(19)
(11)EP 2 606 419 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.08.2020 Bulletin 2020/35

(21)Application number: 11844781.2

(22)Date of filing:  05.10.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G06F 3/048  (2013.01)
G06F 3/14  (2006.01)
G06F 3/0484  (2013.01)
G06F 1/16  (2006.01)
G06F 3/041  (2006.01)
G06F 3/0488  (2013.01)
G06F 3/0481  (2013.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2011/073469
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/073598 (07.06.2012 Gazette  2012/23)

(54)

TOUCH-SENSITIVE ELECTRONIC DEVICE

BERÜHRUNGSEMPFINDLICHE ELEKTRONISCHE VORRICHTUNG

DISPOSITIF ÉLECTRONIQUE TACTILE


(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: 29.11.2010 GB 201020177

(43)Date of publication of application:
26.06.2013 Bulletin 2013/26

(73)Proprietor: NEC Corporation
Tokyo 108-8001 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • EZRA, Dean
    Reading Berkshire RG2 0TD (GB)
  • DUXBURY, Robert
    Reading Berkshire RG2 0TD (GB)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2000 242 393
JP-A- 2010 184 009
US-A1- 2002 097 270
JP-A- 2000 242 393
US-A1- 2002 059 350
US-B1- 6 252 563
  
      
    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

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to a touch-sensitive electronic device and to a method of operating the same, and in particular to a multi touch-screen device and related method.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] US 6252563 B1 discloses to input coordinate information continuously among a plurality of input faces by specifying coordinate positions.

    [0003] US 2002/0097270 A1 discloses highlighting and selecting elements of electronic documents.

    [0004] To meet various requirements such as ease of user operability and reduction in device size, electronic devices comprising display screens are commonly also arranged to employ such screens as part of a user-input interface. One and the same screen can therefore be arranged as a user input means and display means. In some circumstances such a touch sensitive display will be arranged to display the representation of standard input interface such as for example a QWERTY keyboard.

    [0005] Devices employing two touch screens are known for example from US Patent No. 6,331,840, and which can comprise a device exhibiting a folding housing or otherwise. The device of this document provides for the possibility of "cutting and pasting" or "copying and pasting" an object displayed on one screen across to the other screen.

    [0006] However, when processing of the content requires more than the mere movement of an object from one screen to another, arrangements such as those known from the above document are disadvantageously limited. In particular, such known devices contain no disclosure, nor make any suggestion, as to how content effectively overlapping the two screens might be manipulated and processed.

    DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION



    [0007] The present invention seeks to provide for a touch sensitive device, employing two or more touch screens, and related method of operation, having advantages over such devices and methods.

    [0008] The invention further seeks to provide for such a device and method arranged for manipulating/processing content overlapping at least two screens and in particular in a user-friendly and efficient manner.

    [0009] The invention is defined in the claims. In what follows, embodiments relate only to claimed combinations of features. When the term embodiment is used for describing unclaimed combinations of features, the term has to be understood as referring to examples useful for understanding the present invention.

    [0010] Advantageously therefore, a user can readily select content extending across two, or indeed more, screens for subsequent processing purposes, whether copy, cut, highlight or otherwise etc.

    [0011] The fact that such content extends beyond a single screen does not therefore disadvantageously limit the manner in which the user can process or in any way adapt that content. Standard content processing functionality can therefore be employed, in a single action, irrespective of the fact that the content extends to overlap between two or more screens.

    [0012] Advantageously, the point at which the touch-selection functionality is arranged to continue on the second screen can be determined either by the screen perimeter, or the location of an end/start point of the displayed content, and in particular content type such as text or graphic for example.

    [0013] Such variety of possibilities allows for the functionality of the invention to be achieved irrespective of whether content extending across the at least two screens is to be selected in a right-left, left-right, up-down, or down-up manner. The content of interest can therefore be selected in either a forwards or backwards mode. This advantageously allows for adoption of the invention irrespective of the characteristics of the content such as language or otherwise.

    [0014] By means of the invention, the user is then readily informed that content bridging two or more screens can be selected in accordance with the present invention.

    [0015] According to the invention, the display element comprises a split cursor with respective portions appearing at the end and start locations of the respective screens.

    [0016] The split cursor can advantageously be arranged such that, upon being moved/dragged on the screen, either of the two portions can revert to an appearance of a single unitary cursor.

    [0017] Advantageously, the split cursor can comprise two portions including respective arrows pointing in opposite directions. Also, the single cursor can comprise a single arrow pointing in the direction moved by the user.

    [0018] Preferably, the portion of selected content is highlighted for ease of recognition and such highlighting continues onto the second screen as appropriate. A functionally-single highlighted portion of content is then readily generated in a simple and quick manner for subsequent processing/manipulation as required.

    [0019] Of course, the touch-sensitive device can comprise any form of device having multiple screens, provided in any appropriate configuration, and offering one or more of computing/processing, organizing and/or communications functionality.

    [0020] According to the invention, there is provided a method as defined in the claims.

    [0021] The method of the invention can then be employed irrespective of whether content extending across the at least two screens is to be selected in a right-left, left-right, up- down, or down-up manner. The content of interest can therefore be selected in either a forwards or backwards mode and so be readily adapted for use with different format, configuration and language of content etc.

    [0022] Further, the control means can be arranged to drive the display element indicating that the end location has been reached.

    [0023] In this manner, the user is then readily informed that content bridging two or more screens can be selected in accordance with the present invention.

    [0024] As above, the display element comprises a split cursor with respective portions appearing at the end and start locations of each screen.

    [0025] The split cursor can advantageously be arranged such that, upon being touched and moved, either of the two portions can revert in appearance to that of a single cursor.

    [0026] Advantageously, the split cursor can comprise two portions including respective arrows pointing in opposite directions. Also, the single cursor can comprise a single arrow pointing in the direction moved by the user.

    [0027] Preferably, the portion of selected content is highlighted for ease of recognition and such highlighting continues on to the second screen as appropriate. A functionally-single highlighted portion of content is then readily generated in a simple and quick manner for subsequent processing/manipulation as required.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0028] The invention is described further hereinafter, by way of the example only, and with reference to the following drawings in which:

    FIG. 1 is a plan view of the touch-sensitive electronic device in the form of a notebook computing device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the functional elements of the device or FIG. 1;

    FIGS. 3A - 3C show examples of screen content appearing during implementation of an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIGS. 4A - 4C show further examples of screen content appearing during implementation of an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 5 shows examples of a cursor image generated according to an embodiment of the invention;

    FIG. 6 shows further detail of the cursor images of FIG. 5; and

    FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating the steps of a method embodying the present invention.


    EMBODIMENTS FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0029] Turning first to FIG. 1, there is provided a plan view of a touch-sensitive electronic device embodying the present invention and in the form of a notebook computer device 10. As will be appreciated from the above, the present invention is directed to multi-touch screen devices having at least two touch screens and the illustrated example in FIG. 1 comprises two touch screens 12 and 14 mounted within a foldable housing 16. Each of the two leaves of the housing 16 carrying the respective displays 12 and 14 is foldable between open and closed configurations by way of a hinge arrangement 18.

    [0030] It should further be appreciated that, in the illustrated example, the two touch screens 12, 14 are discrete elements separated by the hinge arrangement 18 which also forms a region 20 of functional discontinuity between the two screens 12 and 14.

    [0031] However, it should also be appreciated that the present invention is in no way limited to such screen configurations. For example, the invention is equally applicable to a touch- display arrangement employing at least two display screens which nevertheless offer the appearance of a single screen, and which can be provided under a single uniform screen layer of unitary appearance. Also a device employing any appropriate number of screens, whether foldable or otherwise, and any appropriate dimensions, can also embody the present invention and irrespective of the layout and configuration of the screens.

    [0032] As will be appreciated from the drawings and further discussion below, a particular aspect of the present invention is the selection and processing of content, in a unitary manner, that stretches over two, or indeed more, screens.

    [0033] Remaining with the embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 1, reference is now made to FIG. 2 which comprises a schematic illustration of the operational functionality of the computing device 10 of FIG. 1.

    [0034] As illustrated, each of the touch screens 12 and 14 comprises overlapping display 12A and 14A and touch-sensitive 12B and 14B elements respectively and which employ aspects of standard touch-screen functionality not discussed in further detail here. A main processing system 22 of the device 10 comprises respective memory and processing subsystems 24-30 for each of the two screens 12 and 14. In further detail, a touch-sensitive memory and processing subsystem 24 is provided for the screen 12, and a touch-sensitive memory and processing subsystem 26 is provided for the screen 14. Likewise, a display memory and processing subsystem 28 is provided for screen 12, and a display memory and processing subsystem 30 is provided for screen 14.

    [0035] Much of the core functionality of the subsystems 24-30 is standard and not discussed any further detail here except for confirmation that user-interface with the device 10 is readily achieved, in a touch-sensitive manner, for selecting and processing content as displayed on the screens 12 and 14 and as required. As will be appreciated from your further discussion below, such processing can comprise standard actions such as, "cut and paste", "copy and paste" or mere deletion or highlighting as required but is in no way limited to such actions. That is, with content displayed on display 12, user selection of at least a portion of that content can be made by touching the screen with a finger and dragging the finger across the screen 12. Such selection is stored/buffered within the touch-screen processing subsystem 24, while the selection of that at least part of the displayed content, is mirrored by appropriate adaption of the display, such as highlighting the selected portion, by means of the display processing subsystem 28. The user can then readily determine that part of the content that has been selected for further manipulation/processing. Such functionality is likewise provided for the second screen 14 and by way of the touch screen subsystem 26 and the display screen subsystem 30.

