Student Creates Vibrative Virtual Keyboard For iPhone
Many folks after seeing the Aatma Studios’s iPhone concept that featured a marvelous holographic keyboard believed that the Cupertino Company was already working hard to develop theirs ( at least Fox news fell for it). On the other hand, a computer science student from London comes with another approach.
Rather than a laser projected keyboard, Florian Kräutli makes use of the iPhone’s accelerometer sensor in order to measure the amplitude of tiny vibrations that emerge when a person is “typing” on a hard surface. Behold the new vibrative virtual keyboard project.
During an interview with The Telegraph, Kräutli explains that his project is more of a proof concept and was developed by working with a jailbroken iPhone. The only drawback he faces is the reduced sensibility of the accelerometer and a more sensitive one could make his piece of software very handy, the student also stated.
“The system, dubbed Vibrative, uses the three-dimensional accelerometer in Apple’s smartphone to measure the characteristics of each tap on the table, such as the strength and frequency of the vibrations it causes, and compares them to “training data” to work out its approximate location.”
The application is dependent on very specific vibration patterns unique for each surface and that is why the software must first learn each surface’s distinct vibration characteristics.
“The location is converted into a key press on the “virtual keyboard”. Currently, the system determines the intended key correctly about 80 per cent of the time, so the data is also fed into an auto correct dictionary to ensure the words are spelled correctly.”
This is quite amazing, and the accuracy is outstanding if we keep in mind this is only a proof-of a concept.
“The signals I’m collecting are very weak”, he also adds. Generally the accelerometers that are commonly found in smartphones are tuned to perform far less sensitive than they are capable of to in order to reduce power consumption.
The only think we hope now is that the guys at Apple noticed Kräutli’s work.
I think we are all a bit frustrated by the fact we have been stuck with the same “tedious” virtual keyboard on our iPhone for more than 5 years. This is mainly because the Cupertino company is not open to third-party keyboards applications just like Android. It is quite hard to grasp the huge benefits of a third-party keyboard application until you get your hand on one.