Conference date and location: 24-26 October, 2011, Dundee, Scotland
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Humsher: A Predictive Keyboard Operated by Humming

Ondrej Polacek, Zdenek Mikovec, Adam Sporka and Pavel Slavik


This paper presents Humsher – a novel text entry method operated by the non-verbal vocal input, specifically the sound of humming. The method utilizes an adaptive language model for text prediction. Four different user interfaces are presented and compared. Three of them use dynamic layout in which n-grams of characters are presented to the user to choose from according to their probability in given context. The last interface utilizes static layout, in which the characters are displayed alphabetically and a modified binary search algorithm is used for an efficient selection of a character. All interfaces were compared and evaluated in a user study involving 17 able-bodied subjects. Case studies with four disabled people were also performed in order to validate the potential of the method for motor-impaired users. The average speed of the fastest interface was 14 characters per minute, while the fastest user reached 30 characters per minute. Disabled participants were able to type at 14 – 22 characters per minute after seven sessions.

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