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Redefining user input on handheld devices

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1 Author(s)
Hare, C.B. ; Digit Wireless, Cambridge, MA, USA

In migrating users to 3G applications, developers, device manufacturers and network operators are asking the public to believe in the wireless Internet. While improvements have been made in many areas, we believe that the user input methods are a remaining inhibitor. Devices have continued to get smaller, while at the same time require more functionality. We present a technology called the Fastap keypad with a 3D arrangement of keys where two keyboards have effectively been superimposed on top of each other to form keys that are each close to the size of desktop keyboard keys. More than fifty keys can be placed on the front of a handheld device the size of a phone. The 3G applications that are envisioned currently use 12 keys for data entry of letters, numbers and punctuation characters. Applications requiring data input will all benefit from an arrangement of full sized "1 key per character" keys that can be used with much less learning and key actuations than current methods. We believe that many applications will not make a smooth transition to wireless without an improved data entry method. Fastap technology provides an option for user input that is not available today on devices. It provides ease of use, large keys, versatile implementation methods, and simple manufacturing. By combining these features in one place, users can access applications more quickly, with fewer keystrokes, and without accessories.

Published in:

3G Mobile Communication Technologies, 2002. Third International Conference on (Conf. Publ. No. 489)

Date of Conference:

8-10 May 2002