Qwerty keyboard developed for smart watches

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the US have created an interface for entering text on touchscreen smartwatches.

The expected wave of smart devices – with everyone from Apple and Google to Microsoft working on wearable gadgets – are likely to be companion devices to bigger screened smartphones with screen-based keyboards.

However, the Carnegie Mellon team believes there is scope for an interface on tiny-screened watches.

The researchers say their ZoomBoard system allows text entry rates of ten words a minute, which is undeniably too slow for text-heavy applications, but not unreasonable for search and finding contacts.


The technology works by displaying a Qwerty keyboard on the touch-screen, with initial taps in a general areas zooming in on those keys until they are large enough to hit accurately.

“You aren’t going to write a novel, but it gets the job done,” said Stephen Oney of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “This opens up new possibilities for devices such as smartwatches, which generally lack any means of entering text, as many aren’t powerful enough for voice recognition.”

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