Key-cap Or Key-stem Structure Patents (Class 400/490)
  • Patent number: 10699853
    Abstract: A key structure includes a movable support element, a keycap, and a fitting portion. The keycap includes a top surface, a bottom surface, and a rim, the bottom surface is jointed with the movable support element, and a periphery of the top surface extends downward to form the rim. The fitting portion is located on the rim, and operated by an operation body to separate the keycap from the movable support element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: ASUSTEK COMPUTER INC.
    Inventors: Meng-Chu Huang, Tong-Shen Hsiung, Jau-Yi Wu, Li-Wei Yu, Chen-Hou Lo
  • Patent number: 10219054
    Abstract: A protective member for an acoustic component includes a sound-transmissive sheet composed of an elastomer. The protective member for an acoustic component may further include an adhesive layer disposed on an edge region of the sound-transmissive sheet. The sound-transmissive sheet in the protective member may have waterproofness, and may be used with a waterproof case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: NITTO DENKO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yuichi Abe, Akihisa Murata
  • Patent number: 10147568
    Abstract: A keyboard device includes a base plate, a connecting element and a keycap. The connecting element is connected with a hook of the keycap and the base plate. The keycap includes an elastic structure, a first hooking part and a second hooking part. The elastic structure hook is installed on an inner surface of the keycap. The first hooking part is arranged beside a first side of the elastic structure. The second hooking part is arranged beside a second side of the elastic structure. While the connecting element is assembled with the keycap, the first hooking part and the second hooking part are pushed by the connecting element and the keycap is bent in response to the elasticity of the elastic structure. Consequently, the first hooking part is moved away from the second hooking part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: PRIMAX ELECTRONICS LTD.
    Inventors: Tien-Yu Yeh, Che-Wei Yang, Chun-Yuan Liu
  • Patent number: 9978543
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate generally to keyboards for computing devices. For example, rather than using a dome, the keycap may include one or more magnets. In one example, a second magnet may be placed adjacent to a switch or magnetic sensor on a circuit board. The magnets may be arranged so that they repel one another in order to force the keycap away from the switch. Webbing between the keycaps may be used to keep the keycaps from falling off of the device. To keep the keycap from moving laterally, the keycap may include two or more flanges held in place by rails. Other arrangements of magnets or magnetic plates may also be used. If a magnetic sensor is used, it may be calibrated to adjust the sensitivity of the keys, for example, how far a user must press the keycap in order to have the pressing register.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Google LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth Loo, Lawrence Lam
  • Patent number: 9348426
    Abstract: A plurality of keyboard keys are grouped into at least a first group of keyboard keys and a second group of keyboard keys. Webbing serves to physically couple together the keyboard keys of the first group of keyboard keys. Similarly, but discretely, webbing also serves to physically couple together the keyboard keys of the second group of keyboard keys. So configured, the keyboard keys of the first group are not physically coupled via such webbing to any keyboard keys of the second group. By one approach the aforementioned webbing comprises an integral part of the keyboard keys and comprises, for example, a part of a film that conformally overlies adjacent ones of the keyboard keys. These teachings will accommodate forming such a film and the main body of the keyboard keys using thermoforming and injection molding processes to form-in-place such keys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: BlackBerry Limited
    Inventor: Jimmy Bedolla
  • Patent number: 9318282
    Abstract: A keyboard is provided with a base member, moving members provided on the base member and unit parts. Each of the unit parts includes a contact which is electrically connected when depressed and an elastic member. The moving members include a first moving member which engages with one unit part, and a second moving member which engages with plural unit parts. The second moving member has a structure where the second moving member pushes the elastic member of one unit part and avoids pushing the elastic member of the other unit part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: FUJITSU COMPONENT LIMITED
