
ings may be used to annotate or create facsimile documents,
or may represent user signatures that may be used to verify
provide a noti?cation to the user.
electronic transactions. In addition, character recognition
softWare may be used to recogniZe alphanumeric character
symbols entered by a user by moving ?nger 22 against
motion detection device 20.
It Will be understood by a person of ordinary skill in the
5. The apparatus of claim 2, Wherein the apparatus is
con?gured to emit visible light through the pushbutton in
short bursts, thereby causing the pushbutton to appear to
1O
art that functions performed by portable electronic device 10
may be implemented in hardWare, softWare, ?rmWare, or
any combination thereof. The implementation may be via a
7. The apparatus of claim 6, Wherein each color of visible
15
softWare on one or more computer-readable mediums. The
term computer-readable medium as used herein is de?ned to
include any kind of memory, volatile or non-volatile, such as
embodiment, it Will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill
25
scope of the present invention. Those With skill in the
chemical, mechanical, electromechanical, electrical, and
tion may be implemented in a very Wide variety of embodi
ments. This application is intended to cover any adaptations
or variations of the preferred embodiments discussed herein.
Therefore, it is manifestly intended that this invention be
pointer for an electronic device having a display screen, the
method comprising:
limited only by the claims and the equivalents thereof.
35
pushbutton;
40
age onto an array of photo detectors;
digitiZing output values of the photo detectors, thereby
generating digital representations of the re?ected
surface against Which a portion of the tip of a human
images;
a light source for illuminating that portion of the tip of the
45
a motion transducer;
correlating at least one version of a ?rst one of the digital
representations With at least one version of a second
one of the digital representations to generate a ?rst set
of motion data indicative of motion in orthogonal aXes
across the pushbutton by the appendage;
adjusting the position of the screen pointer in accordance
With the ?rst set of motion data;
a lens for receiving the re?ected images and directing the
re?ected images onto the motion transducer, the motion
transducer generating digital representations of the
re?ected images, the motion transducer generating a
generating a second set of motion data indicative of
motion in orthogonal aXes across the pushbutton by the
?rst set of movement data based on the digital repre
sentations of the re?ected images, the ?rst set of
movement data indicative of motion of the tip of the
digit across the imaging surface; and
against the pushbutton;
focusing images re?ected from the portion of the append
digit may be placed;
digit that is placed against the imaging surface, thereby
generating re?ected images;
providing a pushbutton for selecting an item displayed on
the display screen;
placing a portion of an appendage of the human hand
illuminating a portion of the appendage that is against the
apparatus comprising:
display screen, the pushbutton including an imaging
is con?gured to emit visible light.
10. The apparatus of claim 9, Wherein the indicator device
is con?gured to emit visible light in short bursts, thereby
appearing to blink.
11. The apparatus of claim 9, Wherein the indicator device
is con?gured to emit visible light in multiple colors.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, Wherein each color of
visible light emitted by the indicator device corresponds to
a type of noti?cation.
13. A method of controlling the position of a screen
computer arts Will readily appreciate that the present inven
a pushbutton for selecting an item displayed on the
of noti?cation.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, and further comprising an
indicator device substantially surrounding the pushbutton
only memory (ROM), and random access memory.
Although speci?c embodiments have been illustrated and
described herein for purposes of description of the preferred
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for controlling the position of a screen
pointer for an electronic device having a display screen, the
light emitted through the pushbutton corresponds to a type
for providing a noti?cation.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, Wherein the indicator device
?oppy disks, hard disks, CD-ROMs, ?ash memory, read
in the art that a Wide variety of alternate and/or equivalent
implementations may be substituted for the speci?c embodi
ments shoWn and described Without departing from the
6. The apparatus of claim 2, Wherein the apparatus is
con?gured to emit visible light in multiple colors through
the pushbutton.
microprocessor, programmable logic device, or state
machine. Components of the present invention may reside in
blink.
appendage; and
55
displaying information on the display screen correspond
ing to the second set of motion data, Wherein the
a frame for housing the light source, the motion
information displayed on the display screen corre
transducer, and the lens, and Wherein the pushbutton is
sponding to the second set of motion data is an alpha
numeric character.
moveably positioned over a top surface of the frame.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the apparatus is
con?gured to emit visible light through the pushbutton.
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