Swipeboard: A Text Entry Technique for Ultra-Small Devices That Supports Novice to Expert Transitions

Xiang Anthony Chen, Tovi GrossmanGeorge Fitzmaurice

ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology

Swipeboard: A Text Entry Technique for Ultra-Small Devices That Supports Novice to Expert Transitions (2:08 min.)


Ultra-small smart devices, such as smart watches, have become increasingly popular in recent years. As these devices continue to shrink, text entry becomes increasingly difficult. In the sole pursuit of entry speed, the ultimate solution is a shorthand technique (e.g., Morse code) that sequences tokens of input (e.g., key, tap, swipe) into unique representations of each character. However, learning such techniques is hard, as it often resorts to rote memory. Our technique, Swipeboard, leverages our spatial memory of a QWERTY keyboard to learn, and eventually master, a shorthand, eyes-free text entry method designed for ultra-small devices. Characters are entered with two swipes; the first swipe specifies the region where the character is located, and the second swipe specifies the character within that region. Our study showed that within 30 minutes, novices reach a level of performance equivalent to existing techniques, and our sample data shows that experts can reach text entry speeds of up to 32.91 words per minute.

Related Publications


Related Projects

  • Novel Input & Output

    The nature and quality of interaction can be dramatically affected by both the input sensing capabilities and output display characteristics of an interactive system. We are interested in exploring novel input and output configurations to help guide and inform future system designs that may be deployed on a wider scale as these technologies mature.

Welcome ${RESELLERNAME} Customers

Please opt-in to receive reseller support

I agree that Autodesk may share my name and email address with ${RESELLERNAME} so that ${RESELLERNAME} may provide installation support and send me marketing communications.  I understand that the Reseller will be the party responsible for how this data will be used and managed.

Email is required Entered email is invalid.