(19)
(11)EP 2 534 559 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/38

(21)Application number: 11705179.7

(22)Date of filing:  08.02.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G06F 3/042  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2011/051812
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/095638 (11.08.2011 Gazette  2011/32)

(54)

OPTICAL TOUCH-SENSITIVE DEVICE AND METHOD OF DETECTION OF TOUCH

BERÜHRUNGSEMPFINDLICHE OPTISCHE VORRICHTUNG UND VERFAHREN ZUR BERÜHRUNGSERKENNUNG

DISPOSITIF OPTIQUE TACTILE ET PROCÉDÉ DE DÉTECTION DE TOUCHER


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 08.02.2010 DK 201000109

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.12.2012 Bulletin 2012/51

(73)Proprietor: O-Net WaveTouch Limited
Hong Kong (HK)

(72)Inventor:
  • JENSEN, Jørgen Korsgaard
    London E14 7JB (GB)

(74)Representative: Høiberg A/S 
Adelgade 12
1304 Copenhagen K
1304 Copenhagen K (DK)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2009/086836
US-A1- 2008 266 266
US-A1- 2004 252 091
US-A1- 2008 278 460
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a method and a device for detecting touch, e.g. by a finger touching a touch-surface of the device. In particular the invention relates to detection of touch by means of influencing, by means of the touch, propagation of light within the touch-sensitive device and detecting resulting change of light arriving to at least one detector device of the touch-sensitive device.

    [0002] WO 2009/086836 discloses a device for detecting position of an object touching the device. The position of the object touching the device is detected by means of the object disturbing light guided by the device from a light source towards a detector and detecting the resulting change of light arriving to the detector. A position of touch may be determined on the basis of determination of two coordinates of a two-dimensional surface of touch. Thus, in order to determine a position of touch it is of importance that the object may disturb or influence light propagation relating to both coordinates sufficiently.

    [0003] US 2004/252091 A1 discloses a touch panel in which two or more light sensors emit light into a transparent panel at an angle to sustain transmission through the panel by total internal reflection. The transmitted light is detected at an array of light detection positions around the periphery of the panel opposite to each light source.

    [0004] US 2008/266266 A1 discloses surface acoustic wave touchscreens and infrared touchscreens that are installed over a display screen. The display screen may be a liquid crystal display, cathode ray tube, Plasma, organic light-emitting diode display, photographic image and the like. For an infrared touchscreen light emitting diodes or other transmitters are located proximate to outer edges of a touch area. The transmitters transmit infrared wave energy that is received by receivers. The receivers may be phototransistors. The receivers are located proximate to a horizontal/vertical side of the touch area opposite the transmitters. If based on infrared technology it may be desirable to provide a substrate for protecting the surface of the display screen.

    [0005] Accordingly, there is a need for an improved detection of position of an object.

    [0006] Furthermore, there is a need for reduction of the number of detectors in optical touch screens for reducing the production cost. Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved detection of position of an object. Furthermore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a device having a reduced production cost. According to a first aspect of the present invention, a touch-sensitive device is provided in accordance with claim 1.

    [0007] The primary zone of intersection may substantially comprise at least a part of the touch-surface. Thus, having three paths for light intersecting (or at least substantially intersecting) at the primary zone of intersection as disclosed may provide three coordinates for a touch at the touch-surface. Thus a redundancy of coordinates may be provided for a touch. This redundancy of information may provide an improved detection of position of a touch by an object, e.g. a finger, touching the touch-surface of the touch-sensitive device according to the present invention. Furthermore, the detection of a touch may be more robust to disturbances due the redundancy of coordinates. Determination of only two out of three coordinates may be sufficient for a determination of a position of touch.

    [0008] According to a second aspect of the present invention, a method for detecting at least one position of touch at a touch-surface on a touch-sensitive device according to the present invention is provided in accordance with claim 10.

    [0009] Thus, having three paths for light intersecting at the primary zone of intersection as disclosed may provide three coordinates for a touch at the touch-surface. Thus a redundancy of coordinates may be provided for a touch. This redundancy of information may provide an improved detection of position of a touch by an object, e.g. a finger, touching the touch-surface of the touch-sensitive device according to the present invention. Furthermore, the detection of a touch may be more robust to disturbances due the redundancy of coordinates. Thus, an improved method for detecting at least one position of touch is provided.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0010] The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art by the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

    Fig. 1 schematically illustrates a top view of a first embodiment of a device according to the present invention,

    Fig. 2 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an embodiment, which is not part of the invention.

    Fig. 3 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an alternative to the embodiment shown in Fig. 2.

    Fig. 4 schematically illustrates a top view of the first embodiment.

    Fig. 5 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an embodiment, which is not part of this invention.

    Fig. 6 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an alternative embodiment, which is not part of this invention.

    Fig. 7 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side a part of view of an alternative to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 8 - 9 schematically illustrate top views of the first embodiment.

    Fig. 10 schematically illustrates a top view of a second embodiment of a device according to the present invention.

    Fig. 11 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an embodiment, which is not part if this invention.

    Fig. 12 schematically illustrates a top view of the second embodiment.

    Fig. 13 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of a part of an embodiment, which is not part of the invention.

    Figs. 14 - 15 schematically illustrate top views of the second embodiment.

    Figs. 16 - 19 schematically illustrate top views of a third embodiment of a device according to the present invention.

    Fig. 20 schematically illustrates a top view of a fourth embodiment of a device according to the present invention.

    Fig. 21 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an embodiment, which is not part of the invention.

    Fig. 22 schematically illustrates a top view of the fourth embodiment.

    Fig. 23 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of parts of an embodiment, which is not part of the invention.

    Figs. 24 - 25 schematically illustrate top views of the fourth embodiment.

    Figs. 26-27 schematically illustrate top views of an embodiment, which is not part of the invention.

    Fig. 28 schematically illustrates a top view of a fifth embodiment of a device according to the present invention.

    Figs. 29 - 31 schematically illustrate a cross sectional side view of parts of the fifth embodiment.

    Figs. 32 - 35 schematically illustrate the different reflections from Figs. 29 - 31 in greater detail.

    Figs. 36 - 37 schematically illustrate a cross sectional side views of a part of the fifth embodiment.

    Fig. 38 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of parts of an embodiment according to the present invention.

    Fig. 39 schematically illustrates an embodiment according to the present invention comprising a processor.

    Fig. 40 schematically illustrates an embodiment according to the present invention being part of a touch screen.

    Fig. 41 schematically illustrates an embodiment of a method according to the present invention.



    [0011] The figures are schematic and simplified for clarity, and they may merely show details which are essential to the understanding of the invention, while other details may have been left out. Throughout, the same reference numerals are used for identical or corresponding parts. It should be noted that in addition to the exemplary embodiments of the invention shown in the accompanying drawings, the invention may be embodied in different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and sufficient, and will fully convey the concept of the invention to those skilled in the art.

    Detailed description



    [0012] A sensing zone according to the present invention is a zone, e.g. an area of the touch-surface, where a touch by for instance a finger, a stylus, etc. may disturb light guided by the planar waveguide along a path towards the at least one detector device.

    [0013] Light (sometimes referred to as active light) propagating along an active path part may be adapted to be sufficiently disturbed by a touch at the touch-surface for provision of a touch coordinate.

    [0014] Light (sometimes referred to as passive light) propagating along a passive path part may be adapted to be sufficiently undisturbed by a touch at the touch-surface such that a touch coordinate is not provided.

    [0015] Thus, the difference between active and passive light may be that the active light is sensitive or at least is substantially sensitive to a touch at the touch-surface, whereas the passive light is not sensitive or at least is substantially not sensitive to a touch at the touch-surface. Thus, in the following, an active angle range in relation to the touch-surface may refer to the angle range needed for light to be active. Likewise, a passive angle range in relation to the touch-surface may refer to the angle range needed for light to be passive.

    [0016] The active light may be adapted to experience total internal reflection at parts of the touch-surface that are not touched and may be sufficiently disturbed at a part of the touch-surface that is being touched by the object. The passive light may be adapted to experience total internal reflection at the touch-surface regardless of whether an object is touching the touch-surface or not. Disturbance of first, second and third active light at a zone of intersection may provide first, second and third touch coordinate for the zone of intersection. First active light may substantially illuminate the touch-surface. Second active light may substantially illuminate the touch surface. Third active light may substantially illuminate the touch-surface. Having the first, second, and third light that each substantially illuminates the touch-surface may provide a distribution of sensing zones substantially covering the touch-surface.

    [0017] The waveguide and/or the light source and/or the detector device may comprise one or more of the features disclosed in WO 2009/086836. The redirecting structure may comprise one or more of the features of the redirecting member disclosed in WO 2009/086836.

    [0018] The waveguide may comprise a glass cover. A surface of the glass cover may form the touch-surface of the waveguide.

    [0019] The planar waveguide may be adapted for guiding first light along a first secondary path towards the first detector device. The first secondary path may comprise at least one active part and at least one passive part. The at least one active part of the first secondary path may comprise a first active part that may be within the first waveguide layer. The planar waveguide may be adapted for guiding second light along a second secondary path towards the at least one detector device. The second secondary path may comprise at least one active part and at least one passive part. The at least one active part of the second secondary path may comprise a first active part that may be within the first waveguide layer. The first active part of the second secondary path may intersect (or at least substantially intersect) the first active part of the first secondary path at a secondary zone of intersection. The planar waveguide may be adapted for guiding third light along a third secondary path towards the at least one detector device. The third secondary path may comprise at least one active part and at least one passive part. The at least one active part of the third secondary path may comprise a first active part that may be within the first waveguide layer. The first active part of the third secondary path may intersect (or at least substantially intersect) the first active part of the first secondary path and the first active part of the second secondary path at the secondary zone of intersection. Provision of a primary zone of intersection having three intersecting light paths being active at the primary zone of intersection and provision of a secondary zone of intersection having three intersecting light paths being active at the zone of intersection may provide an improved detection of multiple (such as two) concurrent touches at the touch-surface. A first touch may generate three coordinates, e.g. {ai , bi, Ci} and a second touch may generate three coordinates, e.g. {a2, b2, c2}. The detector may detect {ai , bi, Ci , a2, b2, c2}, however only the combinations {ai , bi, Ci} and {a2, b2, c2} may provide two intersections and thus may provide the only possible coordinates for the two touches.

    [0020] The first active part of the first primary path may be converging or diverging in relation to the first active part of the first secondary path. This may provide an angular coordinate.

    [0021] The first active part of the second primary path may be substantially parallel to the first active part of the second secondary path. This may provide a first rectilinear two-dimensional coordinate.

    [0022] The first active part of the third primary path may be substantially parallel to the first active part of the third secondary path. This may provide a second rectilinear two-dimensional coordinate.

    [0023] The first light source may be adapted to emit light into the planar waveguide in pulses. The pulses may be of less than 100 ms of light. The pulses may be repeated at a frequency higher than 5 Hz, such as higher than 15 Hz, such as higher than 25 Hz. This may reduce energy consumption by the device during operation.

    [0024] The at least one detector device may comprise a second detector device adapted to detect light from the first light source. Having a second detector device for detecting light from the first light source may improve distinguishing between detected first light and detected second and or detected third light, which in turn may improve detection of position of touch.

    [0025] The first detector device may be situated at an opposite part of the planar waveguide in relation to the first light source. This may provide an improved tolerance towards unwanted disturbance of light propagation.

    [0026] The second detector device may be situated at an opposite part of the planar waveguide in relation to the first detector device. The second detector device may be adapted to receive light from the planar waveguide that exits from an opposite part of the planar waveguide in relation to the first detector device. The situated opposite part and/or the opposite part for receiving may be an opposite corner of the planar waveguide. The first detector device may be situated at the first light source and the second detector device may be situated at the first light source. The touch-sensitive device may be adapted to disperse first light towards the first redirecting structure. The touch-sensitive device may comprise at least one dispersion structure comprising a first dispersion structure that may be adapted to disperse first light towards the first redirecting structure.

    [0027] The first (and/or the second) dispersion structure may comprise a first dispersion surface of the planar waveguide having a concave shape in a plane parallel to the planar waveguide and/or in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide. A plane parallel to the planar waveguide may for instance be the touch-surface. Provision of a concave dispersion structure in a plane parallel to the planar waveguide may improve dispersion of light from the first light source towards the at least one redirecting structure. Provision of a concave dispersion structure in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide may improve dispersion of light from the first light source in an angle range in relation to the touch-surface.

    [0028] The first dispersion structure may be adapted for transmission of first light through the first dispersion structure towards the first redirecting structure. A dispersion structure for transmission may be situated at a zone of entrance of light from the first light source.

    [0029] The first dispersion structure may be adapted for reflection of first light towards the first redirecting structure. A dispersion structure for reflection may be situated at a far edge of the planar waveguide in relation to the zone of entrance of light into the planar waveguide from the first light source.

    [0030] The at least one dispersion structure may comprise a second dispersion structure adapted to disperse second light towards the at least one redirecting structure and preferably adapted to disperse third light towards the at least one redirecting structure.

    [0031] The second dispersion structure may be adapted to generate and/or disperse second light and third light by dispersion of light from the first light source.

    [0032] The second dispersion structure may be adapted to generate and/or disperse second light and third light by dispersion of light from the first light source.

    [0033] The planar waveguide may comprise a second waveguide layer adapted for guiding passive light. The planar waveguide may comprise a second waveguide layer adapted for guiding light along at least one part of the at least one passive part of the first primary path, at least one part of the at least one passive part of the second primary path, and at least one part of the at least one passive part of the third primary path. The planar waveguide may comprise a third waveguide layer adapted for guiding passive light. The planar waveguide may comprise at least one transmission surface at the at least one edge of the planar waveguide for transmitting light towards the at least one detector device. The at least one transmission surface may comprise a first transmission surface for transmitting light towards the first detector device.

    [0034] The first transmission surface may comprise a surface of the planar waveguide having a convex shape in a plane parallel to the planar waveguide and/or in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide. The touch-sensitive device may be adapted such that first light, when propagating along the first active part of the first primary path, is within an active angle range in relation to the touch-surface. The active angle range may be a range of angles being smaller than the critical angle of the planar waveguide in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, e.g. for a part of the touch-surface being touched by an object. The critical angle for light guided by a planar waveguide is explained in WO 2009/086836.

    [0035] The touch-sensitive device may be adapted such that first light, when propagating along the at least one passive part of the first primary path, is within a passive angle range in relation to the touch-surface. The passive angle range may be a range of angles being larger than the critical angle of the planar waveguide in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, e.g. for a part of the touch-surface being touched by an object.

    [0036] The first edge may comprise a first primary edge and a first secondary edge. The at least one edge may comprise a second edge comprising a second primary edge and a second secondary edge. The at least one redirecting structure may comprise a second redirecting structure. The first redirecting structure may comprise a first primary redirecting structure arranged at the first primary edge and a first secondary redirecting structure arranged at the first secondary edge. The second redirecting structure may comprise a second primary redirecting structure arranged at the second primary edge and a second secondary redirecting structure arranged at the second secondary edge. The first redirecting structure may be adapted to redirect first primary light towards the second redirecting structure. The second primary redirecting structure may comprise a retroreflecting structure. The second secondary redirecting structure may comprise a retroreflecting structure. A retroreflecting structure of the device may be adapted such that light from the first redirecting structure may be redirected back to the first redirecting structure for being redirected by the first redirecting structure towards the at least one light detector device.

    [0037] The first redirecting structure may be adapted to redirect first light, e.g. from the first dispersion structure, towards the second edge and may be adapted to modify the angle range that the incident light forms in relation to the touch-surface. The first primary redirecting structure may comprise at least one reflecting surface that may be tilted in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, such that the at least one reflecting surface may form an angle relative to the touch-surface within a range of 60°- 89°, such as an angle within a range of 70°- 86°, such as an angle within a range of 76°- 82°.

    [0038] The first primary redirecting structure may comprise at least one reflecting surface forming approximately a right angle with the touch-surface.

