Have you ever wondered if touch experiences could be effectively integrated (and be more ergonomic) in standard deskbound computing scenarios? As many users interact with complex content creation applications in various verticals such as tech, finance, design, academics, etc., could the addition of touch input and display capabilities on their keyboard actually make them more efficient?
To explore the potential benefits of a dynamic horizontal input experience we here at Microsoft Hardware and the Applied Sciences Group wanted to expand on these questions. We created a concept prototype in the Adaptive Keyboard (see the above video) that suggests that the display capabilities of high efficiency input devices such as keyboards and mice should be as dynamic and relevant to user context as the UI on the PC screen.
The Adaptive Keyboard concept is now part of the Student Innovation Contest at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. We hope the participating students will come up with truly unique and valuable uses for this particular evolutionary input device concept.
In addition to the device itself, a software infrastructure was developed to quickly enable the students participating in the UIST innovation Contest to create their own on-device experiences. .
We here at Microsoft are constantly looking for the future of PC interaction. While touching the screen of your slate PC is a compelling interaction experience for many scenarios we think there is an opportunity to improve the experiences for those of us working at a desk with keyboards and mice all day. We hope the results of the UIST contest will show us if this particular concept has any legs.