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1. WO2006095976 - ALPHABET INPUT APPARATUS USING A TOUCHPAD AND METHOD THEREOF

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

Claims

1. An apparatus for inputting characters using a touch pad, the character input apparatus comprising:
a touch pad including five character input areas A that generate different signals of a center area A3 and a left-top area A1, a left-bottom area A4, a right-top area

A2, and a right-bottom area A5 that are arranged in the vicinity of apexes of a square around the center area A3;
means receiving coordinate signals that are generated by a user touching the respective areas of the touch pad to be input, converting the coordinate signals into area input signals, and outputting the area input signals;
means sequentially receiving the converted area input signals to generate the received input area input signals as area input signal sequences;
storage means storing a character list that includes character sequences that are composed of sequential sequences of an arbitrary area input signal, characters, and function data so that one character or one function data is related to at least one character sequence; and
character detection and output means detecting the character list using sequences of the area input signal or a series of area input signals to output a corresponding character whenever one area input signal is received.

2. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of the character sequences of the character list is formed of a signal that is generated by continuously touching one or more areas that are arranged in the touch pad in the form similar to a writing form of a related character to be input.

3. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the character of the character list comprises at least a part of small letters of English alphabets, capital letters of English alphabets, Hangeul consonants and vowels, numbers, and symbols.

4. The character input apparatus according to claim 3, wherein function data that are related to the character sequences comprise at least a mode switching function for switching from one input mode among an English alphabet small letter input mode, an English alphabet capital letter input mode, a number input mode, a symbol input mode, and a Hangeul input mode to another input mode .

5. The character input apparatus according to claim 1,
wherein, in a pattern where the five areas that generate different signals are arranged, the center area A3 is adjacent to the remaining four areas A1, A2, A4, and A5;

wherein the left-top area A1 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2,
wherein the right-top area A2 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5,
wherein the left-bottom area A4 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5, and
wherein the right-bottom area A5 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2.

6. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein specific marks that make a user visually distinguish the five areas that generate different signals of the touch pad from each other are displayed on the external surface of the touch panel.

7. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein, in a portable electronic apparatus that includes at least a display, the touch pad is exclusively used for inputting characters in addition to the display.

8. The character input apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the character input touch pad has a size of between about 5mmx5mm and about 30mmx30mm and is realized to be proper to inputting characters using a finger of a user or a pen-type stylus.

9. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein, in a portable electronic apparatus that includes at least a display and key buttons, the touch pad overlaps at least a part of the key buttons.

10. The character input apparatus according to claim 1, wherein, in a portable electronic apparatus that includes at least a display, the touch pad is a touch screen that includes a transparent hardware touch pad that overlaps the display so that the five areas that are distinguished from each other of the touch pad are realized as soft touch pad areas on the touch screen.

11. The character input apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the soft touch pad areas are realized to be semi-transparent.

12. A method of inputting characters using a touch pad that includes five areas that generate different signals of a center area and a left-top area, a left-bottom area, a right-top area, and a right-bottom area that are arranged around the center area in apexes of a square in order to input characters, the character input method comprising the steps of:
receiving coordinate signals that are generated by a user touching the respective areas of the touch pad to be input, converting the received coordinate signals into area input signals, and outputting the converted area input signals;
sequentially receiving the converted area input signals to generate the received area input signals as area input signal sequences;
detecting a character list that includes character sequences that are formed of sequential sequences of an arbitrary area input signal and characters and function data that are related to the at least one character sequences using the area input signal sequences; and
when it is determined that a character that corresponds to the area input signal sequences exists, outputting the detected character and receiving the next area input signal to repeatedly detect the character list, wherein each of the character sequences of the character list is formed of a signal that is generated by continuously touching one or more areas that are arranged in the touch pad in the form similar to a writing form of a related character to be input.

13. The character input method according to claim 12, wherein the character of the character list comprises at least a part of small letters of English alphabets, capital letters of English alphabets, Hangeul consonants and vowels, numbers, and symbols, and
wherein the function data comprise a mode switching function of performing switching among character input modes .

