Writing in VR

I am not convinced that for creating text we will want to use keyboard, either real or virtual, in a future reality where millions of people wander around together in shared Virtual and Augmented reality. Perhaps we will simply move away from the use of text altogether.

After all, speech-to-text is now quite reliable, and faster than typing in many cases. Still, there is something appealing about using our hands rather than our mouths to create text. It allows us to work with text while continuing our conversation with other humans, which is very useful for collaboration.

Because of the recent emergence of VR at the consumer level, a lot of people are now thinking about the text input question. But what properties should a “virtual VR/AR keyboard” have?

One of the great things about using your hands to type on a QWERTY keyboard is that you don’t need to look at your hands. You can keep talking with other people, maintain eye contact, be able to absorb their body language, all while typing away.

I suspect that we will continue to value those two constraints: (1) the ability to continue talking with people while creating text, and (2) not needing to look at your hands while you are creating text. Exactly what form that will take, as VR and AR continue to go mainstream, only time will tell.

2 Responses to “Writing in VR”

  1. Al says:

    I remember an early “on screen keyboard” idea (pre touch screen) was to replace the keyboard with Morse Code. Once people learn it they can actually type quite quickly and it does meet your requirements.

    Not sure how it would well it would scale to type the most important parts of text these days… Unicode and emojis.

  2. admin says:

    Ah, wouldn’t it be cool if it turned out that the best text entry system for VR turns out to be the granddaddy of cyber-text encoding — good old zero-dimensional Morse Code!

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