Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Japanese Thumb Shift Keyboards

What is thumb shift? Yesterday I looked at the Typematrix keyboard which had moved the enter, tab and backspace key from the outside to the center. This keyboard moves the shift key to the center where it can be accessed by the thumb rather than the baby finger.

Here is a description of the thumb shift keyboard.

"Thumb shift tries to eliminate the irrationality described above. How was it made possible? The engineers at Fujitsu placed two keys (the taller ones in the picture) for the thumbs. These keys are supposed to be hit by thumb, simultaneously with the other keys. You can place three characters on one key (one without shift, one with shift on the same hand and one with shift by other hand's thumb (we call this cross shift)). In this way all the hiragana can be accommodated in the three rows, just like the English keyboard. "

And here are some thoughts on transferring this technology to other languages.

"There are so many languages in the world. The IT revolution should benefit all the people in the world, regardless of the language they use. As I explained earlier, by using thumb shift, more characters can be packed in the keyboard and by selecting the most suitable layout the productivity will actually increase. This is how the IT revolution should work for the benefit of the people. "


Blogger gicchon said...

Thank you, Suzanne.

I also made a comment in my blog.

7:06 AM  
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10:03 PM  

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