QWERTY rival KALQ aims to speed up typing on mobiles

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The KALQ keyboard is designed for ‘two-thumb’ typing on smartphones and tablets

Researchers have created a new keyboard designed to enable faster thumb typing on smartphones and tablets.

The KALQ keyboard is designed for two-thumb typing and has a split layout with 16 keys on the left and 12 on the right.

Most of the vowels are positioned on the right, near the space bar, while most consonants and the first letters of words are typed by the left hand. The most common letters are clustered together.

The keyboard was designed by researchers at St Andrews University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany and Montana Tech University.

They claim it allows users to type 34 per cent faster than when using QWERTY keyboard devices.

The team said “two-thumb typing is ergonomically very different” from typing on QWERTY keyboards, which were developed for typewriters in the late 19th century.

Dr Per Ola Kristensson, from St Andrews University, said traditional Qwerty keyboards had trapped users in “suboptimal text entry interfaces”.

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