Thursday, April 19, 2012

Querty Goes Kaput?

I don't know about you, but I always find it invigorating when I read about a completely out-of-the-box (a cliche, I know) solution to a problem: one that not only makes sense but one that I would have never conceived myself. The Snap Keys app on some tablets is a perfect example. This month's THE Journal featured an article "Typing in the Age of iPads" which brought the new keyboard to my attention. Instead of trying to smoosh the entire QWERTY keyboard onto a small screen, these developers thought, "why don't we just toss the whole idea that the keys have to be in this order?" They came up with a new way to organize the alphabet based on the letter shapes, and grouped them into only four categories. The user types with thumbs-only. Now, I'm not saying I think that this is the best idea ever. There are concerns about how the youngest of students would be able to spell words correctly enough for the software to guess what they mean, as well as what all this "thumb-typing" might do to our hand muscles over time. Maybe we would just evolve. Maybe there is an alternative for young student. I dunno. I just love the fact that these people didn't just keep sticking with the standard because, well, it's the standard. That's the kind of thinking that will move America out of this global economy quagmire in which we find ourselves. Innovation!

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