Slampad

(with Julian Lepinski)

A colleague and I submitted an entry to the UIST 2009 Student competition sponsored by Microsoft, which challenged entrants to come up with a use for a keyboard that could detect the pressure applied to each key. Here is the pitch from our entry: Mental distractions during text-entry tasks requiring intense concentration are harmful. However, a mental distraction may be so important that it must be written down. Switching windows or opening another application is disorienting, and distracts from the primary task. SLAMPAD leverages the sensitivity of the Microsoft pressure-sensitive keyboard so that a harder keystroke allows the user to switch to the SLAMPAD overlay and continue entering text immediately. Another hard keystroke exits the mode, and returns the user to the visual context of the primary task. SLAMPAD represents an area for rough notes that can be referred to as needed.

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