In10did, the developer of the DeceTxt keyboard, seems to think that the QWERTY design is outdated and that 10 keys are in fact more than enough for typing all sorts of symbols.
If there’s one thing I like about companies, it is the relevance their product names have in accordance to the design or the functionality. In10did has a nice-sounding name (intended) that also makes reference to the 10 keys of the product it developed. Furthermore, the name of the product brings together the prefix “deca,” which means ten, and txt, the abbreviation for text.
The DecaTxt keyboard may feature only 10 keys, but it provides a lot of functionality. Each key is labeled according to the symbols it can trigger. The two buttons on the top are pressed when typing the 11th to 18th, respectively 19th to 26th letters of the alphabet. Additional symbols are obtained by pressing buttons in the front. For example, NumLock can be activated this way.
As the creator of the DecaTxt mentions in the following video, In10did has developed the product, but it requires further support in order to bring the keyboard into production. The company presented its product at CES 2012, but if they haven’t got the necessary attention then, why didn’t they try their luck on KickStarter? I have to say… If this keyboard ever gets mass-produced, it should come with a thick manual, since I don’t think that getting used to it is that simple. Sure, typing the letters and numbers is easy, but when it comes to the other symbols, it gets a bit difficult.
Personally, while I appreciate alternatives to designs that have been invented over a century ago, I don’t think that the QWERTY keyboard is going anywhere. I type tens of thousands of symbols a day, and using such a device as the DecaTxt would be very cumbersome, to say the least. This does not mean, however, that it does not have potential, at least when it comes to people with disabilities. The fact that it can be used single-handedly makes it great for people who can only use one hand, but even so, I find voice dictation a far better option. Besides, many QWERTY keyboards nowadays come with multimedia controls, not to mention macro keys. DecaTxt might be great for typing simple sentences, but it won’t ever get the two aforementioned features. Bear in mind that I haven’t even mentioned gaming.