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Gadget Freak Case #225: Moving the Keyboard Onto Your Fingers
9/14/2012

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Wayne Rasanen set out to make the QWERTY keyboard smaller and less complex so that it could work well with modern electronics.
Wayne Rasanen set out to make the QWERTY keyboard smaller and less complex so that it could work well with modern electronics.

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Adopter incentives are futile. Users will refuse to be assimilated.
Rob Spiegel   9/18/2012 3:28:24 PM
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It's nice to see this keyboard development. The logic behind the QWERTY was to keep typewriter keys from sticking. Now it's just a habit. It's like the old story of a mother who is over for dinner at her grown daughter's house. She watched as her daughter cuts the ends off a roast and puts them to the side of the roast before putting the large pan in the oven. The mother asks, "Why did you cut the ends off the roast?"

The daughter says, "Because you always did."

The mother replies, "I did it because the pan was too short."

Ken E.
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Gold
Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Ken E.   9/19/2012 12:09:49 PM
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I don't remember anyone mentioning voice recognition, but as Moore's Law progresses, along with algorithms for speech recognition, this will all seem quaint some day. 

The interesting thing  to watch there, is the structure allows spoken editting and commands.  Eventually I imagine even commands will be conversational.  As cameras transition from not just on phones but to screens, the mouse may be replaced by a camera, eye motion, and the aforementioned voice recognition.

Ancient Chinese curse- May you be born in interesting times!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Rob Spiegel   9/19/2012 1:11:22 PM
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Ken, much of this technology is available already. I know a writer who actually writes by using voice recognition software. You can put in the punctuation marks as you go along, and it doesn't need much editing at the end.

Ken E.
User Rank
Gold
Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Ken E.   9/19/2012 4:17:29 PM
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I've used Siri, and have played with some free software on my desktop.  But again, editting and punctuation isn't intuitive and hands free.  (I can't say I know the state of the art.  Is there truly awesome voice recognition which allows free speach, and automatically punctuates?  And how much does it cost?) 

Who goes with a first draft, of any important document?  I can't talk off the top of my head in truly cogent sentences.  So even if I spoke it in, the editting is 'hands on' at this point.

Cadman-LT
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Platinum
Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Cadman-LT   9/19/2012 4:37:22 PM
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As for the voice there is always Dragon NS. I like the commercials for that. I think if you are smart enough to use the software so it's actually useful, you should be smart enough to sit and write(type) a paper yourself.

in10did
User Rank
Iron
Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
in10did   9/19/2012 9:32:21 PM
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Voice technology is advancing but there will still be times that you want to be quiet and still communicate.   Some people have no ability to speak at all and an illness can rob you of your voice at anytime.  A noisy environment can also derail voice recognition so tactile input will continue to be a factor.  Besides, it is quicker to press "return" than to tell your computer to "go to the next line." Gestures are great for short-cuts but can't replace a keyboard for writing or fine editing.  If you need to make corrections and can do it with 10 keys, why do you want 101 keys?

The goal of this input system was to link the hard wiring in our brains that move our fingers with a logical association to keystrokes.  This is done with external keys but I can imagine that once we are able to isolate the brain waves that move our digits, this arrangement could provide a framework for quadriplegics to gain machine control and independence.  With merely the thought on moving a finger and thumb, an action could occur externally.  Could telepathy be far off from there?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Rob Spiegel   9/20/2012 12:49:50 PM
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A friend of mine had cerebral palsy. He worked in PR for one of the cregral palsy associations. He typed press releases -- and a published memoir -- using just one toe on a typewriter on the floor. Given the variety of configurations of this gadget, I'm sure something could have been worked out that would have been more efficient than a single toe on a typewriter.

in10did
User Rank
Iron
Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
in10did   9/20/2012 8:06:56 PM
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I'm sure something could have been provided.  Although the system was built for ten presses, you could do most everything with just two.  It could also be changed to one press at a time but you would loose all the single press keystrokes.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
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Re: Voice recognition will leave all this in the dust?
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 1:09:03 PM
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Sounds like your system could be adapted for special needs people. Given the wide range of interfaces you suggest in the video, it's quite flexible.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
MOVING KEYBOARD
bobjengr   9/29/2012 12:59:44 PM
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I think we do get locked into convention but there is no doubt a keyboard applied to some devices; i.e. steering wheel, etc would benefit from the simplification this one would provide.  I, like others who have commented, can see how it would greatly benefit individuals who are disabled.  I learned to type when I was in the 5th grade on a very old "manual" typewriter.  I'm not too sure I could, or would want to adapt to the ten key device demonstrated. 

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