Some of today's young'uns starting out on QWERTY and full-touch devices might not even know what T9
is, but let us tell you something: back in the day, it was the
way things got done on your phone. Copied by a number of manufacturers and software firms (notably Motorola with iTap), T9 was the premier product of start-up Tegic that would eventually find its way to a majority of phones with numeric keypads sold around the world -- several billion, in fact -- and continues to enjoy enormous success today. T9's co-inventor, Martin King, passed away this week after a protracted bout with cancer; though he hadn't been actively involved with Tegic (now a part of Nuance
) in some time, he had been engaged with a newer startup, Exbiblio, whose technology actively parses words snapped by cameraphones and directs the user to more information in real time. We'll pull out our old Sony Ericsson T68 in your honor, Martin.