TangiSoft: A Tangible Direct-Touch Tabletop Keyboard

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  2. Professor Patrick Olivier
  3. Dr Philip Heslop
Author(s)Sulaiman A N, Olivier P, Heslop P
Publication type Report
Series TitleSchool of Computing Science Technical Report Series
Source Publication DateDecember 2008
Report Number1130
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TANGISOFT is a hybrid of a physical and a soft keyboard designed specifically for digital tabletops. The aim of the design was to combine the advantages of tangible and directtouch interaction in a tool for the tabletop. TANGISOFT was realized by printing a keyboard on paper, tracking the paper, allowing text entry by direct-touch on the printed layout, and augmenting printed layout through projection. The design hypotheses were that making the keyboard tangible would elicit two-handed interaction, leading to improved mobility, and better integration of text entry with higher level activities. The goal was to introduce a novel keyboard that is more suited to tabletop applications that require high mobility and frequent switching between text entry and other tasks. A study was conducted to explore and contrast people’s use of TANGISOFT and soft keyboards. The results showed that mobility is largely a characteristic of the user rather than the tool, but still, TANGISOFT did elicit two-handed interaction in which positioning the keyboard became a subconscious operation integrated with the larger activity and leading to more mobile users as compared to using a soft keyboard. These results mean that in a number of situations TANGISOFT is a more appropriate alternative to soft or conventional physical keyboards.
InstitutionSchool of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Place PublishedNewcastle upon Tyne
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