Virtual keyboard promises easy iPad typing

Researchers in Sydney have developed the LiquidKeyboard for devices such as the iPad, holding out the possibility of faster and smoother typing
Written by Colin Ho, Contributor

Researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney have developed a keyboard that lets users type faster on touchscreen devices like the iPad.

Primary inventor Christian Sax and co-inventor Hannas Lau recently developed a prototype of the LiquidKeyboard for an iPad. The software is essentially a virtual keyboard that appears underneath a user's fingertips, corresponding to hand size and finger positions. The system works by sensing the position of the user's fingers and creating a fluid, Qwerty keyboard underneath. The keyboard also responds to position and pressure.

LiquidKeyboard Christian Sax

Christian Sax and his team in Sydney have developed the LiquidKeyboard for smoother typing on devices such as the iPad. Photo credit: Anna Zhu

"We tried to adapt the everyday way of touch typing with a physical keyboard and move it over to the touchscreen... that's where it started off," Sax told ZDNet UK's sister site ZDNet Australia. LiquidKeyboard was intended to operate on a pressure-sensitive surface, but current touchscreen technology lacks this functionality. To compensate, the team is employing a "pseudo-touch-sensitivity" system that uses the surface areas of fingertips to give indications of pressure.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Fluid keys make iPad touch typing breezy on ZDNet Australia.

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