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The Mobile Future of the Keyboard

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Touchscreen keyboards could stand some improvement before they become the norm in smartphones and make their way to desktop computers, gaming devices, and even coffee tables. With such touch screens, users tap the image of buttons on small, slippery surfaces.

One of the latest efforts to improve input text on touch screens involves Shapewriter, which has users draw over a qwerty layout to select the letters of a word they want to write. Drawing shapes for relatively simple words is much faster than even using a conventional touch keyboard, according to the company behind the technology, which is already available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile devices.

Meanwhile, at this week's CHI 2009 Computer Human Interaction conference in Boston, researchers at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom will present a test of a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet in which the sensation of vibrations will be used to indicate the selection of uppercase letters. Also, Ambient made news last year for its work on a neckband device designed to allow the user to think words and have a computer type them.

From New Scientist
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