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We know the Swype keyboard is pretty awesome. But try this on for size: Hank Torres, who is paralyzed from the shoulders down, set a world record with Swype and a head tracking device at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando. The sentence he cranked out in 83.09 seconds?

“The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

Pretty damned impressive, that's for sure. Be sure to watch the video above, and the full presser's after the break.

QUADRIPLEGIC SETS NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®

ACHIEVEMENT FOR FASTEST HANDS-FREE TYPING 

 

New Category Set By Quadriplegic Hank Torres Using the New Swype Text Input Solution and the TrackerPro Headpointer

 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 

January 31, 2011 (Orlando, FL) - A new Guinness World Records® achievement was set for fastest hands-free typing, achieved by someone who is paralyzed from the shoulders down. Hank Torres set the record last Friday at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference in Orlando, Florida using a specialized head tracking device called TrackerPro® and the revolutionary text input system Swype®.  

 

Entering the official Guinness World Records® phrase  “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human,” Torres, who was injured more than 30 years ago in a hang-gliding accident, successfully input the phrase in 83.09 seconds on a computer running Microsoft Windows 7.  An official Guinness World Records adjudicator was on-site to verify the record. View here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1tNXWpmA5I

 

 “Swype has opened a whole new world of communication for me that was previously tedious or impossible, making a huge difference in my life,” said Torres who uses Swype in his daily life to communicate via email, text messaging, and even Facebook®.  An engineer by training, Torres has also invented several wheelchair-based solutions for which he has been awarded numerous patents - all of which he wrote using Swype and other assistive technology.

 

Randy Marsden and Cliff Kushler, the co-founders of Swype Inc., both have a strong background in assistive technology.  Marsden, who also invented the TrackerPro headpointer, stated: “For more than 15 years, we’ve been able to provide full mouse pointer control using head pointing for people without the use of their hands - just as fast and efficient as someone using a regular mouse.  But it always bothered me that we couldn’t say the same thing for the keyboard.  That was the origin of the idea for Swype.  And even though Swype is now helping millions of people in the mainstream enter text on smartphones, there is no greater impact than right here where it was originally intended, helping people with disabilities type much faster than ever before.”

 

The Swype technology has found huge success amongst mainstream users on touchscreen devices.  In the past 12 months alone, it has been licensed by leading global manufactures including Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, LG, and nearly a dozen others, and is shipping on millions of devices.

 

Mike McSherry, CEO of Swype Inc., also present at the event commented,  “We are proud of our origins in assistive technology and couldn’t be more delighted to see Swype having such a impact in the lives of people with disabilities.”

 

David Dikter, CEO of ATIA, said, “Swype is a great example of one of the myriad assistive technology solutions that can level the playing field for people with disabilities.“

 

Starting today and running through April 30, 2011, a free beta copy of Swype software will be included with every TrackerPro purchased from AbleNet, an international leader in assistive technologies and curriculum for special education classrooms.  “We’re excited to be able to offer Swype technology along with TrackerPro,” said AbleNet CEO Jennifer Thalhuber.  “It unlocks the abilities for persons with physical disabilities to more quickly communicate and express their ideas through typing.” 

 

Daniel Hubbell is an Accessibility Technical Evangelist for Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division and also sits on the board of the Assistive Technology Industry Association. "When we learned about the event, we couldn't wait to be a part of it. This is an excellent example of how technology enables people to realize their full potential, regardless of their abilities," said Hubbell.

 

Setting world records is nothing new for Swype; the record for fastest text message on a touchscreen phone was broke twice in 2010 - both times using Swype on a Samsung device.

 

Reader comments

Quadriplegic sets world record with Swype

18 Comments

maybe he doesn't have full function of his arms? i would think he's just paraplegic, not quadraplegic. Still impressive.

If you look at the very end, as he's saying his thank yous, it looks like he doesn't really have much control of his hands - it says he is paralyzed from his shoulders down so I guess he can mainly just move his arms from above the shoulder, not anything below.

Just asked my physical therapist gf. Its pretty obvious after watching a second time, his hands aren't functional. he can lift his shoulders, but cannot do fine motor function. Thus, technically, he is a quadraplegic in that his 4 limbs are affected, but not necessarily paralyzed.

See, we learn something new every day. :)

Swype must have primed their dictionary with those latin names. Whenever I try to input unfamiliar esoteric words like that it never gets them right.

That is amazing. The things technology allow us to do. Of course, if Apple were in charge, who needs assistive technologies like swype? lol had to go there.

No those words are definitely in the default dictionary. Try swyping them yourself and they come right up. But then try the latin name for the nine banded armadillo, Dacypus Novemcinctus and you'll get garbage like "factors novelties".