Author Topic: Dasher is a data entry interface incorporating language modelling  (Read 141 times)

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Dasher is a data entry interface incorporating language modelling and driven by continuous two-dimensional gestures, e.g. a mouse, a stylus. Dasher is an information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by natural continuous pointing gestures.

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Dasher

Dasher is an information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by natural continuous pointing gestures. Dasher is a competitive text-entry system wherever a full-size keyboard cannot be used - for example,

    when operating a computer one-handed, by joystick, touchscreen, trackball, or mouse;
    when operating a computer with zero hands (i.e., by head-mouse or by eyetracker);
    on a palmtop computer;
    on a wearable computer.

The eyetracking version of Dasher allows an experienced user to write text as fast as normal handwriting - 29 words per minute; using a mouse, experienced users can write at 39 words per minute.

Dasher can be used to write efficiently in any language.

Dasher is fast and fun to learn. (If you don't believe us, see what users round the world say.)

 Dasher is a zooming interface. You point where you want to go, and the display zooms in wherever you point. The world into which you are zooming is painted with letters, so that any point you zoom in on corresponds to a piece of text. The more you zoom in, the longer the piece of text you have written. You choose what you write by choosing where to zoom.

To make the interface efficient, we use the predictions of a language model to determine how much of the world is devoted to each piece of text. Probable pieces of text are given more space, so they are quick and easy to select. Improbable pieces of text (for example, text with spelling mistakes) are given less space, so they are harder to write. The language model learns all the time: if you use a novel word once, it is easier to write next time.

A big advantage of Dasher over other predictive text-entry interfaces that offer word-completions to the user is that it is mode-free: the user does not need to switch from a writing mode to an "accept-model-predictions" mode.

Another advantage is that it is easy to train the model on any writing style: simply load up an example file, then write away!

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Dasher is like an arcade game: `Attack of the killer alphabets', perhaps.
Financial Times, 5th February 2002.

Special Needs

Dasher is highly appropriate for computer users who are unable to use a two-handed keyboard. One-handed users and users with no hands love Dasher. The only ability that is required is sight.

Dasher can be driven using a mouse, a trackpad, a touchscreen, a rollerball, or a joystick - any two-dimensional pointing device that can take over the role of a mouse. A foot mouse and a head mouse are additional options.

It can also be driven using an gazetracker, giving a completely-hands-free writing system. After one hour's practice, some users are able to write at more than 20 words per minute using Dasher with an gazetracker. Experienced users reach 30 words per minute.

http://www.inference.org.uk/dasher/

http://www.inference.org.uk/dasher/Download.html

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dasher/

 


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