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Publication numberUS20050069205 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/946,546
Publication dateMar 31, 2005
Filing dateSep 21, 2004
Priority dateSep 26, 2003
Also published asEP1668565A1, EP1668565B1, EP1668567A2, US7668375, US20050069204, WO2005031678A2, WO2005031678A3, WO2005034022A1
Publication number10946546, 946546, US 2005/0069205 A1, US 2005/069205 A1, US 20050069205 A1, US 20050069205A1, US 2005069205 A1, US 2005069205A1, US-A1-20050069205, US-A1-2005069205, US2005/0069205A1, US2005/069205A1, US20050069205 A1, US20050069205A1, US2005069205 A1, US2005069205A1
InventorsMalome Khomo
Original AssigneeKhomo Malome T.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interactive spatial chirography device
US 20050069205 A1
Abstract
Disclosed herein is chirography system including a chirography stylus fitted with an ultrasonic transducer tip and a font frame reader employing sensors at reference points of a font coordinate system. The system may be provided with a symbol recognition module adapted to identify symbol path traces of the stylus as the stylus traces the path guided by a cue card for a handwritten symbol. The system may also include an output for affirming successful recognition of a spatial chirography symbol by audibly expressing the identified symbol when the recognition succeeds and/or audibly prompting for another attempt when the recognition procedure fails. The system may employ one of physical and electronic cue cards including symbols adapted to be traced during a learning session.
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Claims(20)
1. An interactive spatial chirography device for spatial symbol tracing and recognition, the device comprising:
a chirographic stylus having a transducer element adapted to trace a symbol;
a plurality of sensors adapted to receive signals emitted by the transducer element as the symbol is traced;
means for determining spatial coordinate measurements from the signals received at the plurality of sensors;
a means for collecting the determined spatial coordinate measurements;
a symbol recognition module for employing the measurements collected during symbol a trace for symbol recognition, wherein the device is adapted to determine an outcome of the symbol recognition of the trace; and
at least one cue card having at least one symbol inscribed thereon.
2. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of sensors comprise:
at least one sensor adapted to receive position signals from the transducer of the stylus relative to a spatial coordinate origin; and
at least one sensor adapted to receive position signal from the transducer of the stylus relative to a plurality of spatial reference points.
3. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising means for producing an audible response with respect to the outcome of the symbol recognition of the trace.
4. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, wherein the device is adapted to at least one of assisted learning and unassisted learning by a learner user.
5. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, wherein the device comprises an unassisted interactive learning application comprising a learning assistant application program for assisting a learner user of the device to learn traced symbols.
6. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 5, further comprising:
storage for symbols to be learned; and
storage for symbols previously learned.
7. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 6, wherein a symbol to be learned comprises one of a physical visual representation and an electronically-generated visual representation of the symbol to be learned, wherein the symbols are adapted to be traced by the stylus during a learning session, and wherein the symbols are disposed upon one of a physical cue card and an electronic cue curd.
8. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 5, wherein the learning assistant application program comprises at least one of:
a session administration function;
a teaching and lesson reinforcement function;
a demonstration function; and
a symbol guide function.
9. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 5, wherein the learning assistant application program comprises at least one of:
lesson theme functions;
lesson evaluation functions; and
learner coaching functions.
10. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
a media reader for loading at least one of electronic lessons and learning programs;
a removable media storage device adapted to contain at least one of electronic lessons and learning programs; and
a program operating system.
11. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
a learning platform having a keyboard adaptor;
a keyboard line discipline assistant program;
an implementation of printable key symbols; and
a comprehensive binding of emulated keyboard control keys.
12. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
a keyboard interface port;
a keyboard controller emulator; and
a connector for electrically connecting a keyboard adaptor to a host computer.
13. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
a learning platform with a mouse adaptor;
means for determining a mouse X-Y position; and
a mouse line discipline assistant program.
14. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
a mouse interface port;
a mouse controller emulator; and
a connector for electrically connecting the mouse adaptor to a host computer.
15. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 14, wherein a mouse X-Y position comprises two X-Y components of a three dimensional stylus position reading projected onto a spatial stylus reader projection plane.
16. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 1, further comprising:
an interactive console associated with an interactive learning platform;
console interfaces;
application assistant programs; and
a console supervisor program.
17. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 16, further comprising:
a keyboard emulator and an associated interface;
a mouse emulator and an associated interface;
a device interface connector;
a spatial data bus between the device interface connector and a main system unit; and
at least one analog audio interface.
18. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 16, further comprising:
at least one learning assistant module; and
at least one interface emulation assistant module.
19. The interactive spatial chirography device according to claim 16, further comprising:
supervisor program text;
a boot loader for non-resident supervisor text;
a spatial position sampling routine;
position sample queues; and
position averaging routines.
20. A spatial computing method comprising:
associating a console display with a perspective view of three-dimensional space;
associating interactive computing resources with a conceptual three-dimensional space;
assigning a volume element in a perspective space to available resources;
arranging volume elements in a perspective view;
distinguishing between distinct volume elements by spatial position separation;
distinguishing between different types of resource by employing differing graphic features;
containing all available resources in a closed convex boundary;
associating the closed convex boundary with a point at minus infinity;
providing an initial perspective within which all available resources are in view;
associating the initial perspective with a global computing context for the initial perspective;
ensuring that all enclosed resources in a context are spatially reachable; and
providing resources available for a particular context.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application makes reference to, claims priority to and the benefit from the following U.S. Provisional Patent Applications: Ser. No. 60/542,309, filed Feb. 6, 2004, and Ser. No. 60/520,169, filed on Nov. 14, 2003, the complete subject matter of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference, in their respective entireties.

The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 10/672,647, entitled “A Spatial; Chirographic Sign Reader”, and filed on Sep. 26, 2003, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, in its entirety.

The present application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 10/840,905, entitled “A Spatial; Chirographic Sign Reader and System for Chirographic Reading”, and filed on May 7, 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, in its entirety.

The present application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 10/876,314, entitled “Method of Employing a Chirographic Stylus”, and filed on Jun. 24, 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, in its entirety.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[Not Applicable]

MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE

[Not Applicable]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Handwriting is traditionally performed on a writing surface, such as paper, with an ink-dispensing pen or other writing instrument, such as, a pencil or paintbrush. The result is expected to be understandable by human readers.

Recently, electronic handwriting has been done on planar X-Y digitizing pads using a stylus employed to simulate handwriting upon the pad to create an electronic facsimile of handwriting. The digitizing system collects an array of X-Y coordinates of pixels corresponding to the curve tracing positional points of the stylus tip. Usually the X-Y arrays are gathered and stored as positional arrays, and are made discernible to a human reader when rendered on an X-Y display, but are rarely discernible as text by a device.

Attempts to make handwriting discernible as machine-readable text have concentrated on handwriting recognition of the X-Y traces by translation into binary coded text after affine transformation of the X-Y trace. Other techniques of recognition of the X-Y traces employ stochastic recognition based on various randomness assumptions using a statistical model. Other attempts with more deterministic techniques of recognition of the X-Y traces use velocity profiling in on-line recognition and forward search in batch recognition. Many similar X-Y trace recognition efforts have resulted in numerically intense algorithms, which tend to restrict the recognition process to off-line batch processing, conducted as a separate procedure long after the writing has been done.

More recently, on-line recognition systems have dispensed with natural handwriting and created specialized pen-stroke shorthand for letters of the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals and punctuation marks, such as an electronic stylus recognition system. Field experience has shown that recognition error rates are high enough to cause manufacturers to begin supplanting the system with keypads and software keyboards. Miniaturized keypads are slow when compared to normal handwriting speed. Full-sized keyboards, although faster in use than miniature keyboards, are too cumbersome for optimum purposes.

Devices that track X-Y motion in true geometry exist in the form of analog joysticks. These are used as actuators for simulation and as gaming input devices, where a hand-held game controller may incorporate an analog joystick that permits tracking of directional inputs over 360 degrees around an action reference point, and is small enough to be manipulated by a fingertip. The cited range of 360 degrees signifies that the joystick spans a projection of the X-Y plane, but does not span a radial distance, i.e., the joystick is not operable to span a projection along the Z-axis. This is because the range of each joystick sensor is less than the radial range to be spanned.

The cited joystick may utilize optical quadrature sensor wheels over two orthogonal axes of rotation. Such a configuration may suffice for directional control over a planar range, but is inadequate for the capture of natural handwriting strokes because the latter requires a depth sensor.

At the time of Charles Babbage, the person attributed with inventing the analytic engine, a predecessor of the modem-day computer, a computer was a person whom Babbage observed working at Napier's logarithm table workshop in France. Napier's workers each sat upon assigned desks and specialized on one base-10 place value for the computation of his historical six-figure logarithm tables. Babbage adopted that concept, applied it to mechanical screws, and managed to build a device that mechanized Napier's procedure to nearly thirty place values and developed precision screws and gears driven in tandem at a 10:1 gear ratio. This brought into existence the concept of a machine register.

Babbage also borrowed from the Italian textile industry of the time. The punch cards employed by the mechanical pattern knitting looms of the day, were employed by Babbage to mechanically assert to an analytic engine, a numeric register value. The use of punched cards for formulating arithmetic problems for analytic engines was better publicized by Ada (Lady Lovelace), a Babbage acquaintance who took an intellectual interest in the Babbage invention.

This combination in turn inspired Hollerith to create a tabulating machine (a punched card device) that was used in a first-ever major census undertaking of the post civil war United States. The Hollerith system dominated computing for the next century and brought into existence the International Business Machine Company (IBM).

The manner by which the Hollerith system operated was to input data into the analytic machine (computer) by transcribing information onto punched cards. The IBM encoding scheme that persists to this day is called the extended binary coded decimal interchange code. Once the data cards were punched, they would be appended to a computer program. Punched program cards were preceded by control cards for performing batch-computing jobs. This procedure evolved into a unique culture of mainframe computing.

After a century of the Hollerith method, a console for mainframe computing included a command and control work area overseeing the work of card readers, print queues, and a host of system administration tasks for numerous batch jobs that were being executed at any one time. From this concentration of control arose a replication on what was then relegated to peripheral control devices (PDP) for overseeing communications, printing, and other I/O functions. The now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) refined the PDP into an independent computing machine, free from the constraints of the mainframe, and defined what is now historically known as the minicomputer era. One departure, however, was in the adoption of variable record lengths. The mainframe imposed 80 column records universally, which was the standard length for punched cards.

DEC also defined a series of terminals, derisively termed dumb terminals by mainframe users, which only controlled an output text display and input text keyboard. The virtual terminals (VT) as they were then known brought about a new mode of using a computer, namely through a text entry command line. The host computer would invoke a command interpreter and the user would enter commands with strict syntax and semantics. The premier example of this was the DEC command language (DCL) facility used on VT terminals, for example. The most rudimentary terminal in the series was the VT-100 DEC terminal.

Concurrent with this development, new research initiatives arose for interactive computing, most famously, the international academic and industrial collaboration called Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (MULTICS). The MULTICS effort subscribed, to by competitors of IBM, attempted to make the features of mainframes generic. Out of the MULTICS research initiative arose, within AT&T Bell Laboratories, a much narrower interaction model, appropriately called Uniplexed Information and Computing System (UNIX®), in which the computer kernel only did one thing: multiplex concurrent tasks on one computer with a scheduler. UNIX® adopted a number of interactive computing features of the DEC PDP machines, while retaining the more useful generics of MULTICS. The most salient of these to users was the shell command interpreter, which became the standard for command-line interactive computing.

When console displays became capable of areal layout of text, the interaction model evolved from a command line to a menu screen. An interactive program would present a menu screen of available commands, and a user would select them using various typesetting keystrokes to lead the typesetting cursor to the text of the desired selection, and send a directive for invoking that command by hitting a transmit key.

The transmit key of the console arose from telecommunications, telegraphy in particular, wherein a terminal that looked like a typewriter had a typesetting carriage return and line feed, and wherein typed text was entered. The transmit key served that purpose, in telecommunications, and was adopted as the command key for text screen menu systems.

It is appropriate to note that the DEC VT terminals also adopted the American Standard Code for Information Exchange (ASCII) for inter-computer communications. The ASCII standard was developed by independent teletype manufacturers, led by a company whose premier product was also named TeleType. UNIX® developers also incorporated the DEC adaptations into their computing models, wherein a terminal is identified as a teletypewriter (TTY). It may also be noteworthy that the UNIX® implementation of terminal screen addressing of a typesetting cursor are found in the appropriately cursed utilities.

As UNIX® workstations began supplanting minicomputers, solid-state miniaturization and large scale circuit integration techniques gave rise to retail-affordable microcomputers, primarily led by Apple Computer Corporation, using the BASIC computer language interface for programmers and users and a control program/manager (CP/M) for console services.

At this point IBM developed a new microcomputer product, the IBM-PC, and used Microsoft, a young CP/M Basic software developer and vendor to provide critical microcomputer applications for the IBM-PC. The BASIC language interface sold by Microsoft was largely derived from DEC Basic, upon which the Microsoft start-up had cut its teeth. At the point IBM required a Disk Operating System (DOS) helper for the IBM-PC, Microsoft adopted a variant of the DEC research CP/M DOS Helper (DR-DOS), and the standard interaction terminal on the Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS) was given the capability of VT 100 terminals and an ASCII interchange code convention.

When graphics-capable microcomputers became retail affordable, a new interaction model came into being. Pointing devices were introduced into computer interaction. Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was combined with research at Xerox Corporation into a windowing computer system predicted by psychology researcher Dr. Licklider of MIT decades before. A number of aspects of the interaction paradigm first appeared on text command screens. The location of main commands at a top row of the screen and the display of abbreviated command options immediately below a selected main command for a temporary period of time, namely a pull-down menu, and reservation of the remainder of the screen for the application interaction data was first adopted. When graphics was added to this pull down menu system, the ability to reserve an area of the screen with a graphics icon of what had been a text command label brought rise to the personal computing model named Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pull-down System (WIMPS).

Apple Computer adopted the graphics windowing computer model of Xerox®, into their Macintosh® computer, and when graphics capability became common to IBM-PC's, IBM® launched their Presentation Manager® under a multitasking PS/2 successor to DOS, while Microsoft launched a competing Windows® system. To date windowing systems dominate the interaction paradigm. The WIMPS paradigm has been elaborated by specialization, such as for example, dialog control, text editing control, selection list, combo-box control (combination of text and list) in text applications, and features, such as for example, overlay, panning, and zoom magnification and retraction. The areal icon selection for menus and controls was refined further in engineering drawing graphics applications as a snap behavior, wherein the pointer mouse, or digitizer cursor, was allowed to capture a nearby graphic feature into its prevailing context, where having the user exactly point at the minute feature location was not practical.

In brief the historical computing sequence starting with Napier is as follows: Napier: human arithmetic computing with working desk register and handwritten input and output; Babbage: mechanical arithmetic computing with a machine register; Ada: programming with punched cards; Hollerith: batch data processing with punched cards; TeleType: interactive typewriting keyboard; DEC: interactive computing console; MIT: human computer interaction pointing devices; and Xerox: window interaction computing using console with pointer mouse.

Over the two decades of evolution of the window interaction computing method, many applications for computing have emerged in addition to the WIMPS paradigm. The earliest was the accounting spreadsheet, followed soon after by the clerical word processor. When graphics became available to applications, engineering drawing followed. When graphics animation became possible simulated games came into common use. As communications have become more pervasive, interaction models have also become remote, so that remote geometric spatial computing has been applied to robotics, and tele-computing, as in telemetry, and telemedicine, for example.

The mainstay of user interfaces in all these applications continues to be WIMPS. Because the chirographic system, according to an embodiment of the present invention, may specifically be designed for use as a handwriting device and a graphical marking device, the chirographic system may be adapted to provide the opportunity for converting the Napier computer into a fully computerized model by employing the tactile operations that Napier relied upon.

Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional and traditional approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art through comparison of such systems with embodiments presented in the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the present invention may be found in an interactive spatial chirography device for spatial symbol tracing and recognition. The device may comprise a chirographic stylus having a transducer element adapted to trace a symbol, a plurality of sensors adapted to receive signals emitted by the transducer element as the symbol is traced, means for determining spatial coordinate measurements from the signals received at the plurality of sensors, a means for collecting the determined spatial coordinate measurements, a symbol recognition module for employing the measurements collected during a trace for symbol recognition, wherein the device may be adapted to determine an outcome of the symbol recognition of the trace.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the plurality of sensors may comprise at least one sensor adapted to receive position signals from the transducer of the stylus relative to a spatial coordinate origin and at least one sensor adapted to receive position signal from the transducer of the stylus relative to a plurality of spatial reference points.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise means for producing an audible response with respect to the outcome of the symbol recognition of the trace.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the device may be adapted to at least one of assisted learning and unassisted learning by a learner user.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the device may comprise an unassisted interactive learning application comprising a learning assistant application program for assisting a learner user of the device to learn traced symbols.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise storage for symbols to be learned and storage for symbols previously learned.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the symbols to be learned may comprise at least one of cue cards having symbols inscribed thereon and electronic visual representations of symbols, wherein the symbols may be adapted to be traced by the stylus during a learning session.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learning assistant application program may comprise at least one of a session administration function, a teaching and lesson reinforcement function, a demonstration function, and a symbol guide function.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learning assistant application program may comprise at least one of lesson theme functions, lesson evaluation functions, and learner coaching functions.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a media reader for loading at least one of electronic lessons and learning programs, a removable media storage device adapted to contain at least one of electronic lessons and learning programs, and a program operating system.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a learning platform having a keyboard adaptor, a keyboard line discipline assistant program, an implementation of printable key symbols, and a comprehensive binding of emulated keyboard control keys.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a keyboard interface port, a keyboard controller emulator, and a connector for electrically connecting a keyboard adaptor to a host computer.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a learning platform with a mouse adaptor, means for determining a mouse X-Y position, and a mouse line discipline assistant program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a mouse interface port, a mouse controller emulator, and a connector for electrically connecting the mouse adaptor to a host computer.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a mouse X-Y position may comprise components of a three dimensional position of the stylus onto two X-Y position readings along a spatial reader stylus projection plane.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise an interactive console associated with an interactive learning platform, console interfaces, application assistant programs, and a console supervisor program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a keyboard emulator and an associated interface, a mouse emulator and an associated interface, a device interface connector, a spatial data bus between the device interface connector and a main system unit, and at least one analog audio interface.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise at least one learning assistant module, and at least one interface emulation assistant module.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise a supervisor program text, a boot loader for non-resident supervisor text, a spatial position sampling routine, position sample queues, and, position averaging routines.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a spatial computing method which comprises, associating a console display with a perspective view of three-dimensional space, associating interactive computing resources with a conceptual three-dimensional space, assigning a volume element in a perspective space to available resources, arranging volume elements in a perspective view, distinguishing between distinct volume elements by spatial position separation, distinguishing between different types of resource by employing differing graphic features, containing all available resources in a closed convex boundary, associating the closed convex boundary with a point at minus infinity, providing an initial perspective within which all available resources are in view, associating the initial perspective with a global computing context for the initial perspective, ensuring that all enclosed resources in a context are spatially reachable, and providing resources available for a particular context.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in interactive spatial chirography system for spatial letter tracing and recognition comprising a chirography device and a chirography stylus comprising sensors for spatial font coordinate measurement. The system may also comprise a housing for the chirography system and the chirography stylus, and means for mounting a cue card. The system may also comprise a text character recognition module. The system may also comprise a convention for indicating a start and an end of a handwriting trace. The system may also comprise a means for collecting positional measurements of the handwriting trace for text character recognition. The system may also comprise a means of providing an audible presentation of an outcome of text character recognition of the handwriting trace.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive spatial chirography device may further comprise at least one sensor to record a position relative to a font coordinate origin and at least one sensor to record a stylus position relative to reference points associated with a typeface frame.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the means for mounting a cue card may comprise a receptacle for the cue card on the system housing, a means for mounting the cue card according to a particular orientation, and a means for visually viewing the cue card by a font origin sensor mount point about the housing.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the means for collecting positional measurements of the handwriting trace may comprise associating a viewed cue card image with position readings taken from movement of a tip of the stylus along a cue card image outline.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an audible presentation of an outcome of the text character recognition may comprise a textual result of a recognition procedure, a textual indication of a next step to be performed, an audio indication of an outcome of the text character recognition, and a visual indication of an outcome of the text character recognition.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the means for mounting the cue card in the correct orientation may comprise a notch on an edge of the cue card adapted to mate with a matching beveled feature on a mating receptacle side, and wherein other cue card edges fittingly mates with other receptacle sides.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a method of correcting geometrical distortions associated with a handwriting trace, the method comprising one of tracing along a plane parallel to a plane associated with a typeface sensor when a typeface zenith is oriented along a sightline of an end-user, and tracing along a plane parallel to a plane of a cue card image when a plane of a typeface sensor coincides with the plane of the cue card image.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method of tracing along the plane parallel to the plane of the typeface sensor when the typeface zenith is oriented along the sightline of an end-user further comprises at least one of: directing the stylus to face the typeface sensor, centering the stylus by adjusting a stylus position in a hand of an end-user, centering the stylus by moving a chirographic device associated with the stylus, facing a typeface perpendicularly with respect to the stylus, aligning the stylus with the cue card image, aligning the stylus, the cue card edge, and a font origin sensor, tracing along a downward sloping direction with respect the typeface plane, and tracing along an upward sloping direction of the typeface plane.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in an interactive spatial chirography device comprising a chirographic housing, a front interaction area on the housing, a stylus, a connector associated with the stylus being activated by a power switch, and a stylus grip adapted to activate a handwritten character recognition application.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the housing may comprise a structure comprising outer surfaces adapted to minimize risk of injury.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the front interaction area of the housing may comprise a space for holding at least one cue card, an attachment for holding the stylus, a mounting for an audio speaker, and a receptacle for holding a cue card while in use.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the spaces for holding the at least one cue card may comprise a silo for holding cue cards that are to be employed during a current educational session and another silo for holding cue cards previously employed in the current educational session.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the silos may each comprise a silo cavity within the housing adapted to hold a set of cue cards, retaining flanges to securely hold the cue cards if the housing becomes disoriented, and an opening for retrieving the cue cards to be employed from the silos.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a method of assisting a learner in operating an interactive spatial chirography device, the method comprising preparing an educational setting, demonstrating operation of the device, administering a first educational session with a first educational symbol, administering another educational session with another symbol until all symbols have been employed, and ending the educational setting.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise selecting a set of cue cards to be used in the educational session, stowing selected cue cards into a first silo, placing the selected cue cards face up in a receptacle adapted to hold the cue cards in use, ensuring that a top of a symbol displayed upon a cue card is oriented toward a sightline of a learner, administering the education to the learner by powering the device, and facilitating a learner familiarization with the education device.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise explaining operation of the device to the learner, prompting the learner grasp a stylus, prompting the learner to move the stylus to initialize an educational program, demonstrating tracing of a handwritten symbol to invoke a response from the educational device, demonstrating handwriting motions while the learner is grasping the stylus, explaining directional paths to the learner as the symbolic path is traced, withdrawing the stylus from proximity of the cue card at an end of a handwritten trace, and reinforcing what the learner has performed.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, administering an educational session may comprise selecting a symbol to be used, picking the cue card from the first silo, presenting the symbol visually to the learner, defining the symbol, letting the learner become visually familiar with the symbol, explaining any hints from a back face of the cue card, placing the cue card into a receptacle in the housing, prompting the learner to trace a cue card image, reinforcing what was learned, removing the cue card from the receptacle, and stowing previously used cue card in a second silo.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise conveying an acknowledgment of success upon completion and/or prompting for another attempt upon failure, reinforcing accolades and affirmation when the device audibly acknowledges success, and performing additional learning re-enforcement.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in an unassisted interactive system comprising an interactive chirographic device adapted for unassisted learning and a learning assistant program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive chirographic device may further comprise a cue card replacement means, a stylus alignment means, a hand rest assembly, and a hand-position detection means.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein electronic cue card replacement may comprise a display screen displaying a virtual electronic cue card, a display screen image displaying a virtual electronic cue card inscription, and virtual electronic cue card inscriptions and text.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the device may further comprise a cue card receptacle coincident with a reader font frame, a display screen center-point being located at a font origin, a display screen plane being oriented parallel to a typeface plane, typeface frame reference sensors being identified with display frame reference points, and a hand rest guiding positioning of a hand of a learner.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein a hand rest assembly may comprise a base, a hand saddle flap, a movable joint between a base and a hand saddle flap, and a hand saddle flap closing hinge spring.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the hand position detection means may comprise a hand saddle flap opening pressure actuator on a hand rest base, a hand saddle flap closing hand pressure activated hand saddle flap, and a hand saddle flap closing detection electrical circuit.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the device may further comprise system storage for electronic cue card images and inscriptions, a partition of system storage for planned lesson electronic cue cards, and a partition of the system storage for accomplished lesson electronic cue cards.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the device further comprises a learning assistant program comprising assistance functions, a lesson session administration function, a lesson reinforcement function, a demonstration function, and a symbol guide function.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a chirographic learning platform comprising an unassisted learning chirographic device, an external media reader for the chirographic learning platform, an external media unit comprising lesson programs and subject data, and a program loader.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the lesson program may comprise a session administration function and a learner assistance function.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learner assistance function may comprise lesson theme experiencing functions, lesson experience evaluation functions, lesson demonstration functions, and lesson coaching functions.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise inserting an external media unit into a media reader, loading the lesson program onto the system, initializing the lesson by switching to a corresponding session administration module, running the lesson application, and resetting the system monitor on a hard interrupt.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a chirographic keyboard emulation device comprising a chirographic learning platform having a keyboard adaptor, a keyboard line discipline assistant program, an implementation of printable key symbols, and a comprehensive binding of emulated keyboard control keys.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic learning platform having a keyboard adaptor may further comprise a keyboard interface port, a keyboard controller emulator, and a connector for electrically coupling the keyboard adaptor to a host computer.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the keyboard line discipline assistant program may comprise an interactive session assistant program for keyboard interaction, and a keyboard line discipline for an associated keyboard type of a target host computer system.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an implementation of the printable key symbols may comprise a complete result set of a chirographic recognition module.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the comprehensive binding of emulated keyboard control keys may comprise binding hand rest hand pressure switch combinations that uniquely map all keyboard control combinations.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a chirographic mouse emulator device comprising a chirographic learning platform having a mouse adaptor, a mouse position, and a mouse line discipline assistant program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, wherein the chirographic learning platform having a mouse adaptor may further comprise a mouse interface port, a mouse controller emulator, and a connector for electrically coupling the mouse adaptor to a host computer.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the mouse position may comprise components of a chirographic stylus three-dimensional position imposed upon at least one two dimensional position reading along a spatial reader stylus projection plane.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the mouse line discipline assistant program may comprise an interactive session assistant program for mouse interaction, a mouse line discipline for an associated mouse type of a target host computer system.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a chirography console comprising an interactive chirographic learning platform, console interfaces, application assistant programs, and a console supervisor program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the console interfaces may comprise a keyboard emulator having an associated interface, a mouse emulator having an associated interface, a chirographic console interface connector, a spatial data bus between the chirographic console interface connector and a main system unit, and an audio interface.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the application assistant program may comprise one or a plurality of lesson assistant modules, and one or a plurality of interface emulation assistant modules.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the console supervisor program may comprise supervisor program text, a boot loader for non-resident supervisor text, a spatial position sampling routine, position sample queues, and position averaging routines.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method of operating the chirography console may comprise loading the console supervisor program at system bootstrap, and invoking the console supervisor program.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise invoking a sample scheduler, invoking a position sampling routine, queuing acquired samples for processing, invoking averaging routines to improve accuracy, invoking recognition routines to identify handwritten text, invoking lesson assistant routines, and invoking emulation routines.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, invoking the sample scheduler may comprise providing processing time to subsequent routines by priority, executing higher priority tasks before lower priority routines, assigning more computing time to higher priority routines than lower routines, and managing processing resources within and between tasks.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a spatial computing method comprising associating a chirography console display with a perspective view of three-dimensional space, associating interactive computing resources with a conceptual three-dimensional space, assigning a volume element in a perspective space to each available resource, arranging volume elements in a three dimensional perspective view, distinguishing distinct volume elements by spatial position separation, distinguishing between different types of resources by differing graphics features, containing all available processing resources in a closed convex boundary, associating the closed convex boundary with a point at minus infinity behind student viewer, providing an initial perspective within which all available resources are in view, associating an initial perspective with a global computing context, making all enclosed resources in a context spatially reachable, and presenting resources available for the global computing context.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, making all the enclosed resources in a context spatially reachable may comprise approaching a volume element with an alibi change of coordinates, assigning a projection area of a volume element to an entrance to corresponding resources, and snapping at the volume element to enter a corresponding computing context.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, approaching a volume element with an alibi change of coordinates may comprise associating a perspective viewpoint with a cursor volume element, performing translations through a scene with an alibi coordinate linear transformations of a cursor, rotating and panning the perspective viewpoint, and approaching and zooming toward a volume element.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, snapping at the volume element to enter an associated computing context may comprise setting a snap sphere radius of resolution at less than half a minimum spatial separation between objects at a prevailing perspective, setting the minimum spatial separation between objects to be a tactile distance at which a learner viewer is enabled to operate at the prevailing perspective, qualifying a volume element as being snapped if a learner viewer is able to translate a viewpoint to a point whose snap sphere intersects the volume element.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, setting the minimum spatial separation between objects to be a tactile distance at which the learner viewer is enabled to operate at the prevailing perspective may comprise scaling a distance for the perspective to a tactile movement distance of a chirographic stylus for the learner viewer, adding to the minimum separation distance a linear factor of a statistical standard error of a position when the position is an averaged value, canceling significant amplitude of tremor oscillation detected in the learner viewer positioning, and subtracting from the minimum separation distance a canceled oscillation amplitude.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, qualifying a volume element as snapped, if the learner viewer is enabled to translate the viewpoint to a point whose snap sphere intersects the volume element may comprise fixing the viewpoint if significant oscillation is present, indicating a minimum time over which a snap qualification persists, and indicating at least one learner viewer action while the snap qualification persists.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, presenting the resources available for the context may comprise projecting the perspective view of the conceptual three-dimensional space containing the resources upon a portion of a console display area, projecting specialization of the current context in a conceptual two-dimensional area on a portion of a console display area disjoint from the display area used for a spatial perspective, projecting work areas of the current context upon a conceptual two-dimensional area on a portion of the console display area disjoint from the display area used for the spatial perspective and the display area used for specialization of the current context, projecting a containing context whenever the current context is a specialization upon a portion of the console display area disjoint from the display area used for the spatial perspective, the display area used for specialization of the current context, and from the display area used as work areas of the current context, accessing one of containing context, current context specialization, and current context work areas.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, accessing one of containing context, current context specialization, and current context work areas may comprise approaching an areal resource by panning a cursor to an area reserved for the containing context, panning the cursor to the area reserved for context specialization, panning the cursor to the work area reserved for the current context, and snapping at the areal resource.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, snapping at the areal resource entails snapping at a volume element.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise associating one of a panned-to context area and work area with an areal projection of the volume element, using a snap circle for one of the panned-to context area and work area by associating the snap circle with a two-dimensional projection of a snap sphere, qualifying an areal element as being snapped if a learner viewer is enabled to translate the areal viewpoint to a point whose snap circle intersects the areal element approached, and snapping at one of linear resources and point resources.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, snapping at one of the linear resources and at one of the point resources may entail snapping at an areal resource.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the method may further comprise associating one of the linear resources and the point resources with a linear projection of the areal resource, using a snap interval for one of the linear resources and the point resources by associating the snap interval with a one-dimensional projection of the snap circle, qualifying a linear element as being snapped if the learner viewer is enabled to translate the linear viewpoint to a point whose snap interval intersects the linear element approached, and qualifying a point element as being snapped if the learner viewer is enabled to translate the linear viewpoint to a point whose snap interval contains the point element approached.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, indicating a learner viewer action while a snap qualification persists may comprise presenting audible cues regarding a context of a snapped resource, presenting visual user cues regarding the context of the snapped resource, and performing an action as indicated by a learner viewer response to context cues.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, performing an action as indicated by a learner viewer response to context cues may comprise preserving a current context, entering a new context, responding to learner viewer interaction therein, ending an interaction in a new context by exiting the current context, and restoring a prior context upon returning thereto.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, restoring the prior context may comprise providing one of a gradual spatial, graphic, and audible transition to the prior context to prevent disorienting the learner viewer.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in employing a spatial chirographic system and a spatial computing method for use in navigating resources contained in a console, for example. A mouse or other computerized pointing device may generate data points very rapidly. In word-processing applications, even where text formatting and rendering occupy large portions of processing, mouse-driven operations may be too fast for a human to follow. Programmers deliberately slow down the travel of a cursor or pointer icon to permit perception by humans.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, to facilitate spatial navigation of an application resource, the same reduction of speed may be required to give a user enough time to take in a scenario and decide what to do next. Unlike WIMPS windows and their two-dimensional panes, a metaphor that seems to fit spatial context computing better is a doors, rooms, and floors navigation model, wherein a floor area may correspond to a WIMPS screen or window.

