Google buys BlindType, typing may never be the same

Posted on October 5, 2010

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Google has acquired a start-up called BlindType that aims to dramatically improve typing on Android and iOS mobile devices.

“We’re excited to join Google, and look forward to the great opportunities for mobile innovation that lie ahead,” BlindType announced on its blog Friday. The company hasn’t released the software, though one review in July was favorable.

Mobile-device typing has changed significantly with the iPhone‘s functional touch-screen keyboard, Android’s reasonably advanced word-prediction system, and Swype’s technology for sliding fingers over letters. But as any touch typist or hunt-and-peck tapper knows, mobile typing is still often a frustrating, typo-prone experience.

BlindType believes it’s got a better method for matching the letters people actually typed with the ones they meant to type. “BlindType is a revolutionary system that…allows for super sloppy typing largely without looking at the screen…[It] constantly adjusts to the user’s ‘perceived’ keyboard and typing style.”

The company’s YouTube demos can be impressive, though unlike Android’s predictive system, it appears BlindType can only match the word once it’s fully typed–changing “vskjieyh” into “ballpark” and “vqsyrudik” into “beautiful,” for example, but only after all the letters were typed.

Blind Type is only a couple of developers and a handful of demonstration videos – not even a product as yet – so can’t have cost more than pocket change to the chocolate factory. But it might offer a more compelling way of getting text into a mobile phone.

According to BlindType’s FAQ, the technology works with any language. The technology could make for a good combination with Google’s extensive and international data for automatic spelling corrections culled from its search engine.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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