History, Evolution and Future of Keyboard

Get to know about History of Keybaord and it’s evolution. The reason for bumps on F and J keys on the keyboard unveiled. Also, Future of Keyboard shared in the article.

Then

Over thousands and thousands of years, man has learnt to express himself through many tools. It started off with the likes of cave panting, using stones and natural paints and when the technology of language was created, man learnt to express himself through words.

Most of these old tools had limited strengths and curtailed the flow and speed of expression. After a while, came a huge revolution – The Feathered Quill that gave birth to the Pen. A simple device that can be held by the hand and your thoughts could be expressed in detail. Before this, most expression of thoughts were brief, but for the first time in humanity’s history man was able to write down verses and verses that enhanced knowledge and helped humans understand each other better.

But all the above revolutions have nothing on the Typewriter. When the typewriter was invented, it was the fastest way to put words to paper and this has lasted the test of Time(Things will change soon).

When the computer age dawned, the typewriter was fit into the computer and it was called the Keyboard.

History of Keyboard
Typewriter from the 19th Century

Now

The keyboard of the present day still has the QWERTY style of alphabet layout that was formed in the 1800’s. What is the reason behind this arrangement?

There was a myth that was busted recently that suggested the design of the QWERTY keyboard was in such a way to avoid putting together alphabets that are commonly used together and help reducing the speed of typing. But why should the typing be slowed? It was said because, if the typing were fast, the inner hooks of the typewriter would get stuck.

Why would an Inventor make something to work slower, when the intention was to create something fast? A myth busted.

The reason behind the design of the QWERTY keyboard could be explained with one of the first users of the typewriter, telegraph operators. Telegraph operators used Morse code to send out information and the design of having the typewriter in alphabetical order proved to be inefficient to the typewriting operators.

One another question that is asked frequently is the presence of bumps in the letters ‘F’ and ‘J’ in the Keyboard. There aren’t any deep-rooted thoughts behind this addition. It’s a simple design to help users place their hands in optimum position for fast typing.

Reason behind bumps on keys F and J in keyboard

The Future

What is the future of penning thoughts down? Will the keyboard be disrupted?

There are already signs of changing design for the keyboards because of the emergence of touch based smart phones. The QWERTY design was thought out to be very inefficient for the mobile and tablet devices and for this same reason a company called Kalq has come up with their own keyboard design.

Future of Keyboard
Keyboard design from Kalq

There are also keyboards for touch screen devices that remove the functionality of typing. The perfect example for this is Swype by Nuance. Swype is a simple keyboard that lets you input text without typing. How it works is, the user drags his finger across the letters of the word he wants typed. This lets users input information with just a single hand and also with predictive text, Swype almost predicts the next word you are going to use.

But what is the future for inputting your thoughts?

In my opinion, tools like Swype and Kalq would continue to exist for simple mobile communication. But for long-form content like writing articles and books, voice will take over.

AI like Siri are already able to understand the user’s voice, process it and give back data. AI tools like this will only get better at understanding voices, words, tone and more. Predictive analysis will get much better based on pattern recognition.

The successful authors of the future, will not be literary geniuses, they will be people with great stories. The grammar and spelling will all be taken care of. What do you think?

Here is a scene from the movie ‘Her’ where he installs the OS for the first time, with just speech and speaks to the AI ‘Samantha’.

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