Anyone for an invisible keyboard?

Posted by Emma Woollacott

So, how good are your keyboard skills? An Israeli start-up reckons there's enough touch-typists out there to justify launching an invisible virtual keyboard.

The system works with Windows, Symbian and Android devices.

"There is a fundamental problem in entering data on mobile devices," SnapKeys chief executive Benjamin Ghassabian told Reuters. "Keyboards were meant for fixed devices, not mobile. And screens are not supposed to be your input device; they are supposed to be output."

SnapKeys has signed a deal with Philips Electronics to market its technology, aimed at users of smartphones or tablet PCs. The idea is that users use their thumbs to control four imaginary keys, two on each side of the screen.

It then uses predictive text technology which is over 90 percent accurate, says the company.

At first, the virtual keys will appear on-screen, but the company reckons that most people will quickly get used to their position and be able to do without.

SnapKeys reckons it's far faster than typing with a normal keyboard - and, to prove it, there's a rather poor-quality video of a SnapKeys employee setting a new Guinness world record for typing, here.

Ghassabian said that SnapKewys and Philips were in the closing stages of signing deals with a number of phone and computer companies. He said that there are versions for all European languages as well as Chinese, with an Indian version in the pipeline.