    Inventors: Takashi Nakajima, Hiromi Ohtsuka, Daisuke Taga, Fujio Seki
  • Patent number: 9292098
    Abstract: An input device featuring a representation means with a transparent keypad situated above a representation means, wherein the keypad consists of a multitude of transparent keys and functions are mapped to the keys of the keypad, the functions being represented by means of symbols which are displayed within an area on the representation means assigned to the respective keys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Inventor: Jean Marc Trobrillant
  • Patent number: 9214298
    Abstract: A button structure is provided for installing to a casing of an electronic device having a button opening. The button structure is flexible and comprises an engaging portion, a button portion, a first alignment portion, a second alignment portion and a hollow sleeve. The engaging portion is disposed at a fixing end of the button structure. The button structure is connected to the inward side of the casing through the engaging portion. The button portion is disposed at a free end of the button structure for aligning with the button opening of the casing. The button portion has a light guiding portion for neighboring to a light emitting diode. The first alignment portion and the second alignment portion are mounted on a first protrusion portion and a second protrusion portion of the casing respectively. The hollow sleeve is disposed axially movably to the fixing sleeve of the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2015
    Assignee: EVERDAY TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Shih-Hsiung Hsieh
  • Patent number: 9189078
    Abstract: Techniques and apparatus to provide improved visibility to user input devices, such as keys, are disclosed. In low light conditions, key legends can be difficult to distinguish. For example, often keys have legends on them to visually distinguish them from one another, but in low light conditions it can be difficult for users to visually identify the different keys. The legends can be textual and/or graphic. Hence, according to one embodiment, light from a nearby (e.g., attached) display device can be used to provide illumination to the user input devices (e.g., keys). The user input devices can be configured to include reflective optical components to enhance reflection of light and thereby improve visibility of the keys or the legends thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Peter H. Mahowald, Ronald J. Moller, M. Evans Hankey, Bart K. Andre, Rafael Dionello
  • Patent number: 9086851
    Abstract: Handheld devices are described herein with display portions and with key input portions having curved form factors. The key input portions have form factors that are concave or convex with respect to a plane formed by two edges of a surface of the display portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Hugh Edward McLoone, Jr., Michael Kemery, Maura C. Collins
  • Publication number: 20140341630
    Abstract: A plurality of keyboard keys are grouped into at least a first group of keyboard keys and a second group of keyboard keys. Webbing serves to physically couple together the keyboard keys of the first group of keyboard keys. Similarly, but discretely, webbing also serves to physically couple together the keyboard keys of the second group of keyboard keys. So configured, the keyboard keys of the first group are not physically coupled via such webbing to any keyboard keys of the second group. By one approach the aforementioned webbing comprises an integral part of the keyboard keys and comprises, for example, a part of a film that conformally overlies adjacent ones of the keyboard keys. These teachings will accommodate forming such a film and the main body of the keyboard keys using thermoforming and injection molding processes to form-in-place such keys.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Applicant: Research In Motion Limited
    Inventor: Jimmy Bedolla
  • Patent number: 8870477
    Abstract: A key for a keyboard includes a keycap having a top surface configured to be contacted for pressing the key down, and having a bottom. The keycap is substantially transparent. An intermediate layer is coupled to the bottom of the keycap. The intermediate layer is translucent and includes a top and a bottom. The top of the intermediate layer faces the bottom of the keycap. A character layer is positioned between the bottom of the keycap and the top of the intermediate layer. A resilient member is coupled to the bottom of the intermediate layer. The resilient member is translucent and is configured to direct light through the intermediate layer, through the character layer, and out from the keycap. The character layer is configured to be lighted for viewing through the keycap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Logitech Europe S.A.
