11:18 27 April 2013
Researchers have invented new KALQ keyboard to help people using touchscreen devices type faster. The new keyboard layout was designed based on computational optimisation techniques.
According to the research team, which consists of researchers from St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany, and Montana Tech in the US, two-thumb typing is ergonomically very different from using Qwerty keyboards, which were developed for typewriters in the late 19th century.
Researchers claim that using Qwerty keyboard limit the users to just 20 words per minute where as with KALQ, typing speed can be as much as 37 words per minute.
KALQ has a split layout with 16 keys on the left grid and 12 keys on the right. Investors made sure that all the most commonly used letters are clustered together to help users type faster. Most of the vowels were placed near the space bar and are handled by the right thumb. Meanwhile, the left thumb will be used for most of the consonants and most of the first letters of words.
Per Ola Kristensson, of St Andrews University, said: 'The legacy of QWERTY has trapped users with suboptimal text entry interfaces on mobile devices. However, before abandoning QWERTY, users rightfully demand a compelling alternative.
'We believe KALQ provides a large enough performance improvement to give users the incentive to switch and benefit from faster and more comfortable typing.'
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