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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Touchscreen keyboard morphs to fit your typing style.


Typing on a touchscreen is not one of life's pleasures: the one-size-fits-all nature of most virtual keyboards is a hassle that puts many of us off using them. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen journalists put down an iPad, for instance, and pick up a laptop or netbook to do some serious notetaking or writing.
After an initial calibration stage, in which the keyboard asks users to undertake a series of exercises to set response time, anatomical algorithms get to work, sensing through the touchscreen the finger skin touch area, finger size and finger position  for the logged in user.
As this information is gathered - IBM does not say over what period this learning takes place - the virtual key buttons are automatically resized, reshaped and repositioned in response.
The patent shows a keyboard with some keys subtly higher than others, and with some fatter than others. This "adapts the keyboard to the user's unique typing motion paths" governed by their different physical finger anatomies, says IBM, which suggests the idea being used in both touchscreen and projected "surface computing" displays.
Touch screens phones add value to typing, and enhances productivity to users.

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