English: HP desktop keyboard, QWERTY layout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the big problems with touch-screen tablets is that our opposable thumbs mean that the process of typing words onto that screen is an extremely clumsy operation, even for those used to doing it – far more of a bind than using the old qwerty keyboard on conventional desktops. There had to be a way, researchers thought, to get rond this annoying hindrance.
Thankfully, St Andrews University Researchers have now come up with the development of a split-screen keyboard – designed to be specifically optimised for thumbs and touch-screen tablets – and the claim is that this can increase user typing speeds by35% or more, so that even one finger typists can become somewhat speedier when typing, no doubt a great boon to many.
Dubbed the Kalq keyboard – the letters at the bottom right of qwerty keyboards – this new system has a radically different layout to the qwerty keyboard – unchanged in 140 years – which is specifically designed to save your thumbs stretching across the screen and making repeated taps. The keys now appear two blocks – 16 on the left – 12 on the right.
Most often employed letters are grouped together – frequent letter pairs placed on alternate sides – meaning both hands work equally hard. This all came through intensive research on how users move their thumbs, and created so that left thumbs take care of most common first letters of words – right thumb looks after the vowels, or vice-versa for users who are left-handed.
It seems that the more experienced of typists move both thumbs simultaneously while typing, so the difference it actually makes to tablet users proved to be that, after a mere 10 hours training, they could manage reach 37 words per minute, as opposed to the qwerty device average of 20 words per minute. A great step forward in tablet communication technology, without a doubt.
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