YA Singlehanded Input Device - Mock-Up 2

Toke Eskildsen
19940324
darkwing@daimi.au.dk
http://ekot.dk/projekter/UIfMD/

Preface

It is assumed that the reader is familiar with idea behind Yashid and the principle for the text-entering.

This mock-up is about the appearance of the device. No physical mock-up's has been made yet. Two ideas for actual devices will be presented in this paper.

Cellular phone

Scenario

A teenager is riding on a bus. She couldn't get a seat, so she's standing, maintaining balance using one hand. She receives a SMS-message and answer it with another SMS-message.

Motivation

Frequent users of the SMS have already proven that they are willing to learn to enter text using a system that is a bit akward and which is limited by the speed of the users thumb-movement (in single-hand mode). Hopefully said users will be willing to endure a steeper learning-courve in order to use a system that is more efficient.

Physical artefact

Buttons

[Drawing of phone with Yashid-buttons]

The most stable grip on a cell-phone would be an enclosing grip like the one used when hanging from a thin branch in a tree (association to pre-tech times intended). That grip - in a light version - makes it natural for all fingers, except the thumb, to squeeze or release whatever they're holding. In order to empower the thumb with good squeezing-possibilities, it can be aligned with the cell-phone (or the thin branch, to follow that analogy). This little thought-experiment gives us a close-to-natural layout of the buttons.

Display

The display acquires at least 5 lines with 16 characters in order to provide an optimal reminder for the user. More lines gives better overview of the text, fewer than 5 lines will not work and fewer than 16 characters lowers the number of possible characters..

PDA

Due to the problems described in the principle-text, a pen-based device might not be very good for this project.

PDA-addon/Keyboard for wearable computing

A design like this eliminates the problem with support for left- and right-handers, but it also requires that the main device (the computer with a display) is separated from the input device. This is not a problem in wearable computing, but it doesn't work well with a PDA, which is a standalone artefact.

Yashid-on-a-stick could be used very much like the Twiddler. Their operate differently but they share their purpose.

The stick is very good for physical prototyping, since it can be coupled with a desktop computer for developing purposes (using the parallel-port or such) and potentially with a PDA for demonstration and context-aware tests. Since I have no idea how to modify an actual cell-phone to work with Yashid, the stick-design seems to be the way to go.

Toke Eskildsen, 27. march 2001