My workspace: speech recognition and foot keyboard
My computer workspace is an unusual one. It is designed with the goal of virtually eliminating the usual physical strain on fingers, hands, and arms. Therefore, the use of these body parts must be drastically reduced—something that no amount of tinkering with keyboard or mouse design can achieve. The other goal is that the reassigned workspace be more efficient the conventional one; otherwise, there is no incentive to start working in different ways. These goals are usually regarded as irreconcilable. Attempting to solve the problem, I have been motivated by a typing injury (for that story see CTD-RSI).
After ten years of trial and error, I believe that I have found a promising approach. The solution is not commercially available. And, I don't know to which extent my ideas apply in general for the many people who are unable to use the keyboard and mouse in the intensive way necessitated by modern jobs.
My low-impact workspace concept integrates three user interface ideas:
The physical expression of this concept can be seen in this picture:
The video demos demonstrate how composing a letter is a breeze with speech recognition and how repetitive tasks are accomplished easily by foot work.
With the techniques illustrated in the videos, it is possible to work while leaning backwards in a relaxed manner, since hand work and finger work has been reduced to just occasionally pushing the mouse around. Therefore, the workplace puts less stress on neck and back as well.