I am making this post to inspire other inventors and share my story. I hold a patent on the first keyboard that is specifically designed for use with computers and electronic devices. There have been other keyboard designs invented throughout history, but they have all been designed for use with typewriters.
One example of a keyboard that is better than the one we use now (The “QWERTY” layout) is the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. It was invented in the 1920s and was never widely used. Although it was designed for a typewriter, typists who use/used it were capable of much faster typing speeds than typists who used a QWERTY keyboard layout; in fact, the world record holder for fastest typist is Barbara Blackburn, who maintained 150 wpm for 50 minutes, and 170 wpm for shorter periods.
The c^2 keyboard, the one that I invented, is capable of speeds faster than what is possible using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. Right now, the average typing speed is around 40 WPM. After people learn how to use my design, I expect this number to double to 80 WPM. You don’t have to be Barbara Blackburn to see a significant increase in speed.
What does this mean?
1) It means that this is very exciting news for you if you decide to use my design. It means that you will have more free time. You will only spend half the amount of time typing that you do now. You can then use this time to do other things that you like to do. One of my favorite activities is kayaking.
2) It means that businesses that decide to switch to the c^2 design will run more efficiently. They will have more time to focus on their products and services, and improve them. It means that “time-sensitive” documents will be created/typed in half the time. It, ultimately, means that business that decide to use the design will be more competitive and will have an edge over their competitors.
Did you know that in 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day totaled over 205 billion? This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next four years, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019.
How much time do you spend writing emails each day? What if this amount of time could be cut in half?
3) Because of 2, the economy will improve and the stock prices will go up. This is great news for investors. It is exciting to think that my invention will improve the economy, make people money, and save them time.
4) It means that the life of a journalist will be easier. Many journalists are expected to write stories about news events as soon as they occur, and major developments can occur at any time. If you are not a journalist, it means that you will be able to read about developing stories sooner, because the stories will only take half the time to type.
5) It means that students will be able to access information more quickly. It means that they will be spending less time on writing assignments or demonstrating understanding, and they will be spending more time learning.
6) It means that college students will have more free time. In order to get a competitive job, many college students must participate in as many extra-curricular activities as possible, so they can include them on their resumes. Many of them are very busy and do not have enough free time.
7) It means many other things. This is just a short list.
Why is the c^2 design better than the one we use now?
1) I optimized the keyboard based on letter, digram, trigram, n-gram, and word frequency. A digram is a 2 letter combination; a trigram is a 3 letter combination, etc.
2) The 100 most common words in the English language make up over 50% of all written material. I made all 100 of these words easier to type on my keyboard.
3) I put the most frequently typed letters near the right hand. The QWERTY design puts most of these letters near the left hand. Did you know that around 90% of people are right handed? For these individuals, the right hand can type faster than the left hand.
4) By putting the most frequently used letters, letter combinations, and words near the right hand or on the home row, I have statistically reduced the chance that a typist will make a typing error. One of the reasons people make typos is because the fingers must leave the home row. In contrast, QWERTY keyboards seem built to produce typos. The most common word in English is “the.” How many times have you typed it “teh”? I want people to spend less time hitting the backspace key to correct typing mistakes. This will increase overall typing speed.
5) There are other reasons why the c^2 design is better, but I cannot disclose these reasons at this time. I will say that I am very excited, and I hope that you are too! Who doesn’t like having more free time?
How did you come up with the idea to invent a better keyboard?
This is a very interesting story. The seed of the idea emerged when I was teaching 3rd Grade. We were in the computer lab. The students were required to write BCRs, or brief constructed responses, to a story that they had read. I noticed that one student was struggling with the assignment. So I approached this student, and I asked him, “Why are you struggling?” He looked up at me, and he said, “The keys don’t make any sense.” To protect his identity, I will just refer to him as “Tiny Tim.”
The first thing I thought was: they don’t have to. All you have to do is press them and finish your assignment so that we can go outside and play kickball. I was the full-time pitcher for kickball, and it was a very nice day outside.
