Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Computer Science

Advisor 1

Keith Vertanen

Committee Member 1

Scott Kuhl

Committee Member 2

Elizabeth Veinott


Until recently text entry in virtual reality has been limited to using hand-held controllers. These techniques of text entry are feasible only for entering short texts like usernames and passwords. But recent improvements in virtual reality devices have paved the way to varied interactions in virtual environment and many of these tasks include annotation, text messaging, etc. These tasks require an effective way of text entry in virtual reality. We present an interactive midair text entry system in virtual reality which allows users to use their one or both hands as the means of entering text. Our system also allows users to enter text on a split keyboard using their two hands. We investigated user performance on these three conditions and found that users were slightly faster when they were using both hands. In this case, the mean entry rate was 16.4 words-per-minute (wpm). While using one hand, the entry rate was 16.1 wpm and using the split keyboard the entry rate was 14.7 wpm. The character error rates (CER) in these conditions were 0.74%, 0.79% and 1.41% respectively.

We also examined the extent to which a user can enter text without having any visual feedback of a keyboard i.e. on an invisible keyboard in the virtual environment. While some found it difficult, results were promising for a subset of 15 participants of the 22 participants. The subset had a mean entry rate of 10.0 wpm and a mean error rate of 2.98%.