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The 5-finger Textist

Efficient typing on *compact* QWERTY
  [vote for,

A very quick Google search for "five finger typist" tells me that there are lots of programs and tutors available for teaching amputees to type efficiently on a standard keyboard with one hand. Whoda thunkit right?

What even a more extensive search failed to produce was a precedent for an efficient method being developed for typing efficiently with one hand on a smartphone or tablet computer. Such compact QWERTY keypads are about the same width as 4 fingers held together (slightly wider in portrait mode on my Tab, exactly the same in landscape mode on my MyTouch and Cliq XT).

There are a lot of 7 inch tablets coming out these days (the Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak 7, HTC Evo View, and HTC Flyer to name a few). It's an ideal size for a mobile tablet, and it's going to make itself widely known in the coming months, and given the already existing prevalence of touchscreen smartphones with virtual QWERTY keypads, I think an efficient method for typing on such a keypad while holding the mobile device in the other hand is called for.

And that's the big idea. A method of typing quickly and efficiently on a compact mobile QWERTY keypad with one hand which utilizes all 4 (perhaps even 5) fingers on that hand for maximum speed, range of motion efficiency, and accuracy.

21 Quest, Apr 03 2011


       so... where do the other three fingers go ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 03 2011

       The idea is to use all of the fingers (and possibly the thumb) on the hand used for typing.
21 Quest, Apr 03 2011

       So basically "We should research to find out the best miniature keyboard layout for one-handed texting"
FlyingToaster, Apr 03 2011

       No. A motion-study expert or typing specialist should find a method for typing on the already-prevalent compact QWERTY layout which incorporates as many of the fingers on the typing hand as possible to get the greatest speed and accuracy possible, assuming one hand is holding the device, and the other is used for typing.

       The idea is that one-finger pecking and dual thumb pecking are imperfect, inefficient adaptations to the layout. Full size standard keyboards, which sit on a desktop and require no support from the user utilize 10-finger typing (ie, all fingers on both hands). Smartphones and tablets should make the most use possible of the one hand used for typing.

       I just think it's an understudied field of research given the prevalence of compact QWERTY keypads.
21 Quest, Apr 03 2011

       //10 finger typing// more like the thumbs share a spacebar and the fingers do everything else. So there's a starting point. [edit: whoops, guess you can tell I don't have a mobile text-thingy]

       A quick perusal of one-handed keyboard layouts, it looks like they chop the keyboard in half and mirror whichever half is the non-typing hand, so the "home row" would look like this for left-handed typing:

       A S D F G switchable to ; L K J H (note the right-hand is reversed so using the left hand you still get the same finger usage, eg: the index finger would be used for the F and J)

       Perhaps a staggered layout so the homerow of a miniature keyboard would be

       ; A L S K D J F H G
FlyingToaster, Apr 03 2011

       Agreed. But the question then changes to "how do we incorporate chording into existing mobile devices which were built with physical QWERTY keypads or don't allow modification of the virtual (ie, Windows Mobile 7 and iPhone)?". Would it require an aftermarket accessory to be paired with the smartphone or tablet? An extra accessory, such as a chorded glove keypad, might make doing other things around the office inconvenient.
21 Quest, Apr 03 2011


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