WalkType: using accelerometer data to accomodate situational impairments in mobile touch screen text entry
Mayank Goel, Leah Findlater, Jacob Wobbrock
The lack of tactile feedback on touch screens makes typing difficult, a challenge exacerbated when situational impairments like walking vibration and divided attention arise in mobile settings. We introduce WalkType, an adaptive text entry system that leverages the mobile device's built-in tri-axis accelerometer to compensate for extraneous movement while walking. WalkType's classification model uses the displacement and acceleration of the device, and inference about the user's footsteps. Additionally, WalkType models finger-touch location and finger distance traveled on the screen, features that increase overall accuracy regardless of movement. The final model was built on typing data collected from 16 participants. In a study comparing WalkType to a control condition, WalkType reduced uncorrected errors by 45.2% and increased typing speed by 12.9% for walking participants.