By Andrew Liszewski
Look out T9, another alphanumerically named typing alternative could be stealing your thunder, at least among those who winge and complain about having to use an onscreen keyboard with their portable devices. Called the Kee4 because it only has (1…2…3…4!) 4 keys it allows you to type with just one hand, making it far more portable than the full-sized QWERTY keyboards we all know and love.
Of course in order to produce 26 different letters and punctuation from just 4 keys there is a special typing technique involved which the makers of the Kee4 refer to as ‘composite keystrokes.’ Not surprisingly you’ll need to press multiple keys in a specific order to get the letter you’re after, with either a rocking or rolling keystroke as described below.
Rocking Composite Keystrokes:
If the key that was pressed second is the first to be released, that is called a ‘rocking keystroke’, since it suggests a rocking motion from one finger to the other and then back.
Rolling Composite Keystrokes:
If the key that was pressed first is also the first to be released, that makes a ‘rolling keystroke’, since it suggests a rolling movement of the hand from one finger to another.
I’ve also included a video of someone typing on the Kee4, which is still in its prototype form at this point. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to get used to, but your typing speed will probably be halved since it requires two keystrokes for every letter. (Maybe even quartered since you’re just using one hand too.) As for when it might be hitting the market? Well the fact that it’s still in prototype form coupled with the section on their website where they’re still looking for investors suggests it will be a while before anyone will get their hand on one.