HP Labs IndiaResearch - Intuitive Multimodal and Gestural Interaction project
|Gesture Keyboard (GKB)|
The Gesture Keyboard (GKB) is a unique device for entering phonetic scripts. GKB is a pen-based, low-cost device that can be used to input text in these languages. With GKB, an average user can achieve a speed of 10 words per minute with just 2 hours of practice. HP has developed the device for Devanagari and Tamil scripts and the same technology can be extended to any phonetic script.
With the help of GKB, people who are not conversant with English language can use the computer for sending emails, web browsing and search, online chatting and handling documentation in their own language. Prior knowledge of English or typing skills is not required to use GKB.
HP Labs India was the runner-up in the prestigious Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Award in the Consumer Electronics area for its work on GKB. To quote the judges: "the device had the potential to reach areas ".Watch Video
Email is one of the popular methods of communication in the computer environment. Across the globe, English is the most widely used language for email communication, thus limiting its usage. Script Mail addresses the language dependency by building a low cost, portable, language independent and low network connectivity email device primarily catering to the emerging market. Using this handheld device, the user can compose email in the local language (script) that can be viewed by the receiver as a PC recognizable bitmap. The user can also communicate with another Script Mail user or any user with a pc based email client.
Script Mail consists of a display screen on which the user can type the destination email address and scribble the contents of the email to be sent using a stylus. This information gets stored in the device. To send and receive emails, the user can plug the device into a telephone socket. The device establishes a connection to the remote email server through a modem; uploads/sends the mails stored on the device and downloads the unread mails from the mail server to the device. The user can view the unread mails through the interactive GUI on the device using a stylus and the touch screen interface provided by Script Mail.
|Camera and Pen Based Interfaces to Capture Digital Ink|
Despite visions of paperless office, we do not foresee the disappearance of the pen and paper in the near future. Writing by hand is convenient in the physical world. The ease of use, affordability, familiarity and the feeling of pen and paper will see it’s continued usage in a large number of human activities.
But the content on physical paper is difficult to edit, copy and search in an electronic world. Our research involves transferring handwritten ink on paper to a digital domain
Another technology trend is the proliferation of digital cameras. Cameras are getting inexpensive and in the future all laptops may come with built-in cameras. Our motivation is to build a low-cost solution for laptops using a camera to capture handwritten ink on ordinary paper. The digital ink content should become editable and searchable. The objective is to build systems capable of recognizing characters written in any language.
Within our broader theme of image based interactions, we would like to create the experience of hyperlinking, so prevelant in the digital world, in the world of phyical information i.e paper. The user can create a "hyperlink" on paper by marking it physically and the image of information surrounding the hyperlink acts as a signature for recall when the same image is presented to the system later. The hyperlinked information can be any information on the Web or local storage. When the user "points" to the hyperlink by capturing the image with a camera, the unique signature and the corresponding link is fetched from the database.
|Image based Interactions|
Significant research effort has gone into improving our iteractions with information that are born in the digital world. However, some information are born in the physical world (e.g. paper) for reasons of unmatched affordances. Our interactions with information in the physical world has not been so smooth because it does not interface well with the information in the digital world. The proliferation of digital cameras in almost all kind of mobile devices, has created the possibility of taking a snapshot of the information in the physical world into the digital world, anywhere anytime.
The objective of our research is to be able to create seamless interactions, of these images of physical world, in the digital world. We would like to build interfaces and interactions where the boundary between the physical and the digital world disappears for the user.
|Design and User Research|
Usage is the best barometer of the relevance of technology. It is our constant endeavor from the labs to make technology that is of value to people. Design and user research therefore is a very important element of our overall research agenda. This ongoing effort not only spurs new technology research but also helps us validate and guide ongoing development projects.
We use a slew of different user research techniques to make sure we can meaningfully inform and guide the technology research. Ethnography, contextual inquiry, quantitative research, usability testing are methods that we frequently deploy.
This page was last updated on October 17, 2012
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