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Researchers Design New Tiny Qwerty Soft Keyboards For Wearable Devices


One of the new keyboards for wearables, compared to a penny.

New soft keyboards could serve as a text-entry system for wearable devices that have touchscreens.

Credit: Asociacin RUVID

Technology developed at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Stuttgart could serve as a text-entry system for wearable devices that have touchscreens. The tiny QWERTY soft keyboard could enable users to answer or enter text on wearable devices that have limited onscreen space, such as smart watches, smart glasses, and digital jewelry.

The Spanish and German researchers designed two keyboard prototypes for different screen sizes, between 16 and 32 mm. The first, named Callout, creates a callout showing a character that is about to be entered in a non-occluded location, such as the upper part of the screen. The second, called ZShift, improves on Callout by enhancing the callout area with one level of zoom of the occluded area, while also providing visual feedback on the key touched.

The team also tested different mechanisms to autocorrect typing errors on the go to make it easier to text.

The QWERTY keyboard has its limitations, but people are familiar with its text-entry technique, the team notes. "It works really well for extremely small, coin-sized screens," they say. "However, if we slightly increase the screen size, just a few millimeters do make a difference, and the text-entry technique becomes a bit frustrating and inefficient. Our prototypes are aimed at solving these issues."

From RUVID Association
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