Have you ever wanted to be able to actually type on your phone without a robot trying to read your mind based on your typos? Have you ever wanted to be able to type quickly and accurately with a game controller? Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to search for a TV Series on Netflix when using a smart TV? Have you ever wanted to type with one hand while simultaneously eating an entire three course meal with the other?
The solution to all these problems is the same: chorded keyboards!
A chorded keyboard is essentially one where the input is determined not by pressing a specific key relating to a specific character, but where the combination and order in which keys are pressed determine the character. We already have this to a limited degree on our standard keyboards with the shift and fn keys. Chorded keyboards take it to the ultimate conclusion, though, making it possible to type a wide range of characters using only one hand and six or seven keys.
On a phone, this would look like just adding a few more keys to the sides (most already have at least three keys). Typing would then involve bending the elbow to bring the phone in front of the face with the wrist straight so that the user can easily manipulate the keys. There would be no need for an idiotic software keyboard that covers at least half the screen and is impossible to use accurately no matter what you try. You wouldn’t have to chicken peck with your thumbs or hold the phone in one hand while pecking with the other hand. You could actually input text on your phone in sane, quick, and pleasant way. Imagine!
A similar approach could be used with a game controller, but you wouldn’t even have to modify the hardware. There are already enough buttons on a controller to do the job, you just need the firmware to turn the keystrokes into keyboard input and the ability to turn keyboard input on or off. This could be accomplished with a small toggle switch literally anywhere on the device. You could finally play and chat effectively in online games without needing to set down the controller and grab a keyboard.
A TV controller with a built in chorded keyboard would make it easy to use smart TV functions that need text input. You could even eat dinner with one hand while browsing Netflix with the other.
It’s the perfect solution to every text input problem, and it needs more attention. Too long the tyranny of keyboards that take up too many of our fingers have ruled, and we’re so obsessed with them that we even made the idiotic software keyboard on phones and tablets to emulate them. Chorded keyboards will take us to freedom. Everyone should demand chorded keyboards in every context where they make sense.
(Somebody might say, “but you’ll have to learn how to use it! That would be hArD!” Yeah, well, feel free to keep using software keyboards if you want. For me the ability to snack and type at the same time is worth the effort).