The CharaChorder team has shoveled its chording keyboard text input technology into a USB dongle. The new product, dubbed the CharaChorder X (opens in new tab), has been proving extremely popular on Kickstarter and has already attracted nearly 7x the funding goal with three whole weeks to go.
CharaChorder X is claimed to facilitate an increase in the average human typing speed “from 40 words per minute up to 250 words per minute ”by enabling input via text chords. Here the word ‘chords’ is used as an analog to how a musician plays on a musical keyboard, pressing multiple keys simultaneously for the desired sound. A text input keyboard interprets numerous vital presses via a CharaChorder X USB dongle to produce the selected word.
For example, when a user chords a word like ‘try,’ they will simultaneously mash down the r+t+y keys on their QWERTY keyboard. CharaChorder X uses its innovative interpreting software and training to understand that try, or you will typically be ‘try,’ which is essential to getting the technology to work. It is also possible to mash shorter keyboard combos to input much longer words – like executing a macro.
In its research on text input, the CharaChorder team found that the 100 most common words account for about half of what most people will type from day to day, and thus users taking the time to do a little training can reap significant benefits in input speed. CharaChorder X users are promised free access to a web-based training program that will take them through the basics and advanced chording. Apparently, the software can store over 65,000 user chords, and an established community shares chord libraries others can download and edit.
If the above text chording technology sounds familiar, we reported on the CharaChorder Lite in May. That product was a $199 (promo priced and usually $299) 60% layout keyboard with CharaChorder technology built-in. Interestingly, the CharaChorder Lite was an accessible version of the team’s original CharaChorder One – which looked nothing like a regular PC keyboard but promised up to 300 words per minute once past the steep learning curve.
The obvious flaw with the CharaChorder Lite keyboard was that people already own delightful premium keyboards equipped with their favorite key switches, keycaps, and so on. The CharaChorder X allows users to stick with their preferred input hardware and add the dongle/training software. Importantly, CharaChorder X is much cheaper than the previous product too. At the time of writing, it can be snagged for a pledge of $39.
There is an estimated delivery time of July 2023 for the CharaChorder X. Also, please remember that backing a crowdfunding campaign with a pledge is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product but is more akin to investing. Thus, please carefully check any company history, feedback, and other reliability factors before pledging your money.