An introduction to chord input

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A brief introduction to chord input - an alternative input style.

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  • Stenotype = 300 wpm – faster than ANY other input technique (including voice recognition).
  • An introduction to chord input

    1. 1. Alternative Input: Striking a new Chord Stephen Nicholas 18-Oct-09
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>About Me </li></ul><ul><li>What is Chord Input? </li></ul><ul><li>Why Chord Input? </li></ul><ul><li>Drawbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul>
    3. 3. About Me <ul><li>Stephen Nicholas </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@ sd_nicholas </li></ul><ul><li>~2 Years </li></ul><ul><li>Automated GUI Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Developer on Microbroker </li></ul><ul><li>BSc Computing Science </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd Year Project: An Investigation into Chord Input </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is Chord Input? <ul><li>An input technique where, in addition to using single key presses, a user can use multiple simultaneous key presses to enter information. </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to playing a chord on a piano. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Ctrl’ + ‘S’ to save a document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Braille Keyboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Microwriter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reported to date back to 1836. </li></ul>Braille
    5. 5. Why Chord Input? <ul><li>Allows for a greater number of input combinations from a smaller number of keys. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 keys = 2 5 – 1 = 31 input combinations. A-Z, space and some modifiers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6 keys = 2 6 – 1 = 63 input combinations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Keyboards’ can be made much smaller. </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient one-handed text entry. </li></ul><ul><li>Input speeds can match and exceed traditional QWERTY. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential uses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On mobile devices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users with disabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing RSI. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Drawbacks <ul><li>Uses encoded input schemes. </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t hunt and peck. </li></ul><ul><li>Longer learning times and higher initial error rates than QWERTY. </li></ul><ul><li>This can discourage users. </li></ul><ul><li>Can require good co-ordination and fine motor skills. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Examples <ul><li>First introduced by Cy Endfield in 1978. </li></ul><ul><li>Portable chording device that had some commercial success in the 1980s. </li></ul><ul><li>Speeds up to 40 words per minute after ~7 months practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Encoding scheme with strong mnemonic element. </li></ul><ul><li>Recently ‘re-developed’ as the Cy-Key. </li></ul>– The Microwriter
    8. 8. Examples – The IBM Chord Keyboard <ul><li>10 main keys with overlapping dimples. </li></ul><ul><li>Supports hunting and pecking. </li></ul><ul><li>4407 combinations using modifier keys on the thumb. </li></ul><ul><li>~40 words per minute after several months practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows multiple letters to be entered at once: </li></ul>/I/n/ thi/s/ se/g/me/nt/ of/ te/xt/ the/ cho/rd/ bo/und/ar/i/es/ ha/ve/ be/en/ s/ho/wn/ by/ li/ne/s/.
    9. 9. Examples – The Twiddler <ul><li>3 x 4 buttons. </li></ul><ul><li>Designed for one-handed use. </li></ul><ul><li>~80,000 unique combinations. </li></ul><ul><li>Use additional chords to enter groups of multiple characters. </li></ul>Examples – ChordTap <ul><li>Uses normal phone key pad. </li></ul><ul><li>3 additional keys to distinguish between the letters on each key. </li></ul><ul><li>Approx twice as fast as normal multi-tap. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Examples – The Cyclic Keyboard <ul><li>Extension of scanning input. </li></ul><ul><li>Explores a temporal dimension. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses a number of memorable phrases to aid learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Could be extended to use more complex chords. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential 217 combinations, with 7 time periods. </li></ul>Key 5 Key 4 Key 3 Key 2 Key 1 T 5 T 4 T 3 T 2 T 1 T 0 O Z N C E B I I A H E M W V S K O A I A U T L R U J A F P Q T 6 X E G Y D
    11. 11. Summary <ul><li>Traditional text entry methods are becoming less suitable for mobile devices. </li></ul><ul><li>Chord Input could help: it allows for quick, efficient, one-handed text entry. </li></ul><ul><li>Been around for a while. </li></ul><ul><li>Now coming of age. </li></ul>Any Questions? Thanks for listening @ sd_nicholas [email_address]

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