Mobile computing set to get "keyless keyboard"
Friday 17 September 2010
An Israeli startup has launched a system that aims to make mobile computing easier by letting users type on invisible keys instead of a keyboard that typically takes up much of the screen.
SnapKeys calls its technology the "keyless keyboard" and has forged a deal with Philips Electronics to market the product, company officials said.
SnapKeys and Philips will split revenue 50-50.
"There is a fundamental problem in entering data on mobile devices," SnapKeys Chief Executive Benjamin Ghassabian told Reuters. "Keyboards were meant for fixed devices, not mobile. And screens are not supposed to be your input device; they are supposed to be output."
He said the keyless keyboard was 10 years in the making.
The success of Apple's iPad - which Ghassabian says is more entertainment than computer - shows that people want more portable devices. Around 40 companies seek to market tablet computers, he said.
"The market is moving toward mobile computers - that's why tablets are coming out," Ghassabian said.
SnapKeys, privately funded with $4 million, and Philips have started approaching the top mobile device and computer companies about using its keyless keyboard.
"We are in the phase of closing deals ... It will take a few months to get to the market," Ghassabian said, adding the system works on all Windows, Symbian and Android-based devices.
The keyboard has four invisible keys - two on each side of the device's screen - each comprising six to seven letters. There are other keys for numbers, punctuation and symbols.
At first, the location of the keys appears on the screen but the company believes users will quickly learn the location of letters and will not need the overlay for long. Users tap the invisible keys with their thumbs and the system predicts the words.
SnapKeys says its English version has about 100,000 words and is 92 per cent accurate. If the word isn't correct, it can be changed.
Ghassabian said the system, in which typing words is far faster than a typical keyboard, is available in all European languages as well as Chinese. An Indian version is in the works.
"The only competition for us will be voice recognition and that's not working well yet in mobile devices," Ghassabian said, noting it was not as discreet as typing.
He rejected the notion that people will not want to change their typing habits from a keyboard that has been around for a century.
"People used to have horses but when cars came out, not everyone wanted to switch to cars. But when they started driving cars, they didn't want to go back to riding horses," he said.
Life & Style blogs
Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, these are the stories of survivors
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
Snapchat got rid of the Best Friends feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Food secrets: the good, the bad...and the faeces
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: BI Developer (Business In...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Digital Content Designer / W...