Fast Texting with KALQ Keyboard, Takes On QWERTY

Text with KALQ Keyboard for Touchscreen Smartphones

Slow texting, this might be the problem of many of you…isn’t it…? Ask to love birds, sometime relation also get break-off due to this damn slow texting…!! Well, jokes apart, as the computers, tablets and smart phones have entered in each and every aspect of life, everyone is familiar with typing. And all those who know typing is associated with keyboards QWERTY format.  This also follows for smart phones. Smart phones are mainly having QWERTY keyboards for typing. Mostly people generally do texting in today’s life. But researchers have found that the typing on smart phones is not much easier with QWERTY format as QWERTY format reduces our speed.

In 2012, The New York Times said “cell phone owners sent an average of 678 texts a month.” That’s a lot of messages, and we’re guessing at least half of those messages were sent in a bid to correct all the spelling mistakes in the other half. The teeny little thumb-powered QWERTY keyboards we use to send Facebook updates, tweets, emails, i-Chats and G-chats are a holdover from the typewriter era of the 1870’s and they are a terrible tool for two-fingered tapping.

Programs like Swipe have tried to make QWERTY work a little better, but they are still mostly band-aid solutions to a festering wound. Now, computer science researchers think that they have a true solution in a way to improve smart phone and tablet typing. They want to replace the QWERTY keyboard that we could all probably lay out in our sleep with a new keyboard design called KALQ. The research team of Antti Oulasvirta at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics has created a new keyboard dubbed “KALQ” that enables significantly faster thumb-typing on touch screen devices.

The layout of KALQ keyboard is split type, with 16 keys on a left grid and 12 keys on a right grid, with the most commonly used letters clustered together. On top of rearranging the letters, the keyboard doesn’t have a Spacebar. The vowels are positioned near the space bar and they are handled by the right thumb along with G, K, L, Q and J letters, while the left thumb takes care of most of the consonants and most of the first letters of words. In this way, KALQ keyboard has been designed specifically for two-thumb typing and is built to maximize a sort of left hand-right hand rhythm. The arrangement can be reversed for left hander users and keys and letters can also be resized and rescaled for different sized hand.

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It is something of a miracle that the QWERTY layout has persisted for so long, given that it was invented for a mechanical device with the specific intention of slowing typing speeds down. First developed in the 1870s by Milwaukee newspaper editor Christopher Sholes, it was designed to prevent the metal arms of typewriter letters from clashing and jamming the machine as they flew at ferocious speed towards the page. Sholes placed the most frequently used letters as far apart as possible to avoid such jams, making the typist’s fingers do the hard work instead.

So what difference does it actually make? Their tests show that after only 10 hours of training, users were able to reach 37 words a minute, compared with the average of 20 words a minute on a QWERTY device.

“Experienced typists move their thumbs simultaneously, while one is typing, the other is approaching its next target. We believe KALQ provides a large enough performance improvement to give users the incentive to switch and benefit from faster and more comfortable typing. We derived a predictive model of this behavior for the optimization method.’ ” said Per Ola Kristensson, at St Andrews University. He challenged that KALQ enables significantly 34 percent faster than on a QWERTY layout.

People who tried KALQ out were at first, understandably, slower than they were typing on a QWERTY keyboard. But, after a bit of practice, they were much faster. The researchers plan, they say to  release the keyboard layout for free to Android device users next month.

So, let’s get ready to make your thumb more faster n smarter!!


Young, Dynamics, skilled Technocrat and Admin of Various regional and international communities on Facebook, Google.

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