For the purpose of revealing the invention it may suffice to exemplify a method employing at least one with one of the devices listed above, for example, a spatial chirographic sign styling marker.

These and other advantages and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of an illustrated embodiment thereof, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to FIG. 1 illustrating features not visible in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic elevation section view of the exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to FIGS. 1 AND 2 according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation perspective view of another exemplary chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation perspective view of the exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device illustrated in FIG. 4 according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a mechanical elevation schematic view of an exemplary chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a Venn diagram of an exemplary educational application architecture of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to FIG. 9 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a perspective plan view of another embodiment of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a diagonal cross-sectional view of an exemplary hand rest of the FIG. 11, and an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device having text setting key switches and a saddle rocking mechanism according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary keyboard emulation application for the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary mouse emulation application for the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a side panel of an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a schematic diagram indicating a plurality of subsystems supporting a plurality of input and output interfaces for the chirographic device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention such as the FIG. 15 embodiment;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a user-friendly interactive chirographic console illustrating computing resources, work areas, sub-contexts, and context areas for the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 illustrates a text editing and recognition application of a graphics styling application for the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a spatial chirographic system comprising input device drivers collecting spatial chirographic data from any one of a number of spatial chirographic devices, for example. The chirographic system according to the present invention may comprise a text character recognition application employing data generated by a spatial chirographic sign reader, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a mechanically un-coupled chirography stylus may be employable for use in the teaching unencumbered handwriting. Aspects of the present invention may be found in a text character recognition technique that provides features adapted to facilitate learning handwriting of individually written characters, for example. A system supporting such a handwriting learning application may employ, in addition to a chirographic stylus and chirographic reader, a prompting mechanism for soliciting trial hand strokes, and an evaluation means for indicating successful completion of a handwritten character.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a learning session, i.e., an interactive learning session, may proceed sequentially from an initial prompting for an end-user to write a particular letter of the alphabet or numeral. The process may also comprise reading the handwriting strokes of a learner/student. When the learner/student fulfills spatial conditions for asserting a handwritten character, the evaluation means may acknowledge the successful handwriting condition, with an audio/visual reward, such as for example, “Great Job”, a bell, or a light may be activated.

Aspects of the present invention may also be found in a spatial character recognition method that may be adapted to an educational end-use with young children under adult/supervisory guidance, for example. In an embodiment according to the present invention, an interactive chirographic device may also meet the needs of an adult, for example, whose responsibility it is to see that the learner/student interaction with the device is an entertaining, positive learning experience. The chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention may be employed by learners/students, for example, who desire to learn a second/foreign language, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an assisted learning application may focus upon learning shapes, letters, characters, and numerals, for example. The learner/student may be entertained through affirmation and encouragement. The system may be adapted to provide the learner/student rewards/praise while learner/student uses the system, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the cumulative effect of interacting with the chirographic device may be learning how to write letters, characters, symbols, and numerals, for example, which may be provided along with the device, or marketed separately. The learner/student may be able to demonstrate proficiency by having the handwritten symbols recognized by the chirographic device. Early recognition of shapes and handwriting strokes acquired by interacting with the chirographic device may be a useful first step in learning to write on paper and typing on a keyboard, for example, in subsequent educational experiences.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, benefits may be acquired by using the assisted learning device and application. For example, accomplishments may be captured and codified into an automated system so that as the learner advances, the learner/student may continue to build upon previously acquired knowledge. The learning/educational method may be codified into procedures employable by the system.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learner/student may be able to interact with the device with supervision. In order to dispense with a human assistant, the educational procedure may be incorporated into a learning application adapted oversee activities of a learner/student in the same manner as a supervisor/educator may oversee the learning of a child in an educational environment.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in one of an automatic user interface and a user activated self-assisted user interface, for example. Advisories, affirmations, and time dependent procedures, for example, may be encoded into the system within a learning application.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the supervisory educational program may be provided with an audible/visual presence and may act as the equivalent of a teacher.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, initial guidance by may be performed by the application to assist the learner/student/user to trace symbols with minimum distortion, for example. The interactive chirographic device may be adapted to explain distortions and how to avoid them to the learner/student. The explanations/guidance may be given in real-time and may be encoded into the software/firmware of the device. The device may continuously monitor student/learner activities, evaluate the activities, and offer real-time instruction to the student learner while the student learner is performing an education task, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, supervision of stylus manipulation may be employed to facilitate an intended education and amusement experience. The device may offer real-time instructions to the student/learner in how to deal with corrections/modifications of handwriting and on how to properly interact with the device. In an embodiment according to the present invention, all aspects of the user-device interaction may be designed to provide playful learning. The student learner may enjoy the user-device interaction to a point where the learning may become auxiliary to the anticipation of enjoyment through playful learning while employing the device to write symbols, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, teaching may comprise a plurality of sequenced lessons. Each lesson may build upon a previous lesson. The lessons may also be grouped into modules, for example, beginner modules, intermediate modules, advanced modules, and expert modules, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, converting a learning application into a generic interactive application may comprise changing operative references so that purposeful verbs, such as for example, teach, and quantitative nouns, such as for example, lesson may not universally apply. For generic rendering of an interactive application of the present invention, a contextual relation, such as for example, teach a lesson, may be replaced within less specific context in expressions, such as for example, accomplish a mission, fulfill an objective, demonstrate a competency, and achieve a goal, for example.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in an assisted learning device and application. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the device may be an interactive two-person task targeted at a learner player and supervisory assistant educator, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an unassisted interactive device and application may be adapted to automate the procedures associated with the supervisory assistant educator, so that the device may be employed for autonomous self-education, that is, the educational assistant may be found in a software/firmware application and may be a logical component of the learning device, and not a real person. A learning assistant program, for example, may be regarded as a game, wherein the learning assistant is a game character. The unassisted learning device may be generalized/specialized for teaching a plurality of subjects or a single subject and/or pursuing a plurality of themes or a single them the interactive Chirographic device. In an embodiment according to the present invention, a computer generated learning assistant may comprise a woman with a Greek accent adapted to assist the student/learner in writing Greek characters, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive assistant program may be applied in other elementary learning situations. An extension of the use of the interactive assistant program may be, for example, teaching spelling, match, geometry, geography, etc., when the student learner has learned to consistently use the chirography stylus for writing all the characters of particular character set.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interactive assistant program may be adapted to provide spelling lessons. In an embodiment according to the present invention, a plurality of electronic cue cards and/or physical cue cards may be employed along with the device. The electronic and/or physical cue cards may comprise words, text, sentences, and hints to assist the student/learner spell.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the electronic cue cards and/or physical cue cards may also comprise dictionary definitions and/or thesaurus synonyms. A spelling lesson administration module may be adapted to evaluate each character expected to be handwritten in a spelling word, for example, and offer an acknowledgment of success when the word is spelled correctly. Conversely, the administration module may also prompt the student to make a new/another attempt when the learner spells a word incorrectly with incorrect or unrecognizable letters, for example. The system may also be employed to assist a student learner with mathematics, music, map reading, translation of unknown languages, and chemistry, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, to support a spelling administration module, for example, program memory be employed. To support a spelling extension, for example, a set of electronic and/or physical spelling cue cards for words may be added to the unassisted learning application and may comprise a plurality of memory module add-ons or readable/removable memory media.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the extension of the assistant program may be adapted for other educational games. Arithmetic/mathematics is a numerical extension of the present device. Mathematics, of course, deals with numbers and mathematical operations. The unassisted learning device/application may comprise a plurality of extensions to a program memory module and a plurality of storage modules to accommodate extended functionality of an arithmetic administration module and arithmetic electronic and/or physical cue cards, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, employing mathematical electronic and/or physical cue cards may be slightly different than employing handwriting electronic and/or physical cue cards. A processor associated with the chirographic device may be adapted to perform mathematical calculations. Therefore, the solutions/answers to mathematical learning questions may not be pre-stored because adequate time exists for the processor to compute an expected answer during an education session.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic device may also employ a chirographic text setter. The chirographic text setter may comprise features that are loadable by employing a keyboard assistant program. The keyboard assistant program may employ a keyboard adaptor (emulator) to replicate an actual keyboard. The interactive chirographic device may then be employed like a keyboard and associated with another/host system, or example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic text setter may comprise inputs for horizontal shifts and for vertical shifts, for example, of the chirographic stylus. In a mobile variant, the features may be harnessed by un-coupling stylus positioning motions of the hand from hand-placement motions of an end-users wrist, for example. A wireless chirographic stylus may eliminate mechanical dependencies between the chirographic reader and the chirographic stylus facilitating operating a chirographic keyboard emulation application.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the assistant program structure of the unassisted interactive application of the interactive chirographic device may be applied to create another assistant game character from a human or animation context and employ a character-based setting for the interactive application to emulate text-setting features of a computer keyboard device, for example.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in making the X-Y components of positional readings of the spatial chirographic reader available to a separate host computer by emulating a computer mouse and/or an X-Y digitizing device, for example.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in enabling an interactive chirographic device to interact with an external host computer system, for example. The target/host computer system may comprise a keyboard input and a mouse input. The interaction may be achieved by adapting the chirographic system according to the present invention to accommodate at least two emulation interfaces, for example, one for a keyboard and another for a computer mouse.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, spatial chirographic devices may comprise additional measurement dimensions of positional readings beyond those employed by a conventional, two-dimensional mouse interface. In an embodiment according to the present invention, three-dimensional position data; positional data of a marker factored on an orientation of a marker tip; positional data of a text setter within a setter X-Y layout; positional data of a scanner within an X-Y layout and factored on the scan direction, for example, may also be employed.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, consolidating the various aforementioned data interfaces under a common platform may permit an end-user to employ a chirographic console device to interact with other computing devices. Aspects of the present invention may also be found in formulating a chirographic console wherein any combinations of devices, whether as stand-alone, keyboard bound, interfaced by a particular protocol, an isolated system, and a network, whether wireless or wired, may be accessible from the chirographic console.

In the following detailed descriptions of the drawings, spatially orienting terms are used, such as “left”, “right”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, “upper”, “lower”, etc. It is to be understood that these terms are used for convenience of description of the preferred embodiments by reference to the drawings. These terms do not necessarily describe the absolute location or orientation in space, such as left, right, upward, downward, etc., that any part may assume.

The numbering scheme used in the diagrams has been made hierarchical, and a single digit may be used to identify an item or feature in each hierarchical level. The label-numbering scheme used in the following diagrams has also been made unique across all diagrams, to facilitate immediate recognition of items that appear in more than one figure. Furthermore, a detail in one figure of a generic item in a prior figure may be prefixed/suffixed with the prior/current numeric label, so that a prior generic item labeled 99 may show details enumerated as 991 and 992, for example.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a chirographic stylus fitted with an ultrasonic transducer tip adapted to operate in conjunction with a font frame chirographic reader. The chirographic reader frame may have a rectangular base, which may house a plurality of ultrasonic sensor microphones, for example. Frame extensions from the members of the base may meet at a single apex, and another ultrasonic sensor microphone may be housed there, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the font frame chirographic reader may employ a square base with the microphones attached at each corner of the square base. The chirographic reader may also comprise four extensions extending from the base to the apex at a perpendicular distance equal to a half-length of the diagonal of the square base, for example. The positioning of the sensors may be chosen to simplify the conversion of stylus proximity into reader font coordinates, wherein identical ultrasonic pulse arrival times at all five sensors may correspond to the stylus tip being located at the typeface origin, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic stylus transducer and the chirographic reader frame sensors may be connected to a chirographic system. The chirographic system may be adapted to perform conversions of ultrasonic probe measurements (time measurements) into spatial positions (distance/location measurements), for example. The chirographic system may also comprise an application module adapted to perform spatial chirographic character recognition using the converted spatial position data, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic system may also comprise an output for affirming successful recognition of a spatial chirography character. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the recognized character may be represented using standard binary encoding, such as for example, ASCII, and the character code may be entered into a voice synthesizer module for conversion into an audible signal, for example. The generated signal may be sent from the synthesizer to an audio speaker, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic system may comprise structural members of the typeface frame and base platform altered to have rounded features for safety of a student/learner. Elevated portions of the typeface frame may be modified into a single rounded hoop made of a molded pliable substance so that it does not present any sharp or hard edges to a student/learner. The sensor placement geometry of the interactive chirographic device may be retained. The speaker and stylus attachments may be placed in the front of the base platform.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, to accommodate a supervisor/educator in administering an educational lesson, two silos for the physical cue cards may be provided. One silo may be employed to store the cards to be played/studied/traced next and another silo may be employed for physical cue cards that have already been played/studied/traced, for example. Each silo may comprise a retaining front flange to prevent the physical cue cards from slipping out when the device is tipped forward, for example. A convenient opening may also be provided at the top of each silo to extract the next physical cue card from a pending stack in a pending silo.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, when distortion in tracing along an electronic and/or physical cue card surface is intolerable, then a facsimile version may be employed, by changing the ultrasonic sensor orientations. The sensor orientation may be rotated so that the electronic and/or physical cue card zenith is parallel to the font frame zenith, the four typeface sensors on the top panel surface, and the font origin sensor at a midpoint of an elevated portion of the device.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an unassisted interactive chirographic device may derive specifications principally from procedures described for the supervisory assistant for the learner/student user in the assisted learning chirographic device. The supervisory assistant may be charged with establishing the learning environment, properly positioning the student/learner with respect to the chirographic device, selecting appropriate electronic and/or physical cue cards to be used during a particular learning session, initiating the educational session, selecting a symbol/character/quantity to be learned, motivating the student/learner to identify the selected symbol/character/quantity, audibly expressing auxiliary information (hints, etc.) about the symbol/character/quantity, prompting the student/learner to initiate tracing the symbol/character/quantity, reviewing a completed trace, placing a used electronic and/or physical cue card into the completed lesson silo, and retrieving another electronic and/or physical cue card from the first silo for the next symbol/character/quantity to be learned, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the supervisory assistant may guide the student/learner during the early learning sessions by helping adjust the posture of the student/leaner to reduce distortion, and training the student/learner how to perform preferred up-strokes and down-strokes. In the absence of a human supervisory assistant, the unassisted learning device may build into the physical design of the device the known characteristics that minimize geometric distortion during unassisted use, for example. The unassisted learning device may incorporate such aspects into the construction of the chirographic device and other aforementioned functions into the chirographic system.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the unassisted interactive learning device may comprise similar functionality as the assisted learning device, for example. The supervisory assistant may present an electronic and/or physical cue card visually to the student/learner and provide additional information surrounding the symbol disposed thereon. The unassisted learning device may also provide a visual display to fulfill the same function. The visual display may also replace the physical cue cards, wherein the unassisted learning device may employ an electronic equivalent of a physical cue card silo for the symbols selected for a learning session.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a spatial chirographic learning platform may provide general support for unassisted learning using the spatial chirographic device by extending the unassisted learning device into subject areas other than the teaching of spatial chirography.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the architecture of the learning assistant of the unassisted interactive learning device may be adapted for general use. A facility for extending program memory for adding functionality and storage for additional subject matter cue cards maybe provided to accommodate any learning modules/games.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the subject-specific learning assistant and associated subject matter may be introduced into the system by an auxiliary storage device or memory cartridge, for example. The chirographic system may therefore be modified to accommodate a memory-reading device for reading a removable memory storage device.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a learning assistant automation procedure may be employed to make the interactive chirographic device emulate a keyboard, for example. The unassisted learning chirography system may be fitted with a keyboard-emulating interface. A hinged hand rest or saddle flap may be modified to float, pivot, and respond to all wrist inclinations so that the learning platform may perform a text setting function, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a hand pressure sensor of the hand rest may record wrist and hand movements, for example, motion directed perpendicularly into the hand rest base. In order to facilitate additional wrist motions, the hand pressure sensor may be disposed in a middle of the hand saddle and a hinge and flap-closing spring may replaced by four spring loaded two-way pressure sensing switches at four corners along the underside of the hand saddle. Furthermore, a main pressure sensor located in a middle of the hand rest base may be profiled slightly higher than the four bi-directional switches so that the interactive keyboard assistant program may respond to any setting actions, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, output of the keyboard emulation program may be transmitted to a keyboard output interface using a line discipline of a target host computer. The line discipline employed may be incorporated into a keyboard session administration module of the keyboard assistant.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a chirographic keyboard emulator may be employed to emulate a mouse by collecting sensor position readings associated with the typeface plane of the chirographic device and applying hand rest pressure sensing switches to implement mouse click events, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the spatial chirography console may consolidate multiple spatial chirography interfaces into a single interactive device, for example. The keyboard emulation and the mouse emulation may be adapted by employing a conventional keyboard and mouse, for example. The present invention may provide for multiple interaction interfaces to be consolidated into the spatial chirography console, for example. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the interfaces may comprise keyboard, mouse, and styling marker interfaces, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a spatial chirography computing method may be adapted to unify the WIMPS and graphics interaction models into a spatially driven model, for example, wherein each may be assigned an application context spatial volume (ROOM), for example. A first console context may provide a perspective view of available application ROOM objects, wherein the stylus motions may cause a perspective of the student/learner/user to move among objects. Snapping on a DOOR of a ROOM facilitates entry into the space of the ROOM, which may be populated with additional ROOM objects, and lined with a FLOOR area at a bottom, some of which may be taken by one or more WINDOW objects, or by zero or more DOOR objects, for example.

