On screen

IBM researchers have developed new software that allows users to interact with advanced handheld devices in a novel way.

Researchers at IBM’s Almaden Laboratory have developed new software that allows users to interact with advanced handheld devices in a novel way.

The software, dubbed SHARK, for Shorthand Aided Rapid Keyboard, allows a user to draw a continuous line from letter to letter on a graphical keyboard. The resulting pattern is then recognized as a word by the software.

SHARK shorthand works on QUERTY and other keyboard layouts. But for better performance, the IBM researchers have also designed their own keyboard layout called ATOMIK (Alphabetically Tuned and Optimized Mobile Interface Keyboard) that they claims is even more efficient to use.

The software itself works in two modes: initially, it recognises the letters that the user joins together to identify a word. And it can also recognize words even though irrelevant letters between intended letters are crossed or even if some of the letters in a word are missed in the stylus trace. Over time, however, the software is savvy enough to base its results on the actions that it has seen the user make in the past.

IBM is interested in licensing the technology to any interested Tablet PC, PDA, or mobile phone manufacturer.