Patent Number: 6,168,331

Title: Case keyboard

Abstract: The case keyboard is an input device that folds around an electronic instrument to protect it and provide ease of transport. Because of its small size and portability, the case keyboard is very practical for providing instructions to electronic instruments that are small in themselves, enabling both devices to be easily transported. The electronic instrument could be a personal digital assistant (PDA), small computer, calculator, telephone, or other portable machines. The first embodiment of the case keyboard has a standard set of keys on a substrate. The second embodiment uses a touch-pad switch to multiplex the character designation of a small set of keys and a gently motion of the thumb. The multiplexing reduces the number of keys while still providing designation of about 160 characters. Shorter finger-motions reduce the probability of repetitive stress injuries. A third embodiment incorporates the entire instrument into a case keyboard with a pop-up viewing screen flexibly attached.

Inventors: Vann; Charles S. (Burlingame, CA)


International Classification: G06F 1/16 (20060101); G06F 3/02 (20060101); B41J 005/18 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018