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a chirographic device 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention. In an embodiment according to the present invention, a reader frame may be supported on a base platform 120, upon which may be mounted an ultrasonic sensor 101 on a mid point of a rear edge of a platform top surface 121. Two additional sensors 103 and 105 may also be mounted at front corners of the platform top surface 121. From the same mid-point of the rear edge of the platform 120, for example, two conduits 114 and 113, may guide wiring for two additional ultrasonic sensors 104 and 102, for example, which may be mounted upon a top horizontal font frame member 110. Font frame member 110 may be supported by a plurality of frame support members, such as for example, frame support members 111, 112, 115, and 116, and the frame support members may be anchored to a corner of the base platform 120.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the first ultrasonic sensor 101 may serves as a reader font coordinate origin, for example. The other four ultrasonic sensors 102, 103, 104, and 105, may locate four corners of a reader typeface frame on a plane located at unit perpendicular distance from the font origin sensor 101. Together the five sensors form a right pyramid, with the base of the pyramid serving as a typeface facing the user, and the apex defining a font origin behind the typeface plane. Electrical wires from the five sensors (101-105) lead into the platform base 120, and connect as sensors inputs to a chirography system housed in the platform base 120, for example, being fully obscured in FIG. 1.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, additional items may be housed in the base platform 120. For example, a speaker 122, a cue card 123 bearing an inscription 124 of a symbol, and a receptacle depression 151 facilitating insertion and removal of the cue card 123. To enforce a proper orientation of the inscription in the device 100, one edge of the cue card 123 may be notched and another edge may be beveled, wherein the cue card may be adapted to fit into a corresponding oppositely beveled and notched slot of the receptacle depression 151. A hand 140 of a user writing is illustrated in FIG. 1 truncated below the wrist. The hand 140 is illustrated holding a chirographic stylus 130. The chirographic stylus 130 may be provided with an electrical lead 131, (also shown truncated), extending to a connector on one side of the platform base 120.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the truncated electrical lead 131 may also serve as a non-truncated wireless stylus antenna, for example, in wireless communication with a wireless adaptor.

The hand 140 of the user is illustrated in FIG. 1 grasping the stylus 130, in such a manner as to lead a stylus tip 132 along an outline of the inscription 124 when the line of sight and a perspective viewpoint of a user coincide. The stylus tip 132 may comprise a stylus position transducer adapted to transmit an ultrasonic signal receivable by the five reader frame ultrasonic sensors (101-105), for example.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of chirographic device 100 according to FIG. 1 illustrating features not visible in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary chirographic device 200. The line of sight of a user does not coincide with the perspective viewpoint of FIG. 2. Instead, stylus tip 232 of stylus 230 is illustrated being held substantially above the inscription 241 disposed upon cue card 231. FIG. 2 also illustrates additional cue cards (232-235) and designates the cue card mounted upon platform 220 as cue card 231, for example. The far side partially exposes the receptacle depression 251 of the receptacle for extracting the cue card 231 from the receptacle slot 252. A near side of the receptacle slot 252 illustrates the corresponding beveled fit between the cue card 231 and the receptacle slot 252, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the four illustrated cue cards may be assigned reference numerals 232, 233, 234, and 235, for example. Cue cards illustrated in FIG. 2 bearing inscriptions, for example, cue card 231 bears inscription 241 of the symbol comprising the small letter “a”, cue card 232 bears inscription 242 of the symbol comprising the small letter “b”, and cue card 233 bears inscription 243 of the symbol of the small letter “c”, wherein each inscription is representative of the symbols of the small letters of the alphabet. Together, a collection of cue cards for a complete set of symbols of a writing system, for example, may be designated as cue card set 239 illustrated in FIG. 2. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the depth of the receptacle slot 252 and the thickness of a cue card, such as for example, cue card 231, may be symmetric or asymmetric, and may facilitate a secure fit between the cue card 231 and the receptacle 252. In an embodiment according to the present invention, mating edges of the cue card 231 and the receptacle 252 may form a jigsaw matching edge curve at one edge of the receptacle 252 and the cue card 231, for example.

Other items that were illustrated in FIG. 1, and are illustrated again in FIG. 2, include: the five ultrasonic sensors 201, 202, 203, 204, and 205; the typeface frame members 210, 211, and 212; base platform 220; speaker 222; stylus 230; electrical system connector lead 231, and stylus tip transducer 232. The stylus 230 is again illustrated being grasped by the hand 240 of a user.

FIG. 3 is a schematic elevation section view of an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device 300 illustrated in FIGS. 1 AND 2 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 may depict geometrical distortion possible is stylus position measurements, for example. The section view illustrated in FIG. 3 projects all of the significant items upon a centerline of the entire chirographic device assembly 300. The most significant items of the chirographic device with respect to geometrical distortions may be the ultrasonic sensors, for example. Sensor 301 may be oriented along a centerline of the chirographic device assembly 300 and may be depicted by a moderate-sized circle illustrated in FIG. 3. A front of the chirographic device assembly 300 may be on the right side of FIG. 3. Sensors 302 and 303 may therefore be on a far side of the centerline, and may be depicted by small-sized circles in FIG. 3. Sensors 304 and 305 may be are on a near side of the centerline, and so they may be depicted by large-sized circles in FIG. 3. The two pair of concentric circles may be connected by a typeface-plane guideline 311/312 projecting each of frame members 311 and 312 onto a centerline plane illustrated in FIG. 3.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, extending perpendicularly through a mid-point of frame projection 311/312, and focused on sensor 301, is the Zenith of the font coordinate system, depicted as the broken guideline 362 in FIG. 3.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the base platform 320 reveals a cue card receptacle 325, a cue card 323, and a portion of cue card 323 comprising inscription 340. Inscription 340 may be an abstraction of symbols 241, 242, and 243, illustrated in FIG. 2, for example. The top and bottom of the inscription has been designated with reference numerals 3401 and 3402, respectively. Two image end-points may establish a line of sight range for a view focal point depicted by an eye 352 of the user.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a cutaway representation of stylus 330 and hand 340 (330/340), is illustrated projected onto the centerline plane. When the user traces the inscription 340 with the stylus tip 332, the stylus tip may trace a path 361 centered along a pivot point 351, for example. Assuming that the user moves the stylus 330/340 along the path 361, which is nearly parallel to the typeface plane 311/312, as the line of sight trace of stylus tip 332 moves from image start 3401 to image end 3402, the sensor system may be adapted record a traversal of the stylus tip 332 from typeface position 37101 to 37102 marking a projected image 370 of cue card inscription 340.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, other stylus paths may be possible for a same image trace. It may be possible for a user to trace the stylus tip 332 along the zenith guideline 362 by drawing the stylus 330/340 generally towards the pivot-point 351. Whereas the starting point of projection 370 may match that of path 362, the end-point of projection 370 may degenerately end at the same fixed typeface location labeled 37202, causing a distortion at the bottom of the typeface frame, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, it may also be possible for the user to track the stylus 330/340 close to the cue card 323, as say along the near-parallel guideline 363. In that case, the ending point of the projection 370 may match the ending point of the projection of path 362, and may be the typeface location labeled 37202. The starting point of the projection may be located close to the same endpoint, as shown by projection end-point label 37301 causing a distortion at the top of the typeface frame, for example.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation perspective view of another exemplary chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4 also illustrates an exemplary assisted learning device 400 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention in the application. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the assisted learning device 400 may comprise a molded uni-body housing with a top member 410, and a bottom member 420. Both members the top and bottom members 410 and 420 may be provided with rounded profiles and continuous bulky curve joints to eliminate any sharp edges, corners, or other protrusions that may be a source of injury to a learner, for example, children.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the housing may be generally oval in shape. The uni-body structure may provide five recessed ultrasonic sensor sockets having reference numerals 401, 402, 403, 404, and 405 positioned in the tipped right pyramidal geometric configuration as illustrated in the previously illustrated embodiments.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, n cue card is depicted in FIG. 4. Instead, cue card receptacle 425 is illustrated. The receptacle 425 was obscured by a cue card in the previously illustrated embodiments. The molding 420 may also feature a deep platform base into which is built two storage silos for the cue cards. The silos feature openings 426 and 427, respectively, through which cue cards may be inserted and/or extracted. During use, used cue cards may be inserted into one of the silo openings and next cue cards may be extracted from the opening of the other silo, for example.

Since no cue card is shown to be in use in FIG. 4, the cue card last used and the cue card to be used next may each be one of the top facing cards labeled 461 and 471 at the top of the cue card stacks 469 and 479, respectively. Together, the cue card stacks 469 and 479 may represent a complete cue card stack such as described with reference to reference numeral 239 in FIG. 2. The distinction in the label numbering in FIG. 4 may refer to whether a particular card has been used, or not, for example.

A difference in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, in comparison with the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 AND 2, may be in the location of the speaker 422. In FIG. 4, for example, the speaker 422 may be placed on the front side of platform base 420 where there may be adequate room to house the speaker 422. Another revelation illustrated in FIG. 4 is the depiction of a complete wiring lead 431 from stylus 430 to system housing 420, for example. In adherence to design for child learner users, the stylus 430 may be made stubby and relatively small to fit into the hand of a child. A cavity below the receptacle 425 may be used to stow the stylus 430 when not in use and while a cue card lid may secure sealed contents in storage, for example.

Because the assisted learning device is applicable for use by a child learner, for example, the activation and turning off of the learning device may be incorporated into the stylus connector and/or the stylus grip, for example. Inserting the stylus connector may cause the system to power on and grasping the stylus 430 may initiate the system to begin running a handwriting learning application program, for example.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device illustrated in FIG. 4 according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of an embodiment of the child-safe assisted learning device 400 illustrated in FIG. 4, modified to align the ultrasonic sensors assigned to the typeface frame with a cue card to minimize the geometric distortion described in the discussion of FIG. 3, and to permit facsimile tracing along a cue card surface, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, rotation of sensor alignment may move the font origin sensor 501 from a rear of platform top surface 521, to a mid-point elevated structural member 510, for example. Two top typeface sensors 502 and 504 of the line-of-sight orientation may be rotated down to the back of the platform top surface 521. Reorientation may entail an inversion to convert font origin direction sensing from a typeface zenith in the line-of-sight orientation into a typeface nadir in a cue card orientation, for example.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 illustrates an overhead perspective view of an unassisted interactive learning device 600 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The unassisted interactive learning device may provide elements of the device that differ from the assisted learning device illustrated in the previous embodiment.

A distinguishing characteristic of the present embodiment may be the alignment of the cue card 623 with the font frame making the symmetry axes collinear, for example. The cue cards may be supplanted by a visual display, for example. Because the positioning of a visual cue card may overlap the font frame, the alignment may be absolute and the font origin sensor may be obviated, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learning reinforcement actions of supervisory assistant in the assisted learning device may be made by the unassisted learning device, eliminating the need for a human educator (learning assistant). To achieve this, cue card text may be stored in electronic form in the unassisted learning device system, for example. The unassisted learning device, via a voice synthesizer, may audibly express all electronic information, introductory instructions, demonstrations, and reinforcement text, for example.

