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  • Writer's pictureZhipeng Li

QwertyRing: Text Entry on Physical Surfaces Using a Ring



Yizheng Gu, Chun Yu, Zhipeng Li, Zhaoheng Li, Xiaoying Wei, Yuanchun Shi

Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies Volume 4 Issue 4 December 2020 Article No.: 128pp 1–29 https://doi.org/10.1145/3432204




The software keyboard is widely used on digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. The software keyboard operates via touch, which is efficient, convenient, and familiar to users. However, some emerging technology devices such as AR/VR headsets and smart TVs do not support touch-based text entry. In this paper, we present QwertyRing, a technique that supports text entry on physical surfaces using an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) ring. Users wear the ring on the middle phalanx of the index finger and type on any desk-like surface, as if there is a QWERTY keyboard on the surface. While typing, users do not focus on monitoring the hand motions. They receive text feedback on a separate screen, e.g., an AR/VR headset or a digital device display, such as a computer monitor. The basic idea of QwertyRing is to detect touch events and predict users' desired words by the orientation of the IMU ring. We evaluate the performance of QwertyRing through a five-day user study. Participants achieved a speed of 13.74 WPM in the first 40 minutes and reached 20.59 WPM at the end. The speed outperforms other ring-based techniques [24, 30, 45, 68] and is 86.48% of the speed of typing on a smartphone with an index finger. The results show that QwertyRing enables efficient touch-based text entry on physical surfaces.

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