Billing itself as the ‘next generation for text input’ and, “perfect for today’s screens,” Swype certainly looks an interesting proposition for manic mobile emailers and torrential texters.
“Coming soon to a device near you,” Swype is designed to provide a nippier way to get text on any screen, and lets users whizz out words with one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard.
The company claims that the patented technology can let users hit speeds of over 50 words per minute, and the application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more.
As you can see from the video below, words are ‘traced’ in a fairly loose manner which the software then converts to text:
Here’s the full specs:
Swype has been designed to run in real-time on relatively low-powered portable devices.
- The Swype software is very tightly written with a total memory footprint of under 1 MB,
- An application requiring from 500K – 900K (depending on options, when compiled for the Windows Mobile platform).
- 65,000-word language database with an average size of approximately 250K.
- It is made up of three major components:
- Input path analyzer,
- Word matching search engine with accompanying word database,
- User interface – which is customizable by OEM’s.
- The algorithms used for Swype were invented by the founders, and contain unique concepts that make the software both powerful and fast.
- The software has been developed from the ground up with an eye toward localizing it to other languages as well as porting it to other operating systems.
You can go fast and be sloppy. There’s no need to try to accurately hit each key. Just make a reasonable effort to trace through the word and Swype will do the rest.
Easy to Learn
The keyboard layout is QWERTY, so there is virtually no learning curve if you’ve already learned to type on a regular keyboard.
The smooth motion of sliding from letter to letter feels very natural, not to mention fast.
Swype can be used equally well with either a stylus or your fingertip. You don’t have to be precise; so even if you have a large finger that partially obscures the keys, Swype still works!
You can go even faster since Swype automatically enters spaces for you. (Spaces are prepended in front of each word entered by Swype).
Auto Spelling Correction
Not only can you go fast and be sloppy, in most typical cases, Swype will even correct misspelled words. For example, trace out “freind”, and Swype will automatically generate “friend”.
Save time by capitalizing any letter in a word with a simple gesture: just slide from the letter to off the top of the keyboard and then continue entering the rest of the word.
65,000-word Learning Dictionary
Chances are the word you are typing is already in the Swype dictionary. But if it isn’t, just tap it out once followed by a space, and Swype will automatically learn it for next time.
Keep track of your speed using Swype’s built-in statistical tracking.
Words with accented characters (“diacritics”) require no special action – just Swype the word and the correct spelling will be entered. New words with accented characters can by typed by tapping and holding on the letter to see all possible variations.
Over 50 Symbols
Most common symbols are on the main keyboard layer and can be quickly entered by tapping on the key and sliding off the top of the keyboard. Many other symbols are readily available on Swype’s second keyboard layer.
Swype detects when you may be having trouble or might be able to benefit from a particular feature, and prompts you with helpful tips and instructions.
Get up-to-speed quickly with the fun and fast Swype interactive tutorial.
When the Swype software is first started, it runs a short piece of test code to estimate the overall speed of both processing and file access in its current environment. This estimate is used to establish a default value for a “Swype Operation” parameter that can be adjusted by means of a slider control displayed in the user options.
The slider is labeled at the far left with “Faster Response” and at the far right with “Sloppier Input.” This slider setting controls a broad range of internal parameters that determine the breadth of the initial database search to identify the most likely matching word for each entered input path. It also controls a large number of other thresholds, such as how close the path needs to come near a key in order for that key to be potentially considered as a “match” to the path at that point. The slider is initialized to the determined default value, which results in an average response time of less than 250 milliseconds. This means that, on average, Swype will generate the intended word for an input path within ¼ second of when the stylus or finger is lifted from the screen at the end of the path