Because there may be no human learning assistant available to guide the lesson/play, the device may be altered to encourage practices that reduce geometric distortion of the symbol traces, for example. In particular, the writing area may be narrowly restricted to operate when writing pressure is applied close to the corresponding trace area.

An embodiment of the unassisted interactive learning device may therefore consist of a system housing 620. The system housing 620 may comprise a main upper surface serving as a cue card display 623 slightly recessed from outer edges serving as a font frame and a guiding receptacle 625. The inscription 624 may be generated by the display 623. The font origin sensor may be eliminated because the display now obstructs the origin sensor from detecting a stylus signal. At all four corners of the display position the ultrasonic sensors 602, 603, 604, and 605 may serve the same role as described in prior embodiments, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the user interaction portion of housing 620 may be altered into a hand rest 629, for example. The top face of the hand rest may be inclined to accommodate handwriting motions and may be fitted with a contact-detecting flap 621 above the platform hand rest 629. The flap 621 may be flexibly connected to the hand-rest 629 with a spring-loaded hinge 628 at the base of the hand rest 629, for example. The size of the hand rest 629 may be restricted in area to act as a positioning guide, for example. The flap 621 may be spring-loaded to allow the flap 621 to move when the user places a hand on the flap 621 or retracts the hand therefrom. The flap 621 may also accommodate a speaker through opening 622, for example.

FIG. 7 is a mechanical elevation schematic view of an exemplary chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the unassisted interactive learning device 700 illustrating electro-mechanical components within employing a schematic system block diagram. The mechanical features of the learning device 700 may comprise a section of the flap 721 illustrating a perforated opening 722, and a hinge 728 at a joint between the flap 721 and the hand rest base 729. The hinge 728 may comprise a spring 7281 to keep the flap 721 in a relatively closed position when at rest, for example.

Further mechanical components illustrated in FIG. 7 may comprise a hand pressure detection assembly housing 708 accommodating a pressure probe piston 781 is in contact with an under-side of flap 721. The piston shaft may be kept in an ejected position by a loaded spring 782 in housing 708. The hinge spring 7281 may keep the flap 721 in contact with the shaft 781 and may exert enough pressure to depress the shaft into the shaft housing, for example. When hand pressure is applied to the flap 721, the piston 781, may be forced into the housing 708, and the bottom flange surface of the piston 781 may recede to make contact with electrical contact 783, for example. Another mechanical feature illustrated in FIG. 7 may comprise an electrical loud speaker 771 mounted on a top face housing of the hand rest base 729.

Schematic mechanical representations of the stylus and corresponding components may comprise a stylus shaft 730, a wire 731 connecting to the system and the stylus tip 732, for example. Similarly mechanical representations of the ultrasonic sensors 702, 703, 704, and 705, are given below receptacle 725 with the nearer sensors 704 and 705 being presented in larger relief than the further sensors 702 and 703. The rectangular display 723 may also be given a trapezoid outline to adhere to depth of relief, for example.

The remainder of the schematic features illustrated FIG. 7 may relate to electrical connections and electronic components associated with the unassisted interactive learning device. The mechanical representation 732 of the stylus 730 may be given an electrical designation of transducer 799, for example. Mechanical contact 783 for the pressure detector 781 may be given electrical designation as open circuit leads 798 that close on contact between shaft 781 and contact 783, for example. The removable stylus connection 731 may be given the electrical designation of activator switch 796, for example. The speaker 771 may be given an electrical designation for leads 797, which connect to the electronic voice synthesizer unit 707, for example.

FIG. 7 also illustrates schematic details of the main system unit 709 contained in housing 720, for example. The main system unit 709 may have a data bus 791 to which all the aforementioned leads may connect, for example. The components of the main system unit 709 may include a memory module 792, a storage module 793, a CPU 794, and a timer 795, for example. Detailed descriptions of the system modules may be found in the Applicant's prior application entitled, “A Chirography System”, specified earlier and incorporated herein by reference. Features relevant to the unassisted interactive learning device may include partitioning storage module 793 into two modules, for example. Partition 7931 may be for holding learning plan symbol items and partition 7932 may be for holding the symbol items that have already been used in a learning/play session. The main system unit 709 may also comprise a program module 7942 in CPU 794, for example.

FIG. 8 is a Venn diagram illustrating exemplary educational application architecture 800 of the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 8 illustrates a Venn diagram of the application architecture of the unassisted interactive learning device showing modules derived from the assisted learning device. The overall application may be represented by the main entity 809 encircling all the application features. The inner entities may be independent resources comprising a system stylus reader 801, an image renderer 802, a demonstration entity 803, a spatial symbol guide 804, a symbol recognition entity 807, an audio synthesizer 808, lesson symbols 8911 to be learned, and a learned lesson symbols 8912.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a lesson session subsystem 891 of the learning assistant application 809 may incorporate the recognition entity 807, the lesson symbols to be learned 8911, and learned lesson symbols 8912. A teaching and reinforcement subsystem 893 may incorporate the audio/voice synthesizer 808, the demonstration entity 803, and the spatial symbol guide entity 804. The learning administration subsystem 892 may incorporate the system stylus reader 801 and the teaching and reinforcement subsystem 893, for example. Two display subsystems may also be defined, such as for example, an image display subsystem 894 and a symbol display subsystem 895. The image display subsystem 894 may incorporate the spatial symbol guide 804, the system stylus reader 801, and the image renderer 802. The symbol display subsystem 895 may incorporate the demonstration entity 803, the system stylus reader 801, and the image renderer 802, for example.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 9 illustrates an adaptation of the unassisted interactive learning device 900 adapted as learning/game platform having a removable media input device 906 for loading specialized learning programs and additional electronic subject matter, for example. The mechanical features illustrated in FIG. 9 comprise a system housing 920, a hand rest base 929, a hand saddle flap 921 having a speaker opening 922, and a flap hinge 928, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, electrical components employable in the unassisted chirographic learning device 900 may comprise a hand pressure sensor 981 shown under the flap 921, a speaker 971 under the flap opening 922, a stylus electrical lead 931 shown truncated in FIG. 9, ultrasonic sensors 902, 903, 904, and 905 surrounding display screen 923, for example. The display screen 923 is shown exhibiting inscription 924. An additional electrical component specific to the learning/game platform may be an external media component 906, for example, shown loaded onto the learning device.

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 10 illustrates an overhead overlay schematic illustration of the chirographic learning/game platform system 1000, for example. The system 1000 may comprise a media storage unit 1006 shown inserted into a media-receiving receptacle 1063 in system housing 1020. The media-receiving receptacle 1063 may be adapted to connect the storage unit 1006 to a controller 1062 via a local bus connector 1061. The controller 1062 may feature storage resources, such as for example, program code storage 10621 and data storage 10622, which may be made available to the main system unit 1009 as extensions of an internal program and data memory resource.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, some electrical components shown may be similar to those illustrated in the unassisted learning chirographic device and may comprise, for example, a system bus 1091 connecting system devices, such as for example, ultrasonic sensors 1002, 1003, 1004, and 1005, a display device 1023, a pressure sensor 1081, a speaker 1071, a voice/audio synthesizer 1007, a switch 1096, and a transducer lead 1031. The switch 1031, the speaker 1071, and the pressure sensor 1081 may be associated with attachments to a hand rest housing 1029, whereas the other components maybe attached to the main housing 1020, for example.

FIG. 11 is a perspective plan view of another embodiment of the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of the interactive chirographic learning device featuring a rocking hand saddle 1121 to provide text setting key inputs for chirographic keyboard emulator, for example. FIG. 11 the system housing 1120 having top face corners attached to ultrasonic sensors 1102, 1103, 1104, and 1105 surrounding a display screen 1123, which may be displaying an inscription 1124. From the housing 1120, an electrical lead 1111 may emanates and end with a PS/2 DIN keyboard plug 1112, for example.

The hand rest base 1129 of the console may have an electrical lead 1131 emanating therefrom and connecting to an ultrasonic transducer, for example. The hand saddle flap 11211 may be altered by elimination of a hinge at a bottom edge of the hand rest, for example. This may be done to permit the hand saddle 1121 to rock freely. Likewise, a retaining spring associated with the hinge may also be eliminated. In place of the hinge assembly, four floating pressure sensors 11281 may be placed around the central pressure switch 1181. The floating pressure sensors visible in FIG. 11 may comprise switch 11281, switch 11282, and switch 11284, for example. The central switch 1181 and the speaker 1171 may also be partially visible under the hand rest saddle 1121 in FIG. 11.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the hand rest saddle 1121 may comprise contouring to permit a hand of a learner user to assume a relatively fixed position with regard to the saddle surface 1121. The clearance between the top of hand rest base 1129 and the hand rest saddle 1121 may be exaggerated in FIG. 11 to reveal as much detail as possible within. As a result, additional underside features of the hand rest saddle 1121 may be revealed. Socket connectors 11211, 11212, and 11214 are shown engaged to floating switch shafts 11281, 11282, and 11284, respectively, for example.

FIG. 12 is a diagonal cross-sectional view of an exemplary hand rest for an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic learning device having text setting key switches and a saddle rocking mechanism according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 12 illustrates a diagonal vertical cross-sectional view of the handrest base 1229 and the hand rest saddle 1221 showing text setting key switches and the hand rest saddle rocking switch mechanism in more detail. The diagonal of the section bisects switch 12281, pressure sensor 1281, and switch 12284. A section of another diagonal may bisect switches 12282 and 12283, and pressure sensor 1281 and may be identical by symmetry to the section shown in FIG. 12. The hand rest saddle 1221 may be kept in place by ball and socket connectors 12211, 12212, and 12214 and connector 12213 obscured, which may rotatably lock the shafts of the floating switches, for example. The main pressure switch 1281 may be locked into place or may be made to rest on a rocker pivot pad 12215, for example. The geometrical alignment of the switches may be such that when the saddle 1221 is depressed towards the hand rest surface, the rocker shaft 1281 may make the first contact and the other switches may remain floating. When hand pressure tilts the saddle 1221 in any direction around the rocker pad 12215, the floating contacts in the downward tilt side may become depressed, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, all the switches are shown to make electrical contact on a downward plunge of the sensor piston, for example. It may be possible to equivalently make contact on an upward tilt, or to make contact under both conditions, to collect more reliable readings, for example. In an embodiment according to the present invention, only the downward plunge of the switch shafts make electrical contact, for example. FIG. 12 illustrates two connector leads 129281 and 129282 for floating switch shaft 12281, leads 129284 and 129285 for switch shaft 12284, and leads 12981 and 12982 for pressure switch 1281, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, when a hand of a learner user is removed from the saddle 1221, the spring 1282 may raise the shaft and saddle to open the circuit of switch leads 12981 and 12982, for example. The ball joint sockets of the floating switches may be made of elastic material, such as for example, rubber and may counterbalance each other at rest to keep all of the floating switch contacts open. In an embodiment according to the present invention, the top surface of the hand rest base 1229 may also provide a mounting for audio speaker 1271.

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary keyboard emulation application for the chirographic learning device 1300 according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 13 may differ from the device illustrated in FIG. 10 as follows. For example, the device may comprise five hand rest sensors instead of one, for example. FIG. 13 illustrates electro-mechanical tilt sensors 13281, 13282, 13283 and 13284 in addition to, pressure sensor 1381. The five switch lines may be passed through controller 139280, before being passed on to the main system unit, for example. The controller 1139280 may condition the sensor data points into a time-stamped sample destined for the main system unit, for example.

Further, whereas FIG. 10 featured an external media reader and controller, for example, FIG. 13 features instead a keyboard controller interface and adaptor 13911, an output lead 1311 having a terminating keyboard plug 1312. Other elements of the featured chirography learning may remain unchanged and may be common to the unassisted learning device 1300. The other elements may comprise a main system unit 1309 and system bus 1391 connecting system devices. The system devices may comprise ultrasonic sensors 1302, 1303, 1304, and 1305, a display 1323, a speaker 1371, a voice/audio synthesizer 1307, a media reader 1362, a local bus 1361, a removable media 1306, a switch 1396, and a transducer lead 1331, for example. All other reference numerals illustrated in the figure, but not specifically discussed correspond to previously defined elements but having a figure placement prefix, such as for example, in FIG. 11, a media storage device 1106 is disclosed and it respective counterpart 1306 is disclosed in FIG. 13.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirographic learning device may comprise a media reader for the keyboard emulator adapted to load keyboard assistant program emulations for differing keyboard types, for example. Where a target keyboard type is predetermined, the particular keyboard emulation may be installed in firmware at the time of manufacture of the emulator, for example.

FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary mouse emulation application for the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 14 illustrates a keyboard emulation schematic diagram similar to that illustrated in FIG. 13. The chirographic learning device may be provided with capabilities of mouse buttons, such as for example, pressure sensing switches, and with capabilities of X-Y digitization in the form of stylus X-Y readings, capabilities for the extraction of the X-Y components, and in a mouse adaptor, for example. A mouse emulator may add to the keyboard emulator a mouse lead 1413 having a connector plug 1414 and a mouse adaptor 14913. All other reference numerals illustrated in the figure, but not specifically discussed correspond to previously defined elements but having a figure placement prefix, such as for example, in FIG. 11, a media storage device 1106 is disclosed and it respective counterpart 1406 is disclosed in FIG. 14.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a side panel of an exemplary embodiment of the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 15 illustrates an embodiment of a chirography console 1500, for example. In an embodiment according to the present invention, emulations for conventional inputs and outputs (I/O) may comprise a keyboard interface 1511 and a mouse interface 1513, for example. The chirography console may also provide an interface for analog audio I/O containing four connectors for a speaker(s) 1572, a microphone(s) 1573, an auxiliary input(s) 1574, and an auxiliary output(s) 1575, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirography console may also comprise a chirography interface 1515, for example. A chirography interface connection may be provided for native chirography devices, adaptors, and network interfaces, for example. Connections employable by this interface may comprise previously described connections for the previously described chirographic learning devices, adaptors for wireless communications connections, and adaptors for networking with remote chirographic systems, for example. All other reference numerals illustrated in the figure, but not specifically discussed correspond to previously defined elements but having a figure placement prefix, such as for example, in FIG. 11, a media storage device 1106 is disclosed and it respective counterpart 1506 is disclosed in FIG. 15.

FIG. 16 is a schematic diagram indicating a plurality of subsystems supporting a plurality of input and output interfaces for a chirographic learning device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 16 illustrates a schematic diagram of a chirography console system 1600 indicating the subsystems supporting console input and output interfaces. The console system may comprise the same subsystems as set forth in the chirography system for the learning/game platform illustrated in FIG. 10 for the keyboard emulator illustrated in FIG. 13, and for the mouse emulator illustrated in FIG. 14.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirography console system may be distinguished by concurrent use of more than one device interface, for example. FIG. 16 illustrates a main system unit 1609 and system bus 1691. The reader sensor subsystem may be separated into a spatial positioning subsystem 16950 having a local bus 16951 directly linked to a chirographic interface controller 16915 of the chirographic console interface 1615. The bus 16951 may carry principally spatial positioning data, for example. The reader subsystem 16950 may also have a direct link to each of the ultrasonic sensors 1602, 1603, 1604, and 1605. Similarly, the display local bus 16923 may be separated from the system bus 1691, so that the display 1623 may be distinguished from the main system unit 1609, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the spatial positioning local bus 16951 may be directly connected to the emulation unit 16910, which is shown to comprise keyboard adaptor 16911 and mouse adaptor 16913. The keyboard adaptor 16911 may connect directly to the keyboard interface 1611, and the mouse adaptor 16913 may connect directly to the mouse interface 1613. A stylus transducer 1699 may be connected to the system via connection 1631 as illustrated in previous embodiments. The stylus line 1631 may join the main system bus 1691 via connector 1696, which may also serve as a power switch as illustrated in previous embodiments.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the analog audio interfaces 1672, 1673, 1674, and 1675 may each attach to an audio subsystem 1670, which may comprise an audio/voice synthesizer unit 1607 also illustrated in previous interactive chirographic system embodiments. The audio/voice synthesizer unit 1607 may be directly connected to an output speaker 1671, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a hand rest pressure switch 1681 and saddle rocker switches 16281, 16282, 16283, and 16284 may be directly connected to controller 169280, which in turn may be connected, as illustrated in previous embodiments, to the system bus 1691. A media reader subsystem 1662 may also connect to the system bus 1691, for example. All other reference numerals illustrated in the figure, but not specifically discussed correspond to previously defined elements but having a figure placement prefix, such as for example, in FIG. 11, a media storage device 1106 is disclosed and it respective counterpart 1606 is disclosed in FIG. 16.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a spatial volume, or metaphoric ROOM, may be assigned to each application context, for example. The ROOM may be a topologically closed surface, for example. On the surface may be bindings to context that are peculiar to that room, for example. Each context may comprise a DOOR through which a cursor may enter, for example. The inside of the bounding surface may be designated a FLOOR area where the work for that ROOM may be performed. Geometric partitions of the generic FLOOR may be partitioned into other entities, such as for example, WALL areas and ROOF areas. However, the entities may remain qualitatively indistinguishable from a two-dimensional FLOOR, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a WINDOW may be defined as an area of FLOOR that is no longer capable of three dimensional space travel, and which may only perform two dimensional X-Y navigation, such as for example, as offered by a conventional mouse. Thus, a WINDOW user never leaves the ROOM that the WINDOW is in, for example. A ROOM may have assigned one or more DOOR objects to parts of the surface. Such a DOOR may lead to a specialization ROOM, for example. The FLOOR area may be occupied by a DOOR and/or WINDOW, and may collectively be called WALL, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the DOOR through which a navigator enters a ROOM may be available to the learner user. In the context of a particular ROOM, the entrance DOOR may be designated a ROOF area, and may be made visible as the point at minus infinity by lining the FLOOR, and lining the entire boundary of the visible screen, for example. One may exit a ROOM by hitting the ROOF, for example. If a ROOM has multiple features, its space may also be populated with more ROOMS, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, one may enter a ROOM from the ROOF and view the resources against the FLOOR background, for example. A chirographic pointing device may be adapted to ZOOM into the space and pass ROOM objects contained in the context SPACE, surveying each nearest ROOM when snap conditions are met as the pointer passes them, and continue the descent until a last one has been passed. At that point the cursor may have reached the FLOOR, and one may PAN over DOOR and WINDOW areas, if any are available, and enter the appropriate contexts they provide, for example. One may also pan to the floor boundaries to find the ROOF lining and snap the ROOF to exit the current context, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a CURSOR may spatially explore the ROOM objects suspended in the ROOM space, for example. In addition to entering a visible DOOR, one may also move around the outside of a ROOM to view obscured DOOR items, if any exist, for example. Although rotation of a ROOM is allowed, it may be easier on processing load to provide an outside WINDOW to that object to view the features without entering. An array of readily accessible DOOR entrances and exits may be placed on the view boundary for that purpose, for example.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a user-friendly interactive chirographic console 1700 illustrating computing resources, work areas, sub-contexts, and context areas for the chirographic device according to an embodiment of the present invention. The border of the overall rectangular frame containing all the features in the figure is a depiction of a chirographic display 1723, for example. The image 1724 may be contained in a border frame 1723, for example. At the bottom of the screen, the frame border 1723 may occupy non-zero area to facilitate viewing items that are out of context. Contained contexts may be arranged in a containment sequence in the area 17231 of border 1723, and the selection of sub-contexts available at this perspective may be arranged on a left area 17232 of border 1723, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a spatial perspective is presented in the main perspective projection area 1724. The projection area 1724 may contain volume elements of available computing resources arranged with depth perspective against a background drawing area 17240. One of the volume elements may serve as a spatial chirography cursor, for example, and move between other relatively fixed volume objects as the user zooms and pans through the perspective space.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the border 17241 may be allocated to a two-dimensional work area of the current context. For reasons of economy, the available areal resources of a snapped volume element may also be displayed in area 17241 for the duration of the snap qualification, for example. When a user unsnaps focus from one of the volume objects by retracting the cursor therefrom, the areal resource display area may revert from showing the snapped context resources to showing areal resources of the current context, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, to cast the forgoing descriptions in terms of the ROOM metaphor, the spatial position in the current context may be indicated by the CURSOR volume element, for example. The CURSOR volume element may be a ROOM with no DOOR, for example. Other volume elements in the perspective view may have DOOR characteristics, which may include distinguishing graphic hints. The volume element shaped like a computer mouse, for example, may hint at a chirographic mouse emulator, for example. The background surface 17240 of the perspective area may be the FLOOR of the current ROOM. The ROOF may be given by border area 17231 of the diagram, while the arrangement of available DOOR contexts may be given in border area 17232. The CURSOR may shuffle through the arrangement of DOOR contexts as the cursor snaps past volume elements in the ROOM. The available WINDOW areas may be arranged in the edge area 17241 of the floor 17240. WINDOW area 17241 and DOOR area 17232 may together be the WALL of the ROOM, for example. So the ROOM depicted in FIG. 17 may contain eight traversable DOOR objects and three WINDOW application work areas, for example. The example of the applications shown herein may be, for example, a calendar application 172411, a console application 172412, and a chirography teacher learner program 172413, for example.

FIG. 18 illustrates a text editing and recognition application of a graphics styling application for the chirographic learning device according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 18 illustrates a caption editing text recognition application work area as a sub-context of a graphics styling application 1800. This is a two dimensional WINDOW environment as evidenced by the absence of DOOR volume elements. FIG. 18 illustrates a marker styling application adapted to switch contexts into symbol recognition, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the window may comprise a two-dimensional screen area 1824. The marker graphics may be in area 18241 of screen image 1824 and a text setting may occupy area 18242 of screen area 1824.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the image 182420 of a stylized letter “T” may be formed in area 18242 in the course of a user writing the word “CAPTION” within the styling application in the text setting area 18241. The CURSOR for the styling application may be the calligraphic nib 182421 (shown truncated) and the active context may be tracking a geometrical indicatrix unit vector of the stylus path in the font coordinate system. The text setter cursor is shown at location 182410 of the text setting area 18241. Also shown are three previously set text characters, namely character 182411 for “C”, 182412 for “A”, and 182413 for “P”.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the change of context between recognition and styling maybe provided in the WINDOW containing snap indications. An expected advantage from this paradigm may be to afford the learner user minimal distraction as one performs differing computing roles using the same physical computer input device, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, operations of the interactive chirographic learning device may be as follows. One of the cue cards may be inserted into a reader receptacle. The user may grasp the stylus and begins to trace over the image disposed upon the cue card with the stylus tip. The user may be advised to trace the markings along a path closely parallel to the typeface plane, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the user may develop a line of sight and a hand stroke pivot point that consistently, and as closely as possible enables minimally distorted readings by the font coordinate sensors, for example. A training process may enable the learner user to compensate and correct for misalignment or non-linearity of the font-frame zenith, the line of sight, and the hand stroke pivot point, for example. The following operational considerations may apply, for example. Attend to the stylus pointing towards the sensors. Attend to centering the stylus by adjusting the position of the hand. Attend to centering the stylus by moving the learning device. Attend to facing the device typeface perpendicularly. Attend to aligning the stylus to the cue card image. Attend to aligning the eye and nose area in line with the cue card and rear font origin sensor. Attend to following stylus down-traces in the downward slope direction of the typeface plane. Attend to following up-traces in the upward slope direction of the typeface plane.

If the above operational requirements cannot be fulfilled, say because the learner user is a child whose tactile skills are not yet refined, the design may be changed slightly to align the zenith of the cue card with the zenith of the font coordinate, instead of with the line of sight, for example. The orientation of the sensors may have to be rotated to coincide with the cue-card surface. The typeface sensors may lay upon the platform top surface 121 and the font origin sensor 101 located above the platform top surface 121 as illustrated in FIG. 1, for example. Operation of the device may permit direct facsimile tracing of the cue card image along a plane parallel to the cue card, for example.

Aspects of the present invention may be found in a method for operating an assisted learning device. The method may be directed to the assistant, even though the actual operations to be performed may be by the assisted learner user, for example. The method may comprise selecting a set of cue cards to be used in the learning session, placing the selected cue cards face up, ensuring that the top of the inscription is facing forward in the line of sight of the learner user, presenting the learning device to the learner user with the front facing the learner user, and turning on the learning device to invoke the learning session.

