System enables keyboard-style typing on touch screens

1 min read

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney have developed a way to make it easier to type on touch screen devices.

The LiquidKeyboard system enables people to use both hands, allowing them to type in the traditional way when using devices with touch screens that are large enough, such as the new iPad.

University of Technology Sydney computer systems researcher Christian Sax said the idea would make typing on touch screens far easier for many people.

‘Touch typing is almost impossible on popular touch screen devices. People need visual clues and specialised predictive text to type successfully. This can be very tedious and cause terrible hand fatigue,’ Sax said.

The LiquidKeyboard adapts automatically to a user’s hand physiology, comprising factors such as hand size and finger position. As soon as the user’s first four fingers touch the surface, an entire keyboard is constructed in one fluid motion. The system can sense the position of a user’s fingers as well as their pressure by calculating the surface area of a finger on the screen.

UniQuest’s manager of Innovation and Commercial Leigh Angus said research funding had been received that would enable the team to develop an iPad version of the technology.

‘Providing the technology via a popular touch screen platform will enable us to see how users respond and will help us refine the product for market. The system empowers users to use all ten fingers on touch screens and will potentially attract new users who previously felt excluded,’ Angus said.