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8Pen Android app to change the way we type

David Gilbert


8Pen Android App to Change the Way We Type

We've all had the problem. You type an email on an onscreen keyboard on a touchscreen phone and end up asking your boss does he want to "neet you ib thr hobel at fibe o'clovk."

And those of us not blessed with the most elegant and slim of digits have had particular trouble trying to press the correct button when we are typing quickly. Thankfully for the dexterously-challenged of us out there, 3qubit has come up with a revolutionary new input system which may replace the traditional QWERTY keyboard.

The new system is called 8Pen and is available as an Android app on Android 2.2 from later today according to its website. The new system was developed by 3qubit which is a company started by two PhD mathematics students in Cambridge. 8Pen works by placing your finger on a black dot in the middle of a multi-coloured X and then rotating it through four sectors in a variety of ways to produce letters, numbers and symbols.

While this may seem awkward and confusing, the video on the company's website explaining the system and how it works makes things a lot clearer. The letters will be rearranged around the central dot in order to make the most efficient groupings possible depending on which letters are used most and in what combinations.

One of the company founders Michael Fester admitted it was confusing to look at first but he was comfortable with the system within ten minutes. Fester and his partner Volker Schlue hope to build out the app for the iPhone, Windows and even game controllers.

It will be a while before we see whether this system takes off but it faces an uphill struggle to get people to replace their traditional input systems and switch to something completely different.

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