Optimus keyboard in the news

From: Ed Trager (ed.trager@gmail.com)
Date: Thu May 03 2007 - 12:07:12 CST

  • Next message: Ed Trager: "Re: Optimus keyboard in the news"

    On 5/3/07, Philippe Verdy <verdy_p@wanadoo.fr> wrote:

    > I think that such limited set of OLED/LCD keys will better fit in a single
    > row (for example the first row with digits, or the functions keys F1..F12 if
    > they could be programmable for text input.)

    That's a good idea -- then one could use just a single long
    touch-sensitive rectangular LCD / OLED which could dynamically change
    from 12 dynamic keys in one row to maybe even 24 keys in two rows, or a
    scrollable pane of keys or whatever. It could be very useful for
    inputting diacritics or IPA or other special chars even if still not
    as useful as a full-fledged Optimus-style keyboard.

    > Anyway, such limited dynamic keyboard will not be convenient for Han users,
    > they will want a full keyboard to replace or enhance their on-screen IME)

    For the case of Mandarin, by far one of the easiest and most popular
    input method engines is the so-called "smart pinyin" type where just
    typing the phonetics using the official Pinyin romanization on a
    QWERTY keyboard and then picking from a popup pick-list is all that is
    needed. Now a days, the popup pick-list is usually very good -- very
    frequently the first entry is the one you want. The Japanese
    "Anthy"-style IMEs I've seen behave quite similarly: just type in
    romanji phonetics on a QWERTY keyboard and the hiragana appear. Hit
    the space key and various Kanji or katakana options appear in the pick
    list. I don't believe that an Optimus-style keyboard will make typing
    Chinese or Japanese any easier than it already is.

    But the Optimus would be very useful for keyboards like Arabic and
    Thai where actually several different variant keyboard layouts are
    already in use and it's rather difficult to remember where some of the
    lesser-used characters really are on those layouts.

    Also it seems quite likely that improvements in organic light emitting
    diodes (OLEDs) will lead to falling costs and in a few years these
    things will be a dime a dozen. Then all kinds of possiblities will
    open up at the consumer level.

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