    [0036] It is an important aspect of the present invention, that content as displayed on both screens 12 and 14 can be selected and processed in a simple and unitary manner, and generally in a manner no more complex than the collection and processing of content on just one of the screens 12 and 14.

    [0037] The present invention seeks to provide such advantageous operation through specific functionality of the processing system 22. One particular example is described further hereinafter with initial reference to FIGS. 3A - 3C and the manipulation of a portion of text spanning both screens 12 and 14; each of which seeks to display the content as if it were a page of the document.

    [0038] Turning first to FIG. 3A, there is shown a schematic illustration of a dual screen device 10 such as that of FIG. 1 and employing two touch-sensitive screens 12 and 14. The display offered by the two screens 12 and 14 can be separated by way of a physical discontinuity such as a hinge portion as discussed above; or can present a single surface under which two screens are located. The schematic representation of FIGS. 3A - 3C; and also FIGS. 4A - 4C is intended to encompass all such arrangements.

    [0039] As illustrated in FIG. 3A, a page of continuous text is displayed on each screen 12 and 14 respectively and, in accordance with the invention, a user seeks to process/manipulate a required portion of the text irrespective of the fact that it spans both screens 12 and 14.

    [0040] The functionality offered by way of the present invention can be accessed in a standard manner, by way of a drop-down menu, such as illustrated in FIG. 3B and in which a "Select text" option is available. Having selected this option, a touch-and-drag motion can be executed by a user's finger to select the requisites portion of text which, as selected, appears highlighted on the screen. Such operation is illustrated with reference to FIG. 3C in which a user's finger 32 has touched the screen 12 at a first location 34 and then dragged across and downwardly to a second location 36. This produces the highlighted block of text 38 as illustrated.

    [0041] As is discussed in further detail below, the point 34 at which the highlighted block of text 38 commences is marked by way of a movable cursor and, likewise, the point 36 at which the highlighted block of text 38 ends is marked by way of a similar cursor. In the illustrated examples of the application, the cursors comprise representations of oppositely-pointing pairs of arrows which can be split, and re-combined, as appropriate and required and as discussed further below.

    [0042] As the point 36 at which the highlighted block of text 38 ends approaches a so-called "end location" on the display 12, an important feature of functionality of the device embodying the present invention continues as discussed further below. It should first be noted however that by "end location" is meant any location that can comprise either an edge/end location of the content being displayed at any particular time on a screen, whether text or otherwise; and/or an actual edge perimeter of the touch sensitive screen irrespective of whether the pixels associated with that location are actually displaying parts of the image. The content being displayed can also comprise a content type, such as text as compared with an image. Thus the end of the portion of text, albeit not necessarily near the bottom of the screen can comprise the "end location".

    [0043] In any case, as the selected/highlighted portion of text reaches that "end location" the cursor splits in two so as to confirm that the touch-selectivity can now continue on the second screen 14. The selected portion, or the coordinates of the beginning and end of that selected portion, is/are saved at this stage.

    [0044] Referring now to FIG. 4A, specific reference is made to the split cursor 40 and 42 comprising a first element 40 pointing in the backwards direction of the text and located at the "end location" of the display 12, and a second element 42 pointing in the forwards direction of the text, and located at a "start location" at the top left of the second screen 14. Again, and the "start location" associated with the second screen 14 can comprise either the location of the start of the displayed image/text as appropriate, or the top left perimeter of the touch sensitive screen 14. Whichever option is employed, the appearance of the forward facing element 42 of the split cursor indicates that text appearing on the second screen 14 can now be selected by way of a repeated touch-and-track operation by the user's finger 32 so as to extend the highlighted block 38 of text across both screens 12 and 14 and to therefore form effectively a continuous block of text comprising a lower portion 38A of the text on the first screen 12, and an upper portion 38B of the text on the second screen 14.

    [0045] The formation of such portions is illustrated with reference to FIG. 4B. This figure illustrates also that once the selection of text has continued on to the content of the second screen 14, the split cursor recombines into a unitary element comprising the oppositely-facing arrow elements. Such an element serves to confirm for the user that the portion of text being selected on the second screen 14 can be increased/reduced as required by way of an ongoing dragging motion in a forwards or backwards direction as required.

    [0046] As also illustrated in FIGS. 4A - 4C, once a "Select text" option has been chosen, one of a variety of other processing options such as "cut" or "copy" can be selected in a standard manner. Whichever is chosen, an appropriate pop-up button is displayed on one of the two screens 12 and 14, and at an appropriate location, for subsequent touch-selection by the user when the required processing step is to be taken. Thus, with specific reference to FIG. 4C, the touch-selection of a portion of text overlapping the two screens 12 and 14 has been completed and that unitary portion 38Aand 38B (see FIG. 4B) of text can be saved to the device's clipboard through touch-selection of the "Copy" button illustrated.

