(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,236,034 Bi
DeVolpi (45) Date of Patent: *May 22,2001
(54) POINTING DEVICE HAVING SEGMENT RESISTOR SUBTRATE
(75) Inventor: Dean R. DeVolpi, Sparks, NV (US)
(73) Assignee: VaraTouch Technology Incorporated,
Sacramento, CA (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term ol this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/141,717
(22) Filed: Aug. 28, 1998
(51) Int. C I. G06M 7/00
(52) U.S. CI 250/221; 338/68; 338/54;
(58) Field of Search 250/221; 338/68,
338/154, 128, 118, 167, 196; 200/6 A
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,352,084 * 9/1982 Graves et al 338/127
4,511,769 * 4/1985 Sahakian et al 200/6 A
4,864,272 * 9/1989 Cecchi et al 338/128
5,675,309 10/1997 DeVolpi 338/68
A pointing device comprises a substrate having a fixed pivoting hole area defined by a hole through a conductive surface that is coated with electrically conductive material and comprises four segments ol patterned resistive materials. Each segment includes a plurality ol spaced thick film pieces that may include radially extending strips, substantially Rectangular blocks, or substantially circular pieces. An electrically conductive force disc is supported by is a movable conductive spring or sheath to pivot relative to the pivoting hole area and rotate over the resistive surface ol the substrate. The deflection ol the conductive spring allows the force disc to contact portions ol the conductors ol the substrate, and the spring or sheath to contact portions ol the conductors inside the pivoting hole area, generating electrical outputs to a microcontroller.
22 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets