Dasher Offers An Alternative Text Input Method

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2009
Software, Windows, Windows software

microsoft windows The majority of computer users use a combination of a computer keyboard and computer mouse for text input. Some make use of lesser popular and specialized text input methods that include touchscreens, motion capturing devices, tablets or joysticks. The software program Dasher adds another very interesting albeit specialized data input method that can be used with one or even no hand at all. The fastest way of using Dasher is by using the computer mouse but it is also possible to make use of a motion tracking device to use no hands at all.

Data, that is text mainly, is entered in Dasher by moving a pointer to the appropriate chars that appear on the right side of the application's screen. The developers claim that experienced users can write up to 39 words a minute when using the computer mouse and 29 when using a motion detection device. It is probably better to visualize the way it works, below is an animated gif explaining the concept.

Dasher has been designed for situations like these:

  • when operating a computer one-handed, by joystick, touchscreen, trackball, or mouse;
  • when operating a computer with zero hands (i.e., by head-mouse or by eyetracker);
  • on a palmtop computer;
  • on a wearable computer.

It basically works by moving the pointer on the character boxes that appear on the left side. Dasher is using language predictions to determine the most likely and less likely chars giving the most likely chars more space in the interface. The program will also learn over time so that new words become easier to write the next time.

Users who want to try out Dasher should know that they need to spend quite some time before it becomes easier to work with the software program.


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