Thursday, 18 April 2013

New keyboard layout promises 34 percent faster texts and tweets

New keyboard layout promises 34 percent faster texts and tweets, Dr. Antti Oulasvirta, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and Dr. Per Ola Kristensson, University of Saint Andrews, announced their development of a new keyboard for touchscreen devices that allows users to input text 34 percent faster than normal keyboards in an April 17, 2013, press release.

According to the researchers the average person can type about 20 words per minute on a touchscreen device using the standard QWERTY design. QWERTY is named for the positions of the letters q, w, e, r, t, and y on the standard international keyboard. Typing rates on standard keyboards can exceed 60 words per minute.

The redesigned keyboard called KALQ improves thumb typing speeds by 34 percent based on individual test results. KALQ is named for the bottom row of letters on the right hand side of the touchscreen keyboard. There is a 20 to 30 hour leaning curve to gain a faster typing speed.

In the new keyboard all vowels, with the exception of the letter y, are placed in the area for the right thumb. The left thumb gets assigned more keys. KALQ produced a 37 words per minute rate that is the fastest known typing rate for text messaging. Added advantages include less wear on the thumbs and less fatigue.

The redesign was based on the observation of how people type with two thumbs, a recognition of the most frequently used letters, the minimization of the repetitive use of one thumb, and the realization that people think ahead when typing and can move their thumbs faster on a keyboard that is arranged differently.

KALQ will be presented at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris on May 1, 2013, and will be available to Android smartphones at the beginning of May.

Illustrations of the new keyboard, a video demonstration, and more details are available here.

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