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On screen kbd tcs

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September, 2009 Novel On-Screen Keyboard for Hierarchical Navigation with Reduced Number of Key Strokes Arpan Pal, Chirabrata Bhaumik, Debnarayan Kar, Somnath Ghoshdastidar, Jasma Shukla
Page 1: On screen kbd tcs

September, 2009

Novel On-Screen Keyboard for Hierarchical Navigation with Reduced Number of Key Strokes Arpan Pal, Chirabrata Bhaumik, Debnarayan Kar, Somnath Ghoshdastidar, Jasma Shukla

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May 3, 2023

Problem StatementThe world is witnessing phenomenal convergence in terms of content, access technology and access device.

• Television is the best example among all devices where contents like voice, data and multimedia can be converged and accessed in a most cost effective manner.

• However it has been a challenge to provide cost-effective and easy-to-use keyboard for accessing services like Internet and short message services from Television. A full-fledged separate wireless keyboard adds up to the cost.

• A cheaper option is infra-red remotes with on-screen keyboard on TV screen. However the available on-screen keyboards require a large number of keystrokes to navigate which makes it cumbersome to use.

There is need for easy-to-easy on-screen keyboards customized for Infra-red remotes

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Proposed SystemTo achieve the stated goals, a system is proposed where an on-screen keyboard with hierarchical character or symbol organization can be used.

The onscreen keyboard is displayed on the monitor of a Television, Computer or similar device and is operated by a remote control to allow navigation with reduced number of key strokes and enhanced user experience for using convergent services like internet browsing, short message service (SMS), Instant Messaging (IM) on devices like TV using Set Top Box obviating the need for separate physical keyboard.

On-screen Keyboard Layout Remote

The navigation and selection of character or symbols of the Onscreen keyboard is fully operable with only 9 keys (orange color) of an remote control.

The onscreen keyboard presented does not have numerical values as those can be directly typed through the remote it self thereby reducing the character set .

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The character set is organized in blocks with each block containing up to a maximum of 4 characters which are organized according to mathematical formulation

• Hierarchical navigation and selection method is used across and within the specially organized character blocks to reduce the number of key-strokes required for navigation and selection.

System Overview


• Round robin navigation is used across each row and columnsof the specially organized character-blocks to reduce the number of key-strokes further in some special cases. • To reduce the typing effort even further, certain commonly used character sequence in a particular domain like “www.” or “.com” is placed together in place of a single character, so that selecting the sequence will type the whole sequence.

• Each of the individual portions in a key-block is called cell.

• The character sets like “www” or “.com” have an advantage that is the complete character-set can be typed with a single selection reducing the typing effort even further.

• Thus the key-block shown contain 4 cells and the cells contain a,b,g and h. A cell can contain a single character, a symbol or a set of characters.

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Typing Mechanism

Up Left Up Right

Down RightDown Left

Down OK

Left Right


The Up, Down, Left and Right keys in the remote-control is used to move across the key-blocks in vertical and horizontal direction. As these 4 keys are used to navigate across key-blocks they are called Navigational keys.

The Up left , Up right , Down left and Down right keys are used to select the characters a, b ,g, h respectively in the key block and are called Selection keys.

The on-screen keyboard is operated by remote control.

Along with the selection keys ,Ok key is used for selection in key-blocks like space-barwww. , .com , caps and symbol.

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Handling Capitals and Symbols

A key block can have fewer than 4 cells to give prominence to and ensure greater visibility of some characters, symbols or character-sets.

In the Key block Up left , Up right keys will select Enter , Down left and Down right will select Tab .

The cell has a special meaning in the sense that selecting it will bring forward the upper case version of the on-screen key-board while the cell will bring forward the Symbol screen.

The switching between Small letter screen, Capital letter screen, Symbol screen can also be achieved through specially assigned hot keys in the remote control.Symbols can have smileys which will type the corresponding ASCII character set – helpful in messagingThe navigation and selection methods remain same for all three keyboards.

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Input NumChars

numCharsSqrt = Square root of (numChars)

sqRootInt = Ceiling of(numCharsSqrt)

Is sqRootInt an even number

num1=sqRootInt +1 num1 = sqRootInt

num2 = num1-2

C = num1 / 2

(num1*num2) >= numChars

R = num2 / 2 R=C

output R, C






Algorithm Flow for Choice of Optimal Layout

Algorithmic representation for organizing a given numbersof characters or symbols or character-sets optimally so that number of required keystrokes is reduced.

The algorithm takes number of Characters / Keys as Input : NumCharsOutput of the Algorithm is Number of rows (R) and columns (C) of the keyboard

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Algorithm Description

• Total Number of characters or symbols is represented by numChars .

• The algorithm determines the square number with even square root which is equal to numChars or the next square number after numChars. The reason for locating the square number with even number square root is that in each direction (vertical or horizontal) 2 cells can be placed in each key-block.

• A given number of numChars total characters can be optimally organized into R rows and C columns of key-blocks so that any character or symbol will be maximum (R+C) keystrokes away.

• Square-Root based (R+C) is a significantly smaller number compared to number of key-strokes required using linear organization.

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The on-screen keyboard framework is seamlessly integrated with rest of the applications, those it enables or co-exist with, both in appearance and interaction style such that its use feels a natural extension of over all user interface.

Thus the current work describes a single user interface to tie a variety of applications together. This way it enables seamless blending of the available broadcast TV content with information and media content available in local storage and internet for doing value added interactive applications on TV and various other media.

[1] Arpan Pal, Chirabrata Bhowmik, Jasma Shukla, Debnarayan Kar, “Inputting Device”, Indian Patent Application No. 2035/MUM/2008

[2] Pal Arpan, Bhaumik Chirabrata, Shukla Jasma, Kar Debnarayan, Somnath Goshdastidar, “Input Mechanisms”, Indian Patent Application No. 63/MUM/2009