The CharaChorder team has shoveled its chording keyboard text input technology into a USB dongle. The new product, dubbed the CharaChorder X, has been proving extremely popular on Kickstarter and has already attracted nearly 7x the funding goal with three whole weeks to go.
CharaChorder X is claimed to facilitate an increase in the average human typing speed “from 40 words per minute up to 250 words per minute ”by enabling input via text chords. Here the word ‘chords’ is used as an analog to how a musician plays on a musical keyboard, pressing multiple keys simultaneously for the desired sound. A text input keyboard interprets numerous vital presses via a CharaChorder X USB dongle to produce the selected word.
For example, when a user chords a word like ‘try,’ they will simultaneously mash down the r+t+y keys on their QWERTY keyboard. CharaChorder X uses its innovative interpreting software and training to understand that try, or you will typically be ‘try,’ which is essential to getting the technology to work. It is also possible to mash shorter keyboard combos to input much longer words – like executing a macro.
In its research on text input, the CharaChorder team found that the 100 most common words account for about half of what most people will type from day to day, and thus users taking the time to do a little training can reap significant benefits in input speed. CharaChorder X users are promised free access to a web-based training program that will take them through the basics and advanced chording. Apparently, the software can store over 65,000 user chords, and an established community shares chord libraries others can download and edit.
If the above text chording technology sounds familiar, we reported on the CharaChorder Lite in May. That product was a $199 (promo priced and usually $299) 60% layout keyboard with CharaChorder technology built-in. Interestingly, the CharaChorder Lite was an accessible version of the team’s original CharaChorder One – which looked nothing like a regular PC keyboard but promised up to 300 words per minute once past the steep learning curve.
The obvious flaw with the CharaChorder Lite keyboard was that people already own delightful premium keyboards equipped with their favorite key switches, keycaps, and so on. The CharaChorder X allows users to stick with their preferred input hardware and add the dongle/training software. Importantly, CharaChorder X is much cheaper than the previous product too. At the time of writing, it can be snagged for a pledge of $39.
There is an estimated delivery time of July 2023 for the CharaChorder X. Also, please remember that backing a crowdfunding campaign with a pledge is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product but is more akin to investing. Thus, please carefully check any company history, feedback, and other reliability factors before pledging your money.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.
A friend tried a chording keyboard all the way back in 1990 ... he could do well over 200wpm with it, but it does take significant time to master.Reply
CharaChorder X uses its innovative interpreting software and training to understand that try, or you will typically be ‘try,’ which is essential to getting the technology to work.huh?
It's bad enough to try to understand what this thing does, without having to read sentences that make 0 sense.
I don't understand who the market is for this type of product. Basically already exists for stenographers. Who else would even want to make the incredibly difficult transition to this to slightly speed up typing?Reply
Jarmer said:I don't understand who the market is for this type of product. Basically already exists for stenographers. Who else would even want to make the incredibly difficult transition to this to slightly speed up typing?
That was my thought as well. They are basically turning a plain keyboard into a steno but using their proprietary interpretation, almost like swiping on a phone keyboard.
While this thing could theoretically help you create complete.l documents faster, them advertising it as typing faster is misleading. Not to mention I'd have serious privacy concerns og g this thing phoning home in analytics or just plain mining.
It looks like a keylogger to me and I’ll bet you any money It is. use it at your own peril.Reply
What incredibly difficult transition you are talking about?Jarmer said:I don't understand who the market is for this type of product. Basically already exists for stenographers. Who else would even want to make the incredibly difficult transition to this to slightly speed up typing?
There is no transition at all, if you like. You may use your keyboard as usual.
Just select one or two often used words and chord them during otherwise normal single character input keyboard use. If they are trained in, add further chorded words. You will end up using a mixture of regular single character entry and chorded word entry and double your speed.