One-handed Windows Phone keyboard picture leaked?

Is Microsoft or one of its Windows Phone hardware partners working on a new design for a touch-screen keyboard? Today, a new picture found its way to the Internet that appears to show an arc-shaped keyboard that is designed to be used with one hand.

The picture was leaked by WMPoweruser.com and shows the touch-screen keyboard UI running on a HTC Trophy. The design groups the letters in boxes of three or four per button. This should allow the keyboard to use predictive text software to guess which word is being typed in by the user. The article claims the photo comes from a leaked Microsoft Research presentation.

It's unknown if this keyboard is just for a research project or if it is actively being developed by Microsoft, or perhaps one of its hardware partners, as an option for Windows Phone 8. It's also possible that this could be one of the unnamed new features coming to Windows Phone 7.8, in addition to the previously announced new Start screen.

While the design is certainly interesting, we do wonder how many people would actually use it, since it seems to be dependent on how well it predicts the words that the user is attempting to spell.

Source: WMPoweruser.com | Image via WMPoweruser.com

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weird, i loved the old 12 key keyboards for typing, easy with 1 hand, android/iphone however, my thumb always mispresses when trying to press keys on opposite end of keyboard, heh
good to see this come back, onehanded typing wins.

Why are people judging this as if they know how it works when we don't actually know anything about it at all?

The first comment was like "Yuck", and then the replies were all people talking about how this is similar to the old triple-tap and T9 keyboards. Really?

Anyway, I think this will work similarly to how the Zune HD keyboard was like. People who've used a Zune before would know what I mean.

Has anyone seen that Blackberry OS 10 sneak peak on youtube that shows words appearing above the keys and you just swipe up to pick them - looks kinda neat

Why do they need to make "one handed keybooards" Surely most people can text these days using one hand only on any phone? I know plenty of people that very easily with one hand on iphones, blackberrys and other phones like the Galaxy S2 or whatever its called.

My old job we weren't allowed to use our phones but every texted under the desks and we became very efficient at one handed texting.

I know i shouldn't but i can do it while driving without even looking at the phone

IMO, it looks pretty nice (as long as I don't have to press the button three times to get like a Z o.o)...especially if it had Swype or something similar

While the design is certainly interesting, we do wonder how many people would actually use it, since it seems to be dependent on how well it predicts the words that the user is attempting to spell.
Wow John you make me feel old. T9 wasn't that long ago, was it?

Personally, I'll have to wait and see how it pans out. I don't want to rush to judgement because it could be awesome.

Interesting I guess for some people this would be useful, sometimes I want to text just using my one thumb but standard qwerty keyboard doesn't suit it very well. I wonder how it would be activated, maybe a setting, button, gesture or gyroscope? Could be a good feature for marketing.

There was a reason I always turned off T9 and used the multiple click per button option. It was a crappy idea then, and it's a crappy idea now. As I posted over on BGR, this is just silly. 95% of the time I use two hands when typing on my smartphone. When I can't for some reason, I probably can't change the keyboard to this either. And I damn sure don't want this as a default. I think these companies are trying to hard at designing keyboards. As an Android user, my favorite keyboard is the stock Android keyboard. I just need a keyboard that can keep up with how fast I type (somewhere around or even over 50 WPM on my phone), be accurate to what I click or adaptive if I'm slightly off, and have smart auto correct. Past that, it's all just gimmicks. My opinion at least.

AJerman said,
There was a reason I always turned off T9 and used the multiple click per button option. It was a crappy idea then, and it's a crappy idea now.

It wasn't a crappy idea at all, it was a highly effective and fast way of typing on a keyboard with only a numeric keypad. Perhaps you just couldn't handle the fact that the word you wanted to type didn't "appear" until you'd given it enough letters to know what word you were typing. In that case, that is more a failing on your part than with T9.

TCLN Ryster said,

It wasn't a crappy idea at all, it was a highly effective and fast way of typing on a keyboard with only a numeric keypad. Perhaps you just couldn't handle the fact that the word you wanted to type didn't "appear" until you'd given it enough letters to know what word you were typing. In that case, that is more a failing on your part than with T9.

It also couldn't deal with correct grammar, punctuation, or if you have an advanced vocabulary and use words that are longer than 4 or 5 letters.

Imagine the fail blog that would come from T9 + Autocorrect.

I think the key here is to get used to a very good on screen keyboard, like iOS or Windows Phone (for some reason, Android ICS does not really seem to be a great keyboard for me ... ) and a nearly perfect voice dictation system. If the voice dictation system becomes more accurate and can even be tailored to your own voice (so you can use it with a lot of background noise), I'd use that most of the time!

ObiWanToby said,
I think the key here is to get used to a very good on screen keyboard, like iOS or Windows Phone (for some reason, Android ICS does not really seem to be a great keyboard for me ... ) and a nearly perfect voice dictation system. If the voice dictation system becomes more accurate and can even be tailored to your own voice (so you can use it with a lot of background noise), I'd use that most of the time!
Yeah, Windows Phone keyboard is great. Stock ICS keyboard is amazing, voice dictation works very well. By far, I've had the best luck with Android voice dictation. Also, gotta love Android and third party keyboards - Swiftkey is my favorite, and Swype is alright

ObiWanToby said,
I think the key here is to get used to a very good on screen keyboard, like iOS or Windows Phone (for some reason, Android ICS does not really seem to be a great keyboard for me ... ) and a nearly perfect voice dictation system. If the voice dictation system becomes more accurate and can even be tailored to your own voice (so you can use it with a lot of background noise), I'd use that most of the time!

Odd, cause Android's ICS keyboard (very similar to the GB keyboard) is one of the best I've ever used. I type very fast though, and it's the only keyboard that seems to keep up. iOS has the original great on screen keyboard, and I never had a complaint with theirs. Windows Mobile's keyboard I haven't used enough to say, though I hear it's very good.

For all you folks saying you gotta click multiple times to get to a letter, I have one thing to say: T9 You only have to tap about as many times as the number of letters of the word you're trying to spell. Sometimes more/less depending on the prediction.

Back in the flip phone days, I could T9 faster than I can type with two hands on a stock touchscreen keyboard. Of course, Swype and Swiftkey destroys T9 these days.

I think this is a pretty nice idea. One that I'd definitely find myself using when I'm busy holding an ice cream in my other hand.

oliver182 said,
PREDICTIVE TEXT, I used something like that on my old nokia phone, I believe it was called T9, very effective

Indeed. All the people above complaining about having to press the number 7 four times to get the letter S have extremely short memories, or are very young. Nearly all phones had keyboards like this before smart phones came along.

You only had to press each key once, no matter which of the letters you wanted to type. The system then guessed the word you were after based on your combination of keys and a lookup against a dictionary. It got the right word in a very very high percentage of cases and made typing really fast, at least it did on my phone, and it gave you a quick option to select an alternative word also on the odd occasion when it chose the wrong word.

TCLN Ryster said,

Indeed. All the people above complaining about having to press the number 7 four times to get the letter S have extremely short memories, or are very young. Nearly all phones had keyboards like this before smart phones came along.

I was wondering how it was possible for anyone to have worse memory than me then you reminded me people younger than me exist.

Damn kids these days!

It has nothing to do with pressing keys multiple times, it is using predictive text so you type the word out like you normally would and the software guesses what word you are trying to type in context of the sentence.

TheLegendOfMart said,
It has nothing to do with pressing keys multiple times, it is using predictive text so you type the word out like you normally would and the software guesses what word you are trying to type in context of the sentence.

For a tech site, these users can be pretty slow on the uptake... or are just reading the headline, looking at the big picture and ignoring the article.

Yeah... I really don't like the idea of tapping three or four times to get to something. I prefer something more traditional. But choice is great, and hopefully it'll suit some people.

Interesting design. Though I feel that the non-alpha keys could be a lot smaller and reduce the overall size of the keyboard.

spacer said,
Interesting design. Though I feel that the non-alpha keys could be a lot smaller and reduce the overall size of the keyboard.
T9 is a very good way to predict text...

Rohdekill said,
yuk. Reminds me of the old phone...like 4 clicks on 7 just to get an S.

It would be best for you to wait and see how it works before likening it to those older keyboards.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

It was if you didn't have T9 (predictive text) enabled.


Which was always horrible IMO... Lol. But I see the point. I don't really see this as much of an improvement.

Rohdekill said,
yuk. Reminds me of the old phone...like 4 clicks on 7 just to get an S.

Push and swipe left or right to choose a character, your theory is so lame.

Namelesske said,

Push and swipe left or right to choose a character, your theory is so lame.


So, instead of a normal keyboard where it is just push. you now want to push and swipe for every letter? Who's theory is lame now?

Rohdekill said,

So, instead of a normal keyboard where it is just push. you now want to push and swipe for every letter? Who's theory is lame now?

Whose*

Why are so many people lacking in logic these days? The article even links to the Wikipedia predictive text entry.

Calum said,

It would be best for you to wait and see how it works before likening it to those older keyboards.

You have to be kidding. Unless you are blind that picture shows it clearly. Fewer buttons with multiple letters on each button. Exactly like an old school phone keypad.

This clearly is trying to answer a question nobody has asked. Typing one handed is very easy these days (at least for me on my iPhone 4s it is...)

Paused said,

You have to be kidding. Unless you are blind that picture shows it clearly. Fewer buttons with multiple letters on each button. Exactly like an old school phone keypad.

This clearly is trying to answer a question nobody has asked. Typing one handed is very easy these days (at least for me on my iPhone 4s it is...)


Well done for also assuming and erroneously suggesting I'm blind. Do you not remember a thing called T9 (predictive text)? This could use that, or it may even use something Microsoft invented that is even more efficient than T9. Nothing in this image proves for certain that one will have to press a key multiple times to get to a specific letter. It's a possibility, but it isn't certain. You shouldn't ever assume things like that because you don't know for sure.

Fred 69 said,

Whose*

Why are so many people lacking in logic these days? The article even links to the Wikipedia predictive text entry.

THIS! Holy crap, I picked that up from a 5 second scan of the article, reading the boldened sentence in the second paragraph.