The Analog Keyboard Project

Remember the Palm Pilot?

#Technology

Mon, Oct 13th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

For those not old enough to remember the Palm Pilot, it was a PDA device that came with a little stylus that allowed you to write on it by hand. Microsoft Research is reviving the concept with their analogue keyboard project in order to give devices too small for a full keyboard, the ability to write text.

With the Analog Keyboard Project we are exploring handwriting recognition for text input on small touch screens. Handwriting, unlike speech, is discreet and not prone to background noise. And unlike soft keyboards, where many keys have to share the small touch surface, handwriting methods can offer the entire screen (or most of it) for each symbol. This allows each letter to be entered rather comfortably, even on small devices. In fact, it has been shown that some handwriting systems can be used without even looking at the screen [1]. Finally, handwriting interfaces require very little design changes to run on round displays, which are becoming increasingly popular.

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