06708228 is referenced by 12 patents.
A system and process for automatically initiating and terminating associations between a computer input device of some type (e.g., computer mice, keyboards, trackballs, and the like) and a computer in a computing space that can have many such devices and several computers. In this way, input devices can be used to interface with any of the computers in the space. For instance, a user could move about a room filled with computers and their respective computer monitors, with a wireless mouse, and interface with the various computers using the mouse. To this end, the aforementioned association entails redirecting signals generated by a computer input device from one computing device in a computing space to another computing device in the space. The association is either initiated or terminated depending on whether sets of preconditions have been satisfied. These preconditions can be tied to any event or combination of events desired, and a set of preconditions can include any number of preconditions, even just one. In general, the preconditions will fall in two categories—namely proximity-related preconditions and nonproximity-related preconditions. Proximity-related initiating preconditions as the name implies involve a requirement that the input devices are relatively near a computer or a display device connected to the computer for an association to be initiated. Conversely, if the input device and computer are too far apart, proximity-related terminating preconditions would dictate that any association be terminated. Nonproximity-related preconditions can concern such things as ambient conditions (e.g., illumination), device states, pre-existing associations, and device incompatibility.