    [0047] The appropriate location within the remainder of the text at which the selected portion is to be copied can then be selected in the usual manner.

    [0048] As will therefore be appreciated, the present invention advantageously allows for a simple and efficient mechanism for selecting content that extends across two or more screens of a multi-screen device and which advantageously allows for a user to remove their finger from one touch screen as required and in order to continue selection of content appearing on another discrete screen.

    [0049] While the above description employing reference to FIGS. 3A - 3C; and FIGS. 4A - 4C, relates to ongoing selection of text in a "forward" direction, it should of course be appreciated that the invention allows equally for selection in a "backwards" direction. That is, a portion of text might first be selected on the upper region of the display 14 by way of a touch-and-drag motion in a backwards direction such that when the selection coincides with the "start location" at the upper-left of the screen 14, e.g. the content displayed thereon, the above-mentioned split-cursor appears with a backwards-pointing arrow appearing at the bottom right of the screen 12.

    [0050] As will of course be appreciated, such functionality of the present invention is achieved by way of the touch sensitive subsystem 24 and display processing subsystem 28; and the touch sensitive subsystem 26 and the display processing subsystem 30 associated with each of the touch screens 12 and 14 respectively. While such subsystems employ touch- selection-display functionality having aspects that are common in the art, a further level of process control is provided within the main processing system 22 so as to allow for the ongoing touch-sensitivity from one screen to another and the generation of any required user-interface elements such as the split-cursor arrangement discussed above.

    [0051] Although the illustrated example employs an end location generally at the bottom right of the text content/screen, this is in no way limiting and the end location could be found bottom left, top right or indeed top left dependent upon the characteristics of the content such as language. Also, the end location can comprise an end location of a content type such as text or graphic which renders the invention appropriate for mixed content displays. While the split-cursor arrangement comprises just one form of user-interface elements that can be employed within the present invention, further details are provided by reference to FIGS. 5 and 6.

    [0052] Turning first to FIG. 5, there are provided illustrations of the two cursors found at the start and end points at which the initial selected block of text 38 appears in FIG. 3C. Both of the left and right cursors as appearing at these locations 34 and 36 are illustrated, and with slight differences in shading to distinguish the two. Since, at that time, the selected text is not crossing a screen boundary, each of the two cursors is shown in a unitary i.e. non- split, configuration. This serves to confirm for the user that the cursor, and thus the associated limit of the selected content, can be moved in either direction, i.e. backwards or forwards.

    [0053] Turning now to FIG. 6 however, each of the two unitary cursors of FIG. 5 shown in split formats comprises two separate elements 34A and 34B; and 40A and 42A, respectively. In this illustrated example, the split-cursor configuration is formed at the time the unitary cursor configuration of FIG. 5 reaches the screen boundary/perimeter as indicated in FIG. 6. The appearance of the split-cursor 34A and 34B; 40A and 42A in this manner serves to indicate that the selection of the content can continue in a manner expanding a unitary block of selected content irrespective of the fact that the boundary/ perimeter of the screen has been reached.

    [0054] The functionality is further arranged such that as the user drags one of the elements of the split cursor away from the boundary/perimeter, the cursor returns to its unity form such as illustrated in FIG. 5. Of course, depending upon which of the split cursor elements is being moved, such movement away from the boundary will serve to enlarge, or reduce, the size of the portion of content being selected.

    [0055] To clarify further the visually simple and efficient operation of content-selection within the multi-screen environment offered by way of the present invention, reference is now made to FIG. 7 which comprises a flow diagram illustrating an example of the methodology embodied within the present invention and relating to the selection of a block of text such as discussed above.

    [0056] Starting at step 46, it is first determined whether or not a "Select text" option has been chosen and if so the process continues to step 48 where the location of an initial touch by the user on the first screen is determined and displayed by means of a cursor interface element. At step 50, an ongoing dragging motion of the user's finger across the screen is determined and the related block of text highlighted in an ongoing manner. Such highlighting selection continues until such time as the user's finger is removed from the screen or it is determined that a so-called "start location" on the first screen 12 has been reached. The determination of this latter question occurs at 52 and if the ongoing dragging action is not found yet to coincide with the "start location", the procedure continues via 54 back to step 50.

    [0057] If, however, it is found at 52 that the selected portion of text does now coincide with the "start location", the procedure continues to step 50 when touch-selection can continue on the second screen and, at 60, a user-interface illustration of such possibility is provided to the user (i.e. the appearance of the split-cursor as discussed above).

    [0058] At step 62, it is then determined whether the split cursor appearing on the second screen is dragged further in a touch-selective manner. If so, the procedure continues to step 64 allowing for the touch selection and highlighting of a portion of text to continue on the second screen, and the adaption of the user-interface illustration, i.e. the return of the split-cursor to a unitary format as discussed above, which serves to confirm this.

    [0059] Finally, at step 26 it is determined whether the touch selection procedure has been completed and a processing "action step", e.g. "cut" or "copy" selected in relation to the portion of text.

    [0060] Also while touch functionality primarily employing a user's digit has been described above, the invention can be applied in relation to any form of touch screen/tablet arrangement whether requiring use of a specific touch implement, e.g., a stylus, or otherwise. Further, the device can exhibit any appropriate number and configuration of screens whether horizontally or vertically adjacent, or a combination thereof, and such that said end and start locations are adapted accordingly.

    [0061] Also, with content extending over, for example first, second and third screens, the start location can be provided on both the second and third screens such that the user then has the option of continuing the content selection on either of those screens. If the start location on the third screen is chosen, the content on the intermediate, i.e. second screen, can be selected in full so that the unitary selected portion extends over the first, second and third screens.


    Claims

    1. A touch-sensitive electronic device having at least first and second touch screens (12 and 14), interface control means (22) for touch selection of content displayed on the screens, said content being a contiguous block of text extending across the first and second screen, the interface control means being arranged such that a start position of the touch selection on the first screen is determined, in response thereto a first cursor, consisting of two adjacent elements, is shown in a non-split, unitary, configuration at the start position, next if it is determined that said touch selection moves, content is selected correspondingly between the unitary cursor at the start position and the position of the touch selection while a second cursor of the same type as the first cursor is displayed at the position of the present touch selection, and
    as said touch-selection on the first screen reaches an end location, namely the lower right corner of the first screen, the touch-selection functionality is arranged to continue at a start location on the second screen, namely the upper left corner of the screen, to allow for touch selection of content extending across both screens, such that a contiguous block of text that extends across the first and second screen may be selected, wherein:
    the interface control means is arranged to drive a display element indicating that the end location has been reached by replacing the second unitary cursor at said end location on said first screen by the first element of said unitary cursor (34, 36) and by displaying said second element of said unitary cursor at said start location on said second screen, and when the touch selection is discontinued at the first screen and consecutively continued at the start location on the second screen, then, when the touch selection is moved away from the start location, the second element shown on said second screen is replaced by a third unitary cursor displayed on said second screen, of the same type as the first and second unitary cursors, that positionally follows the movement of the touch selection that is continued on said second screen and the displaying of said first element at the end location on the first screen is, simultaneous with the appearance of the third cursor on the second screen, cancelled in response to said continued movement of the touch selection on the second screen.
     
    2. A device as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the split cursor comprises two portions including respective indicators facing forwards and backwards.
     
    3. A device as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 2, comprising three or more screens and wherein the end location can be provided on any one of the screens, and the start location can be provided on at least one of the other screens.
     
    4. A device as claimed in Claim 3, wherein the start location can be provided on a plurality of screens offering choice to the user as to where to continue the touch selection process.
     
    5. A device as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 4, wherein the content to be touch-selected comprises part of the total displayed content of the screen.
     
    6. A device as claimed in Claim 5, wherein the content to be touch-selected comprises a content type.
     
    7. A device as claimed in Claim 6, , wherein the content type comprises at least one of text or graphics.
     
    8. A method of touch-selection of content displayed on first and second touch-screens (12 and 14) of a touch-sensitive electronic device, said content being a contiguous block of text extending across the first and second screen, the method comprising the steps of:

    (a) determining a start position of the touch selection on the first screen,

    (b) in response thereto, showing a first cursor, consisting of two adjacent elements, in a non-split, unitary, configuration at the start position,

    (c) if it is determined that said touch selection moves, selecting content correspondingly between the unitary cursor at the start position and the position of the touch selection while a second cursor of the same type as the first cursor is displayed at the position of the present touch selection,

    (d) as said touch-selection on the first screen reaches an end location, namely the lower right corner of the first screen, continuing at a start location on the second screen, namely the upper left corner of the screen, to allow for touch-selection of content extending across both screens, such that a contiguous block of text that extends across the first and second screen may be selected,

    (e) driving a display element indicating that the end location has been reached by replacing the second unitary cursor at said end location on said first screen by the first element of said unitary cursor (34, 36) and by displaying said second element of said unitary cursor at said start location on said second screen,

    (f) when the touch selection is discontinued at the first screen and consecutively continued at the start location on the second screen, then, when the touch selection is moved away from the start location, replacing the second element shown on said second screen by a third unitary cursor displayed on said second screen, of the same type as the first and second unitary cursors, that positionally follows the movement of the touch selection that is continued on said second screen, and

    (g) cancelling the display of said first element at the end location on the first screen, simultaneous with the appearance of the third cursor on the second screen, in response to said continued movement of the touch selection on the second screen.