    Inventors: Baptiste Merminod, Peter Mah, Eric Hsu, Aaron Lee, Jero Chen, Linus Chien, Eric Su
  • Patent number: 8851771
    Abstract: A wipeable keyboard cover may include a flat, flexible membrane surrounded by a rigid frame that closely fits a keyboard assembly. The wipeable keyboard cover may be securely attached to the keyboard assembly and may be easily removed from the keyboard assembly by a user. The wipeable keyboard cover may prevent foreign matter from contacting the covered portion of the keyboard assembly while allowing easy operation of the keyboard assembly. The flat nature of the wipeable keyboard cover may allow the cover to be cleaned effectively while it is attached to a keyboard assembly without subjecting the underlying keyboard assembly to potentially harmful treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Craig Kaliebe, Greg Zawislak, Mark Bondzinski
  • Publication number: 20140218640
    Abstract: A glass keyboard includes a patterned glass sheet having a plurality of glass keys arranged in a keyboard layout. Each of the glass keys includes one or more cantilevered glass tabs integrally formed in the patterned glass sheet. Each glass tab is deflectable from a plane of the patterned glass sheet. A conductive layer is arranged in opposing and spaced-apart relation to the patterned glass sheet. The conductive layer has a plurality of contact pads in positions corresponding to the glass tabs. A plurality of pressure pads is disposed between the cantilevered glass tabs and the contact pads and configured to selectively transfer contact pressure from the cantilevered glass tabs to the contact pads when the cantilevered glass tabs are selectively deflected from the plane of the patterned glass sheet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: CORNING INCORPORATED
    Inventors: CHUN-WEI CHI, JR-NAN HU
  • Patent number: 8790025
    Abstract: A keyboard overlay for use on a touch screen is disclosed, as well as novel key structures for use on overlays. The keyboard overlay and key structures have novel structures which can provide finger resting resistance, deceleration during actuation, pre-actuation cues, finger positioning cues, key identification cues, and other desired aspects of a keyboard optimized for touch typing. Methods for stowing and deploying the keyboard overlay to align with the virtual keyboard of a touch screen are also disclosed. The disclosed keyboard overlay can provide optimal touch typing characteristics for use on all known types of touch screens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Touchfire, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Alfred Isaac, Bradley S. Melmon, Ralph Levy
  • Publication number: 20140186085
    Abstract: A press key includes: a base plate; a key cap including a top plate and a frame, the frame having a frame wall that surrounds a frame opening and that is formed with upper journal retention members and upper slide retention members; and a restoring unit including first and second support members. The first and second support members have upper end portions and lower end portions. The first and second support members extend through the frame opening. The upper end portion of the first support member is pivotally retained between the upper journal retention members and the top plate. The upper end portion of the second support member is slidably retained between the upper slide retention members and the top plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 2, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Changshu Sunrex Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Qing ZHANG
  • Patent number: 8749962
    Abstract: A mobile computing device is disclosed. The mobile computing device comprises a housing that includes a section to retain a keypad assembly. The keypad assembly includes at least a keypad façade that carries a plurality of keys. The keypad façade of the keypad assembly is contoured to adjoin and be substantially flush with the section of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Wilhelmus Crooijmans, Yoshimichi Matsuoka
  • Patent number: 8721204
    Abstract: A keyboard having improvements to the combination wave and curve keyboards of the prior art. In one embodiment, the invention provides a wave shape on a keyboard palm rest. In another embodiment, the invention provides a unique combination of a QWERTY keyboard, with both a wave and a curve, where the D and K keys are the low points of the wave. In another embodiment, a combination of more than one lateral waves and a constant radius curve is provided. Yet another embodiment provides the combination of a curved keyboard and a straight number pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Logitech Europe S.A.
