From 2D to 3D: Facilitating Single-Finger Mid-Air Typing on QWERTY Keyboards with Probabilistic Touch Modeling
PubDate: March 2023
Teams:Tsinghua University；University of California
Writers:Xin Yi,Chen Liang,Haozhan Chen,Jiuxu Song,Chun Yu,Hewu Li,Yuanchun Shi
Mid-air text entry on virtual keyboards suffers from the lack of tactile feedback, which brings challenges to both tap detection and input prediction. In this paper, we explored the feasibility of single-finger typing on virtual QWERTY keyboards in mid-air. We first conducted a study to examine users’ 3D typing behavior on different sizes of virtual keyboards. Results showed that the participants perceived the vertical projection of the lowest point on the keyboard during a tap as the target location and inferring taps based on the intersection between the finger and the keyboard was not applicable. Aiming at this challenge, we derived a novel input prediction algorithm that took the uncertainty in tap detection into a calculation as probability, and performed probabilistic decoding that could tolerate false detection. We analyzed the performance of the algorithm through a full-factorial simulation. Results showed that the SVM-based probabilistic touch detection together with a 2D elastic probabilistic decoding algorithm (elasticity = 2) could achieve the optimal top-5 accuracy of 94.2%. In the evaluation user study, the participants reached a single-finger typing speed of 26.1 WPM with 3.2% uncorrected word-level error rate, which was significantly better than both tap-based and gesture-based baseline techniques. Also, the proposed technique received the highest preference score from the users, proving its usability in real text entry tasks.