    [0039] The touch-sensitive device may comprise a processor adapted for position encoding the primary zone of intersection based on light intensities received by the at least one detector device. The processor may be adapted for position encoding the secondary zone of intersection based on light intensities received by the at least one detector device. A width of the first light detector device may be at least 5 times smaller than a first diagonal of the planar waveguide, such as at least 10 times smaller than the first diagonal of the planar waveguide, such as at least 15 times smaller than the first diagonal of the planar waveguide. The touch-sensitive device may be part of a touch screen, e.g. incorporated in an optical table or a handheld device such as a handheld device may comprise at least one of a mobile phone, a pda, and a portable music player.

    [0040] Detecting touch according to the present invention may comprise detecting the local force (i.e. the normal force) that the object applies to the surface. This may for instance be carried out by utilizing that a finger or another object may increase contact area and/or contact quality in response to an increased normal force of the object (i.e. a finger or another object) touching the touch-surface. Thus, the amount of light disturbance may increase with increased force applied. Throughout the figures, active light and/or active parts of paths are illustrated by solid lines within the planar waveguide and passive light and/or passive parts of paths are illustrated by broken lines within the planar waveguide.

    [0041] Figs. 1, 4, and 7-9 schematically illustrate top views of a first embodiment of a device 2 according to the present invention and alternatives to parts of the first embodiment. Fig. 1 schematically illustrates a top view of the first embodiment of the device 2 according to the present invention.

    [0042] Fig. 1 illustrates a touch-sensitive device 2 comprising a planar waveguide 4 comprising a first waveguide layer 6, a touch-surface 8 being arranged at the first waveguide layer 6, and at least one edge 10 comprising a first edge 12. The touch-sensitive device 2 comprises at least one redirecting structure 14 comprising a first redirecting structure 16 arranged at the first edge 12 and at least one light source 18 adapted to emit light 19 into the planar waveguide 4. The at least one light source 18 comprises the first light source 20. The touch-sensitive device 2 comprises at least one detector device 22 adapted to detect light from the at least one light source 18. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a first detector device 24 adapted to detect light 19 from the first light source 20. Figs. 1 and 4 illustrate top views of the first embodiment of the device 2 illustrating different light paths. The illustrated paths in Figs. 1 and 4 are coexisting. However, light propagating along the paths may be or may not be coexisting.

    [0043] In Fig. 4 it is illustrated that the first light source 20 is adapted to generate first light 48. The touch-sensitive device 2 is adapted to guide first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first primary path 50 towards the first detector device 24, the first primary path 50 comprises at least one active part 52 and at least one passive part 54. The at least one active part 52 of the first primary path 50 comprises a first active part 56 being within the first waveguide layer 6. In Fig. 1 it is illustrated that the touch-sensitive device 2 is adapted to generate second light 26. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second primary path 30 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second primary path 30 comprises at least one active part 32 and at least one passive part 34. The at least one active part 32 of the second primary path comprises a first active part 36 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 intersects the first active part of the first primary path (see Fig. 4) at a primary zone of intersection 38. In Fig. 1 it is illustrated that the touch-sensitive device 2 is adapted to generate third light 28. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third primary path 40 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third primary path 40 comprises at least one active part 42 and at least one passive part 44. The at least one active part 42 of the third primary path 40 comprises a first active part 46 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 46 of the third primary path 40 intersects a first active part of a first primary path (see Fig. 4) and the first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 at the primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0044] The touch-sensitive device 2 as illustrated in Fig. 4 is adapted to disperse first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. However, in Fig. 4 only a single light path is illustrated.

    [0045] The touch-sensitive device 2 comprises at least one dispersion structure 58 comprising a first dispersion structure 60 adapted to disperse first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16.

    [0046] With reference to Figs. 1, 2, 4 and 5: The first dispersion structure 60 comprises a first dispersion surface 62 of the planar waveguide having a concave shape in a plane parallel to the planar waveguide. The first dispersion structure 60 is adapted for transmission of first light 48 through the first dispersion structure 60 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 comprises at least one transmission surface 64 at the at least one edge of the planar waveguide 4 for transmitting light towards the at least one detector device 22. The at least one transmission surface 64 comprises a first transmission surface 66 for transmitting light towards the first detector device 24. The first transmission surface comprises 66 a surface of the planar waveguide having a convex shape in a plane parallel to the planar waveguide 4. The touch-sensitive device 2 is adapted such that first light 48, when propagating along the first active part 56 of the first primary path, is within an active angle range in relation to the touch-surface 8, and adapted such that first light 48, when propagating along the at least one passive part 54 of the first primary path, is within a passive angle range in relation to the touch-surface 8. The active angle range is a range of angles being smaller than the critical angle of the planar waveguide 4 in relation to a normal of the touch-surface 8, e.g. for a part of the touch-surface being touched by an object. The passive angle range is a range of angles being larger than the critical angle of the planar waveguide 4 in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, e.g. for a part of the touch-surface being touched by an object.

    [0047] The first edge 12 comprises a first primary edge 68 and a first secondary edge 70. The at least one edge 10 comprises a second edge 72 comprising a second primary edge 74 and a second secondary edge 76. The at least one redirecting structure 14 comprises a second redirecting structure 78. The first redirecting structure 16 comprises a first primary redirecting structure 80 arranged at the first primary edge 68 and a first secondary redirecting structure 82 arranged at the first secondary edge 70. The second redirecting structure 78 comprises a second primary redirecting structure 84 arranged at the second primary edge 74 and a second secondary redirecting structure 86 arranged at the second secondary edge 76. The first redirecting structure 16 is adapted to redirect first primary light 48 towards the second redirecting structure 78.

    [0048] The second primary redirecting structure 84 comprises a retroreflecting structure. The second secondary redirecting structure 86 comprises a retroreflecting structure.

    [0049] Each of the first primary redirecting structure 80 and the first secondary redirecting structure 82 comprises at least one reflecting surface being tilted in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, such that the at least one reflecting surface of the respective redirecting structure forms an angle relative to the touch-surface within a range of 60°-89°.

    [0050] Fig. 2 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of a part of an embodiment which is not part of the invention. The cross sectional side view is parallel with the z-axis illustrated in Fig. 1. Fig. 2 illustrates the at least one light source 18 comprising a second light source 21 adapted to generate the second light 26. The second light source 21 is adapted to generate the third light 28. The at least one dispersion structure 58 comprises a second dispersion structure 61 adapted to disperse second light towards the at least one redirecting structure and adapted to disperse third light towards the at least one redirecting structure.

    [0051] Fig. 3 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of a part of an alternative to the embodiment described in Fig. 2. The second dispersion structure 61 comprises a second dispersion surface of the planar waveguide having a concave shape in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide.

    [0052] Fig. 5 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of an embodiment which is not part of the invention. The first light source 20 and the second light source 21 are adapted to emit light into the planar waveguide 4 sequentially. In an alternative embodiment, the second dispersion structure is adapted to generate second light and third light by dispersion of light from the first light source.

    [0053] Fig. 6 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side view of a part of an alternative embodiment which is not part of the invention. The first dispersion structure 60 comprises a first dispersion surface 62 of the planar waveguide 4 having a concave shape in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide 4.

    [0054] For an alternative to the embodiments illustrated in Figs. 1 -6, where the generation of the passive and active angle ranges are affected or caused by the first and second dispersion structures 60 and 61, respectively, which incline in relation to each other, the at least one dispersion structure 58 may comprise a single dispersion structure or may comprise dispersion structures that do not incline in relation to each other. Thus, light from the first and second light sources respectively may be incident on the at least one dispersion structure 58 from different angles. A combination of these two alternatives may be provided according to the present invention for generation of passive and active light.

    [0055] Fig. 7 schematically illustrates a cross sectional side a part of view of an alternative to the first embodiment, wherein the first transmission surface 66 comprises a surface of the planar waveguide 4 having a convex shape in a plane perpendicular to the planar waveguide 4. Light arriving at the first transmission surface 66 at different angles relative to the touch-surface may be directed towards different zones of the at least one detector device 22.

    [0056] Figs. 8 - 9 schematically illustrate top views of the first embodiment. The light paths mentioned in connection with Figs. 8 - 9 are for convenience illustrated in two figures. However, the device is adapted for the existence of the light paths in the same device. For simplicity in Figs. 8 - 9, only some parts of light paths from light source to detector device are illustrated. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first secondary path 51 towards the first detector device 24. The first secondary path 51 comprises at least one active part 53 and at least one passive part 55. The at least one active part 53 of the first secondary path 51 comprises a first active part 57 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second secondary path 31 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second secondary path 31 comprises at least one active part 33 and at least one passive part 35. The at least one active part 33 of the second secondary path comprises a first active part 37 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 37 of the second secondary path 31 intersects the first active part 57 (see Fig. 9 in connection with Fig. 8) of the first secondary path 51 at a secondary zone of intersection 39. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third secondary path 41 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third secondary path 41 comprises at least one active part 43 and at least one passive part 45. The at least one active part 43 of the third secondary path comprises a first active part 47 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 47 of the third secondary path intersects the first active part 57 of the first secondary path (see Fig. 9 in connection with Fig. 8) and the first active part 37 of the second secondary path at the secondary zone of intersection 39. The first active part 56 of the first primary path is converging in relation to the first active part 57 of the first secondary path. The first active part 36 of the second primary path is substantially parallel to the first active part 37 of the second secondary path. The first active part 46 of the third primary path is substantially parallel to the first active part 47 of the third secondary path.

    [0057] Provision of a primary zone of intersection 38 having three intersecting light paths being active at the primary zone of intersection 38 and provision of a secondary zone of intersection 39 having three intersecting light paths being active at the zone of intersection 39 provides an improved detection of multiple (such as two) concurrent touches at the touch-surface 8 as illustrated. A first touch at the first zone of intersection 38 may generate three coordinates, e.g. {ai , bi , Ci} and a second touch at the second zone of intersection 29 may generate three coordinates, e.g. {a2, b2, c2}. The detector may detect {ai , bi , Ci , a2, b2, c2}, however only the combinations {ai , bi , Ci} and {a2, b2, c2} may provide two intersections and thus may provide the only possible coordinates for the two touches. If only the coordinates {bi , Ci , b2, c2} were detected, the two touch positions generating the touch coordinates may as well be the ones enclosed by the dotted circles illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9.

    [0058] A similar principle for detection of two touches existing simultaneously as explained in connection with Figs. 8 and 9 may be applied to the other embodiments according to the present invention.

    [0059] Figs. 10, 12, 14 and 15 schematically illustrate top views of a second embodiment of a device 102 according to the present invention.
    The touch-sensitive device 102 comprises a planar waveguide 4 comprising a first waveguide layer 6, a touch-surface 8 being arranged at the first waveguide layer 6, and at least one edge 10 comprising a first edge 12. The touch-sensitive device 102 comprises at least one redirecting structure 14 comprising a first redirecting structure 16 arranged at the first edge 12 and at least one light source 18 adapted to emit light 19 into the planar waveguide 4. The at least one light source 18 comprises the first light source 20. The touch-sensitive device 102 comprises at least one detector device 22 adapted to detect light from the at least one light source 18. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a first detector device 24 adapted to detect light 19 from the first light source 20.

    [0060] Figs. 10, 12, 14 and 15 illustrate top views of the second embodiment of the device 102 illustrating different light paths. The illustrated paths in Figs. 14 and 15 are coexisting. However, light propagating along the paths may be or may not be coexisting.

    [0061] The first light source 20 is adapted to generate first light 48. The touch-sensitive device 102 is adapted to guide first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first primary path 50 towards the first detector device 24, the first primary path 50 comprises at least one active part 52 and at least one passive part 54. The at least one active part 52 of the first primary path 50 comprises a first active part 56 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The touch-sensitive device 102 is adapted to generate second light 26. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second primary path 30 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second primary path 30 comprises at least one active part 32 and at least one passive part 34. The at least one active part 32 of the second primary path comprises a first active part 36 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 intersects the first active part of the first primary path at a primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0062] The touch-sensitive device 102 is adapted to generate third light 28. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third primary path 40 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third primary path 40 comprises at least one active part 42 and at least one passive part 44. The at least one active part 42 of the third primary path 40 comprises a first active part 46 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 46 of the third primary path 40 intersects a first active part of a first primary path and the first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 at the primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0063] Figs. 16 - 19 schematically illustrate top views of a third embodiment of a device 202 of the present invention. The touch-sensitive device 202 comprises a planar waveguide 4 comprising a first waveguide layer 6, a touch-surface 8 being arranged at the first waveguide layer 6, and at least one edge 10 comprising a first edge 12. The touch-sensitive device 202 comprises at least one redirecting structure 14 comprising a first redirecting structure 16 arranged at the first edge 12 and at least one light source 18 adapted to emit light 19 into the planar waveguide 4. The at least one light source 18 comprises the first light source 20. The touch-sensitive device 202 comprises at least one detector device 22 adapted to detect light from the at least one light source 18. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a first detector device 24 adapted to detect light 19 from the first light source 20. Figs. 16 - 19 illustrate top views of the third embodiment of the device 202 illustrating different light paths. The illustrated paths in Figs. 18 and 19 are coexisting. However, light propagating along the paths may be or may not be coexisting. The first light source 20 is adapted to generate first light 48. The touch-sensitive device 202 is adapted to guide first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first primary path 50 towards the first detector device 24, the first primary path 50 comprises at least one active part 52 and at least one passive part 54. The at least one active part 52 of the first primary path 50 comprises a first active part 56 being within the first waveguide layer 6.

    [0064] The touch-sensitive device 202 is adapted to generate second light 26. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second primary path 30 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second primary path 30 comprises at least one active part 32 and at least one passive part 34. The at least one active part 32 of the second primary path comprises a first active part 36 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 intersects the first active part of the first primary path at a primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0065] The touch-sensitive device 202 is adapted to generate third light 28. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third primary path 40 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third primary path 40 comprises at least one active part 42 and at least one passive part 44. The at least one active part 42 of the third primary path 40 comprises a first active part 46 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 46 of the third primary path 40 intersects a first active part of a first primary path and the first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 at the primary zone of intersection 38. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a second detector device 25 adapted to detect light from the second light source 21. The second detector device 25 is situated at an opposite part of the planar waveguide 4 in relation to the first detector device 24.

    [0066] Figs. 20, 22, 24 and 25 schematically illustrate top views of a fourth embodiment of a device 302 according to the present invention.

    [0067] The touch-sensitive device 302 comprises a planar waveguide 4 comprising a first waveguide layer 6, a touch-surface 8 being arranged at the first waveguide layer 6, and at least one edge 10 comprising a first edge 12. The touch-sensitive device 302 comprises at least one redirecting structure 14 comprising a first redirecting structure 16 arranged at the first edge 12 and at least one light source 18 adapted to emit light 19 into the planar waveguide 4. The at least one light source 18 comprises the first light source 20. The touch-sensitive device 302 comprises at least one detector device 22 adapted to detect light from the at least one light source 18. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a first detector device 24 adapted to detect light 19 from the first light source 20. Figs. 20, 22, 24 and 25 illustrate top views of the fourth embodiment of the device 302 illustrating different light paths. The illustrated paths in Figs. 24 and 25 are coexisting. However, light propagating along the paths may be or may not be coexisting.

    [0068] The first light source 20 is adapted to generate first light 48. The touch-sensitive device 302 is adapted to guide first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first primary path 50 towards the first detector device 24, the first primary path 50 comprises at least one active part 52 and at least one passive part 54. The at least one active part 52 of the first primary path 50 comprises a first active part 56 being within the first waveguide layer 6.

    [0069] The touch-sensitive device 302 is adapted to generate second light 26. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second primary path 30 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second primary path 30 comprises at least one active part 32 and at least one passive part 34. The at least one active part 32 of the second primary path comprises a first active part 36 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 intersects the first active part of the first primary path at a primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0070] The touch-sensitive device 302 is adapted to generate third light 28. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third primary path 40 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third primary path 40 comprises at least one active part 42 and at least one passive part 44. The at least one active part 42 of the third primary path 40 comprises a first active part 46 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 46 of the third primary path 40 intersects a first active part of a first primary path and the first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 at the primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0071] In this embodiment, the first light source is adapted for emitting light towards the first dispersion structure and for emitting light towards the second dispersion structure.

    [0072] The first dispersion structure 62 is adapted for reflection of first light towards the first redirecting structure. The second dispersion 61 structure is adapted to generate or disperse second light and third light by dispersion of light from the first light source towards the first redirecting structure.

    [0073] Figs. 26 - 27 schematically illustrate an alternative embodiment, which is not part of the invention, wherein the first light source and the second light source are situated next to each other on a plane parallel with the planar waveguide 4.

    [0074] Figs. 28, 36 and 37 schematically illustrate a top view and cross sectional side views of a fifth embodiment of a device 402 according to the present invention. Fig. 28 schematically illustrates a top view of the fifth embodiment of the device 402 according to the present invention.

    [0075] In the figures illustrating the fifth embodiment, light rays are shown slightly separated for illustrations purposes.

    [0076] The touch-sensitive device 402 comprises a planar waveguide 4 comprising a first waveguide layer 6, a touch-surface 8 being arranged at the first waveguide layer 6, and at least one edge 10 comprising a first edge 12. The touch-sensitive device 402 comprises at least one redirecting structure 14 comprising a first redirecting structure 16 arranged at the first edge 12 and at least one light source 18 adapted to emit light 19 into the planar waveguide 4. The at least one light source 18 comprises the first light source 20. The touch-sensitive device 402 comprises at least one detector device 22 adapted to detect light from the at least one light source 18. The at least one detector device 22 comprises a first detector device 24 adapted to detect light 19 from the first light source 20.

    [0077] Fig. 28 illustrates a top view of the fifth embodiment of the device 402 illustrating different light paths.

    [0078] The first light source 20 is adapted to generate first light 48. The touch-sensitive device 402 is adapted to guide first light 48 towards the first redirecting structure 16. The planar waveguide 4 is adapted for guiding first light 48 along a first primary path 50 towards the first detector device 24, the first primary path 50 comprises at least one active part 52 and at least one passive part 54. The at least one active part 52 of the first primary path 50 comprises a first active part 56 being within the first waveguide layer 6.

    [0079] The touch-sensitive device 402 is adapted to generate second light 26. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding second light 26 along a second primary path 30 towards the at least one detector device 22. The second primary path 30 comprises at least one active part 32 and at least one passive part 34. The at least one active part 32 of the second primary path comprises a first active part 36 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 intersects the first active part of the first primary path at a primary zone of intersection 38. The touch-sensitive device 402 is adapted to generate third light 28. The planar waveguide is adapted for guiding third light 28 along a third primary path 40 towards the at least one detector device 22. The third primary path 40 comprises at least one active part 42 and at least one passive part 44. The at least one active part 42 of the third primary path 40 comprises a first active part 46 being within the first waveguide layer 6. The first active part 46 of the third primary path 40 intersects a first active part of a first primary path and the first active part 36 of the second primary path 30 at the primary zone of intersection 38.

    [0080] The first light source is adapted for emitting light towards the first dispersion structure. The first primary redirecting structure comprises at least one reflecting surface 91 being tilted in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, such that the at least one reflecting surface 91 forms an angle relative to the touch-surface within a range of 60° - 89°. The first primary redirecting structure furthermore comprises at least one reflecting surface 92 forming approximately a right angle with the touch-surface 8. This is illustrated in more detail in Figs. 29 - 31 illustrating the first secondary redirecting structure 82.

    [0081] Fig. 29 illustrates light from the first light source arriving to the first secondary redirecting structure 82 at the surfaces 91 and 92, respectively. The arriving light is passive, e.g. approximately parallel to the touch-surface 8. Thus, the first active light part 46 of the first primary path is created.

    [0082] Fig. 30 illustrates reflection of passive light at the first secondary redirecting structure 82, which passive light having arrived from the retroreflecting structure 86. Incident light is reflected by the surfaces 91 and 92, respectively. Reflection from 91 generates the first active part 56 of the first primary path.

    [0083] Fig. 31 illustrates reflection of active light at the first secondary redirecting structure 82, which active light 42 having arrived from the retroreflecting structure 86. Incident light is reflected by the surfaces 91 and 92, respectively.

    [0084] Fig. 32 illustrates in more detail the light reflection from surface 92 as illustrated in Fig. 29. Fig. 33 illustrates in more detail the light reflection from surface 91 as illustrated in Fig. 29. Fig. 34 illustrates in more detail the light reflection from surface 92 as illustrated in Figs. 30 and 31. Fig. 35 illustrates in more detail the light reflection from surface 91 as illustrated in Figs. 30 and 31. Angles of 0 and 9 degrees in relation to a normal of the touch-surface are shown as an example for Figs. 32 - 35. Fig. 38 illustrates cross sectional side views of a planar waveguide having a first waveguide layer 6 and a second waveguide layer. The figure illustrates coupling of light between the layers at the first redirecting structure and at the second redirecting structure, respectively. Fig. 39 illustrates a touch-sensitive device 602 according to the present invention comprising a processor 93 adapted for position encoding the primary zone of intersection based on light intensities received by the at least one detector device. The processor 93 may furthermore be adapted for position encoding the secondary zone of intersection based on light intensities received by the at least one detector device such that the positions of two concurrent touches may be deduced.

    [0085] Fig. 40 illustrates a touch-sensitive device 702 according to present invention, wherein the touch-sensitive device is part of a touch screen 94, such as incorporated in an optical table or a handheld device such as a handheld device comprising at least one of a mobile phone, a pda, and a portable music player.

    [0086] Fig. 41 illustrates a method for detecting at least one position of touch at a touch-surface on a touch-sensitive device according to the present invention. The method comprises emitting 95 light into the planar waveguide and detecting 96 light arriving at the at least one detector device.


    Claims

    1. A touch-sensitive device (2) comprising:

    - a planar waveguide (4) comprising a first waveguide layer (6), a touch-surface (8) being arranged at the first waveguide layer (6), and at least one edge (10) comprising a first edge (12),

    - at least one redirecting structure (14) comprising a first redirecting structure (16) arranged at the first edge (12),

    - at least one dispersion structure (58) having a first dispersion structure (60) and a second dispersion structure (61),

    - a first light source (20) adapted for emitting a first light (48) towards the first dispersion structure (60) such that said first light (48) is dispersed in the planar waveguide (4) towards the first redirecting structure (16), and adapted for emitting a second light (26) and a third light (28) towards the second dispersion structure (61) such that said second light (26) and said third light (28) is dispersed in the planar waveguide (4) towards the at least one redirecting structure (14), and

    - at least one detector device (22) comprising a first detector device (24) adapted to detect first (48), second (26) and third (28) light from the first light source (20),

    the planar waveguide (4) being adapted for guiding said first light (48) along a first primary path (50) towards the first detector device (24), the first primary path (50) comprising at least one active part (52) and at least one passive part (54), the at least one active part (52) of the first primary path (50) comprising a first active part (56) being within the first waveguide layer (6),
    the planar waveguide (4) being adapted for guiding said second light (26) along a second primary path (30) towards the first detector device (24), the second primary path (30) comprising at least one active part (32) and at least one passive part (34), the at least one active part (32) of the second primary path (30) comprising a first active part (36) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (36) of the second primary path (30) intersecting the first active part (56) of the first primary path (50) at a primary zone of intersection (38),
    the planar waveguide (4) being adapted for guiding said third light (28) along a third primary path (40) towards the first detector device (24), the third primary path (40) comprising at least one active part (42) and at least one passive part (44), the at least one active part (42) of the third primary path (40) comprising a first active part (46) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (46) of the third primary path (40) intersecting the first active part (56) of the first primary path (50) and the first active part (36) of the second primary path (30) at the primary zone of intersection (38), wherein the touch sensitive device (2) is adapted such that light in the active parts (32, 42, 52) is sufficiently disturbed by a touch at the touch surface (8) for provision of a touch coordinate, and adapted such that light in the passive parts (34, 44, 54) is sufficiently undisturbed by a touch at the touch surface (8) for no provision of a touch coordinate, and
    wherein one of the first (60) and second (61) dispersion structures is adapted for generation of light with an active angle range in relation to the touch surface (8) needed for making parts of the first, second and third primary paths being active parts (52) in
    the planar waveguide (4), and the other of said first (60) and second (61) dispersion structures is adapted for generation of light with a passive angle range in relation to the touch surface (8) needed for making parts of the first, second and third primary paths to be passive parts (34, 44) in the planar waveguide.
     
