New Keyboard Lets Users Trace Virtual Keys

Posted on July 17, 2005

Shark keyboard

There is a new keyboard available called Shark (Shorthand-Aided Rapid Keyboarding). The keyboard allow users to input text into mobile devices using a stylus to select letters on a virtual keyboard by tracing over them.

CNET reports that the new keyboard is "an advanced pen-based shorthand method that allows users to input words into mobile devices by tracing them letter by letter on a virtual keyboard." The idea is that connecting letters to trace out a word is a faster way to select a word than by selecting individual letters one at a time. CNET also says a another idea behind Shark is that users "fairly rapidly start to memorize the shape of common words and word components."

The fastest speeds users of Shark have reached so far are in the 60-70 words per minute range. This is slower than good typists but faster than the hunt-and-peck method some use on keyboards. A beta version of Shark can be downloaded from the IBM Alphaworks website.

Image: IBM

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