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
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...