About Me

Philip Cortes Co-Founded Meeteor.com.

Dual MBA/MA from UPenn.

Avid Ideologist.

This blog is my long winded startup post-mortem. 




SIgn Up for Blog Updates!

Entries in iPad (1)


The Keyboard Is Overrated. There, I Said It. 

All this iPad discussion around it being a product focused solely on "consumption" of media has got me thinking....The QWERTY keyboard,  whether it's on an iPad or my laptop, is completely overrated.  I have been typing since the days of Apple IIe (oh Logowriter, how I miss thee) - and I just can't stand keyboards.  Sure, I can type 90 WPM, but that's with some serious focus, and reading pre-written text.   Let's face it, the problem doesn't lie with Apple, but rather with the tools we use to input data - the QWERTY keyboard and mouse were once novel, but their expiration is long overdue. 

Potential Breakthroughs : 

So I did some searching on the web, and unfortunately the days of cybernetics aren't quite here.  We have gotten monkeys to control robotic arms via chips implanted into their brains....which is pretty sweet, but not due for human testing for quite some time...(see more here)    

Conversely, Wash U has completed some interesting research reading brain waves (read: less intrusive), and apparently humans can learn to control video games after a few hours of training.  (see more here)

MIT, inspired from the Minority Report, has come up with a “glove mouse.”  (Didn’t Nintendo come up with that back in the day?  Anyways…)   You can see the glove mouse in action here – I’m not super impressed but it’s getting closer.  WE have to learn to interact with computers, media, and everything we “consume” and “produce” differently, and hopefully these are small steps in the right direction.

Far and away the most impressive technology I have found (if we can call it that), was invented by a company called Swype.   You might have seen their technology on the new Samsung phone commercials – they’ve created a platform where you simply draw a line between letters in a word, and they recognize what word it is that you’re trying to “swype” automatically.   You simply put your finger down on the first letter, and keep drawing a line around the keyboard, going from letter to letter, without lifting your finger until you’re done with the word.  Swype automatically recognizes what word it is that you wanted to type and enters it – apparently it’s pretty easy to get a hang of.   


All of these new technologies are going to have a hard time replacing the keyboard, it’s become part of how everyone learns to interact with the world, even at a young age.  (I was typing on a IIe by the time I was 7….)  The key to any of these new technologies is the adoption of young people – if they make it their defacto method of inputting data, then the world will change accordingly.

Not sure a three year old would be open to brain implants though….we might have to deal with Glove Mouse and Swype for now…