“Touch&Type”

“…A Novel Pointing Device for Notebook Computers”

by W. Fallot-Burghardt, M. Fjeld, C. Speirs, S. Ziegenspeck, H. Krueger, T. Läubli (NordiCHI 2006)

  1. “…combines a conventional keyboard with an extended touch pad whereby the touch pad’s sensitive area is formed by the surface of the keys themselves and thus can be made as large as the whole key area.”
  2. “…it takes, on average, 0.36 seconds to move a hand from the keyboard to the mouse and additional time to adjust the grasp for operating the mouse buttons.”
  3. The mouse buttons were physical buttons on the side of the keyboard. When a finger was touching the button, their hardware setup would switch from “typing” mode to “pointing” mode. “Clicking” was done with the physical buttons on the side.
  4. Video showing their “Touch&Type” in action: http://www.t2i.se/pub/media/2006_NordiCHI_Fallot_et_al.avi
  5. They performed extensive testing on comparing their device with a mouse and a trackpad. It performed very similarly to a trackpad, sometimes better and sometimes worse. In the end, they claim the Touch&Type to outperform the trackpad with a confidence level of 73%.

My thoughts:

  • This research is almost identical to my TRKBRD project, though, with subtle differences.
  • Their reasoning and grounding for the design is almost identical to the framing I used for my design: limited size of the trackpad, compact design, gaps between keys providing beneficial haptic feedback.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of their design was quite similar to the stengths and weaknesses I discovered with the TRKBRD. The strengths provide a solid grounding for the future potential of the device, but the weaknesses in precision and technology prevent it from mainstream use.
  • They mention “two-handed, coordinated input” as a future research topic related to the device. I see this related to my idea of “gesture zones” within the TRKBRD design, where the left and right hands can collaborate individual gestures to create a compound gesture together.
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THIS THESIS TOOK 254 DAYS