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8pen Reinvents the Keyboard For Mobile Devices

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

Cellphones 214

An anonymous reader submitted linkage to a company called 8pen that has a new take on one-handed input. I've attached the video if you click the link below, but it's a strange idea using outward spreading swipes that somewhat mimics handwriting. It ships for Android tomorrow, but even if you don't want to try it out, it's an interesting idea for anyone who is tired of finger tapping on a tiny screen.

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214 comments

Video? (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089588)

What link below? There's only a link to 8pen's website.

Re:Video? (0, Offtopic)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089632)

see the big video link, just below... that one.. also the link in the summary has a giant "PLAY VIDEO!" button

Re:Video? (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089648)

There's nothing after "finger tapping on a tiny screen."

Re:Video? (0, Offtopic)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089884)

You either don't have Flash, or your adblocker is fucking it up.

Re:Video? (1, Offtopic)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089980)

dont know what to tell you man... other than 'you arent missing much'.

Re:Video? (-1, Offtopic)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090374)

Hey, he is missing the most insightful opening sentence I heard in years: "Computers used to be big, now they are small". How is that for +5 Insightful?

Re:Video? (0, Offtopic)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090554)

are you disputing that fact? I have also noticed this trend.

Re:Video? (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089756)

Safari doesn't display anything. I see the problem. Same problem as their website.

Note: The tag is deprecated. [w3schools.com] There's articles as far back as 2006 [alistapart.com] saying to stop using the embed tag.

Re:Video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089844)

Both Safari and Firefox seem to work just fine under OSX.

The embedded link is a YouTube video. Maybe there is something blocking the embedded code from running, or blocking YouTube where you are?

The link to see the video on YouTube's site is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3OuCR0EpGo&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

Re:Video? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089946)

I browse with Flash disabled. When someone says "there's a link to the video", it should be a link to the video, not the video itself.

It also uses the old, deprecated embed tag, which embeds a (probably) H.264 video inside a Flash player when Safari is capable of playing the video file by itself.

Re:Video? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089958)

Video which is hosted on YouTube on top of it all. It would have been easier to link directly to YouTube.

Learning curve? (4, Insightful)

acnicklas (1740146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089642)

My parent's generation is still trying to figure out 3-3-3 for F, despite having an alpha-numeric keypad since the days of rotary phones. How are they supposed to learn this?

Re:Learning curve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089738)

They're not. They are supposed to find it overcomplicated and confusing. Fortunately this leaves them with more time for more practical things, like complaining about the kinds of people who would find this app useful to get off their lawn.

Re:Learning curve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089744)

Usually all it takes is taking the extra 10-15 minutes to make sure they have grasped the concept and a reminder the next day to have them do it again on their own.

A little patience goes a long way.

Re:Learning curve? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089788)

Did the letters exist on rotary phones? I thought that came with touchtone phones. At any rate the importance of that system greatly increased in the last 10 years vs "1-800-FREE CAR" type numbers being the only use previously.

They did (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089994)

That's why so many old phone numbers are of the form word-numbers, like PEnnsylvania-65000. It just made them easier to remember, a word and five digits as opposed to 7 digits. They were just names, backfit to match the digits, so PEnnsylvania and ODeriferous were the same exchange. They were called exchanges, but I don't know if the public used that word in the same way that telephone engineers used it.

Re:Learning curve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090086)

Did the letters exist on rotary phones? I thought that came with touchtone phones. At any rate the importance of that system greatly increased in the last 10 years vs "1-800-FREE CAR" type numbers being the only use previously.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rotarydial.JPG [wikipedia.org]

From Wikipedia:

Dials in other countries than Canada, the United States, and large cities in Britain (before all-figure dialing) usually did not bear alphabetic characters and an indication of the word "operator" in addition to numbers. Alphabetic designation of exchanges was also used for a short period in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, but by the next decade this practice was largely discontinued. The world-wide use of alphabetic characters on number key pads became common after the introduction of digital mobile phones, where the assignment of alphabetic characters to number keys was utilized for entering alphanumeric short messages as SMS.

Please turn in your walker, cane and "Get Off My Lawn Sign" to the nice old codger at the Service Table. ... Alternatively, welcome to the U.S. ;)

Re:Learning curve? (2, Insightful)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090156)

Forget the parents - I'm thinking to myself, how long is it going to take ME to learn this to the point where it is competitively fast as chicken pecking a QWERTY.

Re:Learning curve? (2, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090598)

I think when compared to the size of the keyboard when in vertical screen mode, it might be quick. May not be competitive with the horizontal layout for a while, but won't be hard to beat vertical.

Re:Learning curve? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090550)

How are they supposed to learn this?

When their interest level is high enough it'll come quick enough.

More keyboards (2, Insightful)

muppetman462 (867367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089682)

All these different types of keyboards for the android devices are making my head spin. Next it will be brain waves to text! I'll stick with SwipeIT, thank you very much....

Re:More keyboards (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089960)

All these different types of keyboards for the android devices are making my head spin. Next it will be brain waves to text! I'll stick with SwipeIT, thank you very much....

I think that I hope my boss doesn't see me posting on slashdot brain waves wow that girl from HR walked by, look at her tits to text is the Jesus how much coffee did that moron bob put in this cup? way of the future What else should i write. Uhm ... I guess thats it

Re:More keyboards (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090416)

I think that I hope my boss doesn't see me posting on slashdot brain waves wow that girl from HR walked by, look at her tits to text is the Jesus how much coffee did that moron bob put in this cup? way of the future What else should i write. Uhm ... I guess thats it

What's the deal with hot chicks working in HR anyways?

Re:More keyboards (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090742)

It's called entrapment.

Re:More keyboards (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090762)

while swype is nice, I think this (8pen) reflects on the fact that the original qwerty keyboard isn't necessarily the best layout in town or the worst, and that maybe it's time people start looking into full on alternatives.

I'm not saying Dvorak, but since we can rearrange keys by choice, maybe it's time people look for something that might work better.

An Anonymous Reader Submitted This?? (-1, Troll)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089684)

Really? And it ships for android tomorrow? Fascinating. Almost a coincidence.

I hope he wasn't too anonymous, and that Slashdot is able to cash the check he sent along with his submission...

Re:An Anonymous Reader Submitted This?? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089724)

Really? And it ships for android tomorrow? Fascinating. Almost a coincidence.

I hope he wasn't too anonymous, and that Slashdot is able to cash the check he sent along with his submission...

Calm down, I'm sure it was just a random Slashdotter submitting an innocent link [geek.net] .

Re:An Anonymous Reader Submitted This?? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089866)

The fact that it's the same broken, deprecated "embed tag" for the video in both the summary and the company website is also a mere coincidence.

Re:An Anonymous Reader Submitted This?? (3, Insightful)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090346)

What....??? ....I .... Wait.... Are you saying that a Slashdot news story covered.... an innovative piece of software that isn't free??? Well I never! This will not stand! Slashdot, I hereby tender my resignation, effective immediately!

Future steps (3, Insightful)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089704)

You know, you could add a pen to the device, so you don't have to deal with, say, something that makes it hard to swipe your finger across the screen and reduce the grease in the screen.

Then, after that, you could make the movements more like handwritting, since people are used to that.

Then, maybe, to help people write things faster, put split areas for letters and numbers.

You know, I think I saw that somewhere else before....

Re:Future steps (1)

MrMarkie (1079197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089908)

...Then, after that, you could make the movements more like handwritting, since people are used to that.

What is this handwriting you speak of? Do you mean how you use your hands to interface with the keyboard?

Re:Future steps (1)

franciscohs (1003004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090056)

The problem with hand writing is that I think people is increasingly less used to it (writing notes on a post-it doesn't count). On top of that, I never understood how having to write on a screen, with really big letters could be more effective than writing on a virtual keyboard, even if I was used to hand write.

Re:Future steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090080)

I think I saw it, too.

In a patent, probably... :(

Re:Future steps (1)

AdamsGuitar (1171413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090324)

You're really advocating handwriting recognition (or, God forbid, Graffiti) as a suitable replacement to the keyboard for input? Yeah, that's definitely the way to go.

Re:Future steps (1)

trooperer (1305425) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090334)

I think you missed the "one handed input" bit of TFA

Interesting (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089712)

Reminds me a bit of Swype [swypeinc.com] though watching the video, it seems like it would be slower than Swype.

I'll probably try it out though. My anticipation is that I would need to learn the positions of all the letters to know how many sectors to cover for each. Counting them on the fly would really slow it down. And then there would be those words I'd hate because they involved lots of swirls. Like how we hated people with 9s in their phone numbers during the days of rotary phones.

Re:Interesting (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089922)

I don't know. I'd eventually develop motor memory for typing if I used this frequently enough, so memorization may not be required.

Also, just looking at the Swype, I'm not conviced that 8pen would be slower, (actually, it seems like 8pen would be faster to me) but 8pen also seems like it would be less error prone.

I'd try it out, but I don't have an android unfortunately, partly because I've never found one with a decent keyboard. (The slide-out ones are the closest to decent I've found) I'll have to try it out on someone else's phone, and maybe this will finally bring me to the smart-phone market.

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090152)

Try out the Epic 4g, I got one recently and the keyboard is great. Not perfect, some keys could be rearranged and god knows why they put a smiley key instead of a .com key, but it's good otherwise.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090200)

I use Swype and it's common to be able to write a full word with a single straight line or quick squiggle. 8pen, by design, involves a lot more movement. Its claims of being more accurate is likely true (since you have to input every letter, Swype has an opportunity to misunderstand, especially since it deals with sloppy input) and Swype can't be used without looking at the screen, but 8pen being faster or easier? I really doubt it.

Re:Interesting (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090702)

Swype is crazy fast. I'll show it to friends and it really messes with their heads the amount I can type with what seems to be very little movement on my part. This is especially true with words that have multiple occurrences of repeated letter. They use Missippi in the demo video for good reason.

It's like moving from hunt-and-peck to touch typing. TFA says 8pen is like writing by hand, which is why I think it would be slower than something that is very much like typing.

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

ozgood (873183) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090518)

For anybody that hasn't tried swype, give it a shot. Very quick input. The tutorial takes 2 minutes and you'll be an expert in half a day. I love it.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090774)

My biggest problem with swype is that while I am swiping around long words my finger inevitably looses the contact the screen requires for a continuous gesture. This product makes that problem seem like it would be a massive headache.

Ripoff/copy/enhancement of quikwriting (2, Informative)

dovgr (935487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090848)

Based on the video this is the same idea as QuickWriting that I played around with on my PalmPilot a number of years ago. See: http://mrl.nyu.edu/projects/quikwriting/ [nyu.edu] The Quikwriting site says it has a patent on the method. So are we in for another litigation in the handheld area? Or is this the same technology under a different name?

add it to the bin of failed input methods (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089714)

seems pretty neat but so did the rest at the time

T9 (how many years development? and still everyone turns it off)
Swype
Gestures
Dasher

etc etc
and still blackberries et al still have a qwerty input method
somebody needs to update the famous slashdot spam template "your post advocates..." but for input methods

Re:add it to the bin of failed input methods (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089850)

I completely agree here. I look at all of these "new methods", and yet we are stuck with the QWERTY. A typing arrangement that was meant to be slow. I think the core part of this problem is that we are used to this keyboard. And no matter how hard this keyboard is I am guessing it is completely hard wired into our brain to the point where we are pretty good at it. Not like that is a first oops moment in the evolution sequence.

Re:add it to the bin of failed input methods (2, Informative)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090320)

QWERTY. A typing arrangement that was meant to be slow.

That is a common misconception. The QWERTY arrangement was designed to put common "chords" at opposite sides of the keyboard, so that the hammers on a typewriter wouldn't catch on each other and jam. So while, theoretically, QWERTY is _slightly_ slower than other layouts, the reality is that the speed difference is never more than a couple wpm. The layout was designed because people were too fast for the hardware of the time, but it did not solve the problem by slowing typists down; rather it accommodated their speed.

Re:add it to the bin of failed input methods (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090732)

Actually, I used T9 almost exclusively until I got a smartphone. Once you get a hang of which common words show up in which order when you click "next word" you can pretty much touch type except for unique words.

Re:add it to the bin of failed input methods (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090840)

I use T9, it's not perfect, but beats the hell out of the other option (whatever it's called). But then again, I only write short SMS messages (yes, SMS = Short Message Service, so kill me) if you are writing a book or letters, use something better then your damn phone.

Useless (3, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089718)

Those of us who have been on the Internet since puberty have already mastered the art of one-handed input with a standard keyboard and mouse. With the proper motivation we can easily adapt this skill to a regular on-screen keyboard.

Not a great implementation (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089732)

The process assumes that a keyboard is less handy than a touch-rotate-touch-release. In short, this is doomed to fail because I must memorize things. It's probably easier for us to all learn Morse, and just have a deet da dee deet festival.

Re:Not a great implementation (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089854)

The process assumes that a keyboard is less handy than a touch-rotate-touch-release. In short, this is doomed to fail because I must memorize things. It's probably easier for us to all learn Morse, and just have a deet da dee deet festival.

Nah, I think its more along the lines of a Carlos Mencia "Deet de Dee"

Re:Not a great implementation (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089972)

Awesome - you got the reference! :)

Re:Not a great implementation (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089940)

But (full-sized) keyboards are only fast once you've memorized the layout and don't have to hunt down specific keys...
until you reach that point, you're down to hunting letters every time, with either system.

Re:Not a great implementation (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090036)

Yes, but I have 10 fingers to do that with. Sometimes 26 letters each need a "button", touch or otherwise. There will be no "intermediate" input layout. We will go from qwerty to voice. All the rest is just .wma

Re:Not a great implementation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090304)

We will go from qwerty to voice.

Hell if I'm going to be composing my text messages by voice in public; at that point, I would just.... you know... give the person a fucking call.

Re:Not a great implementation (1)

ma3382 (1095011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089978)

It's probably easier for us to all learn Morse, and just have a deet da dee deet festival.

I fail to see your logic. You had to memorize a QWERTY keyboard layout and you would have to memorize Morse. You have to learn/memorize something for these inputs. Take Swype [swypeinc.com], you have to have the keyboard layout memorized, on top of memorizing what gestures do what. Or even Voice inputs...you have to have a language memorized/learned to be able to speak it.

The new Dvorak (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089734)

Are those letter positions optimal? The scheme feels nice, but I'm not sure if the letter positions are as good as they could be.

Re:The new Dvorak (3, Informative)

gufodotto (1547961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090486)

Are those letter positions optimal? The scheme feels nice, but I'm not sure if the letter positions are as good as they could be.

as the video says, they're optimised for their frequency in the english language and so that common words, like 'you', can be done with a figure of eight, or some easily memorised swirl...

seems so primitive (1)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089768)

can't we just stick devices in our heads to read our thoughts directly?

Wrong adjective. (2, Interesting)

ArAgost (853804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089784)

“Intuitive”? Looks like a nightmare to learn.

Re:Wrong adjective. (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090660)

Yea, it reminds me The Onion's Apple Wheel parody [theonion.com] . Funny that it was not Apple that actually implemented it!

Red, Yellow, Green, Blue? What? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089816)

Is it a big coincidence, or is there someone at 8pen who's a Neo-Geo [gstatic.com] fan?

Re:Red, Yellow, Green, Blue? What? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089934)

Take a look at the Android logo. Look at the Chrome logo. Look at the Simon Says logo.

Re:Red, Yellow, Green, Blue? What? (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090040)

The Android logo is a green robot...

The Chrome logo looks like Samus in morph ball mode.

Simon says blue-blue-red-green-yellow-green-yellow-blue-red.

Re:Red, Yellow, Green, Blue? What? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090064)

Simon games are red, blue, yellow, green. Not the same order.

Re:Red, Yellow, Green, Blue? What? (1)

ma3382 (1095011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090014)

They are the colors in Google's logo (and surprisingly very similar to the logo of the Nexus One). Hmmmm....coincidence?

I am conservative (1)

dorinmouss (1925306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089826)

I stick with my standard keyboard :))

New Keyboard (1)

DarksideDaveOR (557444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089834)

I predict a level of success similar to that achieved by previous attempts to replace the qwerty scheme, even ones that were arguably better. At best, it will gain a small, rabid following, that will eventually end up putting off additional converts. Of course, it's far more likely it will simply slide into obscurity.

Re:New Keyboard (1)

gufodotto (1547961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090520)

I predict a level of success similar to that achieved by previous attempts to replace the qwerty scheme, even ones that were arguably better. At best, it will gain a small, rabid following, that will eventually end up putting off additional converts. Of course, it's far more likely it will simply slide into obscurity.

did you mean 'swipe' into obscurity? :-)

Re:New Keyboard (1)

gaiageek (1070870) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090602)

Fair point, but there are a couple significant differences:

1. Typing on mobile devices is still relatively new to many people, and doing so with the QWERTY keyboard layout can be difficult. I'm a touch typist, but I do find typing on a Blackberry's hardware keyboard cumbersome enough to want an alternative. You simply can't touch type on such a small keyboard.

2. Alternative keyboard layouts were hardware solutions. This is a software solution which, assuming it's free, people can try with no commitment, and know that they can always switch back to the "standard" method. It's kind of like if the early typewriters had an instantly changeable keyboard layouts to try. In time you might come to realize that one layout works better for you than others.

I'm not saying this approach will succeed, just that QWERTY on mobile devices doesn't have anywhere near the strong foothold it has on full-size hardware keyboards.

Fitaly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34089842)

Why not Fitaly?

Bah. (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089848)

One-handed input without an appropriate name? I'm sticking with my Twiddler [handykey.com] .

Better idea: (0)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089864)

Instead of alphabetical order, prioritize the most commonly used characters. Right now, A, E, I, M, Q, U Y and . have the fastest, one-swipe spots. Some of those make sense (e is very common, for instance) but q? Meanwhile, S and T, both popular letters, are in poorly-optimized locations.

C'mon, people. You can do better than this.

Re:Better idea: (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089938)

Did you look at the video? How can you possibly be under the impression that the ordering is alphabetical? Come on, gman003. You can do better than this.

Re:Better idea: (1)

confu2000 (245635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090024)

I guess there needs to be a new Slashdot abbreviation. WTEFV.
2:24 shows the actual layout.

Re:Better idea: (1)

maccallr (240314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090062)

C'mon gman003. You can watch the whole video, surely, before posting?

Did they just repackage Palm? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089876)

Using almost letter like gestures to type in text.

Palm recognition (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34089896)

This seems like a bit of an awkward kludge - capacitive touchscreens are evidently not terribly well suited to such precise inputs.

It's been about 10 years since I've regularly used a Palm Pilot. Handwriting recognition on those devices Worked. I could get quite consistent input, at roughly the same speed as I could writing by hand.

To this day, my written "T" still looks like a "7" on occasion. It felt quite natural and, as far as I know, no handwriting mechanism has come close to rivaling it for effectiveness/consistency.

Do the WebOS devices still have this capability?

Re:Palm recognition (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090250)

I'd like to add that Swype sort of works like this, but you don't have to memorize the gestures since you're swiping your finger over a visible keyboard on your screen.

Re:Palm recognition (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090258)

ACCESS released an android IME for the old palm graffiti. I've used it and it might just work if i could find a damn capacitive stylus that didnt suck.

Re:Palm recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090564)

No, they currently don't.

Advantage over drawing letters? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090004)

Instead of hitting the right spot, you have to "draw" something around those sectors. But drawing letters requires a not so different effort (if you want, old palm simplification of letters instead of "correct" ones) and this seem to have a steep learning curve. Still prefer my old N900 keyboard, if you can write complex shell commands and regular expressions with it, it must be good.

Overly Complicated (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090042)

This seems like a really complex solution to a simple problem. It seems to me the premise for this is it's hard to type on a touch screen with your fingers. If only we could decrease the area of contact with the phone. Maybe a short, thin, plastic rod you could use to tap the screen...

STREET FIGHTER CONTROLS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090088)

For my Android! Yipee!

faster? that seems questionable at best (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090112)

just watched the video. even if i memorized every gesture (quite a feat mind you) how could making a gesture be faster than one single press, which is what i have today?

the only possibly advantage is success rate. for an on screen keyboard my success rate varies between 80-60%. depending on how tired i am and how much attention i'm paying. could this do better? it seems possible since you only need to move your finger from the center to 2 of the four large sections ... that are much larger than a key on an on screen keyboard. that's not taking into account simply making the incorrect gesture however. visually, it's quick to see the "G" on a keyboard than it is to look at this contraption and find the quadrant containing the "G" then seeing that it's the Nth character from the center.

the other thing is that smooth continuous gestures depend on external factors like the amount of gunk on my screen, my fingers, and the humidity of my hand. a simple tap always works.

anyway, kudos to them for the invention. seems like it should have been more of an r&d project than a product.

This won't catch on. (1, Flamebait)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090164)

There's too much hassle in learning the system and becoming proficient in it. I use Swype [youtube.com] which is phenomenal - it's fast and hardly requires any learning if you know the qwerty keyboard.

Re:This won't catch on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090768)

Even Swype is just a stopgap until a real solution comes along. I'm not sure what that will be, either some sort of biofeedback (eg. hooked to your brain or maybe something else) or voice recognition.

None of the current solutions are even close to ideal and are barely usable.

Accent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090214)

I love her accent and want to shag her. Where is she from??

Re:Accent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090418)

Denmark. [3qubits.com] So while she sounds sexy as hell, she probably resembles a skeleton.

Common question (0, Offtopic)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090312)

What porn site are you playing with?

Seems very tiring... (1)

franciscohs (1003004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090314)

How much distance I would be traveling with my finger to write a message comparing to a virtual keyboard?, and on top of that I have to be dragging my finger through the screen as opposed to a virtual keyboard.

Interesting but... (1)

Xenious (24845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090316)

I hate handwriting. Am curious to see if this gets faster past a learning curve. I find the two finger iPhone method to be pretty effective. I use my index finger as my left hand and my middle finger as my right hand and position them on the keyboard appropriately. I find I can usually fly right along.

The issue with trying to leave the keyboard is the people that are totally used to it and can type fast are comfortable with seeking out the actual letters when laid out keyboard style. Change those locations and it becomes counter intuitive.

Already done in 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090342)

http://mrl.nyu.edu/~perlin/demos/quikwriting.html

Seems to be a better implementation of the same thing as the targets get bigger as you use them!

This was even discussed on Slashdot in 1999 :

http://slashdot.org/hardware/99/04/29/1734246.shtml

A Stylus is NOT the answer. (1)

thygrrr (765730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090354)

Oh please, everyone who suggests using a stylus...

Have you ever used a decent capacitive screen (e.g. Samsung Galaxy, or any iDevice)?

They are very precise and very responsive. Devices that require a pen also require you to pick up that pen first. I used a PalmOS device when these were still popular, and typing did work - but pulling out the pen was a serious hassle, and the tiny pens felt awkward.

The only precision problem modern capacitive screens have is the curvature of the human finger, and the user's inability to properly see (or even estimate!) where his finger touches the glass. That's something I believe can be learned/trained, though, so it's important kids learn to use touch screens much like they learn to use a pencil.

I think Palm's simplified alphabet would work awesomely on capacitive touch screens. It's just that patents block most of the innovation in this field (and 8pen is also patent pending... he great...)

never going to happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090380)

My god this will be a miserable failure. You know nothing about humans if you think they are going to learn some crazy new writing that doesn't resemble anything they've done before, when they can just be stupid and type on an onscreen keyboard. This ain't happening, just like Dvorak even though it's superior.

speech recognition (1)

foodnugget (663749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34090404)

The speech recognition on my G2 is fannn-tastic. faster than i can peck out with the hardware keyboard. People look at you funny(er) at first, and it won't work well in a noisy environment, but definitely my preferred method of entry when possible.

Quite similar to Quikwriting in 1998 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34090630)

It uses the same kind of gestures but with a different layout.

http://www.google.nl/search?hl=&q=quikwriting

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