Fast Type's simplified keyboard has as many keys as QWERTY has letters

Less is better, and it's the same with typing - less keys, faster typing
FastType's simplified keyboard has as many keys as QWERTY has letters

Try as we may, we can never get away from the venerable QWERTY keyboard.

Even as far back as 1991, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) like the Psion Series 3 have borne the ubiquitous QWERTY layout, and little has changed even though we’re now carrying mobile devices that are every bit as powerful as the Curiosity Rover that’s err, roving around on Mars.

And yet, we’ve yet to see any ground-breaking keyboards that have, or will change the way we look at typing on a mobile device. Or so we thought, until we saw Fast Type.

Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Fast Type simplifies the keyboard down to a mere six buttons – eight, if you count the emoji and return buttons – by assigning the five vowels their individual keys, and all the consonants (yes, all 21 of them) with one key. Sounds too good to be true? We think so too.

But the creators of Fast Type, a Mexico-based startup called Nyon, claim that they have nailed the algorithm that will learn your typing patterns to get to the words that you want. Fast Type also incorporates the use of a cloud-based profile so you can use Fast Type on other devices without having to ‘teach’ it again.

While the accuracy of the predictive text may be called into question at this point, we really appreciate the little touches that are simple and ingenious: swipe upwards for caps, twice for caps lock, and left or right brings up symbols and numbers.

Swype and Swiftkey are arguably the best tried-and-tested ideas that we’ve got so far, and even so, their ingenuity lies solely in their predictive capabilities, as opposed to a complete rethink. Keyboards like MessagEase, Minuum, and 8pen come close with their unique layout and predictive swipe recognition. But if Fast Type delivers on its promise, it may well break the stranglehold that QWERTY keyboards have on mobile typing habits.

Fast Type was developed for Android, and currently works for English and Spanish. The Kickstarter project hopes to raise funds to add options for customisable themes and sounds, and their stretch goals include Android tablet adaptation, developing algorithms for French, German, Portuguese and Italian, and finally iOS 8 implementation.

You can check out the full list of details, as well as pledge if you wish, here.

[Source and images: Kickstarter]

READ MORE: Find your iOS 8 type: 8 third-party keyboards that will out-type QuickType