Keyboard Software Responds Differently to Each Finger to Improve Shortcuts
By Anna Green
Keyboard shortcuts provide a quick and easy way to change settings in different computer programs without scrolling through menu windows or searching cryptic toolbar icons. Usually, shortcuts involve combinations of different keys pressed in unison, and often the more shortcuts you program, the tougher those combinations can be to remember. Researchers Jingjie Zheng and Daniel Vogel of the University of Waterloo are trying to make keyboard shortcuts simpler—with new software that can detect which hand and finger you use to press each key.
Gizmodo reports that Zheng and Vogel created a program called Finger-Aware Shortcuts which uses your computer’s built-in camera and a simple 3D printed mirror to track finger positioning on the keyboard. Depending on which finger you use, each key responds differently. For example, pressing the “G” key with your left pointer finger might produce the letter “G” as it normally does. But pressing the same key with your right pointer finger might take you to a new page, or open a search window.
In the short demo video above, the researchers show how Finger-Aware Shortcuts could revolutionize workflow on word processing programs and visual design software. For instance, Finger-Aware Shortcuts could let Photoshop users toggle between different settings fluidly without searching through settings, augmenting existing keyboard shortcuts with a much wider range of possibilities. Check it out above.
Banner Image Credit: Daniel Vogel, YouTube