Date of Award

Winter 2007

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John R LaCourse


Computers are ubiquitous in their application and deployment all over the world. Along with their universal appeal and versatility they also pose dangers to their various users in the form of ailments such as Repetitive Strain Injuries, Carpals Tunnel Syndrome, etc. which are all specifically related to keyboard use. The objective of this thesis was to explore the possibility of developing a deterministic and non-invasive method of detecting keyboard fatigue. A software application was developed which allowed us to reliably monitor this as a function of the latency between keyboard key-press and key-release events recorded by the resident operating system.

The latency trends that were observed through testing on three volunteers proved that the average latency calculated increased steadily with the onset of fatigue. Hence by estimating a threshold condition it was possible to train the system to estimate the fatigue level of the users and warn them appropriately at a considerably early stage of the condition.