14. The character input method according to claim 12, wherein the characters of the character list comprise at least small and capital letters of English alphabet, and wherein, when the small and capital letters are input, one of a method a in which character sequences that correspond to the small and capital letters are the same and in which the input of the small or capital letters is determined by whether a character input mode is a small letter input mode or a capital letter input mode, a method b in which character sequences that correspond to the capital letters are additionally determined as repetitions of parts of character sequences of the small letters that are related to the corresponding capital letters, and a method c in which both the methods a and b are adopted is used.

15. The character input method according to claim 12, wherein the characters of the character list comprise at least Hangeul consonants and vowels, and
wherein the method further comprises the step of pressing final areas for a long time and touching the final areas once more after touching characters that correspond to the Hangeul consonants and vowels, that is, character sequences that correspond to the character components to determine that the corresponding character components are completely input .

16. The character input method according to claim 12, wherein, in a pattern where the five areas that generate different signals are arranged, the center area A3 is adjacent to the remaining four areas A1, A2, A4, and A5;
wherein the left-top area A1 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2,
wherein the right-top area A2 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5,
wherein the left-bottom area A4 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5, and
wherein the right-bottom area A5 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2.

17. A method of inputting characters by detecting a character list that includes character sequences that are formed of a series of area input signals and characters that are related to the character sequences and that is previously stored and by outputting characters in accordance with sequentially input area input signal sequences using a touch pad that includes five areas that generate different signals of a center area and a left-top area, a left-bottom area, a right-top area, and a right-bottom area that are arranged around the center area in apexes of a square in order to input characters, the method comprising:
a first stand-by step of waiting for an area input signal to be received;
a step of adding the received area input signal to generate an area input sequence;
a step of detecting the character list using the area input signal sequence;
a step of, when it is determined that a character sequence that corresponds to the area input signal sequence exists in the detection step, outputting characters that are related to the character sequence to return to the first stand-by step;
a second stand-by step of, when it is determined that a character sequence that corresponds to the area input signal sequence does not exist in the detection step, determining whether a character sequence that includes a sequence that corresponds to the area input signal sequence as a part exists to return to the first stand-by step when the partially including character sequence exists;
an erroneous input correction step of, when the partially including character sequence does not exist, determining whether the preliminary character extraction step existed after the detection step when the area input signal was previously received to ignore all of the area input signal sequences that are currently received and to return to the first stand-by step when it is determined that the preliminary character extraction step did not exist; and
a definite character extraction step of, when it is determined that the preliminary character extraction step existed, extracting an output character as a definite character to output the extracted character and generating an area input signal sequence that includes only a currently received area input signal to return to the detection step.

18. The character input method according to claim 17, wherein each of the character sequences of the character list is formed of a signal that is generated by continuously touching one or more areas that are arranged in the touch pad in the form similar to a writing form of a related character to be input.

19. The character input apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the character of the character list comprises at least a part of small letters of English alphabets, capital letters of English alphabets, Hangeul consonants and vowels, numbers, and symbols.

20. The character input apparatus according to claim 19, further comprising a switch step of performing switching from at least one input mode among an English alphabet small letter input mode, an English alphabet capital letter input mode, a number input mode, a symbol input mode, and a Hangeul input mode to another input mode.

21. The character input apparatus according to claim 17,
wherein, in a pattern where the five areas that generate different signals are arranged, the center area A3 is adjacent to the remaining four areas A1, A2, A4, and A5;
wherein the left-top area A1 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2,
wherein the right-top area A2 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5, wherein the left-bottom area A4 is adjacent to the left-top area A1, the center area A3, and the right-bottom area A5, and
wherein the right-bottom area A5 is adjacent to the left-bottom area A4, the center area A3, and the right-top area A2.

22. The character input method according to claim 17, wherein the erroneous input correction step further comprises a step of outputting a sound that informs that an erroneous input is performed.

23. A software program comprising program commands that are realized to perform the steps according to any one of claims 12 to 22 by a microprocessor.

24. A computer readable recording media in which the software programs according to claim 23 are recorded.