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Shorthand-Aided Rapid Keyboarding 22

An anonymous reader writes "IBM's famous reseach lab for nanotechnology, micoelectronics and exotic science, Almaden Research Center, has released an advanced, efficient, pen-based text input method for mobile computing, that allows you to trace letters on the keyboard to enter a word rather than typing each letter individually. The new technology provides a more fluid, smooth, and natural interaction (see demo ) than tapping on stylus keyboards."
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Shorthand-Aided Rapid Keyboarding

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  • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:14AM (#10653778)

    With an acronym like SHARK, it's got to be good!

    Also, words like, "mnemonic", "sokgraph", "algorithms" and "morphed" guarantee a high geek-Q.

    Unfortunately, another geek/teen-popular word is "random".
  • by eviltypeguy ( 521224 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:36AM (#10654076)
    I wonder how long it will take this technology to "jump the shark".
  • I have to say, as cool as this is, that I can't see it gaining wide acceptance. Remember the Dvorak keyboard layout? It is clearly better than QWERTY, but very few people use it. People don't want to learn new keyboarding skills.

    The only way I could see it gaining widespread use is via Palm-style devices. There you have a market where people are willing to try things other than a QWERTY keyboard. Maybe it could then move from the palmtop platform to the desktop.
    • Re:Dvorak? (Score:2, Informative)

      I know you're going to get slaughtered for the above, which is a shame because you make a reasonable point but with a bad example. Anyway, I know this is heading offtopic but it comes up a lot on Slashdot. Let me be the first to say:

      Dvorak is NOT better than Qwerty.

      The original studies that 'proved' the superiority of Dvorak were conducted by none other than Mr Dvorak himself! The tests were repeatedly and ridiculously unfair, in that they compared groups of typists who could never be reasonably compa

  • I agree with some other posters that I'd have to try it before deciding if I like it, but from what I see it looks far faster than writing each character by hand.

    It also doesn't seem like the layout would mess with your QWERTY skills as your brain as I get the feeling your brain is in a different kind of mode when moving a pen around a display vs moving your fingers around on a keyboard.

    Good stuff!
  • I type using the Dvorak layout, and I can type more sensibly than I can speak (since pauses don't look stupid) and faster and more legibly than I can write.

    This continuous drift towards 'alternative' input methods on the part of the OS vendors (read: Microsoft) seems mistaken from my desktop-bound existence.

    Don't even get me started on Microsoft's MixedUp keyboards. The moment any keyboard manufacturer starts playing with the function block (Insert / Delete and friends), they lose my business for one.
  • How would one write a word that has the same letter appearing twice in a row in the middle of a word? I would assume that you could just double tap the letter, but then again when you lift the stylus doesn't it finish the word?
    • I would imagine they have the stylus make a loop inside the letter's hex to draw a repeat character.

      The same situation would come up in the case of a word like "can" where all three letters are in a line. How would it know to pick up the letter "a" in the middle? Perhaps it runs the letters selected vs a word database, translating "cn" into "can".
    • Re:Balloon (Score:3, Insightful)

      by absurdhero ( 614828 )
      The sensible thing to do would be to not worry about the extra letter, and translate the stroke for b-a-l-o-n to balloon in the dictionary subsystem. Ambigous entries aren't really any more of a problem with this since it looks like they already have them and have dealt with them with the drop-down correction box.
  • If you look at the video carefully you will see that this system uses a dictionary to work: Certain motions on the keyboard are ambiguous, requiring the system to compare it against the dictionary (pay special attention to the popup menu half-way through the video).

    ream ember tea probe lamb with the Apple Newton?

    Dictionary systems always look great in a demo, but the great advantage of Grafitti-like systems like on the Palms is that you can type anything and it works even if its not in the dictionary!
    • You can always tap. The ATOMIK layout was created to be used a virtual/tap keyboard. QWERTY was better for me as a tap keyboard because i was much more used to it, but, in conjnunction with SHARK, i prefer ATOMIK. I think I'll learn ATOMIK well enough after a couple weeks.

"And remember: Evil will always prevail, because Good is dumb." -- Spaceballs