In virtual reality (VR), not having a proper system for typing text is a complex problem. As the users are unable to see the outside world, a keyboard, even if available, becomes unusable. To overcome this problem, Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a VR text input system.
The patent is a better way to write long or complex text in VR when using Xbox gamepads or tracked motion controllers. This is done by using a radial design with predictive text and layered inputs.
Despite not being the most accurate or intuitive, QWERTY keyboards are popular since the users are familiar with them. These keyboards allow users to create a lot of text quickly. Moreover, it is designed for a full ten-finger input which makes it a poor fit for single-cursor systems currently on offers. However, Microsoft is thinking about devising a system that will offer similar levels of speed and accuracy within VR.
The new patent will use a wheel interface which would prove to be an easier way for virtual reality users to input text quickly compared to the existing systems of floating keyboards. The typing wheel will be suitable for the use in VR where game controllers are the most common method of input.
Though there is no guarantee that Microsoft will ever create a product that uses the system specified in the patent, it is still possible that it has been working on the system since the filing in March 2018.
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