Researching and designing a text-entry solution for smartwatches by making the use of mid-air gestural
Smartwatches have limited methods for text-entry. Often they make use of handwriting or voice dictation. Handwriting text-entry is can be slow and voice dictation can be very inconvenient or awkward to use in public. therefore a good text-entry method needs to be created.
The goal of this project was to explore another input method for text-entry on a smartwatch. Because the screen real estate of a smart watch is very limited we researched the feasability of of freehand mid-air gestures as an input method to type on a smartwatch.
I was responsible for the concept, design, low-fidelity prototype and conducting the experiment with participants. My teammate has helped writing the paper and built a high fidelity prototype to work with a motion tracking device, the Leap Motion.
After two user evaluations the participants were able to type 6.63 words per minute. This shows that our solution has potential, but the current techniques to track hand or finger movement has to be improved to make it more efficient and convenient to use.Read the full paper
The first time the user starts typing on the new keyboard we guide the user trough the different gestures.
The layout is dived into 8 keys surrounding the screen. The middle area will be used to show the text entered and for touch based buttons to send the text or to select special characters. When pointing with a finger to a key, a letter can be selected. The correct letter is predicted and during typing, words are suggested.
When the user pushes the key completely out of the screen, the letters on that specific key will be displayed as separate buttons. This enables the user to select a specific letter to create words that are not in the dictionary yet.
We conducted two usability test with a high fidelity prototype with five participants. In the video below you can see the implementation of the prototype.