Researchers at St Andrews University in Scotland have developed a new keyboard layout specifically designed for tablet and smartphone use.
The new text entry interface is named KALQ after the final line of the keys. KALQ is a dual input keyboard that consists of two separate keyboards placed either side of the display. The split input is designed to encourage thumb typing only and benefit users of handheld touch screen devices. Designed based on research of the most commonly used letters for minimal thumb movement, KALQ aims to reduce movement and improve ease of use on tablets and smartphones.
The current QWERTY setup is not the most ergonomically pleasing on larger handheld touch screen devices and often requires either a surface to rest on or one hand to support the device while other single hand types. QWERTY typically allows 20 words per minute whereas the new KALQ input has been proven to increase this word count to 37 words per minute.
The KALQ keyboard input is expected to offer such a significant performance improvement that we could begin to see split keyboards appearing on future devices and apps, Android already have plans to offer the KALQ keyboard as an app for smartphones and tablets running their operating system.