iPhone Keyboard Turns Vibrations Into Text?

By Sumit Passary | Nov 11, 2012 02:36 PM EST

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Technology has become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives and the advancements leave one baffled. Now, reports suggest that it is possible for the iPhone to sense vibrations and turn them into text, courtesy a new Vibrative Virtual Keyboard!

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"A new system for smartphones that allows users to replicate the experience of typing on a physical keyboard has been developed by a student at Goldsmiths, University of London. Unlike existing solutions, that require external hardware, the Vibrative Virtual Keyboard, created by MSc Cognitive Computing student Florian Krautli, turns any rigid surface into a virtual keyboard by analysing the vibrations emanated from typing," stated a press release from Goldsmiths.

Software keyboards are not out of the ordinary and have been around for sometime and can also project onto a solid surface; however, the existing solutions require touchscreen surfaces or scanners to detect motion from fingertips. However, Kräutli's Vibrative Virtual Keyboard, claims the designer, with its built-in accelerometers can theoretically turn any surface into a keyboard.

"Touch screen devices, such as smartphones, lack a suitable method for text input which can compete with mechanical keyboards. The Vibrative Virtual Keyboard aims to appease the frustration felt by smartphone users when faced with drafting lengthy emails or notes on a small onscreen keyboard," said Kräutli. "The keyboard requires no additional hardware as it taps into an iPhone's built-in accelerometer, which is able to measure the vibrations caused by typing on any hard surface."

Additionally, the software collects "examples of all of the keys on the virtual keyboard", and later when it detects a keystroke it is able to compare the new information to the training data, which in turn helps the software determine which specific key has been pressed.

The Vibrative Virtual Keyboard has an accuracy rate of up to 80 percent when it comes to key stroke detection. In a scenario when errors occur, the software will automatically "assume" what the user intended to type from the incorrect input. This ability can be attributed to the software's "predictive spell checking algorithm."

However, according to The Register, the system still needs "some training" and the prototypes demo seemed to indicate that a considerable amount of pressure needs to be applied for the key presses to be detected.

Check out the video below.

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