Innovation · August 5, 2022

The fastest keyboard on the planet

GreyBians these days are banging at their keyboards like mad, preparing for the speed-typing competition that is now just 2 weeks away.

The ever ongoing discussions about increasing words-per-minute are an opportunity for me to learn more about my favorite device, the keyboard. A fascinating recent discovery for me is getting to know about the chorded keyboard, with which you can type up to 300 words per minute!

Although keyboard is a device which has seen tremendous innovation, with about 23,000 US patents filed till date, the chorded keyboard remains a less-known variant. Interesting to note that the computer shown in one of the most popular The Mother of All Demos had, in fact, a chorded keyboard in addition to a regular one, as can be seen in this clip:

As the above video suggests, using the keys individually and in combinations of 2 to 5 keys, you can enter 31 letters – which certainly isn’t enough to type everything we need. That’s why most chorded keyboard have 10 or more keys. Here’s a demo showing a 10-key DIY version.

So are they used in real-life? Well, yes. A special version of the chorded keyboard, called a steno machine, in used in courtrooms. The steno enables the typist to keep up with everything that is being said in real time. Seeing this in action looks incredible: