Making text entry faster and easier for mobile, games, and the disabled

A Google video about MobileQWERTY™  shows how a 3×3 button layout using letter assignments different than the usual abc, def pattern can provide lots of benefits. For example, the speaker says that an average of 2.14 key presses is needed to type each letter of a typical message using an abc layout on a standard phone, but MobileQWERTY’s layout reduces the average to 1.35 key presses.  That’s 35% more than a full QWERTY keyboard but the abc layout is 114% more!

MobileQWERTY™  is shown to provide similar improvements for several Western European languages (and one can see a demo of Japanese at minute 40 in the video). It’s targeted not just at standard mobile keypads (a problem space dominated to this point by Tegicâ„¢ , which owns the IP behind predictive spelling for abc layouts) but also game controllers and input devices for the disabled, children, and the elderly — anyone having trouble managing fine finger movements.

The most impressive thing in the video to me is seeing how fluidly someone trained in MobileQWERTY™  can type typical messages.  I really liked the small form factor of my freebie Sprint Samsung phone, but had to give it up for a Treo650’s fuller keypad.  I think MobileQWERTYâ„¢ could turn out to be a better solution for mobile than Apple’s touch typing and predictive spelling.  Let’s hope it’s an option in Google’s Android phone OS.

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