While today’s mobile phones can provide exciting new capabilities, such as mobile e-mail and web browsing, the telephone keypad itself has proven to be a significant obstacle to widespread use of these features. The telephone keypad was not intended to browse the web or write e-mails when it was created in 1955. As a result, users of the mobile web have been required to enter tedious and frustrating key sequences to accomplish even simple tasks. The lack of an appropriate interface has severely impeded the adoption of the wireless web – until now.
Digit Wireless, a technology development and licensing company, today announced the patented FastapTM keypad, a fundamental advance to interface technology. Fastap provides an entire computer interface in an area one-third the size of a credit card, yet offers intuitive operation and comfortable ergonomics. The technology can be adapted to many products, notably including mobile phones. The Fastap telephone design provides independent and instantaneous access to each letter of the alphabet and basic punctuation as well as the traditional telephone keypad.
According to Dr. David Levy, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Digit Wireless, “We know people love written communication because of the tremendous success of Blackberry and SMS, among their respective groups. Fastap changes the world of mobile communication by making text input as easy as dialing. It is a revolutionary technology that makes the wireless web as easy to use as the phone itself, changing the way people work and offering substantial new revenue to each segment of the wireless industry.”
Fastap technology utilizes a matrix of raised and lowered keys that provide the finger or thumb ample space to access any character with a single press. Raised buttons are comfortably distant from adjacent buttons, and the valleys between them form additional keys. Pressing on any button or in any valley produces a unique output that is clearly identified, and instantly available. To access any character, including basic punctuation, the user simply presses the character they want. The Fastap technology has issued domestic patents and several pending international patent filings.
“With Europe and Asia using SMS (Short Message Service) at the rate of 20 billion messages per month in December 2000, we expect to see the rapid adoption of text messaging in the US. Utilizing Fastap enhances this experience. Now with one hand, consumers can send quick accurate and flexible two-way messages around the world,” explained Chris Hare, Vice President of Business Development at Digit Wireless.
Applications for Fastap technology are numerous and varied such as mobile phones, handheld computers, two-way pagers, GPS devices, MP3 players, games, and a host of other handheld devices. All of these form factors are in need of an effective pocket-sized interface for data entry. Fastap technology redefines expectations about what a sophisticated keyboard can provide, and delivers on the possibilities of an easy-to-use, fully functional, and small form factor device.
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