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F A Q 

Please contact Microth Support (support@microth.com) if you have a problem or question which is not answered at this FAQ page.

Q What are differences between the keywheel and Apple's TouchWheel?
A The principal difference between keywheel and TouchWheel is that the keywheel uses absolute and discrete positioning, but TouchWheel - relative and continuous. TouchWheel's scrolling doesn't depend on initial position, only its' length determines the result. Keywheel input depends on both the initial position and the length of a gesture. Continuous input of TouchWheel doesn't allow user to control a result without visual feedback, because the dependence between the length of a scroll and a result is not intuitive. How long should user sweep to skip 3 compositions? A discrete mechanism of the keywheel provides clear touch feedback for such operations - to skip 3 composition user should sweep 3 keys. That provides eye-free interface and facilitate user input.

Q What are differences between the keywheel and Microsoft's Xnav (Perlin's QuikWriting)?
A One of the principal differences between keywheel and Xnav is that the keywheel uses the whole sequence of activated keys, but Xnav - only initial and final positions of a stroke outside the rest area. Therefore, Xnav either has a limited set of input mean (for 4 zones only 4*4=16 means ) or should use increased number of keys. Xnav also can't control continuous values like volume or provide list scrolling. Meanwhile if the inner area of the keywheel is isolated from its' keys then user may not lift a finger during keywheel input and enter text as one continuous gesture returning the finger to the inner area after each symbol.

Q How the keywheel and Hopkins's pie menus are related?
A Keywheel works like the classic pie menu if a user just touches a sector of the keywheel, but doesn't wind the finger around its' center. The keywheel also may be considered as the scrolling pie menu if a user wind around the center, but the initial sector of keywheel is fixed. In general case, the keywheel combines both these interfaces in one. It's like to have the scrolling pie menu in each sector of the classic one. That radically increases a number of input means provided with the same number of sectors, or the number of sectors can be reduced to increase input speed and reliability accordingly to Fitt's law.

Q How the keywheel can be implemented?
A You can use any sensor tehnology for implementation of the keywheel: capacitive or resistive circular angular sensors, or 4-8 dot sensors placed at the ring. You even can use simple circular contacts closed by a finger. You also may use a real rotary dial with finger position and angle of rotation sensors.

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