The Wlonk is a patented new style of computer input device that is vastly superior to the existing standard. Users learn it quickly, key almost as fast as they think, and are no longer in danger of repetitive strain injury. They get ten times the functionality with one tenth the keys. Manufacturing costs are much lower, and a single design can satisfy all languages in all markets.
It is clear that the QWERTY keyboard, intended as a temporary solution for the few American typewriter operators of the last century, has become a major problem for the hundreds of millions of computer users worldwide who are about to enter the next. It does rather poorly what it was never intended to do at all; it is time-consuming to learn, time-wasting to use, and a source of physical pain for those shackled to it.
The variants on QWERTY are just as hard to learn (or even harder, if you have already learned QWERTY), provide at best only modest increments in speed, and do not appear to offer any reduction in the risk of repetitive strain injury.
Speech and handwriting recognition are improving and can fill some needs, but these technologies will be of limited utility even when they are perfected. Imagine, for instance, hand writing the source code for a sizeable application, or dictating confidential letters in a busy office.
Fast, efficient ways to put words into computers are necessary now, and will continue to be necessary in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, what we have now is neither fast, nor efficient.
The user base is growing and changing -- the technology should too.
To give you an executive summary: The Wlonk is a chording device with only ten "keys" (they are actually buttons or pads, very different from the keys on keyboards). The user's fingers never leave these pads -- there is no "leaping and hurdling" -- so it is much faster than a keyboard.
It is far easier to learn than other systems, even other chording systems. The first person to try it learned to touch-type faster than anyone ever had before: less than two hours. A simple application or HyperCard stack could teach most people in less than a day.
It has tremendous advantages in size and manufacturing cost. It is far cheaper to make than a keyboard, because it has fewer parts. All languages are covered by a single design; the Wlonk can handle Japanese and other ideographic languages, for example, much better than anything else now available.
Macro capability is inherent: the Wlonk has over a thousand different chords; if two chords are used to construct a code instead of one, over a million unique codes are possible. All but three of these chords can be assigned at will to generate sequences of many characters, including control code. Combined with existing mouse-substitutes, the Wlonk would let users completely control a Mac OS[TM]- or Windows[TM]-based computer without having to move their hands. Because so little finger movement is needed, fatigue is greatly reduced and the risk of repetitive strain injury is minimal or nonexistent.
Because so little physical movement is required and so many characters can be generated from a single chord, users should "key" at an average speed of well over a hundred words per minute.
It is very small. With a Wlonk instead of a keyboard, a Macintosh[TM] PowerBook or other laptop computer need be no larger than its screen.
The Idea In Brief
Questions And Answers
What does it look like?
Why will the average user prefer it to a QWERTY keyboard?
What makes the Wlonk so easy to learn?
How can the Wlonk possibly be learned in so little time?
How fast can can a Wlonk user "key"?
Is it less expensive to manufacture than a conventional keyboard?
What about languages other than English?
How are punctuation characters handled?
How does the Wlonk compare with keyboards?
Won't the entire idea of typing be obsolete soon?
Why does it have such a funny name?
Learning the Wlonk
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