Here’s a fascinating video demo of Dasher, a single finger interface that allows you to enter text without a keyboard. Single-finger input without a keyboard? Wait, that’s my iPhone.

Keyboards are inefficient for two reasons: they do not exploit the redundancy in normal … all » language; and they waste the fine analogue capabilities of the user’s motor system (fingers and eyes, for example). I describe a system intended to rectify both these inefficiencies. Dasher is a text-entry system in which a language model plays an integral role, and it’s driven by continuous gestures. Users can achieve single-finger writing speeds of 35 words per minute and hands-free writing speeds of 25 words per minute. Dasher is free software, and it works in all languages, and on many platforms. Dasher is part of Debian, and there’s even a little java version for your web-browser.