Why is the TapSec needed?

The Pen environment imposes unique demands upon the user for visual attention, mental processing and manual skill.  As a result a precise standard is required to adequately gauge the advantages of acceleration technologies in Pen-Centric environments.  

The TapSec was developed by Synaptek to provide a way of comparing the relative performance of acceleration technologies and their impact on the end user.  

What is the TapSec?

The TapSec measures the performance of an input method relative to theoretically perfect acceleration. It is a complexity-attention measure designed to gauge the efficacy of input technologies.

Essentially, the more complex a task in terms of visual and mental processing the longer it will take to perform. Likewise the more Taps or selections required the more attention and effort that is required.

The TapSec is calculated by using the time taken to enter a character sequence (complexity) and the number of Taps or selections required (attention or effort).

How does it work?

  • For any given test sample an experienced operator enters the sample employing the features of the acceleration technology under test to the best of its potential.  

  • Tap counts (coordinated selections) and times are recorded for each character sequence ending in a space.  

  • Multiple test passes are performed under identical test conditions and the minimum values are taken for each character sequence to eliminate operator variance.

  • The complexity-attention measure for each character sequence is obtained by multiplying the Taps by the Time required for the sequence. 

  • These results are averaged over the sample and presented as a percentage of what could be achieved with a perfect acceleration technology for the same sample.

What is perfect Acceleration?

Perfect acceleration in the context of the TapSec is defined as follows:

  • One coordinated selection* for any one-character sequence ending with a space.

  • Two coordinated selections for any two-or-more character sequence ending in a space. 

  • Spaces, Punctuation,  Special characters and numbers are not counted.
    (they are assumed as part of the sequence.) 

  • The user is estimated to maintain an average of N coordinated selections per second over the sample space.  The value N is based on the mechanical requirements of the environment under test.  In general N is the average time in milliseconds for the user to move the stylus (Pen or finger etc.) to any given point on the environment under test and subsequently make a selection.

    * A coordinated selection is defined as any hand motion to a specific point on the input environment requiring the visual attention of the operator and subsequent selection.

Test Conditions

In general most input methods adapt to the user input in some fashion or other.  Therefore it is important when employing the TapSec that all systems are tested under equivalent conditions.

 There are two acceptable modes of testing.

  • Out Of The Box (OTB)- In this mode systems are run through the test sample immediately subsequent to installation with no modifications to there system defaults.

  • Fully Adapted - In this mode systems are run through the identical test sample immediately subsequent to the OTB test pass.