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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
Computers
Description of invention 
 
 
Method and apparatus for switching touch screen of handheld electronic apparatus
Title of invention (designation in request for grant suffices) 
 
 
 
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 
 
Field of the Invention 
Technical field to which invention relates 
 
The present invention relates to a touch screen, and more particularly to a method and an apparatus for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus. 
 
Description of Prior Art 
 
An input operation interface is a necessary hardware device for a handheld electronic apparatus. There are numbers, characters, phonetic symbols, roots of input methods, and various functional patterns are marked on the input operation interface. Hence, users can input data or operate many functions of the electronic apparatus by using the input operation interface. 
Indication of the background art 
 
In the past, most of the input operation interfaces of the handheld electronic apparatus are implemented by touch-button structure. At present, however, in order to enlarge surface area of a liquid crystal display, a number of keys are replaced by a touch panel installed on the liquid crystal display. Hence, both the touch-button interface and touch-panel interface are used. 
 
However, user usually needs to operate a number of keys or touch the touch panel several times to switch a few pages on the screen. That is inconvenient to operate an action requiring some steps, and particularly for the user driving a car. 
Technical problem to be solved 
 
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 
 
Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a touch panel that is installed on a liquid crystal display, and a surface area of the touch panel is larger than one of the liquid crystal display. A primary touch area is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display, and a secondary touch area is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display. Moreover, a page switching action is determined whether a touch-drag action is operated by sliding a finger from the primary touch area to the secondary touch area or the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area to the primary touch area. Hence, the page switching action can be operated quickly by users. 
Disclosure of invention 
 
In order to achieve the objective mentioned above, the present invention provides an apparatus for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus. The switch apparatus comprises a liquid crystal display and a touch panel. A surface area of the touch panel is larger than one of the liquid crystal display. A primary touch area is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display, and a secondary touch area is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display. 
 
In order to achieve the objective mentioned above, the present invention provides a method for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus. The switch method comprises: firstly, the method determines whether a touch-drag action is initially operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area or the secondary touch area when the touch panel is touched. Afterward, the method executes a page switching action when the touch-drag action is initially operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area and the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area to the secondary touch area. Finally, the method switches the page to go back to the previous page when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area to go back to the primary touch area.Hence, the page switching action can be operated quickly by users. 
 
It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary, and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed. Other advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description, drawings and claims. 
 
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING 
 
The features of the invention believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, may be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of the invention, which describes an exemplary embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: 
Brief description of drawings 
Fig. 1A is a schematic view of a handheld electronic apparatus according to the present invention; 
Fig. 1B and Fig. 1C are schematic views of switching pages of the handheld electronic apparatus; 
Fig. 2 is a flowchart of operating a touch panel of the handheld electronic apparatus; 
Fig. 3 is a schematic view of executing a touch-drag action by a user's finger on the touch panel; 
Fig. 4 is another schematic view of executing a touch-drag action by a user's finger on the touch panel; 
Fig. 5 is a schematic view of a coordinate setting of the touch panel; 
Fig. 6 is a schematic view of distinct operated coordinate points; and 
Fig. 7 is a schematic view of dragging the finger from a start coordinate point to an end coordinate point. 
 
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION 
 
In cooperation with attached drawings, the technical contents and detailed description of the present invention are described thereinafter according to a preferable embodiment, being not used to limit its executing scope. Any equivalent variation and modification made according to appended claims is all covered by the claims claimed by the present invention. 
Description of at least one way of carrying out the invention 
 
Reference will now be made to the drawing figures to describe the present invention in detail. 
 
Reference is made to Fig. 1A which is a schematic view of a handheld electronic apparatus according to the present invention. The handheld electronic apparatus 1 has a liquid crystal display 2 and a touch panel 3. A surface area of the touch panel 3 is larger than that of the liquid crystal display 2. A primary touch area 31 is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel 3 and the liquid crystal display 2, and a secondary touch area 32 is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel 3 and the liquid crystal display 2. The primary touch area 31 is separated from the secondary touch area 32 by a sideline and the sideline is set as a boundary line 311 between the primary touch area 31 and the secondary touch area 32. The secondary touch area 32 has a first touch area 321, a second touch area 322, a third touch area 323, and a fourth touch area 324, and the four touch areas (321, 322, 323, and 324) are surrounded the primary touch area, respectively The first touch area 321, the second touch area 322, the third touch area 323, and the fourth touch area 324 are set on upper side, lower side, left side, and right side of the secondary touch area 32, respectively. A page switching action is executed when a touch-drag action is operated by sliding a finger from the secondary touch area 32, (any one of the four touch areas) to the primary touch area 31 or from the primary touch area 31 to the secondary touch area 32. Hence, the page switching action can be operated quickly by users. 
 
