Typing on Midair Virtual Keyboards: Exploring Visual Designs and Interaction Styles

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


We investigate typing on a QWERTY keyboard rendered in virtual reality. Our system tracks users’ hands in the virtual environment via a Leap Motion mounted on the front of a head mounted display. This allows typing on an auto-correcting midair keyboard without the need for auxiliary input devices such as gloves or handheld controllers. It supports input via the index fingers of one or both hands. We compare two keyboard designs: a normal QWERTY layout and a split layout. We found users typed at around 16 words-per-minute using one or both index fingers on the normal layout, and about 15 words-per-minute using both index fingers on the split layout. Users had a corrected error rate below 2% in all cases. To explore midair typing with limited or no visual feedback, we had users type on an invisible keyboard. Users typed on this keyboard at 11 words-per-minute at an error rate of 3.3% despite the keyboard providing almost no visual feedback.

Publication Title

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)