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Publication numberWO1998002841 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/US1997/012031
Publication date22 Jan 1998
Filing date17 Jul 1997
Priority date17 Jul 1996
Publication numberPCT/1997/12031, PCT/US/1997/012031, PCT/US/1997/12031, PCT/US/97/012031, PCT/US/97/12031, PCT/US1997/012031, PCT/US1997/12031, PCT/US1997012031, PCT/US199712031, PCT/US97/012031, PCT/US97/12031, PCT/US97012031, PCT/US9712031, WO 1998/002841 A1, WO 1998002841 A1, WO 1998002841A1, WO 9802841 A1, WO 9802841A1, WO-A1-1998002841, WO-A1-9802841, WO1998/002841A1, WO1998002841 A1, WO1998002841A1, WO9802841 A1, WO9802841A1
InventorsRajendra Kumar
ApplicantKhyber Technologies Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Dumb-bell shaped data entry device with integrated scanner
WO 1998002841 A1
Abstract
A handheld computing and input device (10) includes a dumb-bell shaped housing having a narrow handle portion (11) which is easy to grip in one hand, a first wide portion (12) above the narrow handle portion (11), and a second wide portion (13) at the opposite end of narrow handle portion (11). A display (14) and keyboard (15) are carried in first wide portion (12) and accessible from its front surface. The thumb of the hand gripping device (10) is within convenient reach of, and may actuate any key in keyboard (15). A scanner (20) also is carried in first wide portion (12) such that its projected beam or other signal is directed at an appropriate angle (17) out the rear of first wide portion (12). A trigger button (18) to operate scanner (20) and a trigger guard (19) extend from the rear of narrow handle portion (11) at a location just below first wide portion (11). Trigger button (18) may be operated by the index finger of the hand gripping device (10). Thus, device (10) furnishes the functionality of both key-based input and scanning input in an ergonomic form allowing for comfortable gripping and holding by one hand, and operation of all functions by fingers of the same hand used for gripping and holding.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
CLAIMS:
1. A handheld computing and input device comprising: a handheld housing having a central portion for gripping by an operator's hand and a first wide end; a keypad input to the device carried by said first wide end, said keypad input operable by a finger of said operator's hand when gripping said central portion; and, a second input to the device operable by a finger of said operator's hand when gripping said central portion.
2. A device, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said second input is selected from a group including a scanner, radio frequency identification reader and camera.
3. A device, as set forth in claim 2, further including a second wide end opposite said first wide end.
4. A device, as set forth in claim 3, further including a display carried by one of said first wide end and said second wide.
5. A device, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said housing includes a front surface and a rear surface, said display and said keypad input are accessible from said front surface, and said second input is accessible from said rear surface.
6. A device, as set forth in claim 5, further including a button for actuating and operating said second input positioned for operation by said another of the fingers of said operator's hand gripping the device.
7. A device, as set forth in claim 6, wherein said button is accessible from said rear surface.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

DUMB-BELL SHAPED DATA ENTRY DEVICE WITH INTEGRATED SCANNER

REFERENCE TO COPENDING APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of United States Provisional Application Serial No. 60/021,942 filed July 17, 1996.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates in general to processor based devices operable while being held in its user's hand, such as a handheld computer and a handheld scanner. More particularly, the present invention pertains to the structure of such handheld devices allowing for single-hand holding and operation. More specifically, the present invention relates to structure for such handheld devices that allows key-based data entry and scanning with the same single hand used to hold the device.

BACKGROUND ART

Handheld computing and one-handed scanning devices have become popular for a wide variety of applications. These applications have different requirements for information display and entry, limiting the range of effective uses for devices optimized for individual tasks. For example, the substantially rectangular shaped housing of one group of devices, illustrated by U.S. Patent No. Des. 340,034 to Hofstettler et al. and U.S. Patent No. Des. 297,429 to Pedinielli et al., includes one widened end for presenting a larger display area. While these devices can display at one time greater amounts of information, they are unbalanced and top-heavy, making them uncomfortable to hold for longer periods of operation with the potential for greater operator fatigue. Additionally, these devices are unable to perform data-capture by scanning. In another handheld device configuration, shown in U.S. Patent No. 5,332,322 to Gambaro, a substantially conventional width handheld device is tapered in its center to permit a more comfortable grip and the thumb entry of data using a limited number of keys. However, this device also is unable to perform data capture by scan- ning, and both the number of keys for data entry and the display size are limited.

