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Triangular Buttons Make On-Screen Keyboards More Usable

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the anything-that-helps dept.

Input Devices 287

As someone targeted for perpetual failure by the designers of most keyboards, I'm happy to read The Register's report that "A British inventor has submitted a patent application for a wacky touchscreen keyboard design which, he claims, could spell the end for accidental key presses."

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Maybe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184421)

Illt maek wruting furst psost easzier

The Best Thing To Do (5, Interesting)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184425)

Is to get rid of the damned, usless, pain in the ass keycaps key.

As for the keyboard itself, seems I've seen that in some si-fi movie.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184509)

And make the backspace key three times bigger with nothing over it...

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184975)

And put the INSERT key above the keypad. AWAY from my backspace key!

Re:The Best Thing To Do (-1, Offtopic)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184535)

As for the keyboard itself, seems I've seen that in some si-fi movie.

The new term is SyFy [syfy.com] .

Quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184657)

being a marketing tool.

-

Re:The Best Thing To Do (0, Offtopic)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184707)

I remember reading an interview many years ago with Ray Bradbury or one of the other leading authors of the time. In it he described the most irritating things that interviewers do.

First, is to ask where they get their ideas from.

The second, was to call their genre of books "SiFi". It's called "Science Fiction", he said.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (2, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184995)

After that he took a moment out of the interview to stick his head out the window and yell at a group of young kids to "get off my lawn"...

Seriously though all languages evolve and English isn't an exception. Sci-Fi is a generally accepted short-hand for "science fiction" most of the rest of society, that bothers to use the word, out-voted my Bradbury and they're the ones that get to decide.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185027)

*Mr.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184569)

The Logitech wave keyboard has a little "moat" around Capslock and Numlock keys, making them far less easy to accidentally press.
You can also disable those keys in software, which I did straight away.

Best keyboard I've ever owned.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184787)

You can also disable those keys in software, which I did straight away.

Both X and XP/Vista can do that with any keyboard.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185157)

Mac OS X can do this as well, in fact you can map any of the modifier keys to any other modifier key or no action. You also can map the function keys as straight function keys or as the media, expose, screen&keyboard dimming keys on the newer keyboards.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185357)

Damn straight - caps lock is a worthless key anyway. I map caps lock to control, handy given how addicted I am to emacs key bindings - when you fix a transposition typo by typing ^t, rather than a double backspace - retype, you know you've got a problem...(for those who don't know, most of the basic emacs navigational shortcuts work in all Cocoa applications on OS X)

Re:The Best Thing To Do (5, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185185)

so can most keyboards, when you use the (not supplied) screwdriver tool. :)

Re:The Best Thing To Do (3, Insightful)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184825)

Baker told Register Hardware today that each triangular key has significantly more dead space around it than youâ(TM)d find on a standard Qwerty layout. Consequently, users are more likely to press the correct key each time they tap.

Significantly more is right. It's about the same size as the buttons themselves, doubling screen real-estate.

From my minimalistic POV, that's horrid.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184973)

Don't you mean halving screen real estate?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

twoDigitIq (1352643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184935)

Or you could just pry those keys off, like I've done on every keyboard I've ever owned

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185009)

Such an awful solution. Remap them (my capslock key is a third control key, numlock is hidden behind the laptops fn key).

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185139)

The Logitech wave keyboard has a little "moat" around Capslock and Numlock keys

Excellent. So then, the formula I need will be:

(num_users * keyboard_price) + (num_users * large_reptile_price * crocodiles_per_moat)

?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185241)

You can also disable those keys in hardware, on practically any keyboard ever. Wedge anything from a pen cap to a screwdriver under one edge of the offending key and pry it off. My 108-key keyboard is now a 101 (well actually 100 - its missing the caps lock key)-key keyboard.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184605)

So now one can patent shapes? I need to get the paperwork rolling on a new idea I have for a tetrahedron mouse!

Re:The Best Thing To Do (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184621)

As someone who sues it, I would say do NOT remove the caps lock. kthxby.
In fact, serious data entry users use it regularly.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184717)

> As someone who sues it

Why so litigious??

Re:The Best Thing To Do (4, Funny)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184755)

As someone who sues it

How exactly do you sue a keyboard key?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (5, Funny)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184859)

Don't me an idiot. He clearly meant "suse".

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185021)

How exactly does one me an idiot?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185175)

I'd say you've just done that.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185165)

"You" don't. That's what Apple's legal department is for. Believe me, if this keyboard outshines the iPhone keyboard, they'll find a way ;)

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

MaerD (954222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184769)

We would hate to remove your revenue stream by not allowing you to sue keys on the keyboard :)

Seriously, I'd like a keyboard that reads my mind and knows what I'm typing... although it would fail miserably in high-schools across the country.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (3, Interesting)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184881)

Why would you want sexually explicit words all over your screen all of the time?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (2, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184913)

The ultimate PC fanatic, staring at the screen without moving for several hours.

The idea is so wrong, but I like it. :)

Re:The Best Thing To Do (2, Informative)

MaerD (954222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184969)

FanFic? Heck, with text to speech you can stop calling those 900 numbers!

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185119)

Serious data entry?

You'll be hearing from the clown school of administrative assistants for your discriminatory language .

Re:The Best Thing To Do (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185207)

How do you shout without a caps lock key?

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185301)

And if you aren't a serious data entry user and usually type up emails and documents, it just gets in the way. Did it ever occur to you that other people use computers differently than you do? I disable capslock on every keyboard I own (and my business machine) because that's what's most useful to me. Especially on a virtual keyboard for a mobile device... there's almost no case where CapsLock would be a good idea.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (2, Funny)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184697)

I thought the caps lock key made things easier? http://www.bash.org/?835030 [bash.org]

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184749)

I think that particular case calls for electrifying the caps lock key.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184907)

True -- but one could ask "easier to do what?" and then almost everyone would be happier.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (1)

princessproton (1362559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184773)

Chevron Seven, locked.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184855)

NO, I VOTE not TO GET RID OF THE CAPSLOCK KEY

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Re:The Best Thing To Do (0, Redundant)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185007)

From TFA:

So, for the time being at least, the Crocodile Keyboard for touchscreen phones remains just a dream.

So what we have here is a /. story about, well, nothing other than a concept for a patent application, really.

'slownewsday' as a Tag, anyone?

cue Buddy Holly (0, Offtopic)

budr (111245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184453)

That'll be the day.

Another site (with working image) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184465)

Re:Another site (with working image) (2, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184615)

That's just a blog with a scaled down version of the image and linking back to The Register.

make users adapt to hardware (3, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184491)

From the article:

Baker told Register Hardware today that each triangular key has significantly more dead space around it than youâ(TM)d find on a standard Qwerty layout.

Assuming the keys have the same pitch, then that means the active triangular zones are SMALLER than normal keys occupying the same overall keyboard area, making it even HARDER to type accurately, or, in other words, this trains the user to be more careful with their finger placements. It isn't magic (like standard rollover logic in keyboards), it's behavioral modification.

Funny, I was always taught that programs and computers should be designed to make things easier for the user, not harder.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184601)

Funny, I was always taught that programs and computers should be designed to make things easier for the user, not harder.

Um, yes but not easier to make mistakes...

Re:make users adapt to hardware (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184703)

On the one hand it does change user behaviour by making them hit a different key area, but OTOH it also reduces the liklihood of hitting the wrong key because the sense area for the next key across is not right next to what they're trying to hit.

Of course this may make it frustrating to use compared to a more intelligent keyboard, as you miss the key totally if you're a bit off centre... hmmm.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184783)

It's like peeing on the fly; having something to aim at makes it easier to aim.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (2, Insightful)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184937)

I understood the design differently. since the use of triangles allows more neutral space the chance of overlapping to another key is lessoned. He also figured out how to do this without making the keyboard itself bigger. Not sure it has anything to do with behavioral modification. if this was the case palms graffiti would be king of the world.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185171)

Not sure it has anything to do with behavioral modification.

Not 100% sure, but what I think the parent poster was assuming is that the spot that a finger makes contact with the keyboard is an infinitely small point.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185073)

It may lead to behavioral modification, but the immediate result is to lower the amount of false positives. It errs on the side of not registering a key press rather than registering an unintended key choice.

Re:make users adapt to hardware (3, Insightful)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185329)

Back in the early 90's (92, I believe), I was co-op'ing for IBM and was lucky enough to get to go to COMDEX provided I man a booth for a while. The product I was demo'ing was voice independant voice recognition (it was all the rage at the time). There was no training required, random guy from the street could walk up and interact with the computer by voice, regardless of dialect or accent. I got pretty good with it, but I noticed that some people did have to repeat themselves (but not more than twice) to get it to work -- again, early times in terms of speech recognition. But the reason I was good at it was that repeated practice actually trained ME to speak the way it wanted instead of it being able to adjust to how I spoke. Speech recognition has become more prevelant since then (BING 411 anyone? http://www.discoverbing.com/mobile/411/ [discoverbing.com] ), and I'm sure you've made adjustments to how you speak to computers just to get past the voice prompts. You speak slower with more distinct pauses between words.

Behavior modification is an effective way to improve computer input.

Wrong Shape (1)

ouimetch (1433125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184499)

"For this to happen, he requires Appleâ(TM)s aid, something he described as "very difficult to get"."

They would probly have better luck if it was smaller circular keys, since that seems to be more Apple's cup of tea.

Re:Wrong Shape (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184713)

Oh man, circular keys? If someone besides Apple made it, I'd buy it for the nostalgic typewriter feel. :)

I'll consider... (4, Insightful)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184501)

I'll wait to upgrade to a touch screen when my Model M ceases to function. Seeing as that will be never, I suppose touch screens will be an upgrade that just won't be happening for me.

Stupid (3, Insightful)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184533)

Actually it misses the point, since "significanty more dead space between keys" is only a feasible solution if you have a physically larger screen. He's effectively making the keys smaller, thus harder to hit, and the "dead space" is just space where nothing happens = confused users.

Next thing we know, someone will be inventing a "capacitive stylus" touting "higher precision" while using your iPhone. Well yes, but that's SO not the point of a capacitive, finger-friendly touchscreen.

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184645)

It forces users to have better aim BUT if you do have shitty aim then you don't get a 'false positive?...' It won't type anything. Think of it as graceful failure.

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184653)

No one presses a single point, the press an area. By putting the spaces there you are more likely to get the correct key as opposed to fat finger the next key by imstake becasue it got a larger area pressed.

It's pretty clever.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184757)

Then why outline the 'keys' at all....just use rows of letters.

Re:Stupid (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184965)

It's the exact same thing as expanding the current key size, the shape has nothing to do with it unless the user has a subconscious difference. There's still a range that each key takes. If you press in the middle of the two buttons, you still have the same case as if you pressed in the middle of the two on the last keyboard.

I don't see anything clever with the shape at all. Unless it just doesn't respond when you hit outside of the shape, which I can only see as an annoyance, taking up so much space but not doing anything.

Re:Stupid (4, Informative)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184689)

Next thing we know, someone will be inventing a "capacitive stylus" touting "higher precision" while using your iPhone. Well yes, but that's SO not the point of a capacitive, finger-friendly touchscreen.

You're late to the party: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/a31f/ [thinkgeek.com]

Also, you can get gloves with capacitive tips on the fingers, for iPhone use when it's too damn cold outside (less relevant in summer...) http://www.tavoproducts.com/ [tavoproducts.com]

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184803)

No, it prevents users from hitting two keys at once, preventing the need for the software to decide which one the user hit (the one hit first in time or the one hit most by area).

And then maybe it will remove the predictive typing that prevents users from typing "kewl" by presuming the fourth letter should be a "p".

If it was made up of triangles in alternating directions (like a Pegasus Galaxy DHD) then you'd have no benefit for Fat Finger Syndrome.

Re:Stupid (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185347)

Only on Slashdot is it helpful to explain how something works by pointing out it is similar to devices in the Pegasus galaxy.

Re:Stupid (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185279)

I disagree. The size of your finger has not changed. This just means that when you press 'w' there's less chance of your finger spilling over into 'q' or 'e' because they've been moved away. And 'more dead space between the keys does not require a 'significantly bigger screen,' he achieved this by making the keys triangular instead of square.

Other innevitable innovations... (2, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184557)

Just add unique bumps/shapes to the edges of the triangles, and you don't have to look while texting either. It would be quite a bit better than rectangular buttons, because as you slide your thumb around, the triangular gaps would make the shapes rather easy to "read" by feel. There - now if anyone wants prior art on the inevitable patent dispute over this basic idea, this post is the prior art you can say you derived your product from. Ryan Fenton

Re:Other innevitable innovations... (5, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184585)

And you could put little springs under the bumps, so that you could feel them move when you pressed them hard enough!

