26 April 2013

New Keyboard Layout Makes Touchscreen Typing Faster By 34%

Researchers at Scotland’s University of St Andrews have rearranged the letters on a keyboard, in a way that it’s possible for touchscreen device users to type faster by 34%.

Called the ‘KALQ keyboard’, the keyboard layout was developed with “two-thumb typing” in mind.

Contrary to the commonly-known QWERTY layout—which favors vowels on the right side, and more consonants and first letters of words on the left—KALQ will be split on two sides of the screen, and optimizes the keyboard for two thumbs to minimize the occurrences of single-thumb typing.

According to Business Insider, Dr Antti Oulasvirta of Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany, also said that placing “frequently used letter keys centrally close to each other” is also important when optimising a keyboard for two thumbs.

When tested just after 10 hours of training, users of the KALQ keyboard could type 37 words per minute on a touchscreen device, compared to the average of 20 words per minute on a QWERTY.

The KALQ user learns to move the other thumb to the next key, while tapping a key with his/her other thumb.

The team plans to release KALQ as a free Android app next month.

Would you switch to a KALQ from your QWERTY?

[via Business Insider, images via University of St Andrews]