Steven Skiena Dept. of Computer Science SUNY at Stony Brook
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Minimum motion keyboards are an intriguing idea for high-speed text entry. By using ambiguity resolution, we eliminate the need to move fingers from the home position on a keyboard. In addition to the obvious potential for higher data-entry speeds, such minimum motion keyboards appear likely to reduce to risk of repetitive stress injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome.
Our experiments demonstrate
the practical viability of such minimum-motion keyboards, by
achieving character reconstruction rates of at least 98.4%; for all
standard keyboard layouts, including QWERTY and Dvorak.
Our study of the impact of keyboard layout on reconstruction error rates shows, surprisingly, that keyboard designs which balance character frequencies do not significantly outperform more natural alphabetic layouts.
We have also studied the impact that reducing the number of keys has on reading comprehension. Through human-factor experiments, we found that readers are able to accurately understand text entered using an overloaded keyboard with only 6 keys. This observation has important implications for such inherently restricted interfaces such as eye-tracking systems for the disabled. Current electro-oculography (EOG) technology only provides sufficient resolution to implement a 2 by 3 button keyboard. Our ambiguity resolution techniques result in EOG systems which are substantially easier to use than those employing traditional hierarchical menus.