Those of us working with the Roman alphabet forget how spoiled we are with our QWERTY keyboards, even if they were originally designed to slow us down. People using non-Roman characters never forget that these keyboards weren't designed for them, and have spent decades searching for alternatives. The latest, developed by HP Labs India, is the gesture-based keyboard, which is actually a pen tablet that uses a stroke-based system to recognize characters in non-Roman languages. It was designed specifically to deal with languages in use in the subcontinent, such as Tamil and Kannada, but has potential for other Asian languages as well. The system was designed to be rugged, and to be usable by people with no prior experience with keyboards or the Roman alphabet. HP expects to license the technology to a third-party manufacturer for commercialization.

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