I feel weird even posting this because, well.... I'm typing it on a keyboard. The answer is.... Not really. Or should I say... not yet?
As someone who never took a keyboarding or typing class, I have always wondered if I really should have. Although I have become quite efficient over the years, I'm a "hunt and peck" typer for the most part. I might be able to get about 30 to 40 words a minute using a traditional keyboard and I highly doubt that I can come close to that by writing with pen and paper if I expect it to be legible.
Since I started converting handwriting to text using a Tablet PC around 7 years ago, the tablet can now read my handwriting better than I can read my own sometimes. Handwriting recognition has really come a long way and continues to get better. However, more and more lately, I find myself leaving my writing in its original form and not converting to text. I can draw pictures and arrows and really do much more for my visual brain than I can with a keyboard; just one of the reasons that I love a Tablet PC.
Many years ago, I got my first cell phone with T9 input and had to learn how to communicate using my fingers on 9 buttons. It was easy but time consuming. A few years later, I got my first Blackberry with a full QWERTY keyboard. Once again, I had to train my thumbs. And then.... there was the iPhone! Typing with my thumbs once again, but with no feeling. This wasn't a big deal for me because I have always had to look at my keyboard while typing. I think the lack of keyboarding lessons actually did me a favor in this case. I have found that most "touch typer's" have a harder time acclimating to a variety of virtual keyboards.
Over the years I have experimented with voice recognition software, virtual laser keyboards and other unconventional input devices. Most of them I found to be somewhat useful but less efficient than typing with a keyboard. I just wonder that if I try to become more efficient with these devices.... would I beat my keyboard speed? I can certainly talk faster than I can type.
Now, how about our kids? I have often said that most teenagers can type 60 words a minute under their desk or in the front pocket of their hoodie on their phone. Why?... Because their culture demands it. It's their standard mode of communication. In ten years, will they be typing at all? Maybe they will be speaking to their computers as some of us do with our cars or phones today. Maybe they will just think it, and the computer will read their mind. ...Don't believe me?... Check this out!
So why am I posting about all of this anyway? As a bit of a piggy back to The KNO post below, I have been seeing some new products coming out from some more well known manufacturers, sans keyboard. No I'm not talking about the iPad, although I am sure that the success of these emerging technologies can be attributed to the excellent marketing of the iPad. Now that folks don't mind typing virtually on that "revolutionary device", perhaps they wont mind doing it on something a bit more useful?
Click here to read for yourself and decide.
As always, I hope you find this post to be useful and thought provoking. I look forward to reading your comments. :)
See you next post!