Author Topic: Chorded two-handed keyboard?  (Read 2462 times)

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Offline wolfv

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Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 17:10:44 »
I have been looking for keyboard layouts that do not require hand movement.
DataHand comes to mind; chording is another possibility.
I have never tried chording, so I would like to know how well it works in practice before I invest in designing and building one.

Is there a keyboard or layout with these attributes?:
   two-handed
   26 to 36 switches total
   26 letters are primary
   secondary characters are on two-key chords

Seems like a keyboard with primary letters and chorded secondary characters would be a good way to make a keyboard with minimal hand movement.
If it's a good idea, someone has probably made one.  If not, maybe it's not such a good idea.

Wikipedia says:
Quote
Thad Starner from Georgia Institute of Technology and others published numerous studies[3][4][5] showing that two handed chorded text entry was faster and yielded fewer errors than on a QWERTY keyboard.
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard#Principles_of_operation

But I can not find where the cited studies say that; maybe it is too good to be true.
I would like to know what keyboard layout they used in their study.

These are the Wikipedia citations:
3. "Half-QWERTY: A One-handed Keyboard Facilitating Skill Transfer From QWERTY". Edgar Matias. 1991-03-21. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
 http://edgarmatias.com/papers/ic93/
4. "Expert Chording Text Entry on the Twiddler One-Handed Keyboard". Computer. 2004-10-31. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
 http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~thad/p/030_10_MTE/twiddler-iswc.pdf
5. "The Impacts of Limited Visual Feedback on Mobile Text Entry for the Twiddler and Mini-QWERTY Keyboards". Computer.
 http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~thad/p/030_10_MTE/impacts-of-limited-visual-feedback-on-mobile-text-entry.pdf

What other information is there on Chorded two-handed keyboards?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 August 2014, 17:14:22 by wolfv »

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 17:22:46 »
No direct information, but some years ago somebody on a bicycle (recumbent, with trailer housing battery / laptop) wrote up a book about his trip as he was tripping ... eight key keyboard if I recall aright -- four on each handle.

 Personally, when I try to visualize the intent of that keyboard I think anything more than 10-16 keys would become too awkward to bother learning (either include the thumbs, or instead include an in & out keys for each finger ... doing both, for 20 keys, again is likely to involve too much thinking).

 I know that along the same lines, someone here has modified Cub-Uniac's Ergodox+TMK firmware to facilitate plover typing, which I was under the impression it was cryptographically oriented at the time but I know what very little I read about it, NKRO chording was an important feature not available on the ergodox before that particular port.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 18:12:55 »
Personally, when I try to visualize the intent of that keyboard I think anything more than 10-16 keys would become too awkward to bother learning (either include the thumbs, or instead include an in & out keys for each finger ... doing both, for 20 keys, again is likely to involve too much thinking).
Thanks AKmalamute.
I was thinking 26 finger keys and make all the letters of the Alphabet primary (single key press).
Other characters would be 2-key chords.  And a few thumb keys.

What are "in & out keys"?


Offline AKmalamute

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 18:19:26 »
I'm not sure there's a proper term since it's such an unusual design -- but I mean a key near the base of the finger, so you'd press it by straightening your hand and flattening your finger against the key, and another you'd press by curling your fingers more, and pulling the key inward.

 Again I'm visualizing the keyboard you'd use while bicycling. Sitting at a computer, unless you're handicapped you want enough keys you're not cramping your fingers for everything. But there are some wild keyboard designs on this site -- plenty of room to prototype one yourself and modify TMK to support your design.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 18:58:45 »
AKmalamute,

I can't visualize the "in & out keys".
Is this the handlebar keyboard biker you are referring to? http://microship.com/resources/technomadic-tools.html

It makes sense to have fewer keys on a bicycle.
My keyboard would be for the home or office, with the keys in a finger trough, like DataHand but without the side switches.

Offline nomaded

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 29 August 2014, 23:42:01 »
I wouldn't call the ErgoDox layout I use as "chording", but I think it might fit what you want.

My layout has the letter and number keys in the normal (Dvorak) locations, but I've mapped layer toggle keys to one thumb key on each side of the keyboard. This allows me to hold the layer toggle key and type symbols, or use the arrow keys very easily. I mostly use this to type out symbols with my index, middle, or ring fingers -- I don't use my pinky fingers as much as I would on a "normal" keyboard.

Is this close to what you mean?
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (MX Clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || Infinity ErgoDox (Zealios 78g tactile) w/SA Retro || Atreus62 (MX Clears) w/Chocolatier || TECK 209 (MX Browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 01:54:15 »
Sorry I didn't explain more clearly.  I try to explain better this time:

I am considering designing and building a keyboard similar to DataHand, but without switches between the fingers.
The assumption is that the side keys between the pinky, ring, and middle fingers are the most difficult.
Is that true?  What is worse on DataHand: N-key (finger nail) or W-key & E-keys (side keys)?

The keyboard I want has these attributes:
    two-handed
    26 to 28 switches total
    all 26 letters of the Alphabet are activated by a single key press
    secondary characters and modifiers are on two-key chords
    a few thumb switches for keys like Space, Shift, and Esc

With at least 26 switches, all letters of the Alphabet are accessible with single key press.
With 28 switches arranged in a finger trough, I can reach all the switches with very little movement, similar to DataHand.
But 26 or 28 keys is not much, hence the need for chording.