References are made from Fig. 1B and Fig. 1C which are schematic views of switching pages of the handheld electronic apparatus. For example, a page A is displayed on the liquid crystal display 2 (shown in Fig. 1B). The page A will be switched to a page B (shown in Fig. 1C) when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to the second touch area 322 of the secondary touch area 32. On the contrary, the page B will be switched to go back to the page A when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the second touch area 322 to go back to the primary touch area 31. In the preferred embodiment, the pages can be directories of different layers, web-pages or graphic files. 
 
References are made from Fig. 2 to Fig. 4 which are a flowchart of operating a touch panel of the handheld electronic apparatus, a schematic view of executing a touch-drag action by a user's finger on the touch panel, and another schematic view of executing a touch-drag action by a user's finger on the touch panel, respectively. Firstly, the method detects whether a finger 4 touches the touch panel 3 (100) when the user operates the handheld electronic apparatus. Afterward, the method detects whether the primary touch area 31 is touched or the secondary touch area 32 (any one of the four touch areas) is touched (102) when the finger 4 touches the touch panel 3. After the step 102, the primary touch area 31 is touched (104).Afterward, the method detects whether a touch-drag action is operated by sliding a finger from the primary touch area 31 to the secondary touch area 32 (106). Afterward, a page switching action is executed (108) when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to the secondary touch area 32. Afterward, the method detects whether the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area 32 to go back to the primary touch area 31 (110). The step 108 is re-executed when the touch-drag action is not operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area 32 to go back to the primary touch area 31. If not so, the page is switched back to the previous page (112) when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area 32 to go back to the primary touch area 31.In addition, a touch action is executed (114) when the touch-drag action is not operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to the secondary touch area 32. 
 
In addition, the secondary touch area 32 is touched (116) after the step 102. Afterward, the method detects whether the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area 32 to the primary touch area 31 (118). Afterward, a page switching action is executed (120) when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the secondary touch area 32 to the primary touch area 31. Afterward, the method detects whether the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to go back to the secondary touch area 32 (122). The step 120 is re-executed when the touch-drag action is not operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to go back to the secondary touch area 32.If not so, the page is switched back to the previous page (124) when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger from the primary touch area 31 to go back to the secondary touch area 32. 
 
Reference is made to Fig. 5 which is a schematic view of a coordinate setting of the touch panel. In this example, a liquid crystal display 2 with 240*320 pixels and a touch panel 3 with 280*360 pixels are exemplified to further demonstrate the present invention. The touch panel 3 is installed on the liquid crystal display 2. A primary touch area 31 is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel 3 and the liquid crystal display 2, and a secondary touch area 32 is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display. A first touch area 321, a second touch area 322, a third touch area 323, and a fourth touch area 324 are set on upper side, lower side, left side, and right side of the secondary touch area 32, respectively, and each of the four touch areas (321, 322, 323, and 324) has a 20-pixel width.Furthermore, four corner coordinates of the secondary touch area 32 are set as (-20, -20), (260, -20), (-20, 340), and (260, 340), respectively, and four corner coordinates of the primary touch area 31 are set as (0, 0), (240, 0), (0, 320), and (240, 320), respectively. 
 
Reference is made to Fig. 6 which is a schematic view of distinct operated coordinate points. A touch point 30 is generated when a user's finger touches on the touch panel 3, and the touch point 30 is represented in a coordinate point (X, Y). 
 
The touch point 30 is detected to be on the primary touch area 31 when (0<=X<=240 and 0<=Y<=320). For example, (X, Y) = (1, 1) is detected to be on the primary touch area 31, because of 0<=(X=1)<=240 and 0<=(Y=1)<=320. 
 
The touch point 30 is detected to be on the third touch area 323 of the secondary touch area 32 when (0< X and 0<=Y<=320). For example, (X, Y) = (-5, 5) is detected to be on the third touch area 323, because of 0< (X=-5) and 0<=(Y=5)<=320. 
 
The touch point 30 is detected to be on the fourth touch area 324 of the secondary touch area 32 when (X> 240 and 0<=Y<=320). For example, (X, Y) = (250, 5) is detected to be on the fourth touch area 324, because of (X=250)> 240 and 0<=(Y=5)<=320. 
 
The touch point 30 is detected to be on the first touch area 321 of the secondary touch area 32 when (Y< 0). For example, (X, Y) = (120, -5) is detected to be on the first touch area 321, because of (Y=-5)< 0. 
 
The touch point 30 is detected to be on the second touch area 322 of the secondary touch area 32 when (Y> 320). For example, (X, Y) = (120, 325) is detected to be on the second touch area 322, because of (Y=325)> 320. 
 
