Typing on Midair Virtual Keyboards: Exploring Visual Designs and Interaction Styles

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Typing on Midair Virtual Keyboards: Exploring Visual Designs and Interaction Styles

Jiban Adhikary and Keith Vertanen

Proceedings of INTERACT, 2021 (to appear).

Entering text in virtual environments can be challenging, especially without auxiliary input devices. We investigate typing on a QWERTY keyboard rendered in virtual reality. Our system visualizes users' hands in the virtual environment, allowing typing on an auto-correcting midair keyboard. It supports input via the index fingers of one or both hands. We compare two keyboard designs: a normal QWERTY layout and a split layout. We found users typed at around 16 words-per-minute using one or both hands on the normal layout, and about 15 words-per-minute using both hands on the split layout. Users had a corrected error rate below 2% in all cases. To explore midair typing with limited or no visual feedback, we had users type on an invisible keyboard. Users typed on this keyboard at 11 words-per-minute at an error rate of 3.3% despite the keyboard providing almost no visual feedback.

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