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Welcome to William Van Winkle's blog, home for everything from notes on his latest ebooks to leftovers from his articles in CPU, Tom's Hardware, Smart Computing, and other media outlets. Check out his author pages at Amazon and Smashwords!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Look, Ma: 70 WPM With One Hand!

From this morning's editing work on my Architects of Tomorrow book, due for release next month on Amazon and Smashwords. Thad Starner was a wearable computing pioneer at MIT and is now head of Georgia Tech's Contextual Computing Group. We were discussing the one-handed chording keyboard he uses for his wearable system...

Starner: People are typing 10 words a minute using Multitap and T9 ...and these sorts of things. That’s ridiculously slow, especially if you use it for your main email. Can you imagine doing your main email on a mobile phone? That would be ludicrous. My Twiddler [www.handykey.com], the keyboard we use, looks exactly like a mobile phone’s 3 x 4 button system, but I do 70 words a minute on it. That’s seven times faster than the current best rate by other methods out there. The only thing that we’re doing differently is we’re allowing you to hit more than one button at a time. And much to our surprise, the learning rate is so much faster than anything else you’ve seen in the literature. We just finished formal studies on this. Our average users were at 26 words a minute after 400 minutes of practice. After about 25 hours or so, they were averaging 47 words a minute. Our top person types letter by letter at about 67 words a minute. It’s also better for your wrists.

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