DexType: Virtual Keyboard For Leap Motion Controller
Leap Motion controller, that allows you to control your computer by using gestures (sometimes just a flick of a finger is enough), was made available to the public on Monday. Of the very few apps that are available in the Leap Motion, one that truly stands out, and is extremely useful for people with impaired motor skills (whose skills may not be strong enough to use a physical keyboard) is an app called DexType.
DexType is a virtual keyboard that lets you type by just using gestures in the air. To type, the user just “bounces” from one key to another. The keys are aligned in a line at the bottom of the screen, and the user can switch to one of many keyboard formats with QWERTY, of course, being one of them. The beauty of DexType is that typing can be achieved by using only two fingers one one hand. Using just one hand for typing would be beneficial for people who may have only one hand functional and/or one of their hands is paralyzed.
DexType also comes with tools that help users navigate the web without the use of a keyboard and mouse. Going to any website, composing and sending emails, following links and doing every task that you would typically do on the web is a breeze with DexType.
Here is a quick demo of DexType in action.
This app is available for Google chrome here for free till August 7. After that, the free version will be ad supported and a premium ad free version will be available for $4.99.
Read the following press release for more detailed and specific information about DexType.
On Monday, the LEAP Motion gesture recognition device finally became available to everyone. The first generation of software for the LEAP includes some incredible programs, but we believe that gesture recognition can be used for so much more than just playing games. We’re proud to announce the release of DexType, which changes the LEAP from an entertaining gadget into a genuinely useful tool by providing an alternative to the most important peripheral device of all – the keyboard.
DexType is the world’s first truly “virtual” keyboard, a system that allows users to type using nothing more than gestures in the air. The keys are arranged at the bottom of the screen in a single line. The sequence of letters is a linear arrangement of the familiar QWERTY keyboard.* To type, the user simply bounces from key to key.
DexType gives you a lot of leeway to be imprecise with your keystrokes. It treats keystrokes as groups instead of as discrete letters, and processes input with a disambiguation algorithm to predict the intended output. This means that even with gibberish input, such as “nxopl”, the system will still produce a word – “hello”. The most likely output is predicted based on the available possibilities, and if necessary the user can select from other options with a simple swiping gesture.
If definitive keystrokes are required (such as for acronyms, usernames, or passwords), they are easily available by simply pressing deeper. Numbers and symbols are accesible through a separate layout, but can also be produced via handwriting recognition. Punctuation can be produced via chords – pressing two keys at the same time in specific regions. Editing is possible using simple gestures – a sideways swipe allows the user to erase single letters or entire words, depending on the length of the motion.
DexType includes a tool set that gives you all the options you need to navigate the web without having to use a keyboard or a mouse. You can scroll and click within pages, and most importantly, you can type. You can follow links, launch a search engine, or navigate directly to literally anywhere on the web. You can compose emails and documents, or fill in forms. You can move backward or forward in your browser history; you can open new tabs, close existing ones, or browse through them all.
With DexType, it becomes possible to use a computer without having to touch anything at all. Pastry chefs can look up recipes while their hands are covered in flour. Neurosurgeons can add notes to a brainscan without having to touch an unsterilized surface. And everyone else can lounge on the couch and select a movie to watch while munching on buttered popcorn.
DexType is currently available for download via the Chrome Web Store (see link below). The software is absolutely free until August 7, at which point the free version will become ad-supported and a premium version will be available for $4.99.
DexType will also be available for cellphones and tablets. In late August, we intend to have a beta version available for Android users to download and try. Users who purchase the premium version of DexType will receive automatic access to the Android version, and the beta version will be available to other users as well for a minimal cost.
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