But I did not say this to Tiny Tim. Instead, I lied to him. I didn’t realize that I was lying at the time, and later I felt bad about it. I told him, “The keys make perfect sense. Everybody uses keyboards. Just keep trying and you will get it.” In all honesty, I didn’t really have time to say anything else or give him individual assistance. A student on the other side of the room had hollowed out a pen and was using it to fire projectiles; as far as I know, he wasn’t the original inventor of this “blowgun” and did not possess a patent. I had to ensure the safety of the other students.
After I had dealt with the situation across the room, I returned to the general area where Tiny Tim was struggling to type. I noticed that the student who was sitting to the right of Tiny Tim seemed to be typing at a very rapid rate and, I thought, he would soon be able to enjoy the reward of being able to play “Cool Math Games.” I was hoping that this incentive would inspire other students around him to work more quickly and more efficiently.
The sound that was emanating from his keyboard was very loud, and it seemed like many keys were being pressed in rapid succession. I was thinking, “This guy is awesome. Why can’t Tiny Tim be more like this guy?”
I approached him to offer him encouragement and praise. When I observed him typing, I noticed that he was typing very quickly, but he was making many typos. The key that was making the most sound on his keyboard was the “Backspace” key, which he was using to erase entire words that he had misspelled, and then he would retype them. He would then, sometimes, proceed to mistype the same word again.
I did not, then and there, in the chaos of the classroom have a “Eureka!” type moment. But I believe that my observations had a subliminal effect on me. Later, these memories re-emerged, and I had a creative breakthrough.
Later in life, I was driving for Uber because I was able to earn more money driving than teaching young students how to read and write. It was a relaxing job, and I really enjoyed some of the conversations that I would have with some of the customers. But not all of the customers enjoyed conversation, and some of them would have conversations with their friends, the other passengers.
Sometimes, out of boredom, I would read every street sign, billboard, or word that I would see backwards. Out of the hundreds of original palindromes that I have invented, many were discovered while I was driving for Uber. At that time, I had already invented a new genre of literature, which I called “palindromic prose poetry.” It’s basically combinations of palindromes, poetic phrases, anagrams, wordplay, and puns organized around a plot-based story.
I queried every agent in New York City, but the very few who gave me the courtesy of a response did so in the form of a rejection letter. It was my child-hood dream to become a famous writer, and I studied creative writing in college. I then became a teacher because I figured that I would have time to pursue my creative writing in the summer. I decided to self-publish a book written in my new genre. It is available on Amazon, but it has not sold very many copies.
I soon realized that there might not be a market for my new genre. I realized that I had to pivot. I would write an epic 200,000 word debut novel and become the next David Foster Wallace or Herman Melville. The literary agents in New York don’t like “short and sweet”; they like “long and bitter.” I figured my first book was too short and too experimental, perhaps even too creative. When I began the novel, I found it very time-consuming and frustrating. The time was ripe for the idea that would put an end to QWERTY, once and for all.
I was at a stop sign when the “Eureaka!” moment occurred. I read the sign backwards, “Pots.” I composed a short palindrome, “Stop pots.” Then, for some reason, I envisioned typing it in my head. I knew that “t” was the most frequent consonant because I intended to eventually write a novel, a lipogram, without using that letter.
I envisioned the pointer finger of my left hand, my weakest hand, leaving the home row of a mental keyboard to type a “t.” I immediately thought, “Why isn’t the most frequent consonant on the home row of my keyboard? Why should my finger have to move to type it?”
It seemed very inefficient. When typing large blocks of text, the time your fingers spend leaving the home row begins to add up. And then I thought of Tiny Tim. I pictured him saying to me, “The keys don’t make any sense.” And then I thought, “Tiny Tim wasn’t a dumb kid. Maybe Tiny Tim was a genius.”
After further research, I developed the optimal keyboard design and filed for a patent. I want to get my keyboard into every elementary school in the country. And I want to do it for Tiny Tim.
Can you guess where Tiny Tim was when the rest of the class was outside playing kickball?
He was in the computer lab with the kid who was shooting spitballs trying to figure out how to type on a stone age design for a keyboard.