NEW YORK product design and development group Smart Design is developing a sophisticated text messaging language for mobile communications products using a nine-button keypad.
Thumbscript, which is awaiting US and international patents, claims to solve the problems of alphanumeric systems in use in the UK: slowness, the need to see the keypad and the lack of a complete character set.
“Thumbscript is much closer to writing as you are visually drawing letters, albeit on a grid,” says Smart Design vice-president of strategy and operations Greg Littleton.
By visualising the letter overlaying a keypad, letters are “drawn” by pressing the button once where the letter normally begins, then once where the letter would end. A complete set of characters has been devised, including letters Z and Q which are not used by existing Phonescript systems.
“It could be easily incorporated on to a pager, cellphone, steering wheel…. There is an enormous opportunity to incorporate Thumbscript on to smaller handheld electronic devices,” says Littleton.
Smart Design is adapting the new language to suit a range of product categories.