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SmartKeys: Context-Aware Keyboard Manipulation Indication, Prediction, Guidance and Recommendation Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238316D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-18

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


we propose "SmartKeys"- a novel context-aware keyboard manipulation indication, predication and guidance method that can directly reflect the keyboard manipulations from keys in the keyboard. In SmartKeys, each key in the computer keyboard will have a backlight that can be turned on/off independently. More importantly, according to the user's profile and the context of the software or game, SmartKeys is able to subsequently indicate the keyboard usage, predict the user's next behavior, and even guide the user with keyboard manipulations: a) Keyboard usage indication: SmartKeys is able to indicate the equivalent keyboard function keys usage or keyboard shortcuts when the user is taking a software/game manipulation with mouse. Instead of displaying text, SmartKeys will turn on/off the backlights of the related keys to indicate the user. This would allow users to learn the key manipulation if needed, e.g. when they use a software or play a game that he/she is not familiar with. The user can turn off this indication any time. b) User Behavior Prediction: By analyzing the user's manipulation history and the context of the software/game, SmartKeys is able to predict the user's next manipulation behavior and meanwhile indicating the user the related keyboard manipulations by the method we introduced in a). c) User Behavior Guidance and Recommendation: Based on the user's behavior and context of the software/game, SmartKeys is able to suggest good behaviors while indicating the related keyboard manipulations.

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SmartKeys: :: Context Context Context- --Aware Keyboard Manipulation Indication Aware Keyboard Manipulation Indication Aware Keyboard Manipulation Indication, ,, Prediction

Prediction Prediction, ,, Guidance and Recommendation

Guidance and Recommendation

A majority of users tend to use mice to manipulate computer software or games. However, some computer manipulations may require a sequence of mouse clicks combined with page/tab changes, which are complicated. Such being the cases, using keyboard to complete the same manipulation may be much faster and more convenient. Fortunately, there are always keyboard usages corresponding to the mouse manipulation resulting in the the same manipulation results, e.g. keyboard function keys or keyboard shortcuts - smart use of keyboard would be able to significantly reduce the software/gaming operation time thus improving operational efficiency.

However, most computer users only know and use very limited keyboard function keys or shortcuts, due to that there are tremendous functions keys or shortcuts available for so many software and games - it is rather difficult for users to memorize them correctly. Another reason is that many users even don't know there are keyboard substitutions to those complicated mouse manipulations. This makes many keyboard function keys or shortcuts becoming "hidden" functions to many users .


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Taking sample browser explorer's shortcuts as an example, it surprisingly has more than 60 keyboard shortcuts (as shown in Fig.
1). For most users, only very few of these shortcuts are practically used due to that these shortcuts are difficult to be memorized. Some software do offer shortcut indications, for example, text display as shown in Fig. 2a. However, the existing form of keyboard


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indications have rather obvious limitations as listed below:

1) The text shortcut indications are not straightforward (e.g. Fig. 2a only shows text instead of showing in the keyboard keys) and users tend to ignore these indications.

2) These indications may be only available for some limited operations (e.g. limited menu buttons as shown in Fig. 2a) of some limited software. The text indications may be unavailable for some operations in software, e.g. the "Clear browsing data" operation in a sample browser.

3) In some cases, e.g. computer games, displaying shortcut help text in game screen may annoy and distract the players, for example, in Fig. 2c.

4) The existing text indications are only able to tell the user what keyboard manipulations are available, but are not able to predict the user's next behavior or guide the user according to the user's profile or pattern.


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To address the above mentioned problem, in this disclosure, we propose "SmartKeys" - a novel context-aware keyboard


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manipulation indication, predication and guidance method that can directly reflect the keyboard manipulations from keys in the keyboard . In...