Typing Skills Of The Future


I’m passing on the iPhone 5 release today, since the Droid Bionic has worked well enough for me since last November. Having just completed a cross-country road trip where the phone became my entire communications hub for eleven days (never texting while driving, of course), I’m acutely aware how much more I’m typing with my thumbs these days.

What percentage of your keystrokes each day are on a smartphone or tablet? Have you noticed that number increasing year to year? Were you texting and doing anything else with your phone nearly as often in 2001?

I and many others have been training for this for years. Executing shoryukens and hundred-hand slaps on Nintendo controllers (or Sonic the Hedgehog moves on Sega controllers) got a generation of thumbs in good shape for this trend that looks to continue until… who knows?

One question to consider is, will smartphones and tablets stick with the QWERTY keyboard–which was optimized to prevent typewriter jams–or find a more efficient layout that takes into account the ever-increasing amount of thumb-typing?

Another is, will the physical keyboard ever become functionally extinct?

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