CharaChorder has announced a new product that it says allows you to type faster than is physically possible on any other keyboard—continuing its mission to completely replace the QWERTY keyboard.
CharaChorder, a Plano-based consumer electronics startup, is behind a new class of peripheral device that lets ordinary people type faster than they traditionally would. Last year, the team garnered two new local investment partners and a $2.5 million evaluation, accelerating plans to ship an input device that can better match the speed of the human brain.
When the first CharaChorder was built, the intention was to assist in communication for people with disabilities. But, Founder Riley Keen and his team quickly realized that a device for chorded text entry (a way to enter characters or commands formed by pressing several keys together) was ideal, and could offer exponential speed benefits to virtually any keyboard user.
Today, the entire notion of CharaChorder’s product line is based on the idea that your current keyboard just can’t keep up. CharaChorder—a portmanteau of ‘character’ and ‘chord’—thinks peripheral devices should stay on pace with the human brain. Its mission is to raise the average text transmission speed for people (40 words per minute) to something that can approach their text comprehension speed (250 wpm).
And, completely replace the QWERTY keyboard.
The team’s device switches a user’s detect motion in three dimensions so people could have access to more than 300 unique inputs—without ever having their fingers break contact with the device. (Traditional keyboards use 1D switches).
Most keyboards use one-dimensional buttons or a QWERTY design. This can often lead to user error, like typos, caused by hitting letters in the wrong order when “muscle memory” is moving faster than a device can keep up with.
With CharaChorder, these “errors” are highly encouraged. A user can type entire words by pressing all letters simultaneously in a single motion. CharaChorder’s patented internal processor will then arrange the letters on-screen in real time, faster than the human eye can perceive.
CharaChorder sees this as a much more powerful method of communicating, and a way to create a new standard for the digital age.
“We want people to understand our mission to elevate the speed of human communication,” Adan Arriaga, CharaChorder’s chief communications officer, previously told Dallas Innovates. “Human beings right now have the ability to comprehend text on average five-times faster than they can produce it. We’re here to turn the tables and give people the ability to produce text even faster than they can read it.”
Meet CharaChorder Lite
Recently, CharaChorder launched a new product on Kickstarter with a $10,000 funding goal. That was met in less than 24 hours after launching.
Called CharaChorder Lite, the team bills it as a “simple yet powerful twist on the QWERTY.”
While a user outputs individual characters, they can also press multiple keys at the same time to output entire words or phrases in a single keystroke. It uses the same patented technology from the original CharaChorder, but doesn’t have the speed and productivity of that device.
Rather, the advantage of CharaChorder Lite is that it does not require any learning curve to begin using it.
“CharaChorder is currently sold out due to high demand but we still plan on selling and marketing the device. We simply decided to offer the CharaChorder Lite as another option for our customers who may not be ready to jump straight from QWERTY to a radical new device like the CharaChorder,” Arriaga says. “The CharaChorder Lite bridges that gap and allows users to try our fluid chord/character entry in a more recognizable layout.”
The team says that the great thing about CharaChorder Lite is that anyone can pick it up and start using it immediately. On this iteration, chording is optional.
But, learning the 100 most common chords is half of everything most users type. That means most people learn chording intuitively over time.
The funding from the Kickstarter is meant for manufacturing, assembly, and packaging. The team already ha the core technology and supply chain available from its first product, but needs money to make new electronics, molding, and packaging.
“CharaChorder Lite features mechanical switches, as well as hot swap smt connectors so that any standard keyboard switches can be easily swapped to be used with the device,” the team says on their Kickstarter page. “It will be LED backlit and is compatible with any computer, tablet, or smartphone via the included USB-C cable.”
As of April 20 at 6 p.m., $67,755 from 502 backers has been pledged to the campaign.
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