Power-Aware Computing: Then, Now, and into the Future

Computer systems have faced significant power challenges at many points in their history, but over the past 20 years, these challenges have shifted from mainly being addressed at the devices and circuits level, to their current position as first-order constraints for architects and software developers. With power concerns creeping up the implementation layers, while application-level changes alter the nature of computation being performed, the natural approaches and opportunities for power mitigation require constant innovation.

Eyes-Free Input on Mobile Devices

I will discuss new methods and studies that aim to improve eyes-free data entry for blind mobile device users. Currently, mobile devices are generally accessible to blind people, but text entry is almost prohibitively slow. Studies show that blind people enter text on an iPhone at a rate of just 4 words per minute. I will present Perkinput, a chording text entry method where users touch the screen with one to three fingers at a time in patterns based on Braille. Instead of soft keys, Perkinput uses concepts from signal detection theory to determine the user’s input.

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