Discrete Input and Text Entry Devices

From Interactive Device Design Fall13
Jump to: navigation, search



Extra Material

Quadrature Encoders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_encoder

Reading Responses

Kate Rushton - 9/9/2013 19:53:12

The reading mentions miniature qwerty keyboards, but there are also projection keyboards that work by projecting the outline of a keyboard on a surface: http://www.brookstone.com/laser-projection-virtual-keyboard

At first glance this seems to overcome the problems of the phone's small form factor, because you can have a regular size keyboard at your disposal. However, this technology has been around for a while and yet I have never seen anyone using it "in the wild"... This could be because the technology doesn't actually work that well, or it could be because the use case for a mobile keyboard is incompatible -- one rarely has a nice flat white surface available to use for projecting.

Dylan Bethel - 9/9/2013 20:57:08

The Swype text entry technique, is a cross of gesture, soft key, and predictive text input. The advantages are that it is fast to learn, because the letters are positioned in the Qwerty format, fast in execution, and can be more accurate on small screen sizes then traditional single soft key input. Disadvantages are that it has word selection errors associated with prediction and user attention the the screen (two FOA task). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swype

Eric Xiao - 9/10/2013 13:21:22

Swype: http://www.swype.com/

To enter text, you drag your fingers across all the different keys of your word and let go. To type "yes," drag your index finger from "y" across to "e" to "s" on the touch screen and then let go. Then it uses predictive technology to guess what word you typed based on this "swype" as the input.

Advantages are that it is very fast and very accurate because there is a lot of data. Disadvantages are when you need to spell words that are not in the dictionary, when you spell words with lots of letters close together, and how you need to pause after each word for a split-second before moving onto the next word.

Joseph Bynoe - 9/10/2013 16:00:21

Quikwriting is a text entry technique designed for a stylus versus the button based entry methods presented in the readings. It is based off of a 3x3 grid where you start with the stylus in the middle, then based on the motions you make, you trigger different letters to be entered. It is unclear as to the advantages of it as the studies show that even after 5 hours of practice, the average words per minute was around 16 wpm. This is lower than the average 20+ words per minute that was cited as the human handwriting speed. One pro for some of this technology is it lets you use your stylus rather than buttons which could be beneficial. To read more on this technique, please see: http://www.yorku.ca/mack/chapter4.html

Kate Hsiao - 9/10/2013 20:12:09

Pressure-based text entry for mobile devices http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1613870

This paper described a pressured-based keyboard where a soft press generated a lowercase letter and a harder press an uppercase one. (Prototyped & evaluated on a resistive touchscreen.)

Pros: It removed the need to move and press the shift key to change case. Therefore it potentially reduced the time and errors when switching to uppercase. Other advantages for this design is the user can use the device in single-handed, and the FOA doesn't increase compared to the standard soft-keyboard.

Cons: However, the overall WPM was quite low (11.8). The author believed it could be improved by reducing the dwell time.

Another interesting technique is by using tilt sensor/gyro 1) to choose the input character, or 2) to remove the ambiguity when 26 letters are mapped to traditional button on a mobile phone keypad.

1) Choose the input character: Exploring Tilt-Based Text Input For Mobile Devices With Teenagers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rOVPzLWRvk

This seems to be an interesting approach. However since the target group are teenagers aged 11~16, it might be difficult to adapt to general novice users, and might even be a bad approach to elders, or users who shiver (who have low control over the hand muscle) (for example Alzheimer patients). This is also a paper co-author with MacKenzie, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the paper itself but only the video (the paper is not published yet).

2) Tile sensor that used to solve the ambiguity: TiltText: Using Tilt for Text Input to Mobile Phones http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=964705

The TiltText had higher speed but also higher error rate compared to a commonly used technique MultiTap (mentioned in MacKenzie(2002)).

Rundong Tian - 9/10/2013 20:28:39

Tilt Type: http://www.roywant.com/cv/papers/pubs/2002-11%20%28UIST02%29%20Tilttype%20.pdf

4 buttons + accelerometer for input. The buttons select which set of keys. Hand movements select keys

Advantages: compact Disadvantages: constantly shaking your hands/device

Lanssie Ma - 9/10/2013 20:59:34

This method is called TiltText, using tilting to create text input to mobile phones. Essentialy is uses a low cost tilt sensor with a standard numeric keypad. It's meant to replace the old school multi-tap method of clamshell cellphones. Some pros include no limitations on requiring words to be from any fixed language set, meaning it could be Spanish, English, etc. It also doesn't require users to constantly look at the visual display to check it for correctness either. It's also shown to be a little faster as far as wpm go, compared to MultiTap. Cons include getting a little annoying or taxing on the wrist, especially for those who suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel. The error rate is currently non-negligible as well, and the tilting mechanism could be improved to be even more varied than the left, right, back, forward that are typical. Overall, this is a very interesting and fun application that could do very well if implemented on clamshell phones. I could see smartphones even having this if people wanted to use the number pad. It's a fun idea, but perhaps not yet perfect for everyday use yet. Read the paper here: http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/papers/dwigdor_UIST2003.pdf

Michael Andersen - 9/10/2013 21:29:20

Although not a new text entry technique per se, Tactus have a cool project that allows many of the problems with soft-keyboards to be overcome. They use micro-fluidics to make buttons rise out of a touch screen. These provide haptic feedback similar to that of a real keyboard as opposed just a buzz after you hit a button. This haptic feedback can help your fingers find the button without looking at the screen, increasing the speed of typing. A video demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4eh-Cn3Pzk

Orianna DeMasi - 9/10/2013 21:37:49

One text entry method that is explicitly not discussed in the reading, as it states, it speech recognition. With this method, a user speaks and the device should translate the sound into latin characters (or whichever language/alphabet is being used). The problem with this technique is that it's exceedingly difficult to use, especially in "suboptimal sound environments". An advantage to speech recognition is that it could help personalize devices and make them unusable to third, unwanted, parties.

Link: http://www.sis.uta.fi/~pi52316/g/node6.html#SECTION00640000000000000000

Alvin Yuan - 9/10/2013 22:28:38

URL: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-minuum-keyboard-project

Essentially, this technique squishes the QWERTY keyboard into one continuous line. The user enters characters by hitting points on the line, aiming around where the character of interest lies on the continuous line. Then language prediction does the heavy lifting, analyzing the points hit by the user against a dictionary. It takes advantage of the QWERTY layout that users are used to for speed. It also provides considerable flexibility in terms of how text is physically entered: the video shows how text can be entered using two hands, one hand, rotating a wrist, flicking a phone or other device, etc. A disadvantage is when errors are high or prediction unhelpful, precise entry is much slower: the user must slowly trace through a magnified view for every character.

Shankari - 9/10/2013 23:31:02

I found the "Dasher" system [1] of text entry by detecting where the user is gazing to be interesting. This is a completely hands free system where the user looks or gazes at the next letter to enter.

Prior such systems would display a qwerty keyboard for users to gaze at but this was slow and frustrating for quick entry.

However, Dasher uses a language model predictor to provide a list of potential next characters with the most likely letters taking up the most area. This converts word selection into a navigation/searching problem. which is easier to perform visually.

The main advantages that I can see are: - Since the only input is the direction of the gaze, we do not need special, highly accurate eye tracking equipment. The input can also be quite coarse. - This also means that it is highly accessible - it can be used even by users with significant disabilities for whom other text input methods are not useful

One disadvantage is that it is not a single FOA method for the text copy task. However, it is single FOA for the text creation and audio transcription tasks.

