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#1 2011-12-24 19:34:21

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Last night I imagined a method to enter text when limited to 2 joysticks as source of input. I'm probably not the first to think of this solution. I implemented it on the keyboard if that make sense

http://www.host-a.net/u/icuurd12b42/WASDTyping.gmk

I wonder if one could become more efficient at typing using this

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#2 2011-12-26 01:06:19

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Neat! This is an area of great interest to me. Indeed, there has been a lot of research in this area that has gone basically nowhere among the mainstream. The industry seems very reluctant to try anything that isn't extremely simplistic and slow.

I have seen an input method that looks almost identical to your implementation, and just found another that is very similar (video below). Although it consumes an awful lot of screen space, it is easier to plan one's moves.

Microsoft has published an interesting paper about a different approach that uses each stick as one would their separate hands on a keyboard.

[PDF] http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/ … roller.pdf

Here's a chapter from an older paper by Poika Isokoski that presents a stroke-based approach dubbed "Minimal Device-Independent Text Input Method" that strings together a series of directions to select letters.

http://www.sis.uta.fi/~pi52316/g/node7.html

Alternative forms of text input seem to be his specialty and he has quite a few papers on the subject.
http://www.sis.uta.fi/~pi52316/textentry.php
http://www.sis.uta.fi/~pi52316/publications.php

Ken Perlin (of Perlin Noise fame) developed a stroke-based input system envisioned for PDAs called Quikwriting. It could be adapted for one or two joysticks.

http://mrl.nyu.edu/projects/quikwriting/
http://mrl.nyu.edu/projects/quikwriting/Quikwrite1.html

I had a little trouble with your demonstration. It consumes an enormous amount of CPU cycles on my aging laptop, no doubt due to all of the drawing going on. Use of sprites/backgrounds could solve that.

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#3 2011-12-26 03:13:19

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Cool...

Drop a sleep (10) in the end step. that should fix it for now.

The first video is basically my method, displayed in a different way. I love inventing stuff the experts invented.

This could be improved by playing with the character groupings, even have groups with duplicated characters so that you could write most common words quickly

Last edited by icuurd12b42 (2011-12-26 03:26:14)

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#4 2011-12-26 21:12:19

paul23
Member
Registered: 2007-10-17
Posts: 110

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

I'm constantly wondering why those new age keyboards constantly use a qwerty scheme.. They even advertise "now with qwerty keyboard". I mean: qwerty is developed as a keyboard which could ideally be used by a 10-finger typing method. Now with a single finger it is far from ideal (characters which often follow after each other are at opposite parts of the keyboard - requiring a lot of thumb movement), and not logical at all.

Now that method of Ken Perlin seems very promising. I remember reading about it in a magazine some time ago: google was developing it for their androids. (Though it looked a bit different). The advantages were that it uses a shape instead of exact positions.

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#5 2011-12-27 13:22:07

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

QWERTY has been a true phenomenon of momentum. Original it was devised for mechanical typewriters so that key jamming would be less frequent. That particular mechanical swing arm type striker has been out of fashion since the introduction of the highly successful IBM Selectric ball-type striker 50 years ago. It is impossible to jam such a typewriter because there is only one strike head. Obviously, computer keyboards are equally immune.

The Dvorak keyboard layout was devised to be more efficient for word entry but it obviously never really caught on and seems to have more or less disappeared since the late 80s or early 90s. The Apple //c is the only computer I know of that included a selectable Dvorak mode.

For an unskilled typist, or a non-keyboard entry method, alphabetical ordering seems to be favored (especially on video game consoles). But for devices intended for tech-savvy users, I suppose the designers prefer to adhere to what they think the user is probably already used to (ie. QWERTY).

Seems to me that virtual keyboards should be easily configurable for the user. I wonder how many actually are.

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#6 2011-12-28 01:12:34

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

It takes dedication to unlearn QWERTY, something most of us dont have. You also have to consider to whole support/foundation of the layout, from the secretarial classes in the 40's to typing classes in school today....

The hardest part of configuring the keyboard is probably physically removing the keys to move them without breaking the keyboard.

Is there a keyboard out there that changes letters (micro displays on the keys)

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#7 2011-12-28 12:56:16

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

There is a very interesting keyboard that has little programmable displays for each key. It was a bit vaporous for a long time, taking years to materialize after its announcement 6 or 7 years ago. It is extremely expensive -- over US$2000. I was highly interested in getting one until the price was revealed. I've also read that it is not much of a joy to type with because the key caps are somewhat wider than normal. It's more of an objet d'art than a functional device, but I could see the technology being more practical in the future. http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/maximus/ They make several other keyboards with differing numbers of keys. Centered below is the new netbook-style keyboard. The keys have been redesigned to make typing easier. It also has a large display near the top that looks like it could be fun and useful. Unsure of the price, but I'm guessing it's far more than I'd be willing to spend. More info about their newer products can be read on the blog. http://optimus-project.livejournal.com/ Abusing forum power since 1986. Offline #8 2011-12-28 22:45:55 icuurd12b42 Member Registered: 2008-12-11 Posts: 303 Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text The whole keyboard could be converted to a touch screen add a special transparent flexible overlay in the shape of a standard keyboard laid over to provide tactile feedback and I'm pretty sure that is the future of this tech. Offline #9 2011-12-29 14:58:33 xot Administrator Registered: 2007-08-18 Posts: 1,201 Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text I was thinking exactly the same thing, although such an optically clear overlay may be difficult to produce, and there may be some refraction problems due to the distance between the key surface and the display, which would be further complicated by variable view angles. From the pictures, it looks like the Optimus keyboards already exhibit this sort of problem, at least to a small degree. Abusing forum power since 1986. Offline #10 2011-12-29 21:49:21 icuurd12b42 Member Registered: 2008-12-11 Posts: 303 Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text Simple solution is using fiber optics bundles. Tubes arranged in a 64x64 squares (for each key) to bring the light from under the key to the top in a "pixalized" fashion. Pretty sure there are plastics that act like this already without the need to matrixize a bundle of fibers. Clear plastic with unpolished top should act like a micro-screen too. Last edited by icuurd12b42 (2011-12-29 21:54:23) Offline #11 2011-12-30 16:16:00 xot Administrator Registered: 2007-08-18 Posts: 1,201 Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text Fiber optic image conduit isn't cheap (up to around US$100 per inch), but that's an intriguing idea. The coarsest resolution I've seen is 100 microns, which is much, much finer that what you're talking about. If lower grade bundles could be found it might be practical. Not sure what goes into binding, cutting, and polishing. Molded acrylic is certainly a lot cheaper and easier to produce.

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#12 2012-01-12 10:41:54

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Some interesting keyboards are being shown at CES right now. Timothy Lord, working with Slashdot, has put together a five minute video I've linked below.

One of them is a simple silicon overlay for the iPad called TouchFire. It adds a tactile feel to the iPad's built-in virtual keyboard and cleverly integrates with the body of the device. It's not optically clear, but it looks like it transmits enough light to be illuminated by colors.

Another is a very, very interesting virtual keyboard tech for tablets called SnapKeys. It's operated with one's thumbs as one holds the device. It uses a glyph-based approach to letter input, by which I mean, you enter letters be describing their shape. For instance, letters that have closed loops are grouped as are letters that stand on the baseline in various ways. The various descriptors are used in combination to enter the desired glyph. The video shows some typing at impressive speed.

The third shown device is a virtual keyboard by CTX Technologies' MISEETX. It works by projecting a keyboard image with a laser onto a surface. A camera tracks your finger movements to detect which keys are being pressed. It also doubles as a virtual mouse. I've seen this same technology shown off several years ago. I don't recall if it ever made it to market as a consumer item. The device being shown at CES is a clunky-looking all-in-one WinXP/Win7/Android computer with a built-in LCD projector, not just a peripheral, although it can be used as a Bluetooth input device or dock with an iDevice. It has an impressive array of inputs and outputs, including a more traditional multi-touch pad. Pretty darn neat, but it's not going to fit in your pocket. The same projector and virtual keyboard tech is available in standalone forms from CTX.

EDIT: Every time I make a post like this the forum bans me for posting spam.

Last edited by xot (2012-01-12 10:43:20)

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#13 2012-01-12 17:38:55

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Love that Snap Keys thing. It's awesome, though I think it would be hard to program with

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#14 2012-04-23 11:40:06

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

I was checking out some Mike Mozart videos this morning and I ran across an interesting one. He shows what he claims is the first smart phone. It's the IBM Simon and it's pretty remarkable technology for 1992. It has a dot matrix LCD touchscreen display, downloadable apps and games, email and fax capability, and a removable PCMCIA memory card. It also features a "predictive" virtual keyboard that anticipates what six letters you're most likely to need at any given point during your input. Check it out.

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#15 2012-09-11 02:14:31

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Value has officially unveiled its "Big Picture" mode for Steam, optimized for television viewing and game controller input. Among its features is a virtual keyboard interface called "Daisywheel". It will presumably work with any standard controller, but it appears to favor the Xbox360 controller. Normal keyboard and mouse input is also supported.

More info about Big Picture and its public beta can found below. Early impressions by reviewers have been favorable.

Steam's Big Picture

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#16 2012-09-11 03:57:24

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

neat!

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#17 2012-10-21 00:55:32

xDanielx
Member
Registered: 2009-01-02
Posts: 38

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Lots of interesting ideas here, thanks for sharing!

Can anyone recommend a good (fast/comfortable) coding keyboard?

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#18 2012-10-21 17:51:16

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Many coders swear by the IBM Model M.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard

Unicomp are the current manufacturers.

http://www.pckeyboard.com/

However, you may want to do some research. I've seen some complaints about Unicomp build quality.

You might be better off finding an older IBM or Lexmark model in a thrift store or garage sale.

Clicky Keyboards supposedly sells new/refurbished keyboards but I was unable to reach their site.

http://www.clickykeyboards.com/

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#19 2013-05-01 13:15:28

xot
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed a typing system for ridiculously tiny devices, such as watches.

The idea is you mash the area of the keyboard where the letter you want resides and through an interactive "zooming" display select the actual letter. It's called, appropriately enough, the ZoomBoard. Holding a key capitalizes it and swipe gestures are used for typing spaces, backspaces, and pulling up alternate character sets. According to their research, test subjects achieved a typing rate of 9.3wpm with the ZoomBoard vs. only 4.5wpm with an iPad 3 keyboard.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/b … ny-devices

Carnegie Mellon paper on the project [PDF]:
http://chrisharrison.net/projects/zoomb … mboard.pdf

The Carnegie Mellon team says they were inspired in-part by another zooming system called Dasher. It differs in a couple of remarkable ways. It zooms continuously as you type and uses a predictive input scheme to determine which letters to display. I'm somewhat skeptical of overall effectiveness of predictive input systems but Dasher is a fascinating system nevertheless.

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/

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#20 2013-05-05 22:38:13

icuurd12b42
Member
Registered: 2008-12-11
Posts: 303

Re: Here's an interesting keyboard replacement for entering text

9 wpm wow, that means this post here would have taken me and exhausting 5 minutes to write. This world is turning bananas LOL texting on a watch. get an iphone or android. you don't need a watch

Last edited by icuurd12b42 (2013-05-05 22:38:37)

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