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Microsoft "Wild Thing" text entry system for keypads

Marc Perton

We've never had a whole lot of luck with predictive text-entry systems on cellphones, which is one reason we tend to get all hot and bothered every time we see a new, QWERTY model show up. But we're still intrigued by Microsoft's "Wild Thing" technology, which the company says uses artificial intelligence to translate keypad strings into useful text for searches. For example, if you want to search for Engadget, you would type 36423438, rather than having to perform multiple key-presses in order to toggle the correct character. Other abbreviations would allow you to search using abbreviations, such as TR SF for Thai restaurants in San Francisco. Microsoft is in talks with carriers and manufacturers to begin rolling out the service within the next year. We'll check it out, but our heart will still belong to QWERTY.

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