Thwarted by a bandaid?

I recently cut the pad of my index finger and while getting frustrated with the bandaid getting caught on other keys of my normal keyboard, I started wondering how bandaids might effect typing on the TextBlade. Any TREGgers have any experience with that? Are the TextBlade keys sensitive enough that they will still pick up the keystrokes if you have a bandaid or anything else on your fingers?

Just curious while I continue to wait…

Yes, the TextBlade will sense a poke by a non-conductive object (I tried the non-marking end of a permanent marker). I’ll try a finger bandage tonight!

For the curious, it is remarkable how sensitive the TextBlade is! Some of us may have shopped for gloves with special fingertips that are “smartphone compatible” because the capacitive touch sensing grid on most smartphones won’t pick up non-conductive objects.

The TextBlade sensors don’t have that problem.

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There are problems. I used the eraser end of a pencil on a key (the I/K/, stack).

In my short testing, I could get the comma and the K pretty well, but the “I” almost always gave me the K. I had to be at the extreme top end of the “I” to get it.

Also, if you have a finger barely touching one of the characters and use the pencil to press one of the others, the result will be where your finger is, even though it isn’t applying force at that point. So I suspect a bandaid will have issues if it prevents all contact with the skin of that finger.

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I think you have the physics completely wrong here. It’s not about contact with the skin. The sensor is below the key and never has any contact with the skin. It’s about how much extra gap that bandaid puts between your finger and the sensor.
Since you already have the part that’s almost impossible to get, why not just get yourself a bandaid and perform the experiment instead of guessing. But since we are guessing, I’ll venture a guess that you will find it works fairly well.

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It uses touch. As I said, I can barely touch, say, the R key with my finger and press down solidly on the V with the pencil eraser - I’ll get the R, not the V, over and over. So the skin is having some effect.

Now, will this affect normal tying? Hard to say. I mean, you aren’t normally hitting two places at once! But in a brief experiment, I did see more errors. It seems this may be a bigger deal vertically rather than horizontally (assuming all on the same keycap). And, of course, with the bandaid on, everything feels off anyway to it may just be my accuracy when it feels so different. Personally, my impression is that it is both the different feel and the lack of skin contact.

Okay, works just fine with a finger bandage. I also tried 8 layers of disposable paper towel over the Right Blade and it detected what I intended just fine. It’s pretty amazing tech!

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It is looking for a change in capacitance - since your finger affects capacitance more than the pencil eraser, the pad under your finger “won” and that was the letter chosen.

I don’t want to disclose too much about the design, just out of respect for the NDA we signed, but suffice to say, TextBlade is many times more sensitive than existing touch screens.

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That’s awesome! Thanks for testing it out and satisfying my curiosity!

@dabigkahuna I don’t think it uses touch on the actual plastic keycaps, but it is using a capacitive sensor. A bandaid shouldn’t be a big issue at all.

It’s definitely far far more sensitive than a smartphone screen.

Either way, the bandaid changes what it would sense - that is, give a weaker signal. But it is tricky to see what it might do in ordinary typing. Because only one finger is going to hit the same keycap at a time. Therefore a weaker signal may still be enough to isolate the key you want. I do know I got more errors with the bandaid, but how much of that was because the bandaid completely throws off the normal feel? I only know from limited testing that even with a bandaid, I’d prefer to use the TB rather than another keyboard and just put up with the increase in errors. And, of course, if I was wearing a bandaid for days, I may well completely adjust to the different feel. But I’m not going to test that long!

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This is coming from @dabigkahuna which ran some of the longest tests and gathered the most data about typing speed improvements I’ve ever seen.

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I would totally imagine a bandaid (or anything in the way) would decrease accuracy in situations where it’s already close.

It does seem like there’s a good bit of buffer before that’s an issue however, this thing really is remarkably sensitive.

:slight_smile:

I was actually surprised how far off my finger would move when I used the bandaid. I think, at least for me, that I am really sensitive to a change of feel, even if just one finger, which lets me drift further away.

Heck, I guess there is just no getting around it - I just need to test it longer and see what happens.

Well, maybe test it just a little longer, because it got way too annoying for me to work at it more. I did two tests types (6 of each).

First I put the bandaid in a location as if the cut was close to the worst possible place - so the bandaid would completely prevent any skin on the finger from touching the key when typing (right index finger). That screws thing up as a result, but also because the edges of the bandaid tends to stick out a bit - with the forward edge being loose. That is, not held firmly against the finger like the main part of the bandaid would be. As you’ll see, I was pretty bad. I imagine if I tracked the errors like I used to do, I could improve significantly. But, for now, I’d say I tended to keep getting keys above what I was aiming for. Below is the adjust wpm and the number of errors for one minute tests. Obviously, the 2nd one was luck! But still a big drop from my norm. BTW, this test counts errors a bit differently. As near as I can tell, if you mistype three letters, but all in the same word, it only couns it as one error. Other tests would count it as 3. So the number of missed characters is higher than the number of errors, which are just how many words had errors, not how many characters:

42 8 errors
56 1 error
48 13 errors
40 12 errors
37 8 errors
38 12 errors

Then I did another set of tests, moving the bandaid further away from the very tip of the finger. This meant typing let some skin hit the key, which helped. As I tested, I found I could do even better if I curved the index finger more so I was mostly hitting the tip of my finger and, hopefully, none of the bandaid. I didn’t feel things were typing automatically. Felt more like a chore. But I did much better:

54 6 errors
54 1 error
60 2 errors
61 3 errors
63 1 error
68 0 errors

From this testing, I’d say the less bandaid you need, the further from the tip of the finger it is, if you can, use a narrower bandaid to minimize any excessive part of it sticking out, etc, the better you’ll do. Certain should improve if you have to keep the bandaid on for days rather than a short time with less chance to adjust.

If anyone has tiny, round bandaids (like dots), and very sheer too, it would be interesting to see how they worked if on the tip yet not sticking out extra. You’d have no skin contact, but nothing extra sticking out and maybe, if they were very sheer, it wouldn’t hurt the feel as much as a thicker pad.

I read some time ago that there was some kind of bandaid that didn’t even use a pad. There was just the sticky area that would go directly over the wound. Never seen them, but if they exist, they may work the best.

Going back to normal typing without a bandaid still felt odd for a little while, but I’m okay now.

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Sheesh … y’all took this testing to an extreme. LOL. I was just curious if it prevented the TextBlade from recognizing the key you typed. Thanks for all the testing and feedback, though!

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Glad to help. I get curious myself about some special cases people may post. Testing yours was kind of annoying though - hated the altered feel. But worth knowing what to expect.

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I cut my finger on the weekend so I’ve been typing with a bandaid on the left index finger these past two days.

I have a few more errors that usual, but basically if I follow the tips in @dabigkahuna’s post above, it’s fine. The TextBlade is far more sensitive than my iPad Pro touchscreen - TextBlade senses that finger correctly whereas iPad Pro doesn’t.

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Awesome … glad to know it works with real injuries and not just fake ones. :wink: Can’t wait to get mine … or a treg unit [hint hint nudge nudge :slight_smile: ]

You are right on @brad0, the sensors in the TextBlade are able to sense your finger well before it contacts the keys. You can put all kinds of things on your fingers and the keys, but obstructions do cause some errors. The craziest thing is that I cannot tell if the errors are due to some keyboard issue or how my typing mechanics have been effected by the obstacle I placed there. It’s pretty incredible.