Researchers launch Kalq-ulated alternative to Qwerty keyboard

Posted on April 29, 2013


Users of mobile devices can be pretty much be put into two groups; those who are fast typists and those who are not. With the rise of larger smartphones and tablets, many more people are falling into the former group, largely as a result of holding their device with two hands, and thumb typing.

Recognising the trend, and the ease of use provided, researchers at universities including St Andrews in Scotland have created a new keyboard. Dubbed the ‘Kalq’, due to the letters on one line, it is set to wage war against the Qwerty keyboard we all know and love.

Talking about how the innovation will allow improve text entry, one of the team, Dr Per Ola Kristensson, said:

“We believe Kalq provides a large enough performance improvement to incentivise users to switch.”

Available as a free app, the keyboard has been designed to be more ergonomically friendly, with all vowels grouped on the right side, and the left side having more letters. The most commonly used letters are also grouped centrally.

Through minimising the instances of using only one thumb, typing should be faster.

With use of a standard Qwerty keyboard on a mobile device, it is estimated that speeds are limited to around 20wpm. Those trained using a Kalq keyboard, and with the help of an autocorrect algorithm, can reach nearly double this speed.

Officially launching in Paris in May, the Kalq app could not only revolutionise texting through improved grammar and speed, but also the reactive posting of stories on news feeds for websites.

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