Soft keyboard for smartwatch lets you send text from the wrist
What is the most important feature of wearable gadgets like smartwatches or fitness trackers? Their size, the smaller the better. Although wearables like smartwatches have a small screen size area to read notifications and alerts, they lack any input method like sending back an email. This has prompted researchers from Universitat Politècnica de València and University of Stuttgart to design two different soft keyboards that can be used with wearables. The researchers presented their prototype soft keyboards at ACM conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI 2015) held in Seoul, Korea.
Using the popular QWERTY keyboard layout format, the researchers have kept in mind the display screen of wearables that is generally between 16-32mm. One of the prototype soft keyboard is called Callout and it uses a non-occluded like display that shows the letter to be typed. The other keyboard is dubbed as ZShift and it uses a zoomed occluded area to show the letter and also has a visual feedback of the touched key.
To make sure that the user doesn’t get mulled for the typos with this keyboard, a spell-check engine is in place to correct grammatical glitches. This keyboard can be attached to the strap of your smartwatch or on any independent location to enter typed text and then send it to the receiver without even using your smartphone!
This spells good news for smartwatch manufactures who so far have only fitted their wearables with a small screen for reading notifications. Now as this prototype version gets refined and ready for the commercial market, they can use this hardware for text input in their devices.