Microsoft Patents Gesture-Initiated Keyboard Functions Found In Surface Touch Cover 2

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Microsoft Gesture keyboard

Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 2 supports touch gestures across keys and touchpad. Touch Cover 2 has 1092 sensors while the original Touch Cover had 80 sensors. All these Touch Cover 2 pressure sensors have 1024 pressure levels and all the processing is done inside Touch Cover to support gestures. It supports gestures like the below,

•Spacebar slide to select – When you’re typing in any Windows 8 style application on the Touch Cover 2 or using the on-screen keyboard, context aware suggestions will be displayed in real time as you type. You can reach up to the screen to select a word if you see the want you intend on typing, or you can slide your thumb across the spacebar to cycle through the three selections. Tap the space bar to lock in your choice. A space will be added after that word automatically, but if you punch in any punctuation, Windows will automatically remove it.

•Two-Finger Text Cursor – While typing, you may occasionally want to move backward to insert a word or delete a phrase. Rather than repeatedly tapping the direction arrow keys on your Touch Cover 2, simply rest two fingers anywhere on the letter keys and slide them sideways or vertically to move through your document. Hold down the Control key to move the cursor one word at a time. This is easier to understand once you’ve tried it.

•Two-Finger Select and Delete – Similar to the previous gesture, rest two fingers on the number row of the Touch Cover 2 and slide left or right, the text that’s selected will automatically be deleted when you lift your fingers. This is much faster than repeatedly hitting the backspace key and can save a lot of time when you get used to it.

Microsoft has recently patented the idea, find the abstract of the patent below,

Gesture-initiated keyboard operations are described. In one or more implementations, one or more touch inputs that involve interaction with a key of a keyboard are identified. Touch inputs can be identified using touchscreen functionality of a display device or using one or more pressure-sensitive touch sensors. Based on this touch input(s), a gesture is recognized. The gesture is configured to initiate an operation that corresponds to at least one key that is not included in the keys of the keyboard. In one or more implementations, the operation is a shift, caps lock, backspace, enter, tab, or control operation.

Source: USPTO

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Dave

    And this is how the patent process is supposed to work. You come up with an idea, you design and implement it, and then patent it. This BS of patenting ideas without any true R&D activity behind it is ridiculous. Kudos to Microsoft for the cool idea and for actually implementing it.