Jordan Kellerstrass - 9/10/2013 23:37:58

Another interesting text entry technique is handwriting recognition. Advantages include ability to use one hand, unique, novel, and easy to learn. Disadvantages include slower wpm, requirement of touchscreen and more complex processing, need to disambiguate between similar characters such as S and 5, O and 0, l and I, as well as sloppy handwriting. In the example below, the phone also expects the user to start the letter at a certain point. If the phone does not interpret the user's handwriting correctly or if the user makes a mistake, the user has to delete and redraw that letter, which could become frustrating. Although it is easy to learn how to use this text entry, it may be difficult for some people to become good at it. For this particular phone, the handwriting recognition is one of three options for text entry.

Example: http://support.verizonwireless.com/support/devices/knowledge_base.html/20536

Shankari-addendum - 9/10/2013 23:50:08


Forgot to include URLs:

Paper in Nature: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Citation: Ward, David J., and David JC MacKay. "Fast hands-free writing by gaze direction." Nature 418, p. 838 (22nd August 2002), arXiv preprint cs/0204030 (2002).

Example youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-WLiY2p1LQ

Kliulai Chow-Yee - 9/11/2013 0:02:02

3D gestures is an interesting text entry technique that I found. One method to obtain information from a 3D gesture is for the user to wear data-gloves that have sensors built in to be able to measure the movements of the user's hand while doing sign language. The advantage of this is that it allows users that are familiar with sign language (for example: those who are hearing impaired) to naturally communicate to the device. The disadvantages of this method is that the vocabulary is very limited and it is only accurate to the input user's data set.


Claire Tuna - 9/11/2013 0:40:24

Dryft is a new text entry technology for tablets. One advantage over normal soft keyboards is that it detects differences between resting your fingers and selecting a key, so you can rest your fingers on the keyboard without accidentally typing. Another advantage is that it feels where your fingers are resting and adjusts the keyboard to form around your fingers (to make up for drift, the problem with soft keyboards).

One disadvantage is that even though the keyboard knows when your pointer fingers are resting on the home keys (f and j), the user doesn't get the feedback that they traditionally get from a keyboard on these keys. Maybe it would be nice to give a similar feedback on the Dryft keyboard, such as making a small vibration when the user touches the home keys.


Fred Jacksier-Chasen - 9/11/2013 1:24:38

RearType is a research project by Microsoft that attached a split qwerty keyboard to the back of a tablet. Though the prototype looks a bit goofy, combined with a good on screen feedback system it could be a very natural way to hold and interface with a device at the same time.

Most tablets have keyboards (or onscreen ones) that can only be used with a thumb while holding it, but placing the keyboard on the rear allows for 4 finger entry.


Rahul Mehendiratta - 9/11/2013 2:12:10

Quikwriting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5qDqE1DYl0

Used for stylus based inputs, The method works by dividing the input area into 9 zones in a 3x3 grid formation. The zones are numbered 1 through 9. The central zone (5) is the ``home zone from which each stroke starts and onto which all strokes end. A character is drawn as a loop that crosses one or several of the zones surrounding the home zone. Quikwriting recognizes the character from a sequence of zone changes.

Advantages: You never have to pick your stylus up while responding

Disadvantages: Because the space is limited on the Quikwriting input area, all characters cannot be input using this simple method. The method chosen for expanding the input space is to have different modes of the input area.

Seema Puthyapurayil - 9/11/2013 8:57:40

One interesting text entry technique not covered in the reading is swype. http://www.swype.com/

You draw lines between the letters and then the device predicts the word that you wanted to type. The advantages of this method is that it does not require you to keep punching the keys in one by one, which requires effort. The action seems more fluid and effortless. Swype also offers split keyboards so you can type easily with your thumbs and index fingers on bigger devices like Ipads while holding the device with a sturdy grip using two hands. Typing on tablets using one hand, while holding it in the other can be cumbersome, so this feature can be really helpful

The disadvantage is that this typing method has a learning curve and it takes time to get adjusted to it. There might also be a processing delay ater you finish typing in a big, complex word or a word not in the dictionary. For words not in the dictionary, errors are more common (at least when I tried it out) as the predictive text is not able to correct the word after you typed it in.

Achal Dave - 9/11/2013 9:07:50

Speeg relies on voice recognition in combination with gesture input to get quick yet accurate text input. Entry is very quick, compared to typical gesture based text entry[1], and voice recognition can be more natural than typing in many cases. At the same time, it requires constant interaction even while talking to the system, which may be distracting. Furthermore, voice is often an intrusive medium for users, as a) there may be various sounds around them, and b) it may be awkward to be talking in a room full of people, especially as there is no privacy around the input.


Faraz Tavakoli - 9/11/2013 9:39:20

URL http://istastech.com/slice-keyboard-overview/

Slice Keyboard:

It's designed such that partitions the alphabet to two/four position designated to each finger. All the keys are hidden except the fingering position. Each of those keys open a circular panel with some group of alphabets arranged around it. This way it tries to eliminate the need to look at the keyboard and maximize the area allocated to each key.

Benefits: Fixed key position where each key is reachable with small hand movements. No need to for long jumps for shift, space, etc. Can be used by one hand. Occupy's small area of screen when not needed.

Disadvantages: Unintuitive layout. The demo on the website is still slower than regular mobile keyboards. They need to do detailed user study to see how it compares with other methods.

Stephen McKinley - 9/11/2013 9:40:25

Instead of having a keypad with which to enter text, two joysticks (as used on conventional game controllers) can be used to command language through rotary position. This approach is advantageous to minimize the number of input devices. This approach also only requires to use of the user's thumbs (or any to appendages) making it accessible for users who are mobility impaired (e.g. individuals with MS). Although this approach would not be useful for all users, it opens up mobile technology to those with motor impairments.


Timothy Lee - 9/11/2013 9:43:39

I often times see my friends use this sort of text entry technique:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nuance.swype.dtc&hl=en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swype

While many claim this text entry method to be faster that conventional typing, from personal use, it seems to be much slower.

But, apparently the fastest text message was sent via this method, so the effectiveness of this method does have some credence.

André Crabb - 9/11/2013 10:03:19

The Dvorak keyboard layout. The goal of this layout is to bring commonly used characters closer to your fingers, in order to reduce the travel time and distance of your fingers while typing. The advantage is a slight increase in text entry speed (for experts), but the disadvantage is the learning curve for new users. Switching to Dvorak from QWERTY can really mess up your typing skills for a couple weeks :(


Aadityeshwar Saran Singh Deo - 9/11/2013 12:58:46

The FITALY keyboard. The design places the most frequently used letters closest to the centre to minimize distance travelled while entering a word. The aim of the design is to optimize text entry by organizing keys to minimize key-to-key finger movement, allowing faster input through one-finger entry.Keys are arranged based on individual frequencies of letters in the English language, and the probability of transitions. The ten letters at the very center (i,t,a,l,n,e,d,o,r,s) are used 73% of the times when typing in English and with c,h,u,m added to the list, the number goes up to 84%. The major advantage is the speed and quality of text input. Also the shift key for uppercase and symbols was replaced by a slide or a stroke on the key itself. http://fitaly.com/product/fitalyppc.htm http://the-gadgeteer.com/2001/06/28/fitaly_stamp_review/

Lee-Huang Chen - 9/11/2013 18:37:56

Swype is one of the method that is not covered in the reading.  The Swype is similar to the Cirrin text input method, which is under the category of gesture-based text input.  The user does not need to enter the letters individually on the QWERTY keyboard.   The user can keep his/her finger on the soft keyboard continuously during the text input.  

The advantage of the text input method is the familiarity of QWERTY keyboard to the users. The QWERTY keyboards are very common to most electronic users these days; they Swype uses the same QWERTY keyboard. The main change is the continuous input method. Another advantage is the speed of input, an experienced user can enter texts fast.

The disadvantage of the Swype is it takes sometime for the users to get used to the text entering method. Most users are used to the individual letter input on the QWERTY keyboard. The user would normally remove their fingers from the mobile device screen from enter one letter to the other, but with the Swype input, the users are required to keep their finger on the screen of the keyboard.