    2. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to claim 1, wherein the planar waveguide (4) is adapted for guiding first light (48) along a first secondary path (51) towards the first detector device (24), the first secondary path (51) comprising at least one active part (53) and at least one passive part (55), the at least one active part (53) of the first secondary path (51) comprising a first active part (57) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the planar waveguide (4) being adapted for guiding second light (26) along a second secondary path (31) towards the first detector device (24), the second secondary path (31) comprising at least one active part (33) and at least one passive part (35), the at least one active part (33) of the second secondary path (31) comprising a first active part (37) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (37) of the second secondary path (31) intersecting the first active part (57) of the first secondary path (51) at a secondary zone of intersection (39), the planar waveguide (4) being adapted for guiding third light (28) along a third secondary path (41) towards the first detector device (24), the third secondary path (41) comprising at least one active part (43) and at least one passive part (45), the at least one active part (43) of the third secondary path (41) comprising a first active part (47) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (47) of the third secondary path (41) intersecting the first active part (57) of the first secondary path (51) and the first active part (37) of the second secondary path (31) at the secondary zone of intersection (39).
     
    3. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to claim 2, wherein the first active part (56) of the first primary path (50) is converging or diverging in relation to the first active part (57) of the first secondary path (51).
     
    4. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the first active part (36) of the second primary path (30) is substantially parallel to the first active part (37) of the second secondary path (31).
     
    5. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to any of the claims 2 - 4, wherein the first active part (46) of the third primary path (40) is substantially parallel to the first active part (47) of the third secondary path (41).
     
    6. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the planar waveguide (4) comprises at least one transmission surface (64) at the at least one edge (10) of the planar waveguide (4) for transmitting light towards the first detector device (24), the at least one transmission surface (64) comprising a first transmission surface (66) for transmitting light towards the first detector device (24).
     
    7. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first edge (12) comprises a first primary edge (68) and a first secondary edge (70), the at least one edge (10) comprises a second edge (72) comprising a second primary edge (74) and a second secondary edge (76), the at least one redirecting structure (14) comprising a second redirecting structure (78), the first redirecting structure (16) comprising a first primary redirecting structure (80) arranged at the first primary edge (68) and a first secondary redirecting structure (82) arranged at the first secondary edge (70), the second redirecting structure (78) comprising a second primary redirecting structure (84) arranged at the second primary edge (74) and a second secondary redirecting structure (86) arranged at the second secondary edge (76), the first redirecting structure (16) being adapted to redirect first primary light (48) towards the second redirecting structure (78).
     
    8. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to claim 7, wherein the second primary redirecting structure (84) comprises a retroreflecting structure, and wherein the second secondary redirecting structure (86) comprises a retroreflecting structure.
     
    9. A touch-sensitive device (2) according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the first primary redirecting structure (80) comprises at least one reflecting surface being tilted in relation to a normal of the touch-surface, such that the at least one reflecting surface forms an angle relative to the touch-surface within a range of 60° - 89°, such as an angle within a range of 70° - 86°, such as an angle within a range of 76° - 82°.
     
    10. A method for detecting at least one position of touch at a touch-surface (8) on a touch-sensitive device (2) according to any of the preceding claims, the method comprising:

    - generating said first light (48) by means of the first light source (20) towards the first dispersion structure (60),

    - generating said second light (26) and generating said third light (28) by means of the first light source (2) towards the second dispersion structure (61),

    - guiding first light (48) towards the first redirecting structure (16),

    - guiding, by means of the planar waveguide (4), first light (48) along a first primary path (50) towards the first detector device (24), the first primary path (50) comprising at least one active part (52) and at least one passive part (54), the at least one active part (52) of the first primary path (50) comprising a first active part (56) being within the first planar waveguide layer (6) of the planar waveguide (4),

    - guiding, by means of the planar waveguide (4), second light (26) along a second primary path (30) towards the first detector device (24), the second primary path (30) comprising at least one active part (32) and at least one passive part (34), the at least one active part (32) of the second primary path (30) comprising a first active part (36) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (36) of the second primary path (30) intersecting the first active part (56) of the first primary path (50) at a primary zone of intersection (38),

    - guiding, by means of the planar waveguide (4), third light (28) along a third primary path (40) towards the first detector device (24), the third primary path (40) comprising at least one active part (42) and at least one passive part (44), the at least one active part (42) of the third primary path (40) comprising a first active part (46) being within the first waveguide layer (6), the first active part (46) of the third primary path (40) intersecting the first active part (56) of the first primary path (50) and the first active part (36) of the second primary path (26) at the primary zone of intersection (38), the passive part(s) (34, 44) and active part(s) (52, 56) being generated by the first (60) and the second dispersion structures (61), and

    - detecting, by means of the first detector device (24), light intensities from the first light source (20).


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2), umfassend:

    - einen ebenen Hohlleiter (4), der eine erste Hohlleiterlage (6), eine auf der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) angeordnete Berührungsoberfläche (8) und wenigstens eine Kante (10) umfasst, die eine erste Kante (12) umfasst,

    - wenigstens eine umleitende Struktur (14), die eine erste umleitende Struktur (16) umfasst, die an der ersten Kante (12) angeordnet ist,

    - wenigstens eine Streuungsstruktur (58) mit einer ersten Streuungsstruktur (60) und einer zweiten Streuungsstruktur (61),

    - eine erste Lichtquelle (20), die dafür ausgelegt ist, ein erstes Licht (48) in Richtung der ersten Streuungsstruktur (60) zu emittieren, so dass das erste Licht (48) in dem ebenen Hohlleiter (4) in Richtung der ersten umleitenden Struktur (16) gestreut wird, und dafür ausgelegt ist, ein zweites Licht (26) und ein drittes Licht (28) in Richtung der zweiten Streuungsstruktur (61) zu emittieren, so dass das zweite Licht (26) und das dritte Licht (28) in dem ebenen Hohlleiter (4) in Richtung der wenigstens einen umleitenden Struktur (14) gestreut werden, und

    - wenigstens eine Erkennungsvorrichtung (22), die eine erste Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) umfasst, die dafür ausgelegt ist, erstes (48), zweites (26) und drittes (28) Licht aus der ersten Lichtquelle (20) zu erkennen,

    wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, das erste Licht (48) entlang eines ersten primären Pfades (50) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der erste primäre Pfad (50) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (52) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (54) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (52) des ersten primären Pfades (50) einen ersten aktiven Teil (56) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet,
    wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, das zweite Licht (26) entlang eines zweiten primären Pfades (30) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der zweite primäre Pfad (30) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (32) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (34) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (32) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) einen ersten aktiven Teil (36) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (36) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) in einer primären Überschneidungszone (38) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (56) des ersten primären Pfades (50) überschneidet,
    wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, das dritte Licht (28) entlang eines dritten primären Pfades (40) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der dritte primäre Pfad (40) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (42) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (44) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (42) des dritten primären Pfades (40) einen ersten aktiven Teil (46) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (46) des dritten primären Pfades (40) in der primären Überschneidungszone (38) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (56) des ersten primären Pfades (50) und dem ersten aktiven Teil (36) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) überschneidet, wobei die berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) so ausgelegt ist, dass Licht in den aktiven Teilen (32, 42, 52) von einer Berührung an der Berührungsoberfläche (8) ausreichend unterbrochen ist, um eine Berührungskoordinate bereitzustellen, und so ausgelegt ist, dass Licht in den passiven Teilen (34, 44, 54) von einer Berührung an der Berührungsoberfläche (8) ausreichend ununterbrochen ist, um keine Berührungskoordinate bereitzustellen, und
    wobei eine von der ersten (60) und zweiten (61) Streuungsstruktur für die Erzeugung von Licht mit einem aktiven Winkelbereich in Bezug auf die Berührungsoberfläche (8) ausgelegt ist, der benötigt wird, um Teile des ersten, zweiten und dritten primären Pfades herzustellen, die aktive Teile (52) in dem ebenen Hohlleiter (4) sind, und die andere von der ersten (60) und zweiten (61) Streuungsstruktur für die Erzeugung von Licht mit einem passiven Winkelbereich in Bezug auf die Berührungsoberfläche (8) ausgelegt ist, der benötigt wird, um Teile des ersten, zweiten und dritten primären Pfades herzustellen, um passive Teile (34, 44) in dem ebenen Hohlleiter zu sein.
     
    2. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, erstes Licht (48) entlang eines ersten sekundären Pfades (51) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der erste sekundäre Pfad (51) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (53) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (55) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (53) des ersten sekundären Pfades (51) einen ersten aktiven Teil (57) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, zweites Licht (26) entlang eines zweiten sekundären Pfades (31) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der zweite sekundäre Pfad (31) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (33) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (35) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (33) des zweiten sekundären Pfades (31) einen ersten aktiven Teil (37) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (37) des zweiten sekundären Pfades (31) in einer sekundären Überschneidungszone (39) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (57) des ersten sekundären Pfades (51) überschneidet, wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) dafür ausgelegt ist, drittes Licht (28) entlang eines dritten sekundären Pfades (41) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) zu leiten, wobei der dritte sekundäre Pfad (41) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (43) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (45) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (43) des dritten sekundären Pfades (41) einen ersten aktiven Teil (47) umfasst, der sich innerhalt der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (47) des dritten sekundären Pfades (41) in der sekundären Überschneidungszone (39) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (57) des ersten sekundären Pfades (51) und dem ersten aktiven Teil (37) des zweiten sekundären Pfades (31) überschneidet.
     
    3. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach Anspruch 2, wobei der erste aktive Teil (56) des ersten primären Pfades (50) in Bezug auf den ersten aktiven Teil (57) des ersten sekundären Pfades (51) zusammenläuft oder auseinandergeht.
     
    4. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, wobei der erste aktive Teil (36) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) im Wesentlichen parallel zum ersten aktiven Teil (37) des zweiten sekundären Pfades (31) verläuft.
     
    5. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach einem der Ansprüche 2-4, wobei der erste aktive Teil (46) des dritten primären Pfades (40) im Wesentlichen parallel zum ersten aktiven Teil (47) des dritten sekundären Pfades (41) verläuft.
     
    6. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der ebene Hohlleiter (4) an der wenigstens einen Kante (10) des ebenen Hohlleiters (4) wenigstens eine Übermittlungsoberfläche (64) zum Übermitteln von Licht in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) umfasst, wobei die wenigstens eine Übermittlungsoberfläche (64) eine erste Übermittlungsoberfläche (66) zum Übermitteln von Licht in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) umfasst.
     
    7. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste Kante (12) eine erste primäre Kante (68) und eine erste sekundäre Kante (70) umfasst, wobei die wenigstens eine Kante (10) eine zweite Kante (72) umfasst, die eine zweite primäre Kante (74) und eine zweite sekundäre Kante (76) umfasst, wobei die wenigstens eine umleitende Struktur (14) eine zweite umleitende Struktur (78) umfasst, wobei die erste umleitende Struktur (16) eine erste primäre, an der ersten primären Kante (68) angeordnete umleitende Struktur (80) und eine erste sekundäre, an der ersten sekundären Kante (70) angeordnete umleitende Struktur (82) umfasst, wobei die zweite umleitende Struktur (78) eine zweite primäre, an der zweiten primären Kante (74) angeordnete umleitende Struktur (84) und eine zweite sekundäre, an der zweiten sekundären Kante (76) angeordnete umleitende Struktur (86) umfasst, wobei die erste umleitende Struktur (16) dafür ausgelegt ist, erstes primäres Licht (48) in Richtung der zweiten umleitenden Struktur (78) umzuleiten.
     
    8. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach Anspruch 7, wobei die zweite primäre umleitende Struktur (84) eine retroreflektierende Struktur umfasst und wobei die zweite sekundäre umleitende Struktur (86) eine retroreflektierende Struktur umfasst.
     
    9. Berührungsempfindliche Vorrichtung (2) nach Anspruch 7 oder 8, wobei die erste primäre umleitende Struktur (80) wenigstens eine reflektierende Oberfläche umfasst, die in Bezug auf eine Normale der Berührungsoberfläche geneigt ist, so dass die wenigstens eine reflektierende Oberfläche einen Winkel bezüglich der Berührungsoberfläche innerhalb eines Bereiches von 60°-89° bildet, beispielsweise einen Winkel innerhalb eines Bereiches von 70°-86°, beispielsweise einen Winkel innerhalb eines Bereiches von 76°-82°.
     
    10. Verfahren zum Erkennen wenigstens einer Position einer Berührung an einer Berührungsoberfläche (8) auf einer berührungsempfindlichen Vorrichtung (2) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

    - Erzeugen des ersten Lichts (48) in Richtung der ersten Streuungsstruktur (60) mittels der ersten Lichtquelle (20),

    - Erzeugen des zweiten Lichts (26) und Erzeugen des dritten Lichts (28) in Richtung der zweiten Streuungsstruktur (61) mittels der ersten Lichtquelle (2),

    - Leiten von erstem Licht (48) in Richtung der ersten umleitenden Struktur (16),

    - Leiten von erstem Licht (48) entlang eines ersten primären Pfades (50) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) mittels des ebenen Hohlleiters (4), wobei der erste primäre Pfad (50) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (52) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (54) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (52) des ersten primären Pfades (50) einen ersten aktiven Teil (56) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten ebenen Hohlleiterlage (6) des ebenen Hohlleiters (4) befindet,

    - Leiten von zweitem Licht (26) entlang eines zweiten primären Pfades (30) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) mittels des ebenen Hohlleiters (4), wobei der zweite primäre Pfad (30) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (32) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (34) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (32) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) einen ersten aktiven Teil (36) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (36) des zweiten primären Pfades (30) in einer primären Überschneidungszone (38) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (56) des ersten primären Pfades (50) überschneidet,

    - Leiten von drittem Licht (28) entlang eines dritten primären Pfades (40) in Richtung der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24) mittels des ebenen Hohlleiters (4), wobei der dritte primäre Pfad (40) wenigstens einen aktiven Teil (42) und wenigstens einen passiven Teil (44) umfasst, wobei der wenigstens eine aktive Teil (42) des dritten primären Pfads (40) einen ersten aktiven Teil (46) umfasst, der sich innerhalb der ersten Hohlleiterlage (6) befindet, wobei sich der erste aktive Teil (46) des dritten primären Pfades (40) in der primären Überschneidungszone (38) mit dem ersten aktiven Teil (56) des ersten primären Pfades (50) und dem ersten aktiven Teil (36) des zweiten primären Pfades (26) überschneitet, wobei der passive Teil/die passiven Teile (34, 44) und der aktive Teil/die aktiven Teile (52, 56) von der ersten (60) und der zweiten Streuungsstruktur (61) erzeugt werden, und

    - Erkennen von Lichtintensitäten aus der ersten Lichtquelle (20) mittels der ersten Erkennungsvorrichtung (24).


     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif tactile (2) comprenant :

    - un guide d'ondes planaire (4) comprenant une première couche guide d'ondes (6), une surface tactile (8) étant agencée au niveau de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), et au moins un bord (10) comprenant un premier bord (12),

    - au moins une structure de redirection (14) comprenant une première structure de redirection (16) agencée au niveau du premier bord (12),

    - au moins une structure de dispersion (58) ayant une première structure de dispersion (60) et une deuxième structure de dispersion (61),

    - une première source de lumière (20) adaptée pour émettre une première lumière (48) vers la première structure de dispersion (60) de sorte que ladite première lumière (48) est dispersée dans le guide d'ondes planaire (4) vers la première structure de redirection (16), et adaptée pour émettre une deuxième lumière (26) et une troisième lumière (28) vers la deuxième structure de dispersion (61) de sorte que ladite deuxième lumière (26) et ladite troisième lumière (28) sont dispersées dans le guide d'ondes planaire (4) vers la au moins une structure de redirection (14), et

