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Input Devices Portables

BlindType — the Amazing Keyboard of the Future 125

kkleiner writes "BlindType has created a new touchscreen keyboard program of the same name that changes size, orientation, and position to match your wandering fingers as they type. BlindType also features some of the most impressive typing correction software I've ever seen. The result is a practical touchscreen interface that knows what you meant to type, even if you make mistakes. Lots of them. In fact, you can type without looking at the screen at all."
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BlindType — the Amazing Keyboard of the Future

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  • by mfarah ( 231411 ) <miguel@@@farah...cl> on Friday July 30, 2010 @12:24PM (#33084704) Homepage

    In fact, you can type without looking at the screen at all.

    Gee, that's new! Typists from decades ago were able to do just that. It was called "training" and "expertise".

    Seriously, though, I expect two distinct problems with this:

    1) How well will it handle "non-US slopiness"? Sloppy typing in Spanish (etc.) is quite different from typical english-language slopiness.

    2) IT'S NOT A MODEL M KEYBOARD!!! There, I said it. I don't care for "the keyboard of the future" if the "keyboard from the past" is still alive and well and functioning nicely. Actually, make that "the keyboard from the past and present". :-P

  • by easterberry ( 1826250 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @12:28PM (#33084782)
    If you can plug a model M into your smartphone and use it conveniently I will be impressed sir.
  • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @12:30PM (#33084834)

    If you had watched the video you would have noticed that this is mainly for mobile devices with no physical keyboard (read: zero tactile feedback). If you can take a mobile device with an on screen keyboard and type perfectly fine without looking at it you've got great motor skills. But what happens if it is slightly askew since your fingers are drifting slightly due to no tactile feedback? This fixes that and allows you to literally have no keyboard displayed on the screen and still type coherent words and sentences.

    This isn't about learning to type on a real keyboard, it's about not needing one all together. Just know the basic layout and type away on the screen with no keyboard visual.

    I'm seriously hoping for one to come out with a small camera you mount on the screen that watches your fingers and allows you to type without the need to project a keyboard. Spacing wouldn't matter anymore and you could just type away with your eyes closed and the software is smart enough to guess what word you meant.

    So BlindType is pretty spot on. You can't see a keyboard (blind) and you can't feel one yet you're typing just fine.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @12:33PM (#33084874)

    SwiftKey comes close, and has really good predictive text guesses that are usually right and will let me pick the exact thing I typed from the displayed list if I am typing a formerly unknown proper noun, for example, but it has some minor problems on my Nexus One that are really frustrating.

    First, it tends to recognize keypresses near the lower right corner as backspace or enter and on the bottom row as space keys. It's very smart about character keys, but doesn't apply the same analysis to punctuation keys - it should be obvious that I wouldn't type three characters then space then a garbled half of the word - it's like it stops processing when it thinks I meant to hit a space bar. Duh. Blindtype seems to be smarter about that.

    And second, it occasionally seems to fail to register or filters out the first 1-2 characters of a word I am typing if I type too fast. It's almost like it thinks they were so quick that they were mistakes. This is very frustrating and needs to be a configurable option for fast thumb typists like myself.

    These are the reasons I'm looking forward to BlindType, or at least a fixed version of SwiftKey. It seems from the BlindType demo videos to at least address the first problem because it processes a set of keypresses as a batch. Whether I'm faster in practice with BlindType, SwiftKey or something else will remain to be seen.

    And yes, I've tried Swype too and have it installed but don't use it everyday. It's nice and quite fast if I'm sitting there and looking at my screen, but I can't use it at all when I'm walking around or otherwise multitasking, which is why I'm so eager for BlindType.

  • by ronubi ( 465652 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @04:47PM (#33089036) Journal

    Abcd1234 wrote:

    I'm calling bullshit.

    There's no way you use both Vi *and* Emacs.

    One word: viper. See http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_mono/viper.html#Top [gnu.org] for details.

User hostile.