Home BlindType: Touchscreen Typing for the Maladroit

BlindType: Touchscreen Typing for the Maladroit

Worry not, you of the short and stubby fingers, you who lack a bit of dexterity in the digits, you who can’t seem to type on your iPhone and Android for the life of you – there is hope. No longer will you have to be angered that your attempt to type the letter “M” resulted in a backspace or “A” turned into a capital letter.

BlindType, an input system currently in development for the iPhone and Android platforms, works to predict not only the word you intended to type, but the letters themselves.

While we’d never recommend trying to type on your phone while driving, there are plenty of other situations where this app could be immensely useful. From sitting in the back of a bouncy bus to simply trying to type faster than the miniscule touchscreen keyboard normally allows, the app gives a much larger margin of error by not only using predictive text, but also adjusting the keyboard to the user’s “‘perceived’ keyboard and typing style”.

As you can see in the video, the keyboard is not static, but rather entirely relative to how the user types. The keyboard itself is even unnecessary, as the relative touch points are enough to predict the intended words. It can move on the touchscreen, adjust to different orientations and even change in size. While Kostas Eleftheriou was hesitant to describe exactly how this all worked, he told us that the system adjusts dynamically with every word typed, not just in the long term.

“The average user will probably want to have their keyboard ‘locked’ into a fixed position, so the scaling and rotation that you see would be happening behind the scenes in order to provide industry-first prediction rates,” Eleftheriou told us in an email. “While the system offers many different settings, it will be totally ready to go out of the box without having to tinker with anything first.”

While Android users may be able to enjoy the full potential of this app, on the iPhone it will unfortunately suffer the same fate (at least initially) as Opera Mini – a secondary interface that cannot be made default. We asked BlindType’s creators about this, and they admitted that Apple does not allow its keyboard to be replaced, as with Android, but that they will offer BlindType for both platforms “if nothing else to put pressure on Apple to finally allow this kind of thing.”

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