It has long been understood that a significant factor in the ability to touch type is tactile feedback. This is because without feedback it is difficult to maintain an accurate mental model of where the different keys are.
For this reason it is a generally held belief that touch typing on a touch screen keyboard is very difficult if not impossible to do consistently.
By only having three very large keys, Zeta TYPE compensates for the lack of tactile feedback, allowing a user to reliably locate each button.
These slide motions are easy to learn, quick to perform and reasonably distinct.
contains a number of algorithms to quickly determine slide motions with high accuracy and with a very low memory footprint.
Furthermore, contains significant code to disambiguate slide actions reliably and learn user behaviour to compensate for habitual user errors or slide bias.
This all combines to make touch typing not only possible but no less difficult to learn then on a full keyboard. Suitably advanced users could have a completely transparent keyboard saving even more screen space.
Although the system can be used without prediction it can benefit greatly from it. In fact, the benefits are greater for Zeta TYPE than normal virtual keyboards.
As mentioned previously, Zeta TYPE manages to take up significantly less space then other virtual keyboards while still maintaining a similar accuracy level. The saved space can be used to return space to the active mobile application (eg. to give more space to a message being typed) or to give more prediction options.
Normally there is only space for one row of prediction options. With Zeta TYPE there is easily space for three rows while still taking up the same or less space then other software keyboards.
More rows mean more text prediction candidates and therefore a greater chance of a correct prediction.
Furthermore, the technology Zeta TYPE is based on has systems to further increase the chance of any integrated prediction engine making a correct prediction.
For more information on the underlying technology please see the technology page.
Zeta TYPE is a virtual keyboard initially being developed for Google Android based touch screen phones.
In time the technology can and will be deployed on any other suitably equipped touchscreen device.
Zeta TYPE is the first implementation of our patented technology for text input.
For Zeta TYPE the technology has been implemented by creating 3 main zones or buttons on the touchscreen that are programed to recognise 8 directional slides and 1 tap action.
Below is an example of a Zeta TYPE keyboard layout:
As you can see there are 3 buttons with 9 characters on each. In this design the position of the 9 characters on the button acts as a guide to signify the direction of slide required for the character to be generated.
For example a "d" will require a slide to the right on the left (blue) button.
Click here for a demonstration of Zeta TYPE (N.B: This demo has sound).
Zeta TYPE has a number of benefits over other touch screen keyboards:
Each Zeta TYPE key is much larger than on equivalent keyboards - in fact on most phones the keys can reach the optimal 10 - 13 mm diameter of a physical keyboard key, making each key much easier to hit even if you have larger fingers or want to use your thumb due to one handed use or long nails.
Zeta TYPE keys compare well to physical keyboard keys
On touchscreen phones the screen is also the method of input. Therefore it is desirable to minimise the amount of the screen taken up by the input method so that as much as possible can be left for displaying the application.
With only three keys and minimal distance between each key, Zeta TYPE significantly reduces screen real estate compared to other virtual keyboards (up to 50% reduction), making it far less obtrusive.
This increased real estate also means more space is available for displaying text prediction candidates, thereby increasing the prediction "hit ratio" while still not taking up any more space then alternative keyboards.
The design allows for familiar keyboard layouts (eg. QWERTY, AZERTY, ABC, etc.) to be used shortening the learning cycle.
There is no limit to the keyboard layouts possible and adding a new layout is simple.