Did you know QWERTY Keyboard was invented to slow down your typing?

| Updated: December 02, 2022 09:49:48

Did you know QWERTY Keyboard was invented to slow down your typing?

QWERTY keyboard was invented long ago, in the latter part of the 1800s. It was introduced in the time of typewriters. As of today, the QWERTY keyboard is not a very efficient keyboard to work with. 

While typing, you must have noticed that you have to change your hand position multiple times, even while typing the common words. The letters are distantly located. Therefore many myths prevail about QWERTY keyboards. 

First, let's take a peek at the invention of the typewriter. During the 1860s, the typewriter was invented by an amateur inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, which was later patented in 1868. The first typewriter keyboard was like a piano, with 28 keys arranged one after another.

However, the early model of the typewriter had a problem. The letter plates and the keys were connected using typebars. These typebars were just beneath the paper in a cycle. If you type very fast and the letter located side by side are used, mechanical failure occurs in the typewriter. 

Soles redesigned the typewriter. The main purpose of the redesign was to put the commonly used sequence of letters away from each other. Letters like 'th' and 'he' are very commonly used pairs. You can see that they are placed at a distance in the QWERTY keyboard. Likewise, the other pairs are also placed separately.

But this theory can easily be nullified with the help of an example. We know that 'er' is a very common pair. In fact, it is the fourth most common pair in the English language. Yet they are placed side by side. But people say that this prototype was changed at the last minute. Initially, it was QWETY.

Sholes later sold his design to Remington, who later started manufacturing typewriters at the industrial level, redesigning them, and developing them as per the need of users. 

Not only that, but he also gave training on typewriters at a very low cost. From there, the worldwide fame of typewriters spread. But Sholes wanted more than the efficiency of the QWERTY keyboard. Even after selling his design, he worked on improving it till death.

After the spread of Remington's typewriter, many more designs of keyboards came. Dvorak was found to be way more efficient. But by then, millions of people had learned to type in QWERTY. Dvorak couldn't survive in the market.

After the invention of the computer, the time for its production and distribution came. The computer didn't work in the way the typewriter did. There was no chance of a computer having a mechanical failure occurring in the typewriter. Yet the design had to be made following QWERTY keeping its fame and usability of millions of people in mind.

In 2011, research unveiled the truth of QWERTY evolution by tracking down early professional use. The outcome of the research didn't match the theory. It was said that the keyboard's design was uninfluenced by its mechanics. 

The early users of typewriters were telegraph operators. They needed to type messages quickly. It was concluded that the evolution of the QWERTY keyboard happened in accordance with the input of telegraph operators. 

It is already mentioned that the QWERTY keyboard has hardly any benefit in computers. It even has lesser benefits in smartphones and any touch screen devices. QWERTY has nothing to do with thumb typing. 

A new keyboard is designed to facilitate thumb typing, named KALQ. But the success of KALQ is arguable as everyone is habituated to QWERTY. 

It may not be difficult for the new generation, but changing a worldwide thing is not easy, even if it is inefficient.

It is quite surprising how all the keyboards in the world are designed by the model developed by Christopher Latham Sholes in his garage. 

QWERTY has been ruling the world for 150 years. Now the question is, will KALQ be able to stand against QWERTY, or will it get lost in the course of time?

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