    Inventors: Sylvain Sauvage, Lorenzo Mandelli, Eugene Canavan, Cathal Loughnane
  • Publication number: 20140119802
    Abstract: Pressure sensitive key techniques are described. In one or more implementations, a device includes at least one pressure sensitive key having a flexible contact layer spaced apart from a sensor substrate by a spacer layer, the flexible contact layer configured to flex responsive to pressure to contact the sensor substrate to initiate an input, for a computing device, associated with the pressure sensitive key. At least one of the flexible contact layer or the sensor substrate are configured to at least partially normalize an output resulting from pressure applied at a first location of the flexible contact layer with an output resulting from pressure applied at a second location of the flexible contact layer that has lesser flexibility than the first location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2014
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy C. Shaw, Jim Tom Belesiu, Paul Henry Dietz, Christopher Harry Stoumbos, Dennis J. Mathias
  • Patent number: 8669942
    Abstract: An operation unit has an operation surface for accepting an input operation. In a plan view, the operation surface has a rectangular contour including a plurality of sides and a plurality of corner portions. When each point at which extensions of adjacent two of the plural sides cross each other is defined as a virtual intersection, and when an intersection at which respective diagonals linking the virtual intersections cross each other is defined as a virtual center, the contour of the corner portion crosses the diagonal that passes through the virtual intersection and the virtual center, at a point between the virtual intersection in the vicinity of the corner portion and the virtual center. The corner portions is a specific corner portion having an intersection with the diagonal at a position closer to the virtual center than the adjacent two corner portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Nagamura, Hiroaki Nishimura, Haruka Kaneko, Tetsuya Kawamoto, Shintaro Tanaka, Takashi Tsukahara
  • Patent number: 8646999
    Abstract: Pressure sensitive key techniques are described. In one or more implementations, a device includes at least one pressure sensitive key having a flexible contact layer spaced apart from a sensor substrate by a spacer layer, the flexible contact layer configured to flex responsive to pressure to contact the sensor substrate to initiate an input, for a computing device, associated with the pressure sensitive key. At least one of the flexible contact layer or the sensor substrate are configured to at least partially normalize an output resulting from pressure applied at a first location of the flexible contact layer with an output resulting from pressure applied at a second location of the flexible contact layer that has lesser flexibility than the first location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy C. Shaw, Jim Tom Belesiu, Paul Henry Dietz, Christopher Harry Stoumbos, Dennis J. Mathias
  • Patent number: 8581130
    Abstract: A key structure with a scissors-type connecting member is provided. The scissors-type connecting member includes a first frame and a second frame. The first frame includes a rotating shaft and a pushing bulge. After the first frame is stacked on the second frame, if the second frame may be pushed by the pushing bulge, the second frame is subject to deformation to facilitate combining the first frame and the second frame together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Primax Electronics Ltd.
    Inventors: Chuang-Shu Jhuang, Tzu-Yi Liao
  • Patent number: 8563886
    Abstract: A key structure with a scissors-type connecting member is provided. The scissors-type connecting member includes a first frame and a second frame. The first frame has a bulge. The second frame has a recess. The height of the bulge is smaller than the length of the recess entrance. The length of the recess bottom surface is greater than the length of the recess entrance. After the bulge of the first frame is introduced into the recess of the second frame, since the length of the recess bottom surface is greater than the length of the recess entrance, the possibility of detaching the bulge from the recess during the operation of the scissors-type connecting member will be minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Primax Electronics Ltd.
    Inventor: Bo-An Chen
  • Publication number: 20130230346
    Abstract: Pressure sensitive key techniques are described. In one or more implementations, a device includes at least one pressure sensitive key having a flexible contact layer spaced apart from a sensor substrate by a spacer layer, the flexible contact layer configured to flex responsive to pressure to contact the sensor substrate to initiate an input, for a computing device, associated with the pressure sensitive key. At least one of the flexible contact layer or the sensor substrate are configured to at least partially normalize an output resulting from pressure applied at a first location of the flexible contact layer with an output resulting from pressure applied at a second location of the flexible contact layer that has lesser flexibility than the first location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Inventors: Timothy C. Shaw, Jim Tom Belesiu, Paul Henry Dietz, Christopher Harry Stoumbos, Dennis J. Mathias
  • Publication number: 20130229761
    Abstract: Pressure sensitive key techniques are described. In one or more implementations, a device includes at least one pressure sensitive key having a flexible contact layer spaced apart from a sensor substrate by a spacer layer, the flexible contact layer configured to flex responsive to pressure to contact the sensor substrate to initiate an input, for a computing device, associated with the pressure sensitive key. At least one of the flexible contact layer or the sensor substrate are configured to at least partially normalize an output resulting from pressure applied at a first location of the flexible contact layer with an output resulting from pressure applied at a second location of the flexible contact layer that has lesser flexibility than the first location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2012
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Timothy C. Shaw, Jim Tom Belesiu, Paul Henry Dietz, Christopher Harry Stoumbos, Dennis J. Mathias
  • Publication number: 20130202340
    Abstract: A key device includes a casing having a base plate and a frame disposed on the base plate, and a key cap having a press plate and a limiter. The press plate is disposed between the frame and the base plate and exposed from an opening of the frame. The press plate has a pivotal side connected pivotally to the frame or base plate and is movable between unpressed and pressed positions. The limiter is disposed at or near a non-pivotal side of the press plate opposite to the pivotal side and engageable with the base plate or frame to prevent the non-pivotal side from escaping out of the casing. A resilient unit is disposed on the base plate to bias the press plate to the unpressed position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Publication date: August 8, 2013
    Inventor: Qing Zhang
  • Patent number: 8500348
    Abstract: A keyboard includes a plurality of keys, and a keyframe into which the plurality of keys are assembled. Each of the keys includes: i) a plunger on which a character is printed, and ii) a keycap made of a transparent material. The keycap covers at least a portion of a top of the plunger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Logitech Europe S.A.
    Inventors: Olivier Dumont, Baptiste Merminod, Alain Tabasso, Jean-Marc Flueckiger, Patrick Monney, Nicolas Chauvin, Gerd Schneider
  • Patent number: 8449208
    Abstract: Wireless handheld mobile communication device and keyboard therefore having a keyfield including a plurality of depressible keys arranged in rows that are distributed about a vertical centerline (Vc) of the keyboard. Each depressible key has a top engagement surface with an upper inboard portion that is raised relative a lower outboard portion thereof. The top engagement surface of each depressible key is ramped from the lower outboard portion toward the upper inboard portion. Each top engagement surface is generally crest shaped, with the apex of the crest running generally diagonally across the respective key with a remaining surface falling away from the crest toward the upper outboard portion and the lower inboard portion of the key. The top engagement surface of each of the depressible keys terminates at an upper edge thereof in an elevated ridge down from which the balance of the respective top engagement surface slopes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Research In Motion Limited
    Inventors: Roman P. Rak, Jason T. Griffin, Norman M. Ladouceur
  • Patent number: 8419303
    Abstract: A physical keyboard includes a plurality of multi-functional keys with a reduced column QWERTY key arrangement overlaid with a numeric phone key arrangement for use in both text entry and telephony. Another physical keyboard includes a plurality of multi-functional keys having an array of alphabetic characters and an overlaid numeric array of numbers. A handheld mobile station has a first user interface having a standard alphabetic key arrangement and a second user interface having a numeric phone key arrangement. The space key of the keyboard may be taller than the remainder of keys in the row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Research In Motion Limited
    Inventor: Jason T. Griffin
  • Patent number: 8414207
    Abstract: An ultra compact mobile keyboard. The keyboard has a plurality of mechanical keys suitable for touch typing. Each such key has a travel distance sufficient to provide a touch type feel and a rigid cap for crisp actuation by a user. The keyboard has a deployed configuration for touch-typing use and a collapsed configuration for transport and storage. In the collapsed configuration, the keyboard fits within bounding volume of less than 180 cubic centimeters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Synerdyne Corporation
    Inventors: Mark S. Knighton, Mydul R. Islam, Tzyy-Woei R. Sung, J. Douglas Logan, Kevin H. Vuong
