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A curved 'Arc' keyboard for Windows Phone?

I must say I am not overly keen on the above. It just looks weird to me but that maybe just because it is a new concept. WMPoweruser has managed to get hold of the image of the Arc keyboard and it is suggested that this may well be something that Microsoft are looking to introduce to Windows Phone in the future.

Apparantly this picture has come from a leaked Microsoft Research presentation. Will we see this in the future? Who knows, but what we can be certain of is that all operating system providers will experiment with altenative keyboards from time to time.

In my opinion I am not sure this one is needed and if it will even be a selling point for Windows Phone. If we are given a choice of which keyboard we use on a device could work. That wouldnt do any harm for sure.

What do you think? Please let us have your opinions in the comments.

Source: WMPoweruser; Thanks, Gordon, for the tip!

  • Idk seems unnatural
  • How is that un-natural exactly?  If you look at the motion your thumb makes, this keyboard style makes perfect sense.  I certainly would love to try it out for those occasions where I'd like to just use one hand to type.
  • I would love to try it out. Single handed typing on my Lumia 900 is slow and annoying...
  • I type just fine in my lumia with one hand :-/
  • I'd be for this as an option. I agree that one hand typing with the current keyboard, while possible, is not ideal on screens the size of the Lumia 900, especially if you have smaller hands.
  • Might be a usability feature for folks with one hand, MS has always been good w usability, I'm sure it would be an option and not a default
  • Looks like a good idea, but im not sure I'd want it forced on me. What I really want, and I'll accept I may be the minority here, is a Windows Phone with a BlackBerry Bold style keyboard.
  • Looks interesting... I think a T-9 layout would be more logical and/or easier for people used to old phones.
  • OMG!  T9 - My N8 has T9 for portrait, and it is just terrible.  I always type in landscape.  While folks coming from a cheap, prepaid phone with physical keys are used to T9, 'upgrading' to a touchscreen means kicking T9 to the curb!
  • Oh yeah, I hate T9 too... But if you really want to type with one hand then it might be a better curved layout than this odd/unfamiliar splitting of qwerty keys.
  • As another option for onscreen keyboards I'd try it out. I have tried to type one handed before, holding one of my kids with the othe£ for example, and is just impossible. This would fix that. Wouldn't use it much, but could prove useful. Coffee in one hand typing with the other
  • As another option for onscreen keyboards I'd try it out. I have tried to type one handed before, holding one of my kids with the othe£ for example, and is just impossible. This would fix that. Wouldn't use it much, but could prove useful. Coffee in one hand typing with the other
  • I like it.
  • My comment got posted three times. :/. So had to edit with nonsense, sorry.
  • The Disqus implementation here is far from great.
    I have to log in three times a day, takes 5min to load the box to enter text, it doesnt post the comments 50% of the time, etc etc.
    It could use some work tbh. :/
  • You can delete comments though...
  • Might be good for people with one arm, but for normal people, the way you have to hold your phone to type with that keyboard would destroy your thumb in a couple of days.
  • Looks interesting, and I certainly wouldn't mind if this were an option.  It would be nice if you could also choose the orientation of the arc - i.e. left or right.
    I think it's great for Microsoft to implement and promote their own keyboard innovations instead of using 3rd party apps (i.e. Swype).
  • Gbjjvxd kknbjk Khhd wwwtf jjj.£ !! (I could do with this)
  • Are people here thinking that Microsoft would *replace* the current keyboard 100% with this? C'mon.
  • I'm sure no one believes that. But would they make it an option--I hope so because I would like to try it.
  • No one thinks that :P
  • Microsoft is usually pretty good with the ergonomic aspect so I don't know if it will be uncomfortable to use or bad for your thumb, I don't think it would be. I realy can't say if I want it before I have had the chance to test it though.
  • Can you get an old style numerical pad t9 keyboard for wp
  • It would be nice to see some more keyboard types on the phone. Some users still prefer T9 (like me) to type faster and those fancy "slide" techniques would be cool. Why not add some T9/arc type thing too?
