Friday, July 15, 2005

SHARK Shorthand

So, I read a review about a new text-input technology from IBM's Almaden Research Center called ShortHand Aided Rapid Keyboarding, or SHARK. It really looks promising. Novice users were reporting 80+ words a minute. This certainly beats using the tiny keys on a Blackberry.

The idea is to simply trace out a word using a stylus. The stylus goes down on the first letter, and you just draw a line to the next letter, and so on. When the stylus lifts, the word is complete. The intended word is then determined using a combination of pattern recognition and a database of words. The technology works on both QWERTY keyboard layouts and also a new one dubbed ATOMIK, which is supposed to provide higher performance.

It is refreshing to see innovation in areas that many feel are near the end of their creativity life cycle. I haven't yet downloaded either of the available demos, but I imagine I will as soon as I find the time. It would definitely take a lot to change the way people view text input, but if the technology is truly useful, change will happen.

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