Reference is made to Fig. 7 which is a schematic view of dragging the finger from a start coordinate point to an end coordinate point. For example, the start coordinate point is detected initially on the second touch area 322 of the secondary touch area 32 when the user's finger 4 touches first on a coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 330). Moreover, the start coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 330) is also recorded. A coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 325) of the touch point 30 is detected and returned when the finger 4 moves upwardly and touches on the coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 325). Any page switching action is not executed because the coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 325) is still detected on the second touch area 322. 
 
The coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 319) of the touch point 30 is detected and returned when the finger 4 continuously moves upwardly and touches on the coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 319). An end coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 319) is recorded when the finger 4 stops moving and then leaves the touch panel 3. Afterward, a touch-drag action is detected from the secondary touch area 32 to the primary touch area 31 according to the start coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 330) and the end coordinate point (X, Y) = (120, 319). Hence, a page switching action is executed. 
 
Claims  
 
1.
A method for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus (1) and the handheld electronic apparatus (1) has a liquid crystal display (2) and a touch panel (3); a surface area of the touch panel (3) is larger than one of the liquid crystal display (2); a rectangular primary touch area (31) is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel (3) and the liquid crystal display (2), and a secondary touch area (32) is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel (3) and the liquid crystal display (2), the switch method comprising: 
Prior art portion of independent claim wherever appropriate 
(a) determining whether a touch-drag action is initially from the primary touch area (31) or the secondary touch area (32) when the touch panel (3) is touched; 
(b) executing a page switching action when the touch-drag action is initially operated by sliding a finger (4) from the primary touch area (31) and then the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) further from the primary touch area (31) to the secondary touch area (32); and 
(c) executing a page switching action when the touch-drag action is initially operated by sliding the finger (4) from the secondary touch area (32) and then the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) further from the secondary touch area (32) to the primary touch area (31). 
 
2. The switch method in claim 1, further comprising:
switching the page to go back to the previous page when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) from the secondary touch area to (32) go back to the primary touch area (31) after the step (b). 
 
3. The switch method in claim 1, further comprising:
switching the page to go back to the previous page when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) from the primary touch area (31) to go back to the secondary touch area (32) after the step (c). 
 
4. The switch method in claim 1, further comprising:
executing a touch action when the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) on the primary touch area (31) during the step (b). 
 
5. The switch method in claim 1, wherein the secondary touch area (32) has a first touch area (321), a second touch area (322), a third touch area (323), and a fourth touch area (324).
 
6. The switch method in claim 5, wherein the first touch area (321), the second touch area (322), the third touch area (323), and the fourth touch area (324) are surrounded the primary touch area (31), respectively.
 
7. The switch method in claim 6, further comprising:
setting coordinate points of the primary touch area (31), the first touch area (321), the second touch area (322), the third touch area (323), and the fourth touch area (324), respectively. 
 
8. The switch method in claim 7, wherein the touch-drag action is such defined that a touch is performed on the touch panel (3) and dragged continuously from a start coordinate point to an end coordinate point of the touch panel (3).
9. The switch method in claim 7, wherein the touch-drag action is judged to be completed according to the start coordinate point and the end coordinate point.
 
10. An apparatus for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus (1), the apparatus comprising:
a liquid crystal display (2); and 
a touch panel (3), a surface area of the touch panel (3) is larger than that of the liquid crystal display (2); a primary touch area (31) is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel (3) and the liquid crystal display (2), and a secondary touch area (32) is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel (3) and the liquid crystal display (2); 
wherein a switch action is determined by judging whether a touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) from the primary touch area (31) to the secondary touch area (32) or the touch-drag action is operated by sliding the finger (4) from the secondary touch area (32) to the primary touch area (31). 
 
11. The switch apparatus in claim 10, wherein the primary touch area (31) is separated from the secondary touch area (32) by a sideline and the sideline is set as a boundary line (311) between the primary touch area (31) and the secondary touch area (32).
12. The switch apparatus in claim 10, wherein the primary touch area (31) and the secondary touch area (32) are both parts of the touch panel (3).
 
 
13. The switch apparatus in claim 10, wherein the secondary touch area (32) has a first touch area (321), a second touch area (322), a third touch area (323), and a fourth touch area (324).
 
 
Abstract  
 
 
 
Method and apparatus for switching touch screen of handheld electronic apparatus 
Title of invention 
 
A method and an apparatus for switching a touch screen of a handheld electronic apparatus (1) is to provide a touch panel (3) that is installed on a liquid crystal display (2), and a surface area of the touch panel is larger than that one of the liquid crystal display. A primary touch area (31) is defined as an overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display, and a secondary touch area (32) is defined as a non-overlapped portion of the touch panel and the liquid crystal display. A touch-drag action is determined to be operated by sliding a finger initially from the primary touch area or the secondary touch area. Afterward, a corresponding page switching action or a touch action is executed according to a switching sequence between the primary touch area and the secondary touch area. Hence, the page switching action can be operated quickly by users. 
Content of abstract