Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

TangiSoft: A Tangible Direct-Touch Tabletop Keyboard

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Patrick OlivierORCiD, Dr Philip HeslopORCiD



TANGISOFT is a hybrid of a physical and a soft keyboard designed specifically for digital tabletops. The aim of the design was to combine the advantages of tangible and directtouch interaction in a tool for the tabletop. TANGISOFT was realized by printing a keyboard on paper, tracking the paper, allowing text entry by direct-touch on the printed layout, and augmenting printed layout through projection. The design hypotheses were that making the keyboard tangible would elicit two-handed interaction, leading to improved mobility, and better integration of text entry with higher level activities. The goal was to introduce a novel keyboard that is more suited to tabletop applications that require high mobility and frequent switching between text entry and other tasks. A study was conducted to explore and contrast people’s use of TANGISOFT and soft keyboards. The results showed that mobility is largely a characteristic of the user rather than the tool, but still, TANGISOFT did elicit two-handed interaction in which positioning the keyboard became a subconscious operation integrated with the larger activity and leading to more mobile users as compared to using a soft keyboard. These results mean that in a number of situations TANGISOFT is a more appropriate alternative to soft or conventional physical keyboards.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sulaiman A N, Olivier P, Heslop P

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2008

Pages: 11

Print publication date: 01/12/2008

Source Publication Date: December 2008

Report Number: 1130

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne