There has been talk recently on innovating the tried and tested QWERTY keyboard layout, as it remains one of the computer’s hardware that is least innovated. Part of that is due to the fact that people adapted to the layout, and muscle memory did the rest. Touch-typing is a skill honed over years of using the same keyboard.
However, touch interfaces are slowly changing the scene for the humble keyboard. Instead of physical keyboards, we now have virtual ones – and some provides haptic feedback to capture that physical “feel”. Swype introduced a new way of typing…if we could even call it that. But the layout of the humble QWERTY keyboard remained the same.
Slice, a virtual keyboard app from Istas Technologies, attempts to change all that. With its seriously slick and cool interface, it’s not difficult to picture this to be the keyboard of the future. Featuring six finger-sized circles, which, when touched, opens up an array of familiar keyboard characters. To the left of the keyboard is the traditional Shift, Tab, Caps Lock keys, while the right has the Delete, Enter and Shift keys.
Using the keyboard is…rather hard to explain with words. The developers included a video on its Google Play listing to show how to use it, and while it is complicated, it really is a matter of muscle memory all over again. To help with that, the developers included a simple game adapted from Space Invaders to help users to remember the locations of all keys.
But for now, we’ll stick with SwiftKey-powered QWERTYs.