The Fastap Keypad - What's New?
The Fastap Keypad
26 August 2003
Written by Patrick Tsang
You could call me a keyboard person, as I’ve found typing messages on the phone extremely slow and annoying. The T9 function of most handsets really isn’t quick enough for me to express what I have to say through my text messages. I’m always looking for alternative input methods to what we now have. Nearly all my SMS are sent from my O2 XDA (Pocket PC Phone), using it’s on-screen keyboard or writing recognition, and I rather swap sim-cards then using my second mobile handset to send messages.
Phones that came with keyboard interfaces such as Sony Ericsson P800, Nokia 5510, Nokia 9210i and Nokia 6800 are too big for my liking as a mobile phone. However, despite their chucky size, we could still enter text quickly. If you are wondering why I reckon it’s too big, since a Pocket PC phone is a lot bigger, then I can simply tell you that the features / functions of them is a lot more powerful then a mobile phone, hence worth it’s bigger size.
What I really wanted is a small mobile phone with an integrated alphanumeric telephone interface, which doesn’t wreck its design and is easy to use. The keyboard shouldn’t get in the way of the numeric keypad used in every mobile handset. Finally, Digit Wireless, a company that creates and licenses intellectual property to the wireless industry, introduced to us a new concept, which will change the traditional way we messages via mobile phones forever. Introducing the Fastap Keypad! =)
The Fastap keypad is the world’s most intuitive and powerful interface for small mobile phones. Letters, punctuation and numbers are entered with a single press without the need of multi-tapping. No predictive software. No training of any kind. The Fastap telephone interface vastly simplifies modern phone tasks: messaging, address book entry, m-commerce, mobile web browsing, advanced gaming, CRM, scheduling and calendar entry. The technology is a major advance to the mobile handset, but also brings tremendous advantage to service providers by making messaging and data entry easy to do. The result is increased data use across all demographics. The technology is extremely flexible and can provide: telephone and QWERTY layouts; direct access to content and services; word completion (not prediction); phonetic and pictographic languages.
The keypad works by placing smaller alphabetic buttons between the standard numeric keys. Initial designs of the Fastap worked with hills and valleys, with the letters as hills and the larger number keys as the valleys. The Fastap device driver can accurately detect when you needed to press the numbers by pressing on two or more of the letter keys. Simple, yet work very well! =)
Wireless handset sales totalled 469 million units in 2002 and are expected to reach 770 million by 2006. Over one billion SMS text messages were sent daily on GSM phones by the end of 2002, resulting in over $10 billion in incremental European carrier revenue. Data revenues are projected to be $60 billion and to exceed voice revenues on 3G networks by 2006. One estimate: an appropriate data interface will increase both data revenues and the rate of data adoption by 25%.
In summary, the Fastap keypad solves the “text input problem”, which is a major barrier for the wireless Internet. It also allows third party vendors to provide text-centric applications and services and increases carrier revenue from messaging or m-commerce with 2G, 2.5G and 3G networks. Handset vendors are provided a differentiated phone to enhance market share and margins and carriers are provided with increased in data usage across all demographics. The Fastap keypad currently has no direct competition at all! It also has additional applications in consumer electronics, medical devices, aviation, etc.
We at iMobile.com.au would be anticipating the arrival of the Fastap design integrated into handsets in the near future. With such great innovative concept available for text messaging, never again would I scream out in annoyance at the slow pace in typing my text messages any longer or have to relied on my Pocket PC phone any longer! I’ll probably be one of the first to purchase a Fastap keypad phone and hopefully, the price of text messages will also be greatly decrease due to the amount of people taking more advantages of data usage! =)