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 Canadian patent CA 1 106 895 discloses a desk having a transparent work surface under which there is placed a screen fixed to a frame capable of sliding relative to the work surface. In that patent, the work surface is secured to a stand and can be used in the horizontal position only. Furthermore, the display zone constituted by the single screen is of relatively small dimensions.
 International application WO 85/03626 discloses a workstation with a single screen placed beneath the work surface. The screen is fixed to the workstation by means of a device that enables it to slide and to pivot in several directions, thereby making the device relatively complex. Furthermore, that workstation enables only a single screen to be secured thereto, which screen is of relatively small size, thereby restricting the possibility of displaying a plurality of images simultaneously or one large-format image. That workstation also has telescopic legs.
 The invention seeks to propose a novel workstation making it possible in particular to improve working conditions on a screen.
 According to the invention, the workstation suitable for acting as a desk or a drawing table for at least one seated user comprises a structure supported by a stand so as to be capable of pivoting about a horizontal pivot axis, and a window defining a display zone for one or more screens and/or one or more image projector devices disposed beneath the window, said screen(s) and/or said projector device(s) being carried by the structure, each screen and/or each projector device being fixed relative to the portion of the window covering it. The workstation is also arranged in such a manner as to enable the seated user to place the legs beneath the structure, at least when the window is horizontal.
 By means of the invention, the above-specified window can act both as a work surface and as a display zone.
 The workstation may be arranged to allow one or more users to work simultaneously while seated or standing, or even in a prone position if the user is handicapped or is a mechanic lying under a car, for example, in sight of the display zone.
 When the user is seated, the knees can be placed beneath the structure and the arms on the window in comfortable manner.
 The user may be a child and the workstation may be adapted accordingly, in particular in terms of height.
 Furthermore, the workstation of the invention provides a significant saving in work space compared with the usual situation in which the screen is placed on a desk.
 The window may be made out of any type of transparent material, for example a plastics material or glass, it may comprise a single piece or a plurality of panes, and it may optionally form part of the screens, in particular when the screens are touch-sensitive.
 The structure may include a box having the screen and/or projection device(s) placed therein.
 The structure may also be of the cellular type, enabling screens to be received, the screens advantageously being taken out of their shells, if any.
 Advantageously, the display zone occupies the major portion of the window.
 This makes it possible to display a large format image or a plurality of small format images simultaneously.
 In general, the invention makes it possible to display a large quantity of information simultaneously, thus making the work of the user easier and more efficient. In particular, because of the large area of the display zone, the user can view accurately a determined zone of a plan or a map while still being able to see the surroundings of said zone. This can enable the user to avoid periodically zooming or re-centering on particular zones of the image.
 The invention is particularly well suited to activities that require large-format images to be displayed such as maps or plans or drawings or graphs or directory tree structures, and possibly also texts or spreadsheets and any composite image made up of a plurality of such elements.
 The window may be plane over at least a major portion of its surface, and it may constitute the major portion of the top face of the structure and of the work surface made available to the user.
 The structure may contain a single screen or a plurality of screens preferably disposed in a rectangular matrix.
 In an embodiment of the invention, the structure includes a projector device disposed relative thereto in such a manner as to enable the user to place the legs beneath at least a portion of the structure.
 In an embodiment of the invention, the structure has one or more screens only. In a variant, the structure has one or more projector devices only. In another variant, the structure has both at least one screen and at least one projector device. The structure can thus have a projector device mounted on a first portion of the structure, together with one or more screens, mounted on a second portion of the structure, e.g. flat screens and in particular touch-sensitive screens, the second portion being of smaller depth than the first so as to allow the user to put the legs under the second portion.
 In an embodiment of the invention, the display zone is rectangular or square and presents a diagonal greater than or equal to 144 centimeters (cm) or even 166 cm.
 The workstation advantageously includes a controller for the screens and/or the projector devices.
 The controller is preferably arranged, when the workstation has a plurality of screens and/or a plurality of projector devices, to control the content displayed by each of the screens and/or the projector devices.
 In particular, the controller may be suitable for causing information to be displayed on some only of the screens, with the other screens being on standby.
 The controller may also be arranged so as to enable an image displayed in the display zone to be rotated so that when a plurality of people are working simultaneously around the workstation, each of them can select the orientation of an image as suits them.
 The controller may also be arranged to enable different locations of the display zone to display a plurality of optionally identical images, each oriented in a desired direction, thus enabling people seated around the workstation to look at the images that are intended for them under the most appropriate orientation conditions.
 The workstation may be provided with an electronic stylus for interacting with the display zone.
 The user can thus modify the displayed image, put annotations on a display plan or map, and/or select action buttons displayed on the screen(s).
 The window or the screen(s) may be touch-sensitive, where appropriate.
 In addition to the window, the structure may have a frame surrounding the window at least in part and also suitable, where appropriate, for supporting a computer keyboard and/or drawing or writing instruments, for example.
 In a particular embodiment, the workstation has a compartment, with one or more drawers or one or more shelves suitable for receiving a controller of the screens and/or peripherals such as a printer or an uninterruptable power supply, for example.
 The stand is advantageously arranged so as to enable the height of the pivot axis of the structure to be adjusted.
 The workstation may include a motor-driven device for adjusting the height of the pivot axis, the inclination of the structure, and/or locking elements enabling the structure to be locked in a desired position.
 Advantageously, the structure has screen-fastening means enabling individual screens to be removed. This enables the user to replace one or more screens, where necessary.
 The screens may be of the cathode ray tube (CRT) type, the liquid crystal type, the plasma type, or the microcapsule type, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,017,584.
 The workstation may be suitable for acting as a wall of screens, the structure being suitable for pivoting relative to the stand so as to bring the window into a substantially vertical position, thus constituting a display zone that can be seen from a distance, for example for viewing by all of the attendees at a meeting.
 Advantageously, the structure can pivot through an angle of 180° relative to the horizontal in either direction.
 In a particular embodiment, at least a portion of the window is suitable for being raised together with the screen(s), in particular in order to access an internal compartment.
 The workstation may include a plotter disposed behind and/or above the structure and secured to the stand.
 The invention will be better understood on reading the following detailed description of non-limiting embodiments of the invention, and on examining the accompanying drawings, in which:
 The structure
 In the example described, the screens
 In a variant, they could be of the liquid crystal type, of the plasma type, or indeed of the microcapsule type.
 The screens
 The screens
 The screens are also covered by a plane and non-removable window
 Along its front longitudinal edge, the structure
 In addition to the trough
 The structure
 The shaft
 The stand
 The legs
 Each support element
 A locking element
 The height and/or the angle of inclination of the structure
 The workstation may include additional locking elements for preventing or braking pivoting of the structure
 One of the two support elements
 Naturally, any other peripheral can be placed on the shelf
 The mother board of the central unit and possibly other cards may be placed in fittings provided in the structure
 The central unit
 When a plurality of users are present around the workstation
 The central unit
 The display zone A may be arranged in such a manner as to interact with an electronic stylus enabling a user to modify the displayed image.
 In the example shown, the workstation
 It would not go beyond the ambit of the present invention to replace at least one of the screens
 The projector device
 The projector device
 It would not go beyond the ambit of the present invention to use a single screen only.
 The structure
 The panel
 The panel
 Naturally, the invention is not limited to the embodiments described above.
 The support elements
 If the weight of the structure makes this possible, a single central leg can be used, with the structure being connected to said leg by a ball-and-socket type hinge. Under such circumstances, the structure may pivot through a greater or smaller angle, and possibly through an angle close to 90° relative to the horizontal, in one direction or the other.
 The workstation may also serve as a digitizing table or as a light box for viewing transparencies, for example. It may also act as a computer station having a plurality of pieces of computer equipment. It may also include one or more touch-sensitive screens.
 The workstation may also be provided with an element enabling light reflection in the display zone to be eliminated or reduced, for example a cover overlying the display zone.
 The structure may be connected to the stand in non-hinged manner, with pivoting being performed by changing the length of the legs of the stand.
 The stand may itself be supported by a bedplate or slab.