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Old 08-15-2005, 04:27 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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IBM's Shorthand-Aided Rapid Keyboarding ready for market

The team at IBM's Almaden Research Center is ready to commercialize Shorthand-Aided Rapid Keyboarding (SHARK), a pattern recognition technology to offer an advanced pen-based text input method for mobile devices. The new method promises a writing speed of around 60 to 70 words per minute, much faster than tapping out words with a stylus.

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Instead of tapping out letters or writing a word on screen, you trace each letter in a single, fluid stroke. The keyboard on screen shows the shape of the word. The software works with a standard Qwerty keyboard, as well as IBM's experimental Atomik keyboard. Dr Zhai reckons that 100 patterns cover about 40% of the words most people write.
[via BBC News]
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:33 PM   #2
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The screenshot looks like that mind game where you have to pull out words in any direction. Already I see "daniel" "stop" and "pose". I just saw "bales". It's more interesting to me as a game than as a shorthand app.
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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I am not convinced yet. Does "a single, fluid stroke" mean I have to scratch over my display in order to type the words? In this case I'll stick with the good old tapping habit because I hate permanent scratches on my screens.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
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I'd be interested to try any new input method. I tend to favor those methods with a type-ahead feature where you can complete the word with a tap. And it has to be significantly better to make it worth learning a new keyboard layout. Even if I use it a fair amount, it won't be enough to really learn the new keyboard layout... I learned that with fitaly, which I do like, but with reservations because I continually forget where letters are!

I agree with doctorow's comments about dragging the stylus, even if for a different reason. I don't worry about scratching because I use a screen protector and throw away scratched styluses (stylii?). But I don't like the feel of dragging around the stylus for text entry. Maybe it's something you just get used to, but there's something satisfying about graffiti (1 not 2), or fitaly, etc. where you "attack" each letter separately.

This also makes me wonder why no one has come up with an input method that follows Gregg shorthand. Wouldn't that be the fastest of all, even if you had to tap on the right choice from ambiguous words sometimes? And for simple note taking (as opposed to entering a file name or URL, for example), it would surely be the best method because spelling and homonyms don't matter that much for personal notes. I, for one, would gladly brush up on the little bit of shorthand I know just for that purpose!
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:56 PM   #5
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I've used qwikscript (a port of quickwriting for the zaurus) that uses a continous drag rather than pecking at the letters.

It was unusual at first but now I find that I use it more than the on-screen keyboard or the in-built handwriting (for English entry anyway)

Would like to give this a try on the zaurus

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