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KITTY is an abbreviation for keyboard independent touch typing, a device developed by Dr. Carsten Mehring. Designed for use in vertical markets where regular keyboards are not appropriate, it's a wearable input device that is easily learnt by users already proficient with QWERTY keyboard touch-typing. The project required visualization of finger patterns needed to produce the standard set of ASCII keyboard characters. See diagram below, showing locations of the standard alpha characters (for brevity, numbers and symbols are not shown in these examples).

Hand Key Diagram
Hands viewed from 1st person perspective - palms facing upwards.

Interactive Flash module

Here's one of several Flash media modules built to interactively demonstrate the finger and thumb contact positions needed to input characters. A number of modules from different view points and varying rendering styles (wire frame, semi-transparent, and solid shaded) were investigated during the project. In this module the view is from the 3rd person, looking up from below; the typists right hand is on the left and left hand is on the right.

Click image to activate then type, or click on key letters - view from 3rd person looking up from below.
A Flash compatible plugin is required to interact with this content.

Finger joints

Correctly showing the thumbs and fingers reaching each contact location in a natural manner was a challenge. Hands are very flexible, much more so than you'd imagine if just presented with the individual degrees of freedom for each joint. The 3D hand model required plenty of joint latitude over the usual physical maximum and minimum rotations; joints also needed a range of fan bones and Smart Skin to keep the skin surface moving naturally. I'm glad Carsten requested an illustrated style and not photo realism, it allowed me to spend more of the project schedule on refining finger poses rather than tweaking the render quality.

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