    - au moins un dispositif détecteur (22) comprenant un premier dispositif détecteur (24) adapté pour détecter une première (48), deuxième (26) et troisième (28) lumière de la première source de lumière (20),

    le guide d'ondes planaire (4) étant adapté pour guider ladite première lumière (48) le long d'un premier chemin primaire (50) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le premier chemin primaire (50) comprenant au moins une partie active (52) et au moins une partie passive (54), la au moins une partie active (52) du premier chemin primaire (50) comprenant une première partie active (56) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6),
    le guide d'ondes planaire (4) étant adapté pour guider ladite deuxième lumière (26) le long d'un deuxième chemin primaire (30) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le deuxième chemin primaire (30) comprenant au moins une partie active (32) et au moins une partie passive (34), l'au moins une partie active (32) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) comprenant une première partie active (36) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (36) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) coupant la première partie active (56) du premier chemin primaire (50) à une zone primaire d'intersection (38),
    le guide d'ondes planaire (4) étant adapté pour guider ladite troisième lumière (28) le long d'un troisième chemin primaire (40) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le troisième chemin primaire (40) comprenant au moins une partie active (42) et au moins une partie passive (44), l'au moins une partie active (42) du troisième chemin primaire (40) comprenant une première partie active (46) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (46) du troisième chemin primaire (40) coupant la première partie active (56) du premier chemin primaire (50) et la première partie active (36) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) à la zone primaire d'intersection (38), dans lequel le dispositif tactile (2) est adapté de sorte que la lumière dans les parties actives (32, 42, 52) est suffisamment perturbée par un toucher au niveau de la surface tactile (8) pour fournir une coordonnée de toucher, et adapté de sorte que la lumière dans les parties passives (34, 44, 54) est suffisamment imperturbée par un toucher au niveau de la surface tactile (8) pour ne pas fournir de coordonnée de toucher, et
    dans lequel une des première (60) et deuxième (61) structures de dispersion est adaptée pour la génération de lumière avec une plage d'angle active par rapport à la surface tactile (8) nécessaire pour faire des parties des premier, deuxième et troisième chemins primaires, des parties actives (52) dans le guide d'ondes planaire (4), et l'autre desdites première (60) et deuxième (61) structures de dispersion est adaptée pour la génération de lumière avec une plage d'angle passive par rapport à la surface tactile (8) nécessaire pour faire des parties des premier, deuxième et troisième chemins primaires, des parties passives (34, 44) dans le guide d'ondes planaire.
     
    2. Dispositif tactile (2) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le guide d'ondes planaire (4) est adapté pour guider la première lumière (48) le long d'un premier chemin secondaire (51) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le premier chemin secondaire (51) comprenant au moins une partie active (53) et au moins une partie passive (55), l'au moins une partie active (53) du premier chemin secondaire (51) comprenant une première partie active (57) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), le guide d'ondes planaire (4) étant adapté pour guider la deuxième lumière (26) le long d'un deuxième chemin secondaire (31) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le deuxième chemin secondaire (31) comprenant au moins une partie active (33) et au moins une partie passive (35), l'au moins une partie active (33) du deuxième chemin secondaire (31) comprenant une première partie active (37) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (37) du deuxième chemin secondaire (31) coupant la première partie active (57) du premier chemin secondaire (51) à une zone secondaire d'intersection (39), le guide d'ondes planaire (4) étant adapté pour guider la troisième lumière (28) le long d'un troisième chemin secondaire (41) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le troisième chemin secondaire (41) comprenant au moins une partie active (43) et au moins une partie passive (45), l'au moins une partie active (43) du troisième chemin secondaire (41) comprenant une première partie active (47) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (47) du troisième chemin secondaire (41) coupant la première partie active (57) du premier chemin secondaire (51) et la première partie active (37) du deuxième chemin secondaire (31) à la zone secondaire d'intersection (39)
     
    3. Dispositif tactile (2) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la première partie active (56) du premier chemin primaire (50) est convergente ou divergente par rapport à la première partie active (57) du premier chemin secondaire (51).
     
    4. Dispositif tactile (2) selon la revendication 2 ou 3, dans lequel la première partie active (36) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) est substantiellement parallèle à la première partie active (37) du deuxième chemin secondaire (31).
     
    5. Dispositif tactile (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2-4, dans lequel la première partie active (46) du troisième chemin primaire (40) est substantiellement parallèle à la première partie active (47) du troisième chemin secondaire (41).
     
    6. Dispositif tactile (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le guide d'ondes planaire (4) comprend au moins une surface de transmission (64) au niveau de l'au moins un bord (10) du guide d'ondes planaire (4) pour la transmission de lumière vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), l'au moins une surface de transmission (64) comprenant une première surface de transmission (66) pour la transmission de lumière vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24).
     
    7. Dispositif tactile (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le premier bord (12) comprend un premier bord primaire (68) et un premier bord secondaire (70), l'au moins un bord (10) comprend un deuxième bord (72) comprenant un deuxième bord primaire (74) et un deuxième bord secondaire (76), l'au moins une structure de redirection (14) comprenant une deuxième structure de redirection (78), la première structure de redirection (16) comprenant une première structure de redirection primaire (80) agencée au niveau du premier bord primaire (68) et une première structure de redirection secondaire (82) agencée au niveau du premier bord secondaire (70), la deuxième structure de redirection (78) comprenant une deuxième structure de redirection primaire (84) agencée au niveau du deuxième bord primaire (74) et une deuxième structure de redirection secondaire (86) agencée au niveau du deuxième bord secondaire (76), la première structure de redirection (16) étant adaptée pour rediriger la première lumière primaire (48) vers la deuxième structure de redirection (78).
     
    8. Dispositif tactile (2) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel la deuxième structure de redirection primaire (84) comprend une structure rétroréfléchissante, et dans lequel la deuxième structure de redirection secondaire (86) comprend une structure rétroréfléchissante.
     
    9. Dispositif tactile (2) selon la revendication 7 ou 8, dans lequel la première structure de redirection primaire (80) comprend au moins une surface réfléchissante qui est inclinée par rapport à une normale de la surface tactile, de sorte que l'au moins une surface réfléchissante forme un angle par rapport à la surface tactile à l'intérieur d'une plage de 60° à 89°, tel qu'un angle à l'intérieur d'une plage de 70° à 86°, tel qu'un angle à l'intérieur d'une plage de 76° à 82°.
     
    10. Procédé de détection d'au moins une position de toucher au niveau d'une surface tactile (8) sur un dispositif tactile (2) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, le procédé comprenant :

    - la génération de ladite première lumière (48) au moyen de la première source de lumière (20) vers la première structure de dispersion (60),

    - la génération de ladite deuxième lumière (26) et la génération de ladite troisième lumière (28) au moyen de la première source de lumière (2) vers la deuxième structure de dispersion (61),

    - le guidage de la première lumière (48) vers la première structure de redirection (16),

    - le guidage, au moyen du guide d'ondes planaire (4), de la première lumière (48) le long d'un premier chemin primaire (50) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le premier chemin primaire (50) comprenant au moins une partie active (52) et au moins une partie passive (54), l'au moins une partie active (52) du premier chemin primaire (50) comprenant une première partie active (56) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes planaire (6) du guide d'ondes planaire (4),

    - le guidage, au moyen du guide d'ondes planaire (4), de la deuxième lumière (26) le long d'un deuxième chemin primaire (30) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le deuxième chemin primaire (30) comprenant au moins une partie active (32) et au moins une partie passive (34), l'au moins une partie active (32) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) comprenant une première partie active (36) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (36) du deuxième chemin primaire (30) coupant la première partie active (56) du premier chemin primaire (50) à une zone primaire d'intersection (38),

    - le guidage, au moyen du guide d'ondes planaire (4), de la troisième lumière (28) le long d'un troisième chemin primaire (40) vers le premier dispositif détecteur (24), le troisième chemin primaire (40) comprenant au moins une partie active (42) et au moins une partie passive (44), l'au moins une partie active (42) du troisième chemin primaire (40) comprenant une première partie active (46) qui est à l'intérieur de la première couche guide d'ondes (6), la première partie active (46) du troisième chemin primaire (40) coupant la première partie active (56) du premier chemin primaire (50) et la première partie active (36) du deuxième chemin primaire (26) à la zone primaire d'intersection (38), la (les) partie(s) passive(s) (34, 44) et la(les) partie(s) active(s) (52, 56) étant générées par les première (60) et deuxième structures de dispersion (61), et

    - la détection, au moyen du premier dispositif détecteur (24), d'intensités lumineuses de la première source de lumière (20).


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description