BlindType for Android will solve all typing problems for humanity

In what just may be the coolest bit of programming I've ever seen on any platform, the developers of BlindType have uploaded a video showing off their keyboard designed for anyone. This isn't out yet, so it definitely didn't make it into the Android Central keyboard roundup, but this would definitely be right at the top of the list if it had been. The keyboard is designed to be extremely fault-tolerant, which is great if you want to type without looking at your phone or if you can't be bothered by pesky things like accuracy or spelling. It also adjusts the size of the keyboard based on the way you're typing and resizes itself on the fly, and can be used with the keyboard visible or not. In the video it's shown running on an iPhone and an iPad, but an Android is promised right on the developer homepage. Check the video after the break. [via Engadget]

 
There are 37 comments

texagg01 says:

GENIUS! ABSOLUTE GENIUS!! I'll definitely be getting this one when it comes out!!

Although, the first thing that I'll be doing is turning off those sounds effects.

icebike says:

Please explain what is genius about this.

Guessing what you might have been aiming for if there had been a keyboard there?

People do not instinctively have the locations of keys memorized.

Touch typists have "muscle memory", and their fingers freeze if they make an error even before their brain sees the error. It just "feels" wrong.

But hunt and peck typists never develop this sense, because they are using a gross motor movement for a fine motor task. Same for single finger typing on a virtual keyboard. Even touch typists, when asked to type on a touch screen are reduced to looking for the keys.

This is a go nowhere Gimmick.

dude0909 says:

Are you kidding me? Touch typist absolutely, if anyone, have the keyboard layout memorized. This is the easiest way to type something.

icebike says:

Please read what I wrote.

Touch typists have the keyboard memorized relative to the home position. Those little bumps on F and J keys.

Show me the bumps on a smartphone!

Hunt and peck typists do not have the keyboard memorized.
They have to look for each letter.

Typing on a touch screen with one finger makes you a hunt and peck typist, and if you imagine yourself just having touched what you thought was an A, where would you tap for a B? R, M?

Nobody knows that by imagination.

jaeisber says:

Really? You cannot visualize a keyboard and type with 1 or 2 thumbs on your phone or in the air? Im only 4 months in to owning a Nexus, my first touch-screen phone, and I can visualize and act as though I am typing any word without needing to stare at a keyboard. Maybe you have a problem visualizing a keyboard (phone or physical)?

Also, can you not act as though you are typing on a table or other flat surface? I certainly can act as though I am typing on a table, without any reference point. Like you said, its all muscle memory and very few people actually use the bumps on a keyboard during typing other than while setting up on the keyboard.

daft hero says:

let me add to your argument with a little anecdote of my own.

i touchtype using the dvorak layout on PCs and such. this muscle memory is rather tactile i can agree, but can you not use all sorts of different keyboards? i know i do. i even have a QWERTY keyboard that i use (with dvorak emulation) so that when others come by all they have to do is do a quick switch back and they can hunt and peck away. yes, hunting and pecking still requires visual memory and even some light muscle memory.

now, when i type on touchscreen phones, they don't have dvorak as an option. this doesn't bother me as it helps me remember where the keys are in a QWERTY layout. however, when i type on a touchscreen you bet your ass i'm not dependent on looking at the screen so much because i've developed a different kind of muscle memory; one that pertains to my thumbs and typing. i believe no one is any different.

i can still touchtype on a QWERTY keyboard, albeit VERY SLOWLY, because of my visual memorization of the QWERTY layout. using that layout when typing on a phone reinforces that.

AnAm85 says:

Go nowhere Gimick??? Try closing your eyes and typing. Its not that hard because when your life is mostly computers and phones, you get a memorization of where the keys are. Unless your retarded.

AnAm85 says:

Go nowhere Gimick??? Try closing your eyes and typing. Its not that hard because when your life is mostly computers and phones, you get a memorization of where the keys are. Unless your retarded.

icebike says:

Thanks for immediately jumping to name calling mode.

Posting duplicates, after calling me retarded: Priceless.

ben dover says:

hmm, I type on my phone without looking...
I miss a lot of letters here and there but spellcheck corrects them most of the time. I have the keyboard memorized too so typing with my thumbs works pretty well when not looking.

jaeisber says:

This is so much more than just being able to type when there is no keyboard present. I cannot count the number of times I 'fat fingered' a word while typing on my phone. Because I was only 1 letter off and it was not a typical misspelling of the word, auto-correct would not work. However, with this keyboard, it would likely pick up what I was attempting to type without having to re-type.

Besides, gimmick or not, this keyboard is revolutionary and will change the way standard keyboards function in the future. Utilizing vector input along with word prediction is a genius idea; unheard of at this time.

dwhitman says:

+1

I'm a touch typist with pretty good speed on a desktop keyboard. After about 2 weeks on a Treo, then a Palm Pre, I could type without looking. Been over a month on my Evo, and although my speed on the keyboard while looking is comparable now, I need to look. There's just no tactile feedback telling me where I am.

