## The Parallel Keyboard

 Quote by Bartholomew My system ... might out-perform machine shorthand for typing from a manuscript, where you have letters in front of you instead of phonemes.
Why, in the first place, would you type from a manuscript instead of scanning it?

 You'd simply learn letter groups and the keys associated with them
This is what we already do with current chording keyboards. (A major difference is that current chording keyboards do not have the literal one-for-one correspondence between keys and letters that your keyboard has, but you do not seem to have explained why that might be important other than to effect user-friendliness for newbies.) You can program thousands of common-letter-combination macros for dual-handed chording keyboards, and you can reach them without changing your hand position since so few keys are needed (with three keys per finger, and counting no-key-press as a possible letter in a chord, there are four possible letters per finger per chord and therefore with eight fingers a total of $4^8-1=65535$ possible chords — all on a keyboard a tiny fraction of the size of a typical laptop keyboard).
 Moonbear, I think it should be clear by now that YOU would not be part of the target demographic for this product. Therefore... I don't care what you want in a keyboard. The keyboard would be large enough to include all the letters, plus duplicates of those that commonly appear in duplicate. If you have a great idea that would make it smaller, please speak up; otherwise stop making demands about a product you'd never be part of the demographic for. Also, I quite rightly supposed that you would offer no apology for assuming the product to be for general use when early in the discussion I stated twice that it would not be. hitssquad: A handwritten manuscript would not scan well, so it would be more efficient to type it rather than scan it (if you don't want to have to work with an entire image). Even nowadays there are still typing services that you can send your papers into and they will type them up. You raise a good point in your second paragraph; the essential difference between my proposed keyboard and a standard set of macros is that the "macros" on mine would be easier to learn and probably take longer to use (due to requiring more fingers in motion at a time), once fully learned. I don't know the respective weights of the advantage and the disadvantage.
 For good typists, the limiting factor in typing from handwritten manuscripts is not typing speed, it is the speed with which you can read the handwriting. It is rarely possible to read handwritten manuscripts faster than one can speak. The cutting edge in technology now, by the way, is in skipping the transcriber all together and having the computer take the dictation itself. It is close, but not quite there now. Also, while being able to type a couple hundred words a minute has value to a court reporter, few court reporters have any need to type much faster. Getting input at 300-400 words per minute is rare. If there was a demand, someone might come up with a way to do it. But, in the absence of demand, there is no reason to make the technology any better than it is. Quite frankly, even in court, it is becoming far more common to use tape recorders instead of a court reporter, since it is much, much cheaper.

 Quote by brewnog If you're utterly convinced that your product is feasible and viable, why haven't you patented it yet?
In the United States, any single patent costs ~$5,000 and a lot of work. Patents also have time limits, making them worthless shortly after they are granted, or worse than worthless in cases where critical process secrets are detailed in the patent. http://www.cyberspaceattorney.com/gu...=2&article=214 -- A patent will give you a total monopoly on your product or process so that no one can use it, manufacture it or sell it without paying you money. But the downside is that you have to reveal all the secrets. You spill the beans about how it works. And when its 20-year limitation expires, your monopoly ends. -- That does not sound like$5,000 well spent, does it, Brewnog?

