US 20070245454 A1
A working glove (1) has a finger-tip (3) for an index finger with a round surface (2) on the top. The round surface is supported by a detail, at least partly, made out of a polymer attached to the finger-tip (3) of the working-glove (1). The working-glove (1) enables a user, such as a worker at a ware-house, to perform an input of a user interaction to a touch screen without having to remove the glove or having to try to grip a peripheral, such as a stylus. With previous known gloves this is a particular problem at ware-houses with freezing temperatures, such as in the food-industry and at distribution centers of freezed food. The invention has advantages such as that the risk for erroneous input is reduced, the work efficiency increases, and valuable time is saved in the transition between packing and entering user interaction to the touch screen.
1. A device (1) for input of a user interaction to a unit with a data processing capability by means of touch screen characterized of
that the device (1) is entirely or partly similar to a working-glove which covers the user's entire hand;—that the device (1) has a finger-tip (3) for an index finger comprising a detail (4 a, 4 b) at least partly made out of a relatively hard polymer intended to transfer a force from the user's index finger to the touch screen;
that the area (2) on the finger-tip (3) for the index finger intended to be applied to the touch screen has a mainly round shape, alternatively a conical shape, with a small cross section diameter compared to the diameter of the index finger.
2. A device (1) according to
3. A device (1) according to
4. A device (1) according to
5. A system (8) for input of a user interaction to a unit with a data processing capability characterized of that it comprises
a touch screen (9);
a working-glove (10) which covers the user's entire hand and has a finger-tip (3) for an index finger comprising a detail (4 a, 4 b) at least partly made out of a relatively hard polymer, and the area (2) on the finger-tip (3) for the index finger intended to be applied to the touch screen has a mainly round shape, alternatively a conical shape, with a small diameter compared to the diameter of the index finger.
6. A system (8) according to
7. A system (8) according to
8. A system (8) according to
9. A system (8) according to
10. A system (8) according to
11. A device (1) according to
12. A device (1) according to
The invention at hand relates to peripherals and methods to use such a peripheral, such as a stylus or keyboard, for input of user interaction with a unit having a data processing capability, such as a server, a personal computer, a hand held computer or a mobile phone. In particular the invention relates to such peripheral which is intended for users in a ware-house, stockroom or similar.
There are several known peripherals for input of user interaction with a unit having a data processing capability. An example of such a peripheral is a mouse, a track-ball with buttons or a touch pad. Another example of a peripheral for user interaction is a stylus, such as similar to a pen or other object, used for user interaction on a touch screen. A touch screen may in this context have multiple areas with different functionality. For instance, one area may primarily be used for input by pressing or touching the screen and another area may be used for writing characters by means of a stylus or other object.
WO2004031933 describes a stylus-operated graphical user interface for a computer, which includes a sensing surface having an area corresponding to a data input field.
Input to a touch screen is common to certain applications. One such application is at a stock-house or ware-house where the device with data processing capability is intended to be used for communication with, for instance, computerized warehouse systems or logistic systems, which handles different kind of goods or products. Such goods or products may be placed in a package such as a card-board box, a package, a parcel or similar. A user, such as a truck driver or a worker, may have a task to retrieve a pack list or check handled packages on a display. A common used peripheral in such an application is a stylus shaped as a pen made out of a hard polymer. Such type of stylus is common for input through touch screens to devices such as hand held computers and to some cellular phones.
There are a number of problems relating to the use of the previous mentioned stylus used at a stock-house, ware-house or similar. One problem is that such stylus is difficult to handle for a user with gloves. Working gloves are often used to protect the user's hands, such as a worker handling packages. The larger the number of possible user interactions, the greater the problem is. The smaller the area for input of the touch screen is, the greater the problem is. With increased insulation/padding of the gloves the stylus becomes more difficult to handle for the user. To overcome the problem the user often removes a glove. This implies that with the mentioned stylus, time is lost that otherwise would be used to pack and handle packages. This is due to that the user removes and puts on the glove at input to the device. The time that on an annual basis is lost is substantial. For the owner or the operator of the stock-house, ware-house, or similar, this corresponds to a substantial cost.
