Sunday, August 23, 2009

From Tapping to Typing to Texting

A current TV advertisement for a bank aims to emphasise how, in its more
than 100 year history, it has remained in business and kept up with the
changes in communications technologies.  A quote from the ad is: "from
tapping to typing to texting".

That got me thinking.  While it's true that mobile phone text messaging
is much more accessible and convenient than the old telegraph, an
interesting aspect of this "progress" is the actual process of writing
the message.  Just how far have we come in making it easy to generate
the content of a message?  Here's what I mean...

Tapping (Morse Code, over telegraph wires):
  .... . .-.. .-.. ---


Texting (multi-tap on a numeric keypad):
  44 33 555 555 666

Of course, T9/predictive text is usually quicker than multi-tap, but,
unless you're using a phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, texting is
still arguably a step backwards in terms of message entry.