U.S. Patent No. 5,107,100 to Shepard et al. presents a handheld device optimized for scanning in which a grip extends perpendicular to the substantially rectangular device housing. A device of this configuration can be comfortable to grip for short periods of time, allows scanning operation with the same hand holding the device, and can carry a larger display. Nevertheless, it is unbalanced and top-heavy, making it subject to the same discomforts previously noted, and prohibits the entry of key-based data with the same hand holding the grip.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a device that permits comfortable and secure single-handed operation of a processor-based handheld apparatus such as handheld computer and a handheld scanner.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a device, as set forth above, which is both comfortable to grip and comfortable to hold for longer periods of operation without operator fatigue.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a device, as set forth above, in which information may be entered by key and by scanning using only a finger of the same hand used to grip and hold the device. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a device, as set forth above, that includes a larger size display and larger quantity of keys for key-based input.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention over existing prior art forms will become more apparent and fully understood from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In general, a handheld computing and input device in accordance with the present invention includes a handheld housing having a central portion for gripping by an operator's hand and a first wide end, a keypad input to the device carried by the first wide end, the keypad input operable by a finger of the operator's hand when the operator's hand is gripping the central portion, and a second input to the device operable by a finger of the operator's hand when the operator's hand is gripping the central portion. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of an exemplary device in accordance with the present invention having a large display and a keypad and scanner both operable by a finger of the hand used to grip and hold the device. Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the device shown in Fig. 1.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Figs. 1 and 2 present a front elevational view, and a side elevational view, respectively, of an exemplary handheld computing and input device in accordance with the present invention, generally indicated by the numeral 10. Device 10 includes a housing shaped generally like that of a dumb-bell, having a central, narrow handle portion 1 1 which is easy to grip in one hand, a first wide portion 12 above a hand gripping narrow handle portion 11 , and a second wide portion 13 at the opposite end of narrow handle portion 11. A display 14 and keyboard 15 are carried in first wide portion 12 and accessible from its front surface. The thumb of the hand gripping device 10 is within convenient reach of, and may actuate any key in keyboard 15. A scanner 20 also is carried in first wide portion 12 such that its projected beam or other signal is directed at an appropriate angle 17 out the rear of first wide portion 12. A trigger button 18 to operate scanner 20 and a trigger guard 19 extend from the rear surface of narrow handle portion 11 at a location just below first wide portion 11. Trigger button 18 may be operated by the index finger of the hand gripping device 10. Thus, device 10 furnishes the functionality of both key-based input and scanning input in an ergo- nomic form allowing for comfortable gripping and holding by one hand, and opera- tion of all functions by fingers of the same hand used for gripping and holding.

A second keyboard 16 may be carried in second wide portion 13. A disk drive 21 also may be included in second wide portion 13.

Several modifications within the spirit of the present invention now should be evident to the skilled artisan. For example, additional keyboard 15 keys may be included in narrow handle portion 11 so long as they are accessible to the thumb of hand gripping device 10. Also, scanner 20 may be a CCD or other type of bar-code scanner. A RFID reader or CCD camera may be included with or substituted for scanner 20. Inasmuch as the present invention is subject to variations, modifications and changes in detail, some of which have been expressly stated herein, it is intended that all matter described throughout this entire specification or shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. It should thus be evident that a device constructed according to the concept of the present invention, and reasonably equivalent thereto, will accomplish the objects of the present invention and otherwise substantially improve the art of handheld computing and input devices.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4458238 *28 Jan 19823 Jul 1984Learn Dale HHand held data entry unit
US5479001 *22 Jul 199426 Dec 1995Khyber Technologies CorporationRight- and left-handed operable, grip-held pen computing device with removable data entry modules
US5496992 *21 Jun 19945 Mar 1996Lxe, Inc.Dual trigger multiplexed data entry terminal
USD295411 *15 Mar 198526 Apr 1988American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesCombined voice and data terminal or similar article
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
EP2275965A3 *22 Mar 19997 Dec 2011Symbol Technologies, Inc.Bar code reader with an integrated scanning component module mountable on printed circuit board
Classifications
International ClassificationG06K7/10, G06F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/021, G06K7/10881
European ClassificationG06K7/10S9F, G06F3/02A3
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