Saiyajin says:

@ icebike: Have to disagree with you on this one. Muscle memory is developed for anyone who types on any keyboard. Including smartphones. I've read countless posts through the last three years on people getting used to the keyboards on their phones. I can even type this from my DI and go faster than if I were looking for each key, especially with the aid of its predictive text. Really, every smartphone out there has predictive text these days. Anyone who uses a smartphone they're familiar with can do that, and this appears to simply take advantage of that muscle memory while making the whole screen visible. I'm looking forward to its release.

dude0909 says:

Sound effects are just for iPhone. When this hits android, I'll be ALL OVER IT! Amazing!

st8fan19 says:

Amazing, absolutely amazing! This may beat out swype for my daily text input.

rufflez says:

I'm impressed... like very impressed!

Wirelesskaos says:

I gotta have this!!

Predator-1 says:

GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!!!

p08757 says:

Berry cool!

dacp283 says:

That's very impressive glad to see a keyboard innovation instead of the same ole bs re-skinned.

TeePoppa says:

Are you kidding me??? This is unbelievable! Will give it a go for sure.

likwidsoul says:

Finally I can dictate text messages and have my 3 year old type them for me.

That is amazing! I can't wait until it's on the market!

Awesome...this will make drunk texting much easier!

eyesparky says:

Is that a good thing? ;)

ben dover says:

aw, too bad all the iphone users can't just on the app store and download this... Android ftw!

I don't see anything here (except a disappearing/moving keyboard) that Swiftkey doesn't already do.

Once you've used Swiftkey for a day or so and it learns how you type...it's amazing how fast you can go.

It also shocks me how often I type the same things...

jaeisber says:

True, swiftkey is good at text prediction, but it does not do as well as blindtype with text correction. Its hard to compare since they are 2 different keyboard types, but If blindtype and swiftkey combined to use vector word prediction along with the text prediction of swiftkey, it would be a perfect keyboard.

icebike says:

Swift key uses language prediction based on prior words and sentence structure, as well as word prediction based on the letters you typed so far, as well as nearby letters on the keyboard. (close misses)

This Blindtype is at best a probabilistic prediction based on the number of words starting with any given character in center weighted vicinity of the actual touch as it relates to the prior touch point.

If your last letter was an F, and you touched to the left of that, chances are much higher that you will mean A, and not Q or S or Z.

This is not particularly new, as Scribble Keyboard has used this approach.

But its not particularly effective compared to natural language prediction.

oscarahj says:

That is truly awesome! I can't wait for that to come out. I find that Swype isn't as easy to use as I first thought. Especially if you're right handed and you're swyping to the right and you can't see where your finger is going. ...maybe a fix is to clear the dictionary...??

I loved swype at first...but the more I used it the more I realized it wasn't as fast as I thought.

Typing proper names, adding punctuation of any kind (including proper capitalization) was the killer.

I switched to swiftkey and never looked back. Though, as usual, I will give others a try.

Impulses says:

Did you go thru the Swype tutorial? Capitalization and proper punctuation are one of Swype's strengths imo, once you learn a handful of gestures and shortcuts; like Swyping from the apostrophe to the s, or swyping up to capitalize the first letter in a word or looping up for the entire word... BlindType looks neat but doesn't seem any faster to me. Actually, on the video it often seems to lag when registering words.

The auto rotation and sizing is pretty innovative tho, not very useful on phones but quite clever for tablets. Swype is pretty much meant for one handed operation so both keyboards kind of complement themselves if you ask me, depending on the device you're using, orientation, and purpose.

gafly says:

This is just the SWYPE Keyboard with no lines... works exactly the same...except for the resizing of the keyboard feature.

urbarrie says:

Hi I'm new to Android and i have the EVO. Since this keyboard is not out yet, how do i get the swype keyboard on my evo? I have searched the android market but i never found it. can someone help? Or maybe it is not available yet?

WarER4X says:

That is impressive, but why would you demo your new keyboard on a device that doesn't actually allow the use of 3rd party keyboards (outside of building a special keyboard into a specific app or jailbreaking, of course)?

-SR-

The invisible keyboard looks gimmicky. Maybe it has the best prediction in the world? I'm not sure that would ever win me over from Swype, which is totally natural, intuitive, accurate, fast, and fun. For predictive text keyboards to work as fast as Swype they require partial inputs, not full sentence strings as in Swype. Therefore by design, they are not as natural as real tying on a actual keyboard, or Swyping.

Geoff58 says:

What if you had a physical keyboard on a smart phone that you could really touch type on?
I've seen one!