  • wouldn't you just keep pressing the search button...
  • Exactly what I was thinking
  • I don't think I would ever use this. 
  • Its getting back to the old ways before the qwerty keyboard. Also, I use 2 hands so that wouldn't work. Its stupid.
  • As long is it an option, I am cool with it options are always good
  • Usually true, but I could see the not so savvy accidentally changing their keyboard layout and not know how to change it back (your older relative for example). More options always risks degrading a consistent user experience (an ongoing problem in windows' history).
  • +1 for having more options. Looks interesting, at least.
  • I think is a good idea. I like it as I find my self typing one handed alot. Its allways hard getting the letters closer to the inside. I like it I think if it was a full keyboard that would be better than an old school phone keyboard.
  • I don't like this at all, i personally would rather have an option where the keyboard on my Lumia 900 is stretched so that it fills the whole screen rather than having white or black space at either side if whilst in landscape mode (how come every other phone makers on-screen keyboard is filled out from side-to-side in landscape but Windows phone confines itself to a set area and leaves a gap on either side?  Rather annoying)
  • I'd have to use it to see if I like it but options are always good.
    I hope they get swipe on WP8!! I miss it sooo much from WM.
    I can swipe faster than I can type on a normal keyboard.
  • I type one handed on my L900 more often than not. It may be a useful option for quick/short messages
  • Could be great to test and to impress friends but I'm not sure that it would be a great user experience on a long period...
  • No way... This covers to much of the screen. A lot of apps would not work the way this covers over half of the lower screen.
  • Dude the keyboard already covers half the screen would actually cover less the way it curves down! =/
  • I'd try it. Seems quite logical.
  • It reminds me of the thumb keyboards for Windows 8 tablets...perhaps this will be a keyboard option in the settings for WP8? =P
  • It looks like the MS origami device corner keyboards.
  • seems to be a brilliant and fresh idea!!!
    I would love to give it a try, then we'll see, if it works :-)
  • They should add swype to their keyboard options as well
  • I would love to see Android swipe keyboard on WP.
  • If it's an option then why not. If it's intelligent, and learns, then why not.
  • I love it. I often find myself wishing I had a T-9 option when sending quick texts when walking or multi-tasking. So long as it's easy to toggle back and forth between the full keyboard and the arc one this would be a huge selling point for WP8. This could be the WP8 version of Swype. Hopefully they have the IP for this locked down tight. 
    Edit: Also, I dreamed something similar up to this for the tablet form factor as well. Adding a 2-thumbed version of this arc concept with a full qwerty that's compressed enough to be used with 2 thumbs while holding the tablet in 2 hands, especially good for people who are using them for data entry at conferences and other stand and type use cases. 
  • Like this:
  • Anyone else notice the letters are that of a qwerty keyboard. Not t9 abcd.
  • To me it looks like one would swipe the keyboard around to pick and choose the letter grouping and the phone would figure out what your typing, like t9
  • I think it's a great idea, whether it will work in any form or not is yet to be seen, but this kind of thinking is very creative.  The problem I see hear is the keyboard layout.  I could definitely see something like this working with two small circular keyboards on a tablet, basically half a keyboard for each thumb.  It could also work well in such a manner for phones like the Galaxy Note.
    The problem with the concept above is that it's not a real QWERTY keyboard.  It looks like it relies almost entirely on predictive texting which has just as many haters as it does lovers.
  • I think it would need to have two letters per button like on Blackberry Suretype with the Pearl and early 7100 series. The perdiction software would have to be top notch. At least with the blackberry you could select a different word if and all they would need to do is have the phone learn what you type. 
  • Looks kinda like the alternate browser controls on the galaxy tab web browser... Kinda
  • I kind of want to see it in action. . . On my phone. . . Now. . . . Right now. . . .
  • I would love to try it out as well, but honestly don't know how it would work on a Titan 2. Also the best keyboard I was found was a suretype keyboard. I was so freaken fast on that thing. It was on the Blackberry 7105t, Blackberry Pearls, and the 8120 Blackberry had the best version of it.