Recognitions:
Gold Member
 Quote by hitssquad That does not sound like $5,000 well spent, does it, Brewnog? On the contrary. If Bartholemew is convinced that he can successfully market this device, it will be money well spent, especially when he has some large computer peripherals manufacturer buying him out! I was pointing out that since he's not willing to make this step (or otherwise go about developing and marketing his device), he clearly has doubts about some aspect of his machine which he does not wish to admit to. All I was saying is that if he's not going to take any constructive criticism made about his idea, putting his money where his mouth is might help. Recognitions: Science Advisor  Quote by Bartholomew Moonbear, technically the sounds we use when we speak are amplitude variations in air pressure waves. Technically, they are amplitude and frequency variations mr. smarty-pants. Wow. My first use of one of those stupid little icons. Mentor Blog Entries: 9  why haven't you patented it yet? Because he does not have a patentable concept. No new technology and similar products already on the market are the key reasons I say that. His concept has evolved as this thread has progress, unfortunately (IMOH) it has gotten steadily worse! Initially he was simply hitting multiple keys simultaneously, now he has a whole new keyboard, which he already knows the size of, without having any idea as to exactly how many keys or what they will represent... Hmmm Horse before the cart? Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by Integral Because he does not have a patentable concept. No new technology and similar products already on the market are the key reasons I say that. His concept has evolved as this thread has progress, unfortunately (IMOH) it has gotten steadily worse! Initially he was simply hitting multiple keys simultaneously, now he has a whole new keyboard, which he already knows the size of, without having any idea as to exactly how many keys or what they will represent... Hmmm Horse before the cart? He doesn't want my input anymore, so I'm just replying to Integral and others who have commented on patents. Patentability doesn't translate into marketability. I was just on the phone a couple days ago with a friend who works as a patent attorney (I actually have two friends working in the same office, so hear a lot about patent law). He was telling me about the bizarre things that get patented (he said his clients include scientists, bad scientists, and crazy inventors, mostly the third one). You could probably get patent protection for a unique keyboard, though, it would be a very limited patent. Since keyboards exists in a variety of styles and technologies already, you can't patent the concept of a keyboard, you could only get protection on your specific configuration of a keyboard. Which means, all someone needs to do is add one more key somewhere, or take away a key somewhere, or switch around two keys, and you're not protected. This is similar to what people patent for ballpoint pens. You can't patent a pen, but you can patent a new barrel design, or a new ink formulation. Such patents are extremely limited. If you file the patent yourself, filing it costs around$1000, which, depending on how wealthy you are, may be a drop in the bucket or a significant amount of money to spend on something that won't offer much protection. That $5000 estimate is probably what you'd pay if you went to a hack law firm, the kind that will fill out your application for you, but not help you with research or bother finding all the loopholes, etc. If you have a really good idea and want to protect the concept and get a good law firm to help with the research of prior art, write it so it holds up when you prosecute someone infringing on it, help with the technical drawings, etc, you're looking at a starting cost of$10,000 on up.

hitssquad is right that there's a risk in obtaining a patent, in that it reveals completely the mechanism of how something works, so your competitors can start working on using that idea as soon as the patent expires. Depending on who your competition is and what the market is like, sometimes it's advantageous to not patent something if it's likely to take your competitors longer to figure out how it works for themselves (business decisions sometimes involve some gambles), or to wait until you're just about ready to put it on the market before you file for protection (you're protected as soon as the filing is in, which is why a lot of things go to market labeled "patent pending"). And for some companies, patenting a new product line would reveal the gaps in protection of an already existing patent they hold, so it's better not to patent the new product and open opportunties for the competitors to jump in and use those gaps to their advantage.

There's a good lesson here about the job of an engineer too. If a client knew how to make exactly what they needed, or even knew exactly what they needed, they wouldn't need to hire an engineer to help. However, there needs to be good communication between the engineer and client to ensure what is being designed will work for what the client really wants to do with it. Sometimes you're going to get feedback that's disappointing ("No, that's just not going to work") and the client, not being an engineer, isn't going to be able to tell you what will work, just that they know what you've shown them isn't it. It's the job of the engineer, not the client, to come up with the solution to the problem. If the engineer gets defensive and doesn't listen to the client when told things are wrong, it's going to lead to disaster. Something that may be really fun to design and build just might not be appealing in the marketplace. Isn't the continuing struggle for communication between marketing depts and engineering depts the entire basis of the Dilbert cartoons?
 Oh My God u give so long replies... .i woder u are very energetic and type so much....u really have enthusiasm .

Mentor
Blog Entries: 9
 Quote by Biology Oh My God u give so long replies... .i woder u are very energetic and type so much....u really have enthusiasm .
Not necessarily... She just has a good keyboard..and knows how to use it.

Recognitions:
Gold Member
Staff Emeritus
 Quote by Integral Not necessarily... She just has a good keyboard..and knows how to use it.
And the good thing about being blonde is that I never have to worry about thinking faster than I can type. (Yes, I really AM blonde, so I'm allowed to tell the joke...for anyone else, it's 50 lashes with a wet noodle).
 Garvin, the frequency of a wave is a number computed from its amplitude variations. The amplitude of a waveform at each point is sufficient to describe it. Without doubt the product is not terribly marketable; I was not aware when starting this thread that such similar products do exist. What's crazy is how many people materialized to raise criticism about the functionality of a system which it turns out already works in very similar forms.

Recognitions: