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A virtual keyboard that responds to surface vibrations

Published: 08 November 2012 13:00


A new system for smartphones that allows users to replicate the experience of typing on a physical keyboard has been developed by a student at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Unlike existing solutions, that require external hardware, the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard, created by MSc Cognitive Computing student Florian Krautli, turns any rigid surface into a virtual keyboard by analysing the vibrations emanated from typing.

Florian Krautli explains: "Touch screen devices, such as smartphones, lack a suitable method for text input which can compete with mechanical keyboards. The Vibrative Virtual Keyboard aims to appease the frustration felt by smartphone users when faced with drafting lengthy emails or notes on a small onscreen keyboard."

"The keyboard requires no additional hardware as it taps into an iPhone's built-in accelerometer, which is able to measure the vibrations caused by typing on any hard surface."

The software collects examples of all of the keys on the virtual keyboard. When it later detects a keystroke, it can compare the new data to the training data and approximately determine which key has been pressed.

The keyboard is capable of detecting key strokes with an accuracy of up to 80%. Where errors occur the software will 'assume' what the user intended to write from the erroneous input by using a predictive spell checking algorithm.

The technology has been designed for Apple's iPhone 4, but could easily be applied to other smartphones and operating systems.

To view a video of the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard, click here.

To find out more about the MSc in Cognitive Computing and the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, click here.

Notes to Editors
Please contact the Press Office for images or to arrange an interview with Florian Krautli.

For further information
Kathryn Darling
Corporate Communications Officer
Marketing, Recruitment & Communications
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London SE14 6NW

t: +44 (0)20 7919 7970
f: +44 (0)20 7919 7975

Content last modified: 16 Aug 2010

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