How About a T9 Bluetooth Keyboard?

Remember the old dumb phones that only had a keypad? For writing text messages each key represented a few different letters. I think the 1 was usually all punctuations, 2 was A, B, and C, and so on. If you typed, for example, 43556 it would type out the most common combination och the available letters. In this case probably ”hello”. I don’t remember which key you hit to switch to the second most common, the third most common, etc. You could of course add more words to the dictionary.

I could type pretty quickly on the T9, touch type even. When typing on a smartphone keyboard I have to look at the keys. Qwerty keyboards are by necessity pretty big. First of all they’re dumb. Secondly they have to have a whole lot of keys to cover use cases: the full alphabet, a key for switching to upper case, all numbers. There are common characters and special characters. Essentially you have three layers for most keys: key, key+shift, key+altgr.

Some characters that were pretty hard to deal with on T9 was things like $ and different kinds of parenthesis. That makes it somewhat unsuitable for programming, but I’m sure that could be solved by another key layer with its own dictionary.

Wouldn’t it be pretty cool? A numpad typically has twelve keys, and they can be pretty small and tightly packed. Even adding another column of four keys, making it 16 in total, wouldn’tmake it much bigger.

I believe it could pave the way for lighter and smaller computers for everyday use. PDAs, essentially, with smaller and more efficient displays.

Or just an external keyboard that fits in your pocket instead of your backpack or messenger bag.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal