Glancing-Pad

the Mind-Computer Communication Technology

 


Symbol Encoding Apparatus and Method, United States Patent No.: 7,038,659

E-mail me at: yanooshray@gmail.com

Visit also: www.flicktext.com

 

Though computer technology has evolved at a startling rate in recent years, the way we communicate with our systems still remains inefficient and antiquated. Keyboards and mice force us to stay stuck in front of our computer screens at all times, and Blackberries, cell phones and PDAs do nothing more than create ergonomic nightmares.

It poses the question: Is there any biological or technological barrier impeding advancements in the communication technology?

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The need for new ways to communicate with the emerging digital universe is enormous and urgent. Following the trendsetting I-Phone, gestures are now in vogue. My invention, however, goes beyond the simple screen navigational functionality of gestures. I am offering a technology for data entry ideally suited for mobile computers and communication devices -that is already ahead of gesturing.

In fact Glancing Pad is more than an improvement over any existing keypad/touch screen/gesture operation, it is an entirely new concept. It is designed for text input just like any keyboard, except that it is operated with one hand. There is no locating which keys to punch: THERE ARE NO KEYS.

Data is produced with simple patterned fingertip motions over a plain surface. 

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Being aware of recent developments in neuro-technology, one could imagine that we are destined to communicate one day with the help of some sort of brain implant. I believe before such a future materializes, we will be expressing ourselves in an entirely new way - by glancing.

Speech, of course, will always remain our primary means of interpersonal communication. However, interfacing speech to the digital domain is not easy: Because different pronunciations, accents, dialects and languages exist, it differs with each user. Disregarding those and other limitations of the speech recognition technology, many 'experts' believe strongly in its future, and turn a blind eye to any alternative solution. They are making a big mistake.

Glancing promises to be as intuitive and effortless as speech - in fact, it can even be considered a twin of speech. Speech is a product of muscular activity of the vocal apparatus controlled by the language area of the brain. Glancing relies on the same circuitry, however, it diverts the output to control the muscles of the hand. Because of anatomical and functional closeness between these brain operations, and because of the extreme dexterity of the hand, learning to use Glance-Pad may be as easy and natural as learning to talk, and when mastered glancing may be as simple and efficient as speech. 

The simplicity and efficiency of glancing and speech is what differentiates these communication methods from other media, such as typing or sign language, for example, which tend to be little more than crude communication devices that require slow and excessively powerful motions to encode letters or other symbols. Glancing, on the other hand, requires only tiny finger movements to produce high speed communication and expend far less effort, without fatigue or wear on tissues. 

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The unique design of Glancing Pad allows for speed unattainable with many bi-manual and all uni-manual designs, especially chording keyboards. The basic strengths which set Glancing Pad ahead of other interfaces are:
 
1. free-ranged motions, which are self-referenced (not key-referenced);
2. motions which are designed to directly generate rudimentary symbols;
3. motions which are bio-mechanically natural;
4. motions which are ergonomic. Small range, no wasted activity to reposition fingers before every new symbol, make glancing extremely fast and efficient.
 

Glancing dramatically broadens the spectrum of hand motions that are suitable for encoding.  In the future, by integrating actions of glancing, chording and gesturing, communication with computers will reach entirely new levels of efficiency and convenience.

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 Glancing Pad as an

Autonomous Universal Personal

 Communicator

Think about it: there is really no need for every microprocessor controlled device to have a built-in data input interface. Instead, each user would carry a universal data input device within easy reach in a pocket or attached to a garment.

Glancing Pad is a perfect candidate for this role; it has been designed to be used separately from the devices it controls, and it has utilitarian advantages unmatched by any other device today - it is fantastically easy to operate and fast.

I envision Glancing Pad being carried around by everyone, everywhere, all the time. Glancing Pad will be used to open the door, communicate remotely with computers at work, or with a wearable computer on the go, to write a report or a lenghty memoir, to control audio/video equipment, a cell phone, a game box, security circuits, car electronics, a robot, home automation, etc. It would work with any device ready to receive the standardized controlling input from the pad. Think of a TV remote controller -- operated sightlessly, endowed with universal applicability, with secure data encryption and the exclusive responsivity to the owner. Think of a keypad in your pocket. Think of Freedom.

 

 In the following texts I examine the entire concept in detail. The technical docunemtation is available as U.S. Patent No.: 7,038,659. I would greatly appreciate any feedback: criticism and corrections as well as the encouragements and advice. My email address is:

yanooshray@gmail.com

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Read more:

In general - how glancing promises to break the mind-computer barrier:                                                                                               Keyboard is king, but not for long

It is not easy to learn a new skill from scratch, but no problem here:                                                                                         Glancing is exceptionally easy to learn

What is special about glancing? Let's see it in the historical perspective:                                                                                         About the evolution of symbol encoding

Examining the relation between them:                                                                                                                                           Glances, chords, gestures...

Telephony, mobile computing and interact-ability.                                                                                                                                           Merging technologies of communication

Speed and ubiquity of this new interface opens unprecedented new possibilities.                                            Glancing-pad is changing the ways of advertising  

Glancing breaks language barriers                    

The idea may be faulty, but it may be just ahead of time - make your own judgement                                                                 Still unconvinced? Read this

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 Summary

 

Glancing-Pad is an innovative device used for generating symbols that are primarily intended for communicating with computer, for writing and generating speech. To work it, a user performs a set of pre-established glancing motions over and onto a pad that is capable of tracking the position and touch of each of the user’s fingers. A simple mental template serves to guide encoding motions, which result in finger motions that conform to the biomechanical capabilities of the hand and make movements “natural” in feel and “effortless” to perform. When the user intuitively follows this motion template with a finger, it produces an unrestricted-but-unique trajectory that is detected and decoded by Glancing-Pad and then assigned a pattern. Patterns are differentiated by the various approach and touch trajectories made by the user when glancing. Each glancing pattern is unique and is used to define a symbol; each finger of the hand encodes a different set of symbols. Movements encoding consecutive symbols morph into fluid, continuous finger activity reminiscent of relaxed tickling motions. Glancing motions are scaleable and may occur anywhere within Glancing-Pad’s boundary. As a result of short range and swiftness of movements, glancing develops into fast, instinctive performance that gives single-hand operation better encoding agility than standard two-handed operation of a keyboard -- as well as a superior ergonomic advantage.

 

How does it work?

Motion-path detector (Glancing-Pad) tracks discrete glancing motions of four fingertips over the pad surface. Hand is not bound by device's configuration (no keys to activate), and encoding can take place anywhere within the pad boundary.

The device is simple, inexpensive to build, and easy to use.

There is no force applied, just wiggly motions of fingers and gentle touches. The animation on the right appears to exaggerate vertical punches, but there is a substantial and important horizontal component to each motion. Each glance combines a glide above (pad-parallel motion), and a touch to the pad. Those motions may be as broad as required by the condition, but scaling down the motion range will boost the speed and efficiency of encoding. Glancing-pad offers enormous gain in performance through improved economy of motion.                                                       

                                                                                                     more about how a finger glide and touch encodes symbols

 

 

 

The rule of encoding

 

The glancing motion is easy, guided by a simple rule to move fingertips along the side of an imaginary rectangle, with the purpose to indicate the side and direction. Decoder associates a symbol with a side-indicating segment of the motion track.  

Touch plays a crucial, and double, role in Glancing Pad operation; the very touch that generates symbols makes the sensory apparatus of the hand to feed back to the brain the information about the touch. Such information allows for precise adjustment of the motion trajectory, and of distance at which each finger glides above the pad. Altogether, hand motions both actuate the device and make us feel the action.

 

Motion track of two fingers

(this example illustrates the encoding of three symbols)

 

Motions traced on the right occur synchronously. Notice that both motion traces are similar, and that touch  2 of finger 2  follows touch 1 and precedes touch 3 of finger 1.

 

With practice the initially broad glancing motion gets reduced to a mini-glance, improving the speed of encoding (shorter motions are faster).                                 

                                                                                                                       more about mini-gestures

A small contrasted dot at the tip of each finger (detectable by the pad) may help to reliably trace such diminutive motions; pudgy fingers - no problem!

 

 Assigning symbols to glances

 

In my patent application, glances were assigned letters of the alphabet in the simplest, most orderly manner, because I believe that the ultimate standards of symbol assignment may only emerge with practice.

These new standards and rules of encoding need not be excessively strict; they should reflect individual styles and preferences. Glancing Pad will be a uniquely personalized tool.

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Glancing-Pad at a Glance

 

Briefest summary of the invention:   FOUR-FINGER SCRIBBLE  (yes, glancing is a form of hand writing -- assisted by digital technology)

Consider these facts:

  • handwriting- slow, involves pen, paper and a flat steady surface;
  • keyboards - require sturdy support for the device, seated position and the device within reach of both hands, produces repetitive motion injury;
  • chord devices - slow, mostly electromechanical, cumbersome, hard to learn, and hard on hands;
  • speech recognition - interpretation problems, awkward, slow, fail in noisy environments. All permutations of these devices are slow, unreliable or un-ergonomic.

 

Now consider these facts:

  • Glancing-Pad is the most efficacious human-computer interface to date
  • Glancing-Pad is radically new, innovative and different to what anyone has used before
  • Glancing-Pad can be operated with one hand
  • GlanceingPad is easy, natural, second-nature
  • Glancing-Pad makes training easy, fast and fun
  • GlanceingPad is especially suitable for operating gaming devices
  • Glancing-Pad is fast, fluid, reliable, ergonomical, unobtrusive, silent, esthetic
  • Glancing-Pad will work under nearly any conditions
  • Glancing-Pad is ideal companion for a wearable computer
  • Glancing-Pad unlocks the only encoding scheme which allows speed-of-thought capability that challenges speech itself
  • Glancing pad will contribute to our efforts to prevent global warming, speeding up transition to a paperless society
  • Glancing-Pad will become iconic and a must-have tool as well as the latest fashion item

Glancing-Pad will become as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola and I-Pods!

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Try to imagine it, it’s worth it

 

I understand that it takes a leap of faith and imagination to envision how glancing works, since it is an unprecedented and unique creation. The ultimate goal was to produce the best interface connecting the mind to the outside world, a speedy thought-relay capable of challenging, or even outperforming, speech itself. Finding the right encoding scheme proved to be the key to unlock that capacity. The result is Glancing-Pad; the next step in communication revolution.


 

Contents, including images, is a property of Yanooshray.