At CTIA last week, SnapKeys was promoting its new virtual keyboard as one that allows you to type blindly. Rather than employing a full-sized keyboard like rival Swype, the SnapKeys concept utilizes only four keys for letters and two additional keys for functions such as backspace, delete, alternate characters, and punctuations along with an intelligent predictive text engine.
Essentially, letters are grouped based on their characteristics–these groupings comprise one of four buttons. In one box, you’ll have letters that end in a single point on the bottom, so that letters like I, T, Y, P, F, and V would be grouped together. Letters that end in two points would be grouped in a second box like H, K, N, X, and A. Another box you’d see letters with a circular shape, like Q, B, P, O, and D. The last box would consist of letters that do not meet any of those criteria, such as C, G, and J.
So how easy is it to type? I got a three minute demo before shooting the video and I was able to type accurately with relatively fast speed–for a new-comer–right on the go. There’s a slight learning curve–you’ll have to learn the four-button paradigm–but after that, the keyboard seems intuitive.
Unfortunately, for now though, SnapKeys says that it doesn’t plan on offering its keyboard as a standalone app for download or purchase. Rather, the company says it will be pursuing partnership arrangements with device manufacturers to bundle the keyboard into devices.