I found some 2-handed chorded keyboards, but they are very different than what I want:
   Gkos      6 key http://gkos.com/gkos/index-gkos-com.html
   ASETNIOP   8 key http://asetniop.com/
   Velotype   21 keys on each hand, syllabic chord keyboard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velotype
   Stenotype   22 key phonetic keyboard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenotype

Here is a picture of my current setup:

My elbows are stationary on elbow pads, so all y direction movement comes from flexing and extending my finger joints.
My reach in the y direction is limited to about 1 inch for repetitive movement.
The current set up uses a 3-row keyboard, and it hurts my finger joints, so I don't us it much.

Thank you for reading my long post.  It is quite possible that there are no other 2-handed chorded keyboards and I start the project with the informaion I have.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 02:45:11 »
Definitely research Velotype/Veyboard.

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 10:25:51 »
Hi jacobolus,

The Veyboard is interesting, there is a short explanation of the concept on http://gebotopia.blogspot.com/2012/09/workshop-veyboard.html

Veyboard has most letters of the alphabet once under each hand (some consonants are missing and are produced by typing combination keys e.g. J+T=D).
So there are too many keys for my fingers to reach.

It can be very fast typing.  I guess that's why wikipedia says "two handed chorded text entry was faster and yielded fewer errors than on a QWERTY keyboard."
So now I understand the context of that quote.  Thanks for pointing me to Veyboard.
« Last Edit: Sat, 30 August 2014, 12:29:17 by wolfv »

Offline hoggy

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 11:45:13 »
Can't remember much of of the details, but it might be worth taking a look at plover.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 12:45:42 »
Hi hoggy,

Plover is an opensource equivalent of Stenotype, a phonetic keyboard.
It prints a shorthand based on the sound of words, which can later be transcribed to standard spelling.
« Last Edit: Sat, 30 August 2014, 20:44:14 by wolfv »

Offline Oobly

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 01 September 2014, 06:03:38 »
With a thumb cluster you can easily implement multiple function layers. So you use one layer for normal characters, one for symbols, one for numbers, F keys, etc.

I do something like this with my ergo board. It has 48 keys, though. 4 arrow keys, 4 edit keys, Esc, Del, 8 thumbkeys and 30 "finger" keys. You could drop the Esc, Del, arrow keys and edit keys so you just have 30 finger keys (3 rows of 5 for each hand) and 8 thumb keys (arranged in a square, so you can press any combination of them, see my avatar for details). Then you can assign different layers to different thumb keys. The thumb key arrangement I chose allows me to press any 2 of them together, or all 4 if needed. That gives you a whole lot of layers to assign, even with just one thumb cluster, but I like to put all my modifiers on the thumbs and just use 2 keys on the left thumb cluster for my layers, giving me 4 in total.

See here for more details: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49721.0
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.

Offline wolfv

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 01 September 2014, 07:24:55 »
I do something like this with my ergo board. It has 48 keys, though

Thanks Oobly.  That's a nice layout you have there.
My current setup is similar, but has 40 keys total and three layers and 4-key thumb clusters.
But it makes my fingers and thumbs sore.

I am considering chords to off-load the thumbs and reduce the number of finger keys.
The plan is to put the fingers in a 3-row trough (like DataHand but without side switches between the pinky-ring-middle fingers) and 2-keys on the thumb cluster for a total of 32 or 34 keys :eek:.

Offline berserkfan

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Re: Chorded two-handed keyboard?
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 05 September 2014, 09:52:12 »
I have been looking for keyboard layouts that do not require hand movement.
DataHand comes to mind; chording is another possibility.
I have never tried chording, so I would like to know how well it works in practice before I invest in designing and building one.

Is there a keyboard or layout with these attributes?:
   two-handed
   26 to 36 switches total
   26 letters are primary
   secondary characters are on two-key chords

Seems like a keyboard with primary letters and chorded secondary characters would be a good way to make a keyboard with minimal hand movement.
If it's a good idea, someone has probably made one.  If not, maybe it's not such a good idea.

Wikipedia says:
Quote
Thad Starner from Georgia Institute of Technology and others published numerous studies[3][4][5] showing that two handed chorded text entry was faster and yielded fewer errors than on a QWERTY keyboard.
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard#Principles_of_operation

But I can not find where the cited studies say that; maybe it is too good to be true.
I would like to know what keyboard layout they used in their study.

These are the Wikipedia citations:
3. "Half-QWERTY: A One-handed Keyboard Facilitating Skill Transfer From QWERTY". Edgar Matias. 1991-03-21. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
 http://edgarmatias.com/papers/ic93/
4. "Expert Chording Text Entry on the Twiddler One-Handed Keyboard". Computer. 2004-10-31. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
 http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~thad/p/030_10_MTE/twiddler-iswc.pdf
5. "The Impacts of Limited Visual Feedback on Mobile Text Entry for the Twiddler and Mini-QWERTY Keyboards". Computer.
 http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~thad/p/030_10_MTE/impacts-of-limited-visual-feedback-on-mobile-text-entry.pdf

What other information is there on Chorded two-handed keyboards?

Thank you.

strongly suggest that you check out Samwisekoi's GH36 project. It is very promising for creating your own programmable mini keyboard on a matrix. As a guy who uses a matrix keyboard with clusters of 36 main keys on each side simulating an ergodox, I find that I can type with virtually no hand movement once the layout is good.

I remember checking out chorded keyboards and found them too expensive and poorly supported. I don't want to spend the cash and find that the company has folded a few years later making the keyboard incompatible with the latest version of windows.
Most of the modding can be done on your own once you break through the psychological barriers.