     
    9. A method as claimed in Claim 8, and wherein, upon being touched and moved, the split cursor reverts to a unitary appearance.
     
    10. A method as claimed in any one of Claims 8 to 9, wherein the device has three or more screens and the touch-selection functionality spans any number of the screens.
     
    11. A method as claimed in Claim 8, wherein touch-selection at a start location on a third screen incorporates content on the second screen into the selection.
     
    12. A method as claimed in any one of Claims 8 to 11, wherein the content to be selected comprises a content type whether text, graphics or otherwise.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Berührungsempfindliche elektronische Vorrichtung, die wenigstens einen ersten und einen zweiten berührungsempfindlichen Bildschirm (12 und 14), Schnittstellensteuereinrichtungen (22) zur Berührungsauswahl des auf den Bildschirmen angezeigten Inhalts hat, wobei der Inhalt ein fortlaufender Textblock ist, der über den ersten und zweiten Bildschirm verläuft, wobei die Schnittstellensteuereinrichtung so angeordnet ist, dass eine Startposition der Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm bestimmt wird, in Reaktion darauf ein erster Cursor, der aus zwei benachbarten Elementen besteht, in einer nicht aufgeteilten einheitlichen Gestaltung an der Startposition gezeigt wird, als Nächstes, wenn bestimmt wird, dass sich die Berührungsauswahl bewegt, der Inhalt in entsprechender Weise zwischen dem einheitlichen Cursor an der Startposition und der Position der Berührungsauswahl ausgewählt wird, während ein zweiter Cursor des gleichen Typs wie der erste Cursor an der Position der aktuellen Berührungsauswahl angezeigt wird, und
    wenn die Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm eine Endposition erreicht, nämlich die untere rechte Ecke des ersten Bildschirms, die Berührungsauswahl-Funktionalität angeordnet wird, um an einer Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm fortgesetzt zu werden, nämlich der oberen linken Ecke des Bildschirms, um zu ermöglichen, dass sich die Berührungsauswahl des Inhalts über beide Bildschirme erstreckt, sodass ein fortlaufender Textblock, der über den ersten und zweiten Bildschirm verläuft, ausgewählt werden kann, wobei:
    die Schnittstellensteuereinrichtung angeordnet ist, ein Anzeigeelement anzusteuern, das angibt, dass die Endposition erreicht wurde, indem der zweite einheitliche Cursor an der Endposition auf dem ersten Bildschirm durch das erste Element des einheitlichen Cursors (34, 36) ersetzt wird und durch Anzeigen des zweiten Elements des einheitlichen Cursors an der Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm, und wenn die Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm beendet wird und nachfolgend an der Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm fortgesetzt wird, dann wird, wenn sich die Berührungsauswahl von der Startposition wegbewegt, das auf dem zweiten Bildschirm dargestellte zweite Element durch einen auf dem zweiten Bildschirm dargestellten dritten einheitlichen Cursor des gleichen Typs wie der erste und zweite einheitliche Cursor ersetzt, der in der Position der Bewegung der Berührungsauswahl folgt, die auf dem zweiten Bildschirm fortgesetzt wird, und das Anzeigen des ersten Elements an der Endposition des ersten Bildschirms wird gleichzeitig mit der Darstellung des dritten Cursors auf dem zweiten Bildschirm in Reaktion auf die fortgesetzte Bewegung der Berührungsauswahl auf dem zweiten Bildschirm beendet.
     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1,
    wobei der geteilte Cursor zwei Bereiche aufweist, die jeweils Indikatoren aufweisen, die nach vorne und nach hinten zeigen.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 2,
    die drei oder mehr Bildschirme aufweist und wobei die Endposition an einer beliebigen von den Bildschirmen vorgesehen werden kann, und die Startposition an wenigstens einer von den anderen Bildschirmen vorgesehen werden kann.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 3,
    wobei die Startposition an einer Vielzahl von Bildschirmen vorgesehen werden kann, die dem Benutzer eine Auswahl anbieten, wo der Berührungsauswahlprozess fortsetzbar ist.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4,
    wobei der mit einer Berührung auszuwählende Inhalt einen Teil des gesamten angezeigten Inhalts des Bildschirms aufweist.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5,
    wobei der mit einer Berührung auszuwählende Inhalt einen Inhaltstyp aufweist.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6,
    wobei der Inhaltstyp wenigstens eines von Text oder Grafik aufweist.
     
    8. Verfahren der Berührungsauswahl des Inhalts, der auf einem ersten und zweiten berührungsempfindlichen Bildschirm (12 und 14) einer berührungsempfindlichen elektronischen Vorrichtung angezeigt wird, wobei der Inhalt ein fortlaufender Textblock ist, der sich über den ersten und zweiten Bildschirm erstreckt, wobei das Verfahren die Schritte aufweist:

    (a) Bestimmen einer Startposition der Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm,

    (b) in Reaktion darauf, Anzeigen eines aus zwei benachbarten Elementen bestehenden ersten Cursors in einer nicht aufgeteilten einheitlichen Gestaltung an der Startposition,

    (c) wenn bestimmt wird, dass sich die Berührungsauswahl bewegt, Auswählen des Inhalts in entsprechender Weise zwischen dem einheitlichen Cursor an der Startposition und der Position der Berührungsauswahl, während ein zweiter Cursor des gleichen Typs wie der erste Cursor an der Position der aktuellen Berührungsauswahl angezeigt wird,

    (d) wenn die Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm eine Endposition erreicht, nämlich die untere rechte Ecke des ersten Bildschirms, Fortsetzen an einer Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm, nämlich der oberen linken Ecke des Bildschirms, um zu ermöglichen, dass sich die Berührungsauswahl des Inhalts über beide Bildschirme erstreckt, sodass ein fortlaufender Textblock, der über den ersten und zweiten Bildschirm verläuft, ausgewählt werden kann,

    (e) Ansteuern eines Anzeigeelements, das angibt, dass die Endposition erreicht wurde, indem der zweite einheitliche Cursor an der Endposition auf dem ersten Bildschirm durch das erste Element des einheitlichen Cursors (34, 36) ersetzt wird, und durch Anzeigen des zweiten Elements des einheitlichen Cursors an der Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm,

    (f) wenn die Berührungsauswahl auf dem ersten Bildschirm beendet wird und in der Folge an der Startposition auf dem zweiten Bildschirm fortgesetzt wird, dann wird, wenn sich die Berührungsauswahl von der Startposition wegbewegt, das am zweiten Bildschirm angezeigte zweite Element durch einen auf dem zweiten Bildschirm angezeigten dritten einheitlichen Cursor des gleichen Typs wie der erste und zweite einheitliche Cursor ersetzt, der in der Position der Bewegung der Berührungsauswahl folgt, die auf dem zweiten Bildschirm fortgesetzt wird, und

    (g) Beenden der Anzeige des ersten Elements an der Endposition auf dem ersten Bildschirm, gleichzeitig mit dem Anzeigen des dritten Cursors auf dem zweiten Bildschirm in Reaktion auf die fortgesetzte Bewegung der Berührungsauswahl auf dem zweiten Bildschirm.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8,
    und wobei bei der Berührung und Bewegung der aufgeteilte Cursor zu einer einheitlichen Anzeigeform zurückkehrt.
     
    10. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 9,
    wobei die Vorrichtung drei oder mehr Bildschirme hat und die Berührungsauswahl-Funktionalität sich über eine beliebige Anzahl von Bildschirmen erstreckt.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8,
    wobei die Berührungsauswahl an einer Startposition auf einem dritten Bildschirm Inhalt auf dem zweiten Bildschirm in die Auswahl miteinbezieht.
     
    12. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 11,
    wobei der auszuwählende Inhalt einen Inhaltstyp, wie Text, Grafik oder einen anderweitigen, aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif électronique sensible au toucher disposant d'au moins des premier et deuxième écrans tactiles (12 et 14), d'un moyen de commande d'interface (22) pour la sélection tactile d'un contenu affiché sur les écrans, ledit contenu étant un bloc contigu de texte s'étendant sur les premier et deuxième écrans, le moyen de commande d'interface étant agencé de sorte qu'une position de départ de la sélection tactile sur le premier écran soit déterminée, en réponse à cela, un premier curseur, composé de deux éléments adjacents, est représenté dans une configuration unitaire non divisée à la position de départ, ensuite, s'il est déterminé que ladite sélection tactile se déplace, le contenu est sélectionné de manière correspondante entre le curseur unitaire à la position de départ et la position de la sélection tactile, tandis qu'un deuxième curseur du même type que le premier curseur est affiché à la position de la sélection tactile actuelle, et
    lorsque ladite sélection tactile sur le premier écran atteint un emplacement de fin, à savoir le coin inférieur droit du premier écran, la fonctionnalité de sélection tactile est agencée pour se poursuivre à un emplacement de départ sur le deuxième écran, à savoir le coin supérieur gauche de l'écran, pour permettre la sélection tactile d'un contenu s'étendant sur les deux écrans, de sorte qu'un bloc contigu de texte qui s'étend sur les premier et deuxième écrans puisse être sélectionné, dans lequel :
    le moyen de commande d'interface est agencé pour piloter un élément d'affichage indiquant que l'emplacement de fin a été atteint en remplaçant le deuxième curseur unitaire audit emplacement de fin sur ledit premier écran par le premier élément dudit curseur unitaire (34, 36), et en affichant ledit deuxième élément dudit curseur unitaire audit emplacement de départ sur ledit deuxième écran, et lorsque la sélection tactile est interrompue sur le premier écran et qu'elle se poursuit consécutivement à l'emplacement de départ sur le deuxième écran, alors, lorsque la sélection tactile est éloignée de l'emplacement de départ, le deuxième élément représenté sur ledit deuxième écran est remplacé par un troisième curseur unitaire affiché sur ledit deuxième écran, du même type que les premier et deuxième curseurs unitaires, qui suit en position le déplacement de la sélection tactile qui se poursuit sur ledit deuxième écran, et l'affichage dudit premier élément à l'emplacement de fin sur le premier écran est annulé, simultanément à l'apparition du troisième curseur sur le deuxième écran, en réponse audit déplacement qui se poursuit de la sélection tactile sur le deuxième écran.
     