    If they brought a suretype touch keybord to windowsphone with good autocorrecting like blackberrys did would be awesome. The main Windows phone stock keyboard is awesome thou, better than android, and ios. 
  • This seems to build on the Windows 8 (RT) ergonomic virtual keyboard.  The tablet virtual keyboard is split in to two halves which come in from either side so you can hold the device and use your thumbs at the edges. 
    If I were to speculate, this phone version could go further and do something similar to the Win8 ergo-keyboard when the phone is in landscape mode.  Which would be doable on the larger screen phones running one of the higher resolutions on WP8.
    In portrait mode, as seen in the image, wouldn't this make more sense in a traditional T9 layout?  It would certainly be a more familiar prospect than the unusual QWERTY layout pictured.  I like it, but I'd like it a lot more if there was a left handed option! :)
  • For people that say they don't like it... fine. If it's an option then I'm all for it. If you don't like it you don't have to use it. I think it's great just as they positioned the 360 controller sticks to match your thumbs natural motion.
  • One of RIMs selling points is the ability to use their phone single handedly. I imagine this is an attempt to appeal to that demographic. And, as long as it's just an option, and I can switch back and forth at will, I'd like to try one.
  • I can just see it, can you see it in the picture ???
    He's hitting the back button with his lower thumb. One of my top 3 hates of my WP7 device, I wish it had phsical buttons for the 3 mail. as just scraping down over them will make you push them.
  • Am I the only one that is surprised to hear that people use two hands when typing on the keyboard? I only use my right thumb on the portrait and land scale keyboard. I don't have huge hands either. I am using a Focus though, so maybe the huge phones make a difference?
  • The original focus
  • Neural pathways for traditional key placements are hard to break. Thus I still sport an HTC Arrive with real keyboard with traditional key placement! Would love to try this though. You never know. I doubted SWYPE too on my old HTC Touch Pro 2... And it wad greatness. Miss it.
  • Without actually using it, I can see me spending most of my time having to move back over to the keyboard after constantly hitting the search button.  I have fat hands anywaay so I rely on the slider keyboard more than anything.
  • I'm wondering if that wouldn't be too close to the right edge, so your thumb would have to bend a lot.
    I like the keyboard of my HTC Arrive btw. I would love Nokie to build a high quality WP8 device with a hardware keyboard.
  • I like it.  This would certainly make it easier to text while driving with a coffee in my other hand.  Just kidding.  But seriously, I'd love to try a keyboard like this and think that the more options users have for keyboards the better.  Even creating temporary back buttons when in this mode would be nice (hitting back one handed is the killer for me).  Swype or something similar would be a nice option as well as possibly keyboards that have slightly different layouts that we could customize.  While I like typing with the windows phone keyboards, I actually could type faster with my iphone keyboard because there was slightly more space between the keys (and I have large fingers) and I didn't have to manually switch back to the alphabet screen after typing an underscore, etc.
    Bottom line, the more options people have, the better because users all have different likes and dislikes with virtual keyboards.  The key here is options - not making these types of keyboards mandatory to use.
  • If you notice, it's still a qwerty board, just broken into letter groupings. And yes, your thumb curves when it moves so that shape would be natural. Like many others have said, i find myself typing one-handed often and would like to see this as an option.
  • Off topic slightly: some kind of transparency or smaller message text would help, too, while they're at it. The keyboard takes up a lot of the screen.
  • I think this is a cool idea. I find myself in situations where I can only type with one hand (while the other holds a coffee while on the subway, etc). In those moments, one finger typing drives me nuts, and I long for a T9 style option. 
  • I'm definitely willing to give it a try. I'm not one of thost two-handed thumb typists. And if they're smart they have a righty-lefty option.