Re:Other innevitable innovations... (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184665)

Just add unique bumps/shapes to the edges of the triangles, and you don't have to look while texting either. It would be quite a bit better than rectangular buttons...

On-screen keyboards. It's right there in the article title.

Re:Other innevitable innovations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185133)

Trying to decide if OP is funny or just missing the point of the article by some distance...

Apple is, or should be, FAR ahead of this... (5, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184563)

...based on the IP they acquired from FingerWorks [fingerworks.com] . You can do really sophisticated error-correction if you're getting not only a stream of characters, but the exact location of the press, contact area, dwell time, and possibly more. So, with a virtual multi-touch keyboard, you can say "Okay, that looked like an R, but the contact was actually most of the way over toward E, and the previous two letters were T-H, so I'm going to go ahead and make it an E."

I know it'll rankle the manual-transmission crowd, but I've been using a FingerWorks keyboard for years, and most of the time, it's absolutely spooky how well the autocorrect works. (Just don't try high-intensity vi work.)

Re:Apple is, or should be, FAR ahead of this... (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184711)

Theow thet idea out.
You can't assume all users have a standard on how they are built- Some have long skinny fingers, other stalky bulky fingers. You might be using one hand or both hands at any given time this can sway those logical variables.
Not safe assumptions. With a full qwerty layout I turn the T9 off and enjoy the fact that there's a backspace and I get messages off faster than a person with T9+Qwerty and T9+standard keypad.

Re:Apple is, or should be, FAR ahead of this... (1, Insightful)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184891)

Also contrary to all the claims, you can't mistype on iPhone virtual keyboard, once you learn that release-key trick, you just can't. Lots of people is under-informed about this. I do not need 'real' keyboard on the phone anymore, even I thought iPhone virtual keyboard would be pain and useless.. well, I was wrong.

Re:Apple is, or should be, FAR ahead of this... (4, Funny)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185051)

most of the way over toward E, and the previous two letters were T-H, so I'm going to go ahead and make it an E.

That is the single most aggravating "feature" of the iPhone keyboard. To he'll with that ducking shot.

Only Apple (0, Redundant)

Djupblue (780563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184565)

However, Baker believes that the virtual keyboard's full potential will only be realised if it's integrated into every area of the iPhone that uses a keyboard, such as SMS and email, rather than developed as a standalone application. For this to happen, he requires Apple's aid, something he described as "very difficult to get". So, for the time being at least, the Crocodile Keyboard for touchscreen phones remains just a dream.

Re:Only Apple (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184759)

Could be much easier for Windows Mobile - if it is implemented as a standard input method it would be possible to use it for every application.

Re:Only Apple (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184921)

Developing for an open platform, rather than something still rather locked down and also the current tech fad? Ridiculous!

For the iPhone, doesn't make sense (5, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184745)

For a physical keyboard, this seems reasonable - if you eliminate edges where the keys touch, each other, then you're less likely to accidentally press two keys at once. But for a virtual keyboard like on the iPod, it doesn't matter if you "touch" two keys at once with your finger - the software can determine which one you were actually closer to, and only register that.

While there are certainly drawbacks to a touchscreen, such as lack of tactile feedback, this is one area where they have an advantage - a larger percentage of usuable surface area, as touches that would be a multiple button mash on physical keyboards can be unambiguously mapped to a single key in software.

Re:For the iPhone, doesn't make sense (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185295)

Where it might have been a multiple button mash on a physical keyboard and you'd know about it and correct it, it may be a WRONG single button press on a touchscreen. Give me a physical keyboard ANY day.

Re:For the iPhone, doesn't make sense (1)

burris (122191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185359)

You get tactile feedback on a touchscreen when you touch it.

?? On touchscreens.. (5, Insightful)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184781)

Is the area designated as a button always the same size as the graphic of the button ? .. why couldn't you do the same thing showing square buttons but sensing triangular or smaller circular areas ? .. You could also use color in the button graphic to target the hotspot, fading to the buttton edges.

Re:?? On touchscreens.. (2, Funny)

RobinH (124750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185079)

Quick, you'd better patent that idea so nobody else can use it.

Hah! (3, Informative)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184833)

They may make commercials about butt-dialing. But on the day after I got my iPhone, I hung up on a customer and dialed the veterinarian's office all without being aware I was doing it--with the side of my face. I therefore invented face-dialing. It took several days to get used to the keyboard, but it took longer to accustom myself to not mashing down on crucial icons while talking. I can use the keyboard efficiently now, but I suspect the learning curve would have been less with the keyboard described in the article. And it's not a mental learning curve. It's a physical skill like typing on a full sized keyboard.I'd also like to see them add a very slight lip around the perimeter of the screen where the silver metal is located. It would be a tactile reminder to keep the damned thing away from my face.

With all that space between keys... (5, Funny)

jomegat (706411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184857)

With all that space between the keys, there's room for even more buttons!

Maybe we won't need autocorretion? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184889)

Great. Now lets get this dang iPhone to stop replacing the words I type. This always results to unnecessary text messaging where I have to explain myself. "What?"

Klingon Keyboard? (4, Interesting)

RandomChars (1455331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184895)

This reminds me of the klingon displays from startrek

Re:Klingon Keyboard? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184993)

Captain's log, stardate 2009.6: The Klingons are clustering around Uranus.

If triangles are good... (1, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184911)

... wouldn't diamonds be better?

Re:If triangles are good... (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184967)

Or hexagons? Come to think of it, although the keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard are square, adjacent rows are actually slightly offset.

Re:If triangles are good... (1)

bgray54 (1207256) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185385)

Ooh, and then we could rotate those diamonds 45 degrees and have squares!

I tried it (2, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184917)

I made the image [regmedia.co.uk] fit the screen (CTRL + [+]) and, well that was it. It felt no different. It looked no different.

Surely it's just a matter of practice when using large on screen keyboards?

Aim for the top of the triangle? Why bother outlining the keyboard letters at all?

Sceptical (3, Insightful)

dethndrek (870145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184947)

As a programmer, any time I hear hype like this ". . .could spell the end for accidental key presses." I laugh a little.

We will NEVER spell the end for accidental use of technology by using more technology.

It kind of falls into the old maxim "Try to make anything idiot proof, and the world with generate bigger idiots".

Re:Sceptical (2, Funny)

dethndrek (870145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185151)

And proving my point about idiots, I mispelled skeptical in the subject.

How about no shape? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184999)

Lay out the letters. Don't put a border around it. It's a touchscreen keyboard, so unless you embed something similar to a digital braille printer to it, I don't see the point in making virtual keys into any shape.

I'm more upset... (2, Insightful)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185115)

I'm more upset that he got a patent for changing the shapes from square to a triangle. This doesn't show any real creativity to even constitute a design patent. Its like a themed keyboard. Like if someone decided to make a keyboard using various shapes just for style. I doubt that could be patented either.

Lazy programmer (2, Insightful)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185159)

Interesting idea until a lazy programmer decides that detecting a triangular shaped area from a set of coordinates is too fussy and just divides the key areas up into boxes.

Missing the points (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185181)

This has nothing to do with the main reasons that people like me cannot use tiny keyboards.
0. When I press down, my finger pad overlaps way more than one key. therefore, I am prone to make mistakes.
1. I can't see through my finger to the keyboard if my finger covers 2 or more keys, therefore I am prone to make some more mistakes.
2. No, I don't need to see the keys, but I at least need to be able to feel their delineations in lieu of that, and since the thing has no tactile measurable quality like a real keyboard, I am prone to make yet more mistakes.

I can work a blackberry keyboard a little because at least i can feel the difference in the keys vs. spaces. Without some physical delineation or press-from-behind type capacity, I don't think any tiny touchscreen keyboard will be any more for me usable than any other one.

frost pi52t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185209)

lost its earlier the facts and our chances community. The to have regular continues to lose to the crowd in the chhosing on 8y Pentium Pro Romeo and Juliet Ink splashes across While the project Series of internal you are a screaming However I don't prima donnas, and support GNAA,

But will it stop me from doing this... (1)

geeper (883542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185237)

Select * form .... I must do that 100 times a day!!!

Not a patent... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185305)

Seriously, this shouldnt not be considered a patentable design.

Re:Not a patent... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185341)

Edit: In my comment above, in my rush to express my outrage at such an abomination of a patent application I used a double negative in my comment. It should read "Seriously, this should not be considered a patentable design."

Dasher! (1)

danuker (1533881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185399)

Triangular Buttons Make On-Screen Keyboards More Usable

Dasher Makes On-Screen Input More Usable

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