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IBM's keyboard software

mewiedman Page Icon Posted 2005-08-18 1:09 PM
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Factor Fanatic

Villa Park, Illinois USA
Did anybody see the BBC article on IBM's keyboard on a screen software at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4145184.stm ?

It allows you to spell the whole word with a continuous motion instead of clicking on each letter in the word.

I'm wondering a few things - has anyone found the experimental software, downloaded it and tried it?

So what does everyone think - is it tablets instead of keyboard HPCs?

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takwu Page Icon Posted 2005-08-18 6:28 PM
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H/PC Elder

BC, Canada
That is an interesting concept.

First, it would only work for QWERTY, because that's how letters are arranged in everyone's mind. But then, that layout is probably not suitable for this method. Because it is designed to switch between the two hands, using it for this method would mean drawing lines back and forth all the time. I wonder if the claimed 60 to 70 WPM requires their special layout.

Second problem, accuracy. How is double letters handled? What about words not in the dictionary, such as names? I haven't tried the software, but I can imagine that errors are prone to happen due to the software, instead the user's own mistakes. This can get frustrating for the majority of users; think "Auto-Correct" features of word processors that make even less sense.

And the third problem, which is not obvious, is that this method is designed focusing on heavy text input. A PDA is primarily for light texts, such as names, addresses, and short notes. While we as HPC owners are overjoyed to have a QWERTY keyboard for more texts, it does in no way affects the operation of short texts. Same is probably not true for this new method. Inputting the words "appt at mcD's w/ J doe" is probably harder using this method than even Graffiti.

To be fair, I can't really give a verdict to the software without trying it on a PDA for a period of time. But from what I can gather so far, it doesn't look too promising.
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