CLAIMS

1. A system for extracting hand distance and/or position across and/or above a surface, comprising of:

a substrate;

at least one capacitive plate;

circuitry configured to produce measurable change of a parameter as a function of capacitance of said at least one capacitive plate;

a source of power; and

a processor.

2. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate is at least one of the following: printed, etched, deposited, discrete, in-molded, adhesively applied, laminated within, molded, cast, stamped, a weldment and/or fabrication and/or assembly and/or subassembly, and/or any metallic and/or conductive element capable of forming one plate of a capacitor.

3. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said substrate is contained within a plane and/or near planar surface.

4. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said substrate is flexible.

5. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate is two capacitive plates.

6. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate is three capacitive plates.

7. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate is four capacitive plates.

8. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate is more than four capacitive plates.

9. The system of any preceding claim, wherein hand presence affects said measurable change and/or tuning by changing at least one parameter of the following: frequency, voltage, capacitance, inductance, coupling, circuit Q, quantifiable electromagnetic and/or electrostatic field distortion and/or any of the above.

10. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said measurable change of a parameter as a function of capacitance of said at least one capacitive plate is quantifiable over a range of hand distances and/or positions and produces at least one variable value representing at least one radius from said at least one capacitive plate.

11. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one radius is a plurality of radii producing at least one shell in three dimensional space that maps a constant said measurable change of a parameter.

12. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one shell in three dimensional space is two shells in three dimensional space and the intersection of said two shells in three dimensional space is at least one locus of points along an arc in three dimensional space above said substrate.

13. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one shell in three dimensional space is at least three shells in three dimensional space and the intersection of said at least three shells in three dimensional space is at least one location in three dimensional space above said substrate.

14. The system of any preceding claim, wherein four or more capacitive plates provides redundancy for position sensing due to multiple combinations of three capacitive plates that is used to create overlapping solutions that is/are averaged and/or averaged in a weighted manner.

15. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least at least one location in three dimensional space is used to produce a linearized position by application of at least one mathematical equation and/or is used to produce a map that is position linearized by application of at least one mathematical equation.

16. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one location in said three dimensional space is contained within an array of at least one dimension.

17. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one location in said three dimensional space is contained within an array of two dimensions.

18. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one location in said three dimensional space is contained within an array of three dimensions.

19. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said circuitry capable of producing measurable change of a parameter as a function of capacitance further comprises:

a first oscillator producing a reference frequency;

a second oscillator producing a dependent frequency as a function of said at least one capacitive plate and/or at least one inductor;

a mixer combining said reference frequency and said dependent frequency to produce a beat frequency proportional to the difference in frequency and/or sum and difference frequency between said reference frequency and said dependent frequency.

20 The system of any preceding claim, wherein said first oscillator is automatically frequency nulled and/or adjusted to compensate for drift between said difference in frequency and/or sum and difference frequency.

21. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said array of at least one dimension produces a plurality of hand locations.

22. The system of any preceding claim, wherein at least one single function and/or action as a function of said hand distance and/or position in said three dimensional space is at least one point function and at least one single function and/or action as a function of hand motion and/or trajectory through three dimensional space is at least one path function, and further, at least one path function is at least one plurality of concatenated point functions.

23. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one point function is at least one error corrected point function and/or at least one said path function is at least one error corrected path function.

24. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one point function and/or said at least one error corrected point function and/or said at least on path function and/or said at least one error corrected path function defines at least one address for and/or initiates at least one function command.

25. The system of any preceding claim, wherein a plurality of said at least one function command forms an array of function commands and/or creates a virtual keyboard.

26. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said virtual keyboard is scaleable in size.

27. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one path function is transformed into at least one different path function.

28. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one path function is transformed into at least one different path function by application of at least one dimension of offset.

29. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one path function is transformed into at least one different path function by application of two dimensions of offset.

30. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one path function is transformed into at least one different path function by application of three dimensions of offset.

31. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said path function is independent of offset in at least one dimension of space within which said path function is executed.

32. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said point function is a hand position relative to a previous hand position and not dependant on an absolute position relative to said at least one said capacitive plate.

33. A method comprising transforming one path function of a hand through at least one dimensional space into at least one different path function in at least one dimensional space.

34. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said circuitry capable of producing measurable change of a parameter as a function of capacitance further comprises:

an oscillator producing a frequency signal connected to at least one conductor; at least one first capacitive element electrically connected to said at least one conductor;

at least one second capacitive element;

circuitry configured to detect coupling of said frequency signal to said at least one second capacitive element;

a means to quantify magnitude of said coupling into data convertible to a range of distances between said at least one first capacitive element and said at least one second capacitive element.

35. The system of any preceding claim, wherein at least one said at least one first capacitive element is on a different layer from said at least one second capacitive element.

36. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said map provides three dimensional information used as the input to a three dimensional surface map transformation to redefine a plane and/or surface and/or volume in space as in x', y', z' = f(x, y, z) which is used to but not limited to reorienting a virtual planar keyboard at any angle and/or scaling factor and/or positional offset in space.

More specifically:

x' = fl(x, y, z)

y' = f2(x, y, z)

z' = f3(x, y, z)

where x is the position in one direction along said substrate;

y is the position in one direction perpendicular to x and in said substrate;

z is the position in one direction perpendicular to both said x and said y and

perpendicular to said substrate;

fl, f2, f3 are the space mapping transformations which thus enable (χ', y', z') to now represent a transformed set of coordinates derived from the true hand position (x, y, z) and/or error corrected hand position in space.

37. The system of any preceding claim, further comprising the ability to function as a two hand controller.

38. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said function command controls at least one of the following but not limited to typing, input to musical instruments, generating midi output, controlling analog levels such as sound volume, channel tuning, pitch bending, filter center frequencies and/or cutoff frequencies, environmental controls, temperature, humidity, game control, steering, acceleration, breaking, flying, elevator, rudder, aileron, flap, landing gear, firing of weapons and/or ordinance, launching missiles, color control and/or color specification and/or lighting control, computer graphics control of any graphic parameters, real time control, input control of any parameter that can be represented and/or controlled by an analog and/or digital position, robotic and/or machinery manipulation, course tuning controls, fine tuning controls, and/or other functions typically initiated by a plurality of input devices presently used.

39. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said function command controls more than one analog level by segregating more than one region in 3D space and mapping into a ID range with a beginning of a range and an end of a range and multiple levels in between.

40. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said ID range is at least one of the following: a linear map, a logarithmic map, a user settable map, oriented along any curve in space where one point on the curve represents the beginning of said range of the ID control and another point represents the end of said range and between said beginning and said end are multiple points therein that are either monotonically increasing between said beginning and said end or track any function of a single parameter to yield a result between said beginning and said end of the said range.

41. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said substrate is inserted into and/or is attached within printed material including but not limited to at least one of cards, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, advertising, and/or is mounted to one of the following including but not limited to: boxes, trays, windows, posters, walls, point of purchase displays, billboards, and/or areas that can be seen.

42. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one error corrected point function and/or said at least one error corrected path function further comprises the ability to learn and make improved best choices based on statistical incidence of error deviation as a function of said position and/or said path and correlation with desired said at least one function command.

43. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one function command is at least one user defined function command and/or said at least one user defined function command is in whole or in part contained within the said array of function commands within said virtual keyboard.

44. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one capacitive plate and/or at least one inductor exhibit the behavior of at least one lumped parameter system possessing distributed inductive and/or capacitive and/or resistive properties which in whole or in part is/are influenced in a quantifiable manner by the proximity of a human hand over a said range of hand distances and/or positions and/or radii.

45. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said any metallic and/or conductive element capable of forming one plate of a capacitor is more than one said any metallic and/or conductive element electrically connected together to collectively form said one plate of a capacitor.

46. A system, comprising:

a substrate;

a capacitive plate, wherein the capacitive plate has a capacitance that can be altered by the presence of a human body part that is not in direct contact with the capacitive plate; and

one or more electronic devices, wherein the one or more electronic devices configured to produce a measureable change of a parameter as a function of the capacitance of the capacitive plate.

47. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the parameter is frequency, voltage, capacitance, inductance, coupling, circuit Q, and/or quantifiable electromagnetic and/or electrostatic field distortion.

48. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the human body part is a finger, hand, toe, or leg.

49. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the substrate is substantially planar.

50. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the substrate is flexible.

51. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the system comprises two, three, four, or more than four capacitive plates.

52. The system of any preceding claim, wherein the one or more electronic devices comprise one or more oscillators.

53. A system for extracting hand distance and/or position across and/or above a surface comprising of:

a substrate;

at least one moveable capacitive plate that can rotate into and out of the plane of said substrate;

circuitry configured to produce measurable change of a parameter as a function of capacitance of said at least one capacitive plate;

a source of power; and

a processor.

54. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one moveable capacitive plate is electrically altered by the presence of finger and/or hand position within an area on a plane.

55. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said presence of finger and/or hand position within an area on a plane is quantified to produce at least one position and/or location of said finger and/or hand.

56. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one position and/or location is a plurality of said at least one position and/or location.

57. The system of any preceding claim, wherein at least one single function and/or action as a function of finger and/or hand position within said area on a plane is at least one point function, and at least one single function and/or action as a function of hand motion and/or trajectory within said area on a plane is at least one path function, and further, at least one path function is at least one plurality of concatenated point functions.

58. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one point function is at least one error corrected point function and/or said at least one path function is at least one error corrected path function.

59. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one point function and/or said at least one error corrected point function and/or said at least one path function and/or said at least one error corrected path function defines at least one address for and/or initiates at least one function command.

60. The system of any preceding claim, wherein a plurality of said at least one function command forms an array of function commands and/or creates a virtual keyboard.

61. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said substrate is inserted into and/or is attached within printed material including but not limited to at least one of cards, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, advertising, and/or is mounted to one of the following including but not limited to: boxes, trays, windows, posters, walls, point of purchase displays, billboards, and/or areas that can be seen.

62. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one moveable capacitive plate that can rotate into and out of the plane of said substrate can be temporarily locked into the position perpendicular to said substrate during operation, then unlocked for retraction of said at least one moveable capacitive plate back into the plane of said substrate.

63. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said substrate and/or ad containing said substrate is made from any flexible and/or rigid and/or semi-rigid material.

64. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one moveable capacitive plate that can rotate into and out of the plane of said substrate is an array of capacitive and/or inductive elements to increase the coverage and resolution and/accuracy and/or precision of the position of a one or more fingers and/or hands within a an area.

65. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said at least one error corrected point function and/or said at least one error corrected path function is a tremor stabilized error correction.

66. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said tremor stabilized error correction employs software and filtering such that AC components of a certain frequency range and/or amplitude are removed and/or subtracted out from the DC average position, thus more accurately addressing the target region in space, thus reducing incorrect data entry and subsequent issuing of incorrect said function command.

67. The system of any preceding claim, wherein said software and filtering employs digital filtering and/or moving window and/or recursive and/or non-recursive filtering techniques and/or any weighted combination thereof.