T9 inventor shows off Swype: finger-tracing predictive text for touchscreens

swypebrochureimage.jpg

What his T9 predictive text entering system was to numeric cell phone keypads, inventor Chris Kushler hopes Swype will be to touch screens. And it may just be.

It looks intuitively simple: if you want to enter a word, just zip your finger or stylus along the onscreen keyboard from letter to letter. A 65,000 word dictionary will make its best guess as to what word is spelled out by the keys traced during your finger’s path. Capitals are handled by an upwards of downwards finger jerk. Kushler says he can average 55wpm by Swyping.

It’s such a great looking little system that it makes me wonder why Pocket PCs didn’t have this 5 years ago. Kushler hopes to get various mobile phone manufacturers onboard, since his technology will work best when embedded on the system level. Let’s hope he has some luck: this looks like a huge improvement over treating he touchscreen keyboard like a real one.

One question: can Swype handle Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatos ilphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossypho phattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokig klopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon? I like to use that as the suggested dish when sending pleading texts for dinner dates.

Move over T9, here comes Swype [CNET]

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9 Responses to T9 inventor shows off Swype: finger-tracing predictive text for touchscreens

  1. Abby says:

    It’s called WritingPad and is a free app for the iPhone. I gave up using the standard note pad for this and only wish Apple would implement this as an option on the native keyboard.

  2. cisco says:

    it’s called “WritingPad”.

    i don’t know if the internals are the same, but as far as i can tell, the results are.

  3. acb says:

    My guess is that Swype can gracefully degrade to a standard hunt-and-peck on-screen keyboard, should one need to enter a word not in its dictionary. Interpreting a tap on a key as a letter would be trivial.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure that Swype is really a new idea.

    However, there’s also Dasur’s SlideIt input method, which uses sliding to input text. Check the animated graphic on that page.
    http://www.mobiletextinput.com

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new – almost one year ago Dasur introduced a similar and
    and very powerful KeyBoard: http://dasur.co.il/Download.php

    anyway nice try swype…

  6. scaught says:

    “writing” or “writingpad” didn’t give me anything. Is that on the app store? I’d love to give it a try.

  7. Joel Johnson says:

    That looks tits. Would love to give it a whirl. And if it’s a champion, no reason Apple couldn’t license it for iPhone. That’ll take a couple of years of proving out, I’m sure.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There’s already an iPhone app that does this. It’s basically a duplicate of the default Notes program, with this “swiping” feature. It’s very cool, but I can’t remember what it’s called. Anyone?

  9. fencesitter says:

    Writingpad is also an implementation of an IBM idea called shark.

    Apparently, if you follow the link and redirection, there are other implementations too.

    So, Swype is just predictive shark with a qwerty keyboard instead of the ATOMIK layout.

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