Pages

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The mobile future of the keyboard

Cellphone users don't have it easy – many enter far more letters than numbers into their gadgets, but most phones still make you do so using a number pad. Meanwhile, the designers of smart phones seem determined to make touchscreen keyboards the norm before they have been fully perfected.

Although touch screens are popular with designers, tapping at images of buttons on a small, slippery surface does not provide a good user experience. resolving better ways to input text on touch screens is important for more than just phones too, as they become common in other places like desktop computers, gaming devices and coffee tables.

Recently some more innovative ideas have shown where the future of mobile touch-screen text input may lie. One that launched recently is Shapewriter – already available for the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices.

It does away with the backwards-looking concept of pecking at images of keys on a glossy surface. A qwerty layout is still shown, but the user draws over it to link up the letters of a word they wish to write. The company behind Shapewriter says it has evidence this can be significantly faster than even a conventional touch keyboard – although at first glance, the shapes you draw even for relatively simple words seem elaborate.

This video showing a mobile computer controlled using an interface projected onto any surface, like your hand, gives one possible view of the more distant future. But ultimately entering text may stop being a physical task altogether.


video

0 comments:

Post a Comment

ShareThis