TabLETS get physical: Non-visual text entry on tablet devices

João Guerreiro (Lead / Corresponding author), André Rodrigues, Kyle Montague (Lead / Corresponding author), Tiago Guerreiro, Hugo Nicolau, Daniel Gonçalves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Citations (Scopus)


Tablet devices can display full-size QWERTY keyboards similar to the physical ones. Yet, the lack of tactile feedback and the inability to rest the fingers on the home keys result in a highly demanding and slow exploration task for blind users. We present SpatialTouch, an input system that leverages previous experience with physical QWERTY keyboards, by supporting two-handed interaction through multitouch exploration and spatial, simultaneous audio feedback. We conducted a user study, with 30 novice touchscreen participants entering text under one of two conditions: (1) SpatialTouch or (2) mainstream accessibility method Explore by Touch. We show that SpatialTouch enables blind users to leverage previous experience as they do a better use of home keys and perform more efficient exploration paths. Results suggest that although SpatialTouch did not result in faster input rates overall, it was indeed able to leverage previous QWERTY experience in contrast to Explore by Touch.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450331456
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2015
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - COEX, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Apr 201523 Apr 2015


Conference33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI 2015
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • Bi-manual interaction
  • Blind
  • Non-visual interaction
  • Spatial audio
  • Tablet
  • Text-entry
  • Touchscreen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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