Techcrunch has released an interesting video showing off a new way to type–or should I say “swype”–on a touchscreen phone. The basic premiss is that instead of lifting your finger to “tap” a letter, you simply slide your finger around the screen and the device will guess what word you mean. It’s similar to the often funny T9 predictive typing technology used on most mobile phones.
Sounds interesting but based on the video below I’m not really impressed. First, the comparison to typing on the iPhone isn’t that great. Following along on my iPhone I could easily punch out the message just as fast as the Swyping user. Secondly, there seems to be a lot of pausing in the output on the Swyping display. I can see this leading to situations where you stop to think and end up forgetting where you were in a word or loosing your train of thought. I could also see a lot of situations where you’re back “swyping” to edit what was entered a few words ago since it guessed wrong (though the iPhone isn’t much better in that regard).
I haven’t tried it myself so maybe it’ll surprise me but at the moment it just looks awkward. See for yourself: