One-handed keyboard now available for touchscreens
“he growing popularity of smartphones and tablets have meant we all need to get used to typing on a touchscreen keyboard. While such keyboards have improved, they can still leave a lot to be desired, and the smaller the display the harder it can be to always tap the right key.
The most well-known alternative to the typical touchscreen keyboard at the moment is Swype, but you really need to try it out to see if it works for you. There is another solution though, which has just been implemented and offers you access to all characters of the alphabet using just a single hand.
The folks over at Teague Labs have implemented the Doug Engelbart Chorded Keyboard as a multi-touch interface. Engelbert is a legend in computing circles, having invented the computer mouse, hypertext, networked computers, and worked on GUI technology before anyone knew what a GUI was.
Engelbart also implemented a keyboard that only required one hand. It has a steep learning curve compared to a standard keyboard because it relies on finger press combinations to type a character. For example, to type “a” you press down with your first and second fingers. In total, there are 32 combinations you can achieve, but you have to remember the association between combination and character.
It’s easy to see why this didn’t catch on for general keyboard use, but it could turn out to be a bit of a revelation on a touchscreen. The big advantage it has is the fact you don’t need to be accurate with your taps on the screen. Because it relies on finger combinations, you can tap just about anywhere and your multitouch display will know which character to output. You don’t even need to be looking at the screen while you type.
The good news is, it doesn’t cost anything to try the one-handed keyboard out. Teague Labs open-sourced the code and set up a page for you to try it out. Visiting that page on your touchscreen device should activate the keyboard and you can start some five-digit typing.”
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