The main idea for the project is to come up with a natural and intuitive way for symbolic input in scenarios where a physical keyboard is necessarily impossible/inconvenient to use, for instance inside a CAVE like environment or a collaborative setup while multiple users sharing a single visual display might need to interact with the system all simultaneously. The interaction technique that is to be designed needs to be intuitive in the sense that a novice user manages to understand or relate to how it functions and it also needs to be learnable in the sense that with a little familiarity and practice, the technique becomes requires close to demanding no cognitive effort.
This can be achieved somewhat easily if we base the design of the technique off of an already existing and known input technique, as compared to building a whole new technique. So the question at hand becomes, ” how do we design an interaction technique that takes advantage of what the users are generally familiar with and at the same time realize this technique without the use of devices that are in use in order to implement the technique? “.
While trying to answer this question, we quickly realized that two skills that we can use to achieve this would be either to take advantage of the layout of the physical keyboards (owing to user familiarity), or use the natural shape of the letters and numbers and symbols to define gestures that will correspond to them.
As an addition to using this knowledge, we also want the system to be relative in speed and accuracy, so incorporating gaze direction input along with gestures came up as a thought. One very rudimentary design idea is to allow the user to use his gaze and one quick and unique gesture to indicate the start of input and the intended character respectively.
Keeping in mind that the input technique should be very well defined for a particular context (for instance, the idea mentioned above requires a visual feedback due to the gaze input dependency, which cannot be taken for granted in all application contexts ) and limited by that context space’s constraints , we intend to come up with a technique that the users picks up with ease and also is able to master it without much effort, both without compromising on speed and accuracy of the input task.