  • Patent number: 8403576
    Abstract: The keyboard assembly is suitable for use as a keyboard of a hand held computing device. The assembly has a base layer of a printed circuit board and includes a carrier layer having snap domes set out in an array aligned with keys of a keypad layer. An electroluminescent layer generates light in areas aligned with the keys to backlight the keys. An actuator layer having projections is aligned with the keys and snap domes. Pressing a key causes a snap dome to be deformed, closing a switch for the key and providing a snap action press and release feedback for the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventor: Nicholas Merz
  • Patent number: 8400773
    Abstract: A mobile actuating device including a two shell housing, an interior chamber delimited by the shells, an electronic unit for data communication, an actuating member inside an opening of the first shell, a gap between the actuating member and the first shell, a carrier element, and a switching element connected to the electronic unit and associated with the actuating member, wherein the first shell includes a display having an opening in the first shell from which a light signal is emitted, the carrier element being translucent and made of a first material having a low modulus of elasticity, wherein the opening is completely filled by the carrier element, which conducts the light signal through the opening, and wherein the actuating member is made out of a second material with a larger modulus of elasticity than the first material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Huf Hulsbeck & Furst GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Alexander Geldmacher
  • Publication number: 20130051889
    Abstract: An input device includes detection parts detecting operation from the outside, a cap member receiving operation from the outside, and an operation part including an operating shaft. The cap member is locked to one end of the operating shaft and a flange portion, which transmits the operation received from the outside, is formed at the other end of the operating shaft. The operating shaft includes an engaging hole formed at one end-side end face of the operating shaft. The cap member includes a first fitting portion having elasticity, and a protruding portion formed at the first fitting portion so as to protrude toward the outside of the cap member. The one end of the operating shaft is press-fitted to the first fitting portion and the protruding portion of the cap member is positioned in the engaging hole, so that the cap member is locked to the operation part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2012
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Inventors: Shinichiro Kimura, Shinji Hirano
  • Patent number: 8384676
    Abstract: A label having an identifier 41L is applied to the upper left corner of the key top of each character key in a left hand region of a keyboard device. A label having an identifier 41R is applied to the upper right corner of the key top of each character key in a right hand region. The identifier 41L is a mark of a reversed L shape and the identifier 41R is a mark of a mirror image pattern of the identifier 41L. Further, different colors are applied to the identifiers 41L and 41R depending on regions for individual fingers. As a consequence, the identifiers 41L and 41R have a function to visually display information representing which hand is to be used to press a key and information representing which finger is to be used to press the key. The keyboard device enables a user to naturally understand the arrangement of the keys and the use of the fingers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Inventor: Toshihiko Kondo
  • Publication number: 20120263513
    Abstract: A computer peripheral is provided in which depressible keys are situated over a display device. A region on the display device is associated with each key. Each key includes a keycap with a central viewing window for viewing changeable display imagery produced by the display region associated with the key. Each key has a mechanical understructure that guides and constrains movement of the keycap toward and away from the display device. The mechanical understructure is configured to not optically obstruct through-keycap viewing of changeable display imagery produced on the associated region of the display. In many examples, the mechanical understructure is positioned outside of the display region to provide such unobstructed viewing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Publication date: October 18, 2012
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventor: Glen C. Larsen
  • Patent number: 8284078
    Abstract: An exemplary control method includes the following steps. Judging if a hot key is pressed. Updating a data in a data field when the hot key is pressed. Judging if a first function key is pressed. When the first function key is pressed, outputting a first key code according to the data in the data field and the first function key. Executing a first service process according to the first key code. A control system is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Giga-Byte Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chih-Hao Lin
  • Publication number: 20120201589
    Abstract: An interface for retrofitting to a portable computer such as a notebook or laptop computer, the interface for covering the keyboard and having a plurality of jumbo buttons, each jumbo button for covering more than one key of the keyboard.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2012
    Publication date: August 9, 2012
    Inventor: Rachel VAN BUREN
  • Patent number: 8235611