A particular problem arises at stock-house or ware-house with a low temperature or a freezing temperature where gloves, due to the temperature, must be insulated/padded and due to that fairly thick. As a user repeatedly removes the glove, the user gets cold hands and fingers much faster than otherwise. In such a case the risk for input errors increases. As the user's hand gets cold, there is an increased probability that the user handles packages or goods in a destructive manner, such as dropping packages or goods. In order not to remove the glove some users solves the mentioned problem by keeping the glove and use the glove covered index finger for input. In such a case a problem is that the area on the touch screen intended for input is relatively small. It is then easy to perform incorrect input as the fairly thick glove is kept on. Another remaining problem is that certain type of input requires that graphics, for instance characters or numbers, are written on the touch screen, which is not possible wearing the glove without using the stylus.
In a stock-house or ware-house it is common to position a unit with a data processing capability or communicates with such a unit, such as a terminal, on a truck or at a wall at a package handling station. A user at a handling station for instance a worker handling packages or goods, moves around in areas remote from the device while handling packages or goods. For instance, after packing a pallet or cage with packages or goods the user signs off a bill of material by means of the unit. A problem is where to keep the stylus between the occasions of user input. A solution to the problem is to place an attaching element, such as a cramp, at the unit. A remaining problem is that the user regularly drops the stylus to the floor. The floor may have bars through which the stylus disappears. Another way of handling the problem is to attach the stylus to a string, for instance with a mechanism with a yo-yo function. This decreases the risk that the stylus disappears. However, the user will still drop the stylus from time to time, which not only means that the user gets distracted but also to loss of packing time. It has also been seen that in practice a string often is snapped off.
EP1405161 describes a computer input device on a glove, which includes fittings for a user's fingers and adjustable straps for fastening to a user's wrist. A tracking device for controlling cursor movement on a video display is affixed to the glove for positioning next to the end of one of the user's fingers. Pressure plates for controlling the various right and left mouse “clicking” functions are affixed to the glove for positioning next to the ends of the other of the user's fingers. EP1405161 describes a glove with which a user can interact with a computer. However, the previous mentioned problems remain. Other devices similar to a glove are JP2003015810 and EP1387242.
An object of the invention is to solve the previous mentioned problems and other problems with the previous known stylus. A device according to the invention is intended to be used for an input of a user interaction on a touch screen of a unit having a data processing capability, characterized of that the device is similar to a working glove, which working glove covers a complete hand of a user, where the working glove comprises a tip for an index finger adapted for input to the touch screen. The tip of the index finger comprises an element at least partly made out of a relatively hard polymer. The surface of the tip of the index finger which is intended to be applied to the touch screen has a round shape, alternatively a conical shape, with a diameter less than 3 mm in cross section. A device according to the invention may be adapted to be used in a stock-house or ware-house where the user, in addition to the previous mentioned input, uses the device for moving and/or packing packages. Examples of alternative terms for packages are boxes, wrapping, pieces of goods, parcels or tubes. The user may pack them on a pallet, a trolley, truck or similar. In a preferred embodiment the device is padded with insulation. The tip of the index finger should be adapted to withstand repeated use in freezing temperature.
An advantage with the invention is that the user performs heavy work that inflicts wear and tear on the device, strokes on the device and forces from squeeze, and with the same device uses it for input to a touch screen. In this manner valuable time is saved when the user goes from a work-operation of packing, to a work-operation of performing input. This compared to previous known technology where the user often removes a glove in order to perform an input operation by means of a stylus, such as a pen shaped element, or keeping the glove on with an increased risk of failing to grip or losing the grip of the stylus. The invention is also an improvement compared to the glove like devices previous mentioned in the section describing background art which are either too expensive or unable to manage the wear and tear that comes with packing.
The present invention will be described in more detail in connection with the enclosed schematic drawings.
A device according the invention can be manufactured in several different ways, and accordingly several embodiments are possible.
A device 1 according to the invention may in an embodiment be similar to working-glove and having qualities such as being durable and facilitate for the user to keep the grip of packages which the user handles during packing. In an embodiment 6, shown in