    2. Dispositif selon la revendication 1,
    dans lequel le curseur divisé comprend deux portions comportant des indicateurs respectifs orientés vers l'avant et vers l'arrière.
     
    3. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 2, comprenant trois écrans ou plus, et dans lequel l'emplacement de fin peut être prévu sur l'un quelconque des écrans, et l'emplacement de départ peut être prévu sur au moins un des autres écrans.
     
    4. Dispositif selon la revendication 3,
    dans lequel l'emplacement de départ peut être prévu sur une pluralité d'écrans offrant à l'utilisateur le choix de l'endroit où poursuivre le processus de sélection tactile.
     
    5. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4,
    dans lequel le contenu à sélectionner par toucher comprend une partie du contenu total affiché de l'écran.
     
    6. Dispositif selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le contenu à sélectionner par toucher comprend un type de contenu.
     
    7. Dispositif selon la revendication 6, dans lequel le type de contenu comprend au moins l'un parmi du texte ou des graphiques.
     
    8. Procédé de sélection tactile d'un contenu affiché sur des premier et deuxième écrans tactiles (12 et 14) d'un dispositif électronique sensible au toucher, ledit contenu étant un bloc contigu de texte s'étendant sur les premier et deuxième écrans, le procédé comprenant les étapes de :

    (a) déterminer une position de départ de la sélection tactile sur le premier écran,

    (b) en réponse à cela, représenter un premier curseur, composé de deux éléments adjacents, dans une configuration unitaire non divisée à la position de départ,

    (c) s'il est déterminé que ladite sélection tactile se déplace, sélectionner un contenu de manière correspondante entre le curseur unitaire à la position de départ et la position de la sélection tactile, tandis qu'un deuxième curseur du même type que le premier curseur est affiché à la position de la sélection tactile actuelle,

    (d) lorsque ladite sélection tactile sur le premier écran atteint un emplacement de fin, à savoir le coin inférieur droit du premier écran, et se poursuit à un emplacement de départ sur le deuxième écran, à savoir le coin supérieur gauche de l'écran, permettre la sélection tactile d'un contenu s'étendant sur les deux écrans, de sorte qu'un bloc contigu de texte qui s'étend sur les premier et deuxième écrans puisse être sélectionné,

    (e) piloter un élément d'affichage indiquant que l'emplacement de fin a été atteint en remplaçant le deuxième curseur unitaire audit emplacement de fin sur ledit premier écran par le premier élément dudit curseur unitaire (34, 36), et en affichant ledit deuxième élément dudit curseur unitaire audit emplacement de départ sur ledit deuxième écran,

    (f) lorsque la sélection tactile est interrompue sur le premier écran et qu'elle se poursuit consécutivement à l'emplacement de départ sur le deuxième écran, alors, lorsque la sélection tactile est éloignée de l'emplacement de départ, remplacer le deuxième élément représenté sur ledit deuxième écran par un troisième curseur unitaire affiché sur ledit deuxième écran, du même type que les premier et deuxième curseurs unitaires, qui suit en position le déplacement de la sélection tactile qui se poursuit sur ledit deuxième écran, et

    (g) annuler l'affichage dudit premier élément à l'emplacement de fin sur le premier écran, simultanément à l'apparition du troisième curseur sur le deuxième écran, en réponse audit déplacement qui se poursuit, de la sélection tactile sur le deuxième écran.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8,
    dans lequel, lorsqu'il est touché et lorsqu'il est déplacé, le curseur divisé reprend une apparence unitaire.
     
    10. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 et 9,
    dans lequel le dispositif dispose de trois écrans ou plus, et la fonctionnalité de sélection tactile couvre n'importe quel nombre d'écrans.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 8,
    dans lequel la sélection tactile à un emplacement de départ sur un troisième écran intègre un contenu sur le deuxième écran dans la sélection.
     
    12. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 11, dans lequel le contenu à sélectionner comprend un type de contenu, qu'il s'agisse de texte, de graphiques ou autre.
     




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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