Snapkeys’ Invisible Keyboard App Gives Back Your Precious Screen Real Estate

LAS VEGAS — Mull it over, and you may come to the same conclusion the folks at Snapkeys, a Jerusalem-based start-up company, have: It’s strange that virtual keyboards on phones are the way they are. Our smartphones have diminutive screens to begin with, and when we go into an app to type, our keyboards pop up, taking about half the precious real estate of the display. It bars you from the advantage of a full spread on your phone and is frankly quite cumbersome. Now the Snapkeys team thinks they have a solution to change that, and they’re showing off their new invisible keyboard here at CES 2012.

Here’s how it works: Snapkeys divides the typing portion of your touch screen into four quadrant categories, each with their own specific rule based on a letter’s shape. It then classifies all letters of the alphabet under one of these categories: Letters whose base stands on one point (like F, I, T, and V), letters whose base stands on two points (W, H, N, A), letters that have a curved or flat base (G, U, S, E) and letters incorporating a closed circle in their figure (R, O, P, B). After learning and memorizing these rules, you can make the keyboard invisible. Simply tap on one of these four quadrants to compose a sentence; the app uses predictive algorithms to figure out the word you’re trying to write, and it appears onscreen.

In our experience, the app was pretty accurate when we tapped out our own words. It worked fairly fast, too, which prompted us to ask developers whether or not they’d done studies on how the Snapkeys system performed compared to traditional virtual keyboard input. Unfortunately, they hadn’t carried out any conclusive research, but we hope to see tests—or do some of our own—if the app meets its targeted release in the next few months. Currently, developers are still conducting negotiations with wireless carriers to include it as an input method on devices.

But if all goes well, the launch for Snapkeys will be in March, landing on Android and Windows smartphones. (iOS versions are unlikely at this point, unless developers somehow convince Apple to let them install alternative keyboards on their devices.) Check out our hands-on below for a live demo of Snapkeys’ interesting new input method.

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. James| easy as ABC Says:

    Very impressive app. I haven’t tried it and saw the video it was really nice app. What languages are available? If it’s in auto correct spelling depends on the language available

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE