Multitouch tablets, such as iPad and Android tablets, support virtual keyboards for text entry. Our 64-user study shows that 98% of the users preferred different keyboard layouts and positions depending on how they were holding these devices. However, current tablets either do not allow keyboard adjustment or require users to manually adjust the keyboards. We present iGrasp, which automatically adapts the layout and position of virtual keyboards based on how and where users are grasping the devices without requiring explicit user input. Our prototype uses 46 capacitive sensors positioned along the sides of an iPad to sense users’ grasps, and supports two types of grasp-based automatic adaptation: layout switching and continuous positioning. Our two 18-user studies show that participants were able to begin typing 42% earlier using iGrasp’s adaptive keyboard compared to the manually adjustable keyboard. Participants also rated iGrasp much easier to use than the manually adjustable keyboard (4.2 vs 2.9 on five-point Likert scale.)

iGrasp: grasp-based adaptive keyboard for mobile devices

Lung-Pan Cheng, Hsiang-Sheng Liang, Che-Yang Wu, and Mike Y. Chen. 2013. IGrasp: grasp-based adaptive keyboard for mobile devices. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’13). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 3037–3046.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2470654.2481422