KALQ~The new touchscreen thumb-typing keyboard

KALQ~The new touchscreen thumb-typing keyboard

A new keyboard layout has been designed by the Scottish researchers to optimize writing output on touchscreen devices like mobiles and tablets. Dubbed as KALQ, the new keyboard interface is developed by the scientists from St Andrews University in a partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the University of Montana.

The KALQ keyboard is designed to support “thumb-typing”, which is claimed that its typing technology is 34 per cent faster than the QWERTY-style keyboard configuration traditionally found on mobile gadgets. QWERTY boasts a maximum writing output of 20wpm, but the KALQ keyboards is said to be capable to achieve a rate of up to 37wpm with the help of a predictive text algorithm.

The KALQ keyboard is split into two main letter clusters, one on either side of the screen, with space buttons embedded into both sets. Based on “computational optimisation” findings, vowels have been arranged using on the right-hand side of the device to maximize ‘quick tapping’ and enable users to key in short, commonly used words almost instantly.[more…]

The new developed interface is user-friendly as it can be inverted for left-handed users, and the keyboard can even be scaled to take into account hand size.

“We believe KALQ provides a large enough performance improvement to incentivize users to switch and benefit from faster and more comfortable typing,” commented Dr Kristensson, lecturer in human computer interaction in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews.

The KALQ keyboard interface will be officially unveiled at the annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris, France on 1 May. Subsequently, it might be release as part of an Android app, and probably rolled out to additional platforms and services thereafter.

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