    Abstract: A key structure of a keyboard, comprising: a backplane and a plurality of key caps. The backplane is concaved a plurality of grooves. A frame is deposed on the groove, and outside of the frame two fixed bases and two positioning columns are correspondingly deposed on the opposite sides. A clamp is deposed on the fixed base. A link bar, consists of a cross bar and two struts. The cross bar and the struts are mutually perpendicular and shown as an upside-down U shape. A key cap, in which a convex column is extended from the inside of the key cap, and two clips are protruded respectively on the opposite sides of the convex column, as well as a slot is deposed on the clip. The clips are adapted to position the cross bar of the link bar to a clamp of a fixed base on the backplane. And two struts are adapted to be held by the positioning column, so that the two struts only can be moved up and down and will not mismatch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Mae Tay Plastic Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Cheng-Chung Chang
  • Publication number: 20120189369
    Abstract: A keyboard includes a base, a plurality of keyswitches and a protective cover. The keyswitches are disposed on the base. Each of the keyswitches includes a key cap. The protective cover includes a plurality of hollow protruding portions and a plurality of surface structures. Each of the surface structures is formed on one of the hollow protruding portions. When the protective cover is disposed on the base, each of the hollow protruding portions covers one of the key caps correspondingly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2012
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Inventor: Chao-Lung Chang
  • Patent number: 8226310
    Abstract: An apparatus including: a plurality of keys each having an in-use configuration and a stowed configuration, wherein a key when in the in-use configuration is configured to travel between a first relatively raised position and a second relatively lowered position under a user applied force and is configured to return to the first relatively raised position after removal of the user applied force and wherein a key when in the stowed configuration is unable to travel to the first relatively raised position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Nokia Corporation
    Inventors: Silas Joe Grant, Chee Yee Wong, Daniel Wilkinson Gratiot, Tom Eaton
  • Patent number: 8223040
    Abstract: A mobile terminal and method for operating a touch keypad, the mobile terminal including a touch keypad, a touch sensor processor for sensing a signal inputted from a key selected by a user on the touch keypad and outputting location information corresponding to the selected key based upon the sensed signal, a Control Processor (CPU) for outputting at least one or more control signals based upon the outputted location information, and a light emitting diode controller for independently driving a light emitting diode corresponding to the selected key based upon the outputted control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Dong-Seuck Ko, In-Yong Kim
  • Patent number: 8217289
    Abstract: A keyboard and key structure thereof includes a keycap, an elastic element, a supporting element, a base and a frame. The elastic element is located below the keycap. The supporting element has a supporting part, a connecting part and an end part, wherein the supporting part supports the keycap and the connecting part connects the supporting part and the end part. The base supports the elastic element. The frame secures the end part on the base. A keyboard includes a plurality of key structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Darfon Electronics Corp.
    Inventor: Chia-Hung Liu
  • Publication number: 20120163894
    Abstract: A key comprising a light transmitting key base; a three-dimensional cured resin layer disposed on a lower surface of the base; and a pattern layer disposed on a lower surface of the three-dimensional cured resin layer is provided. The three-dimensional cured resin layer may be formed with a microstructure on a lower surface facing the upper surface of the pattern layer. Further, a keyboard comprising the same is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Inventors: Heng Xiao, Junfeng Liu, Luo Wenhai
  • Patent number: 8206047
    Abstract: A keyboard overlay for use on a touch screen is disclosed, as well as novel key structures for use on overlays. The keyboard overlay and key structures have novel structures which can provide finger resting resistance, deceleration during actuation, pre-actuation cues, finger positioning cues, key identification cues, and other desired aspects of a keyboard optimized for touch typing. Methods for stowing and deploying the keyboard overlay to align with the virtual keyboard of a touch screen are also disclosed. The disclosed keyboard overlay can provide optimal touch typing characteristics for use on all known types of touch screens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: TouchFire, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Alfred Isaac, Bradley S. Melmon, Ralph Levy
  • Patent number: 8207462
    Abstract: A key structure having an improved light emitting efficiency is provided. The key structure includes a light guide plate, an isolation sheet, a circuit board, an elastic member, and a key cap sequentially disposed one on another in order. A circuit and a plurality of first electrical contacts are distributed on a top surface of the light guide plate. An optical structure is disposed at a bottom surface of the light guide plate. The isolation sheet has a light reflective surface facing the light guide plate. A light source emits a light into the light guide plate. The light is reflected by the optical structure to pass through the through holes configured at the isolation sheet, thus allowing more light outputting through the through holes, so as to improve the illumination of the key cap, and improve the light emitting efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Global Lighting Technologies (Taiwan) Inc.
