Dasher – writing with gestures

Just watched a [fascinating video](http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5078334075080674416) of a new gesture-based writing system called Dasher on Google Tech Talks. Dasher is a writing system which uses information theoric concepts to allow the user to steer through an emerging web of possible word completions. Developed at Cambridge University and demonstrated by Dave McKay, [Dasher](http://www.dasher.org.uk/) is seen as a tool with immediate applicability for mobile phone users as an alternative to predictive texting and for people with disabilities. However, it seems to me that with a claimed rate of 35 words per minute, it would be useful alternative to “hunt and peck” typing on a keyboard. It’s difficult to describe, but there’s a [Java applet version](http://www.dasher.org.uk/TryJavaDasherNow.html) that you can try on-line. Dasher has been ported to multiple platforms and is freely down-loadable. Worthy of further investigation!

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Author: cpjobling

Senior lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University