A revolutionary new keyboard that makes it easier to type on touch screen devices has been invented by UTS information technology researchers.
The device called LiquidKeyboard enables people to use both hands in typing in the traditional way using devices with touch screens that are large enough - such as the new iPad.
UTS computer systems researcher Christian Sax said he and his fellow researchers had achieved a breakthrough that would make typing on touch screens far easier for more people.
"Touch typing is almost impossible for users on popular touch screen devices," Mr Sax said. "People cannot feel the keys and need visual clues and specialised predictive text to type successfully. This can be very tedious and cause terrible hand fatigue."
"With the new LiquidKeyboard we have developed a virtual keyboard that adapts automatically to a user’s hand physiology, such as hand size and finger position. As soon as your first four fingers touch the surface - in one fluid motion - an entire keyboard is constructed. The system senses the pressure and position of a user’s fingers on the touch screen."
The technology follows the traditional QWERTY keyboard system.
UniQuest’s Manager of Innovation and Commercial Leigh Angus said research funding had been received that would enable the team to develop an iPad version of the technology.
"Providing the technology via a popular touch screen platform will enable us to see how users respond and will help us refine the product for market," Ms Angus said.
"The system empowers users to use all ten fingers on touch screens and will potentially attract new users who previously felt excluded."
Mr Sax said the new LiquidKeyboard was versatile and would provide a low cost and effective text input system for many different types of touch screen and touch surface systems.
"Technology should be simple and easy to use, and it should be clear how to use it, just by looking at it," he said.