    Inventor: Chung-Lin Tsai
  • Patent number: 8162552
    Abstract: Wireless handheld mobile communication device and keyboard therefore having a keyfield including a plurality of depressible keys arranged in rows that are distributed about a vertical centerline (Vc) of the keyboard. Each of the depressible keys has a top engagement surface of which an upper inboard portion is raised relative a lower outboard portion thereof. The top engagement surface of each of the depressible keys is ramped from the lower outboard portion toward the upper inboard portion. Each top engagement surface is generally crest shaped, with the apex of the crest running generally diagonally across the respective key with the rest of the top engagement surface falling away from the crest toward the upper outboard portion and the lower inboard portion of the key. The top engagement surface of each of the depressible keys terminates at an upper edge thereof in an elevated ridge down from which the balance of the respective top engagement surface slopes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Research In Motion Limited
    Inventors: Roman P. Rak, Jason T. Griffin, Norman M. Ladouceur
  • Patent number: 8128297
    Abstract: A self-luminous keyboard with brightness-enhanced keycaps of the present invention comprises a baseplate, a substrate arranged above the baseplate, a plurality of keycaps coupled to the substrate and able to move up and down, a circuit board triggered by the contact of the keycap to output a signal, and a light emitting element. The substrate has a plurality of via-holes each corresponding to one keycap. There is a light transmission path from the light emitting element through the via-hole to the keycap. In each light transmission path, there is a light concentration member, and the light emitted by the light emitting element is concentrated by the light concentration member and then transmitted to the keycap. Thereby, the brightness of the keycaps is enhanced to be higher than the brightness of the gap between the adjacent keycaps, and the recognizability thereof is promoted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Zippy Technology Corp.
    Inventor: Chin-Wen Chou
  • Patent number: 8100594
    Abstract: A data input arrangement may include a first array of input keys defining a first shape extending across a first typing surface thereof; and a second array of input keys defining a second shape extending across a second typing surface thereof. The first and second arrays are contiguous with one another so that the first and second shapes create a non-linear surface extending across the data input arrangement. The non-linear surface enables users to tactilely locate individual keys of the first and second arrays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Symbol Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chad Chaumont, Shane MacGregor
  • Patent number: 8093523
    Abstract: This invention discloses a supporting structure for supporting a keycap of a switch. The supporting structure includes a first supporting member and a second supporting member. The first supporting member has a first arm, and the first arm forms a first shaft is perpendicularly protruded from the first arm. The second supporting member has a second arm including a first hook part. The first hook part forms a first containing space and a first opening connected to the first containing space. The first shaft can pass through the first opening and be rotatably contained in the first containing space by the first hook part. Accordingly, the first supporting member and the second supporting member can rotate relative to the first shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Darfon Electronics Corp.
    Inventor: Yi-Chen Wang
  • Patent number: 8089010
    Abstract: An electronic device with two keypads is provided. The electronic device includes a recessed portion and a pressable member rotatably attached to the recessed portion. A plurality of key switches is arranged on a surface of the recessed portion. A plurality of first pressable portions are formed on a first surface of the pressable member, and a plurality of second pressable portions are formed on a second surface of the pressable member. The first pressable portions and the key switches form the first keys, and the second portions and the key switches form the second keys. The electronic device further includes a switch unit and a processor. The processor is configured for assigning the key switches to correspond to the first pressable portions or the second portions according to the switch signal generated by the switch unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Song-Ling Yang