The method may also comprise permitting the learner user to adjust to the context, explaining what the learner user is to do to satisfactorily complete the lesson, encouraging the learner user to grasp the stylus, placing a hand over the hand of the learner user on the stylus to demonstrate, if necessary, and encouraging the learner user to move the stylus into range of the device to initialize a learning program.

The method may also comprise selecting a first cue card and removing the card from the silo, visually presenting the symbol to the learner user and pronouncing the symbol, permitting the learner user to visually study the image of the symbol, reading any hints from the back face of the cue card while the learner user visually studies the image, and placing the cue card into the cue card receptacle.

The method may also comprise demonstrating tracing of the symbol along the cue card surface to invoke a response from the learning device, demonstrating hand motions while the learner user is grasping the stylus, explaining the directional paths as both learner user and assistant trace the path together, and at the end of the trace withdrawing the stylus from the cue card surface. The learning device may acknowledge successful completion or may suggest another attempt, for example. For additional attempts the learner and assistant may pay attention to distortion problems inherent in the learning device.

The method may also comprise properly grasping and maintaining a trace path along the cue card surface. The learning device may acknowledge successful tracing of a symbol in use with a pre-programmed accolade and a joyful enunciation of the successfully written symbol. The assistant may also perform additional learning re-enforcement before turning to the next symbol or ending the learning session.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the operation of an unassisted interactive learning device may be coordinated by operation of the learning assistant program, for example. The learning assistant program may be initiated when the learner user connects the stylus to the system unit, for example, or when the learner user disengages the stylus from a parked position, for example. In an embodiment according to the present invention, disconnecting the stylus lead 131 from the housing 129, for example may also be performed in the assisted learning device. Either embodiment may activate switch 796 illustrated in FIG. 7 to invoke the INITIALIZE system directive.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the INITIALIZE procedure may invoke the learning assistant program through a session learning administration context, for example. The subsystem corresponding to that application context is illustrated in FIG. 8 as the learning session entity 891, for example. The subsystem may follow the steps outlined in the operation of the assisted learning device and substitute human assistant capability with a logical computerized entity also described with respect to FIG. 8.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, during a learning session, the session learning administration context may run introductory presentations and steer a selection of the lesson symbols. Choosing a lesson may be made by designating selections on display areas and prompting stylus pointing at the designated areas, for example. No handwriting may be expected because one application of the learning device involves learning to write and the learning device may be programmed to assume that the learner user cannot yet do so.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, each time the learner user triggers a hand pressure sensor on the hand rest flap 621 illustrated in FIG. 6 the session learning administration context may assume initialization of the spatial chirography readings by the stylus and invoke an OPEN directive for the transducer and sensor devices, for example. Data collection by the stylus reader subsystem 601 may begin and proceed until the hand is raised. When pressure is taken off the hand rest, a CLOSE system directive may be invoked and the system context may return to the session learning administration context in which acquired data may be transferred to an appropriate subsystem, for example, a guidance subsystem or a recognition subsystem. A TERMINATE procedure may shut down the learning assistant program and may be invoked by a reverse of an invoking trigger action, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the learning assistant program may comprise heuristics for actions to be taken during learner user inattention, such as for example, autonomously issuing a TERMINATE when the learner user is idle for a predetermined time period and autonomously issuing a CLOSE when the learner user is generating too much spatial data by depressing the hand rest for a predetermined time period. In the latter case, the learning session context may prompt the learner user for alternate actions and/or settings to avoid the interruption, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, an interrupt arising from ejection of a data cartridge may cause a context switch back to a native monitor supervision program as all open devices may be released with a CLOSE system directive. Conversely, when an interrupt is from insertion of a media pack, the learning device may be released before an application on an inserted storage pack may be loaded and an INITIALIZE may be issued for the new learning context.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a keyboard emulation application may comprise a central hand pressure detection switch 1181 or 1281 of the hand rests illustrated in FIGS. 11 AND 12 and may serve as a universal KEY_PRESS of a conventional keyboard, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, when used in continuous handwriting, hand pressure detection switch 1181 or 1281 may remain depressed throughout a continuous tracing of successive symbols, for example. The symbol recognition module may emit the KEY_PRESS between symbols as though the learner user had pressed at the keyboard key recognized. The data accompanying a keyboard KEY_PRESS may be ASCII encoding of the symbol or a key location scan code, for example. The keyboard emulator may convert the symbol set encoding recognition value into a scan code of an active line discipline and serialize it into a data line of the keyboard interface one data bit at a time, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the keyboard emulation interface may have a bit rate synchronization timer line (pin) that may be controlled by the keyboard signaling system. The interactive chirography system may employ a clock as a timer for serializing emulated scan codes into a data line. The serial clock cycles may include a START bit followed by a standard number of DATA bits, an integrity check PARITY bit, and an ending STOP bit, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a convention of retracting the stylus between symbols, either between inking and positioning depths, or between starting and ending positions in the direction of handwriting flow for the writing system, the rocking of the hand saddle may be used to detect the retractions and to trigger the KEY_PRESS for the successive symbols regardless of the recognition result, for example.

Keyboards may also have directional setting arrow keys. These keys may be implemented directly as diagonal directions by rocker switches 12281, 12282, 12283, and 12284 illustrated in FIG. 12, for example. Where isolating single rocker switch contacts is an issue, another implementation may follow a convention for horizontal and vertical directions being asserted by triggering neighboring switches sharing a common horizontal or vertical component in a diagonal direction, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, emulation may depend upon the direction of behavior. A host may listen for keyboard signals and may force stoppage by holding a data line voltage LOW, for example. The host can also send data back to the keyboard. The emulator may be cognizant of both situations. The interactive chirographic system may host a keyboard and provide a driver of line discipline.

In conformance to the behavior of keyboards, successive KEY_PRESS events may insert an emitted character code into a small circular character buffer, for example. When the buffer is full, the keyboard emulation may emit a diagnostic beep to indicate failure/inability to accept additional characters, in conformance with keyboard behavior. Most common personal computer keyboards may be IBM/PC models PC, PC/XT, and PC/AT, for example. Those keyboards may provide a feature of emitting rapid KEY_PRESS codes when the keyboard key is kept depressed, for example. The emulator may also mimic automatic “type-matic” behavior, for example. The host keyboard emulator may transfer data to an attached system application when a KEY_PRESS is associated with a transmit key or an enter key, for example.

External computer keyboard line disciplines may vary widely even within product lines of same system manufacturers. The interactive chirographic system may therefore rely upon a console feature to load an interaction assistant program for the particular type of keyboard that the host system expects to be attached thereto, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the line discipline cited herein may be appropriate for a particular keyboard, or for a direction of roles, so that for example, a character buffer may be flushed on every KEY_PRESS. The transmit key may advise the host device drivers to flush their buffers to the receiving host computer program, for example. Likewise, the interaction assistant program for such a system may manage buffer overflows and the overflow “beep/tone” may emanate from the host computer instead, for example. Depending upon line discipline, the situation may be detected by checking whether the remote host is keeping the data line LOW. In that situation, the emulator may emit a beep/tone on every KEY_PRESS after its local buffer of sixteen characters is filled.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the keyboard emulator may implement all of the keyboard features even when they are redundant for purposes of type setting. As an example, block capitals may be detected by spatial chirographic recognition, whereas a keyboard may implement block capitals by asserting a SHIFT with a common KEY_PRESS scan code location, for example. Although the user may have written a single block capital letter directly, the emulator may generate the key sequences that the keyboard would have generated, for example.

Where adherence to redundancy is even more critical may be when a host system or application requires a user to type hot key combinations, where those combinations may be typesetting actions and/or privileged control directives.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the techniques used to emulate a keyboard may also be used to emulate a mouse. Mouse X-Y data may originate from a reader module of the chirography system, for example. Mouse button events may originate from the hand rest keys, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, mouse emulations, like keyboard emulations, may depend upon the type of mouse being emulated, for example. There may be a one-button mouse, a two-button mouse, and a three-button mouse, for example. Each of these mouse types may employ a different set of bindings to the hand rest switches, for example. As with the keyboard, the main hand-pressure switch 981 as illustrated in FIG. 9, for example, may be universally used to indicate the mouse BUTTON_DOWN condition.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, a binding may identify a mouse button being pressed with one of the four rocker keys, for example. As an example of a binding, either or both of the left rocker switches, in combination with the switch 981, a BUTTON_DOWN may be assigned to LEFT_CLICK, for example. Similarly, for the right two rocker switches, the assignment of RIGHT_CLICK, for example. With these bindings for the left and right button clicks, the middle button may be implemented by excluding switch 981, BUTTON_DOWN and the two top rocker switches being simultaneously depressed, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, another binding that may be of use when the hand rest serves as a text setting signal source and also text recognition start/stop indicator may be to exclude switch 981, for example, from text setting and only use the rocker switches. Under those circumstances, switch 981, may serve for example, as a keyboard KEY_PRESS of the keyboard emulator, while BUTTON_DOWN of the mouse emulator may be indicated by any of the rocker switches, for example. Many other equivalent implementations of the one, two, or three button mouse may be possible.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the chirography console may support multiple data types concurrently because certain chirographic device applications may combine data types of other chirographic devices. The console may be configured to handle all of them, for example. A distinction between operation of the chirography console and operation of keyboard and/or mouse emulators may lie in the ability to handle multiple interaction assistant programs on the console, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the operations of the console may comprise an interaction assistance program supervising one or more emulator assistant programs simultaneously and any other concurrent chirographic applications running natively or remotely through adaptors or networks, for example.

From the viewpoint of the running system, the console assistant program may run like a multitasking operating system kernel specialized to interactive chirographic systems, for example. When not referring to the context of any particular chirographic application, the console assistant program may be invoked at system INITIALIZE, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the console assistant program may probe for devices connect to the console and allocate device driver resources for each of the connected devices found during the probe, for example. The console assistant may be resident in firmware or may be loaded from the media reader, for example. In the latter case, a boot loader may reside in firmware. The boot loader may seek the console assistant, for example. Boot loader readers may include raw interfaces whose drivers may also be in firmware, for example.

Once the console assistant program is loaded and allocated device resources, it may invoke an assistant program for each interactive resource found. Thereafter, the console assistant program may handle the execution of multiple application assistant programs in a time-shared regime, for example. Unlike non-console emulator assistant programs, time-shared variants may run standalone, wherein their addressing may be intermediated by the console assistant, for example. The stand-alone console assistant program may be distinguished from other assistant programs by a supervisor name, for example.

Although the console application assistant programs may operate under time-sharing, a core spatial chirography system may operate in real-time or may have a guaranteed sampling duty cycle to fulfill needs of the spatial position reader and the positioning stylus, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, the supervisor may invoke a spatial position sampler routine, for example. The spatial position sample routine may determine the processing available between allocated sampling duty cycles. After each sample cycle, the processing duty cycle may be run for each application assistant. The supervisor may preempt applications to evenly distribute processing between samples, for example.

In an embodiment according to the present invention, if a processing load takes longer than a designated life span of one sample, then inconsistencies may arise regarding an assumed sample time. The recognition module, for example, may be computing intensive and may have real-time ramifications upon responses to various user actions. Operation of the console may be to assign priorities to expedite processes that work with real-time data and to assign to job queues, remaining processing that are not time critical and whose delay does not affect the overall integrity of the system, for example.

The converse of the above consideration regards the accuracy of real-time samples. It is known that in sensing techniques geometrical integrity is more critical than time. The overall system may be more concerned with improving accuracy first, so the sampler routine may remain in real time, and multiple readings may be taken before a sample of sample size N may be designated a sample time for the average time of the reading in the sample. In this situation, the best precision may be placed on a processing queue, and although the recognition module may be processing delayed data, it may continue to be able to trigger preemptive routines that post data, such as for example, a recognized character for DISPLAY rendering or for KEY_PRESS keyboard emulation.

While the invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7889928Dec 7, 2006Feb 15, 2011International Business Machines CorporationVideo-based handwriting input
US8160363 *Mar 3, 2005Apr 17, 2012Samsung Electronics Co., LtdDevice and method for inputting characters or drawings in a mobile terminal using a virtual screen
US20110026786 *Jun 7, 2010Feb 3, 2011Siemens CorporationMethod and system for facilitating an image guided medical procedure
Classifications
U.S. Classification382/187
International ClassificationG09G5/00, G06K9/18, G06K9/22, G06F3/033, G06K9/00, G09B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09B11/00, G09B7/02, G06K9/222
European ClassificationG09B7/02, G09B11/00, G06K9/22H