Am I the only one amazed by gesture input? Watch out for Swype syndrome.

I am ashamed to say that, because I’ve only ever had iPhone handsets since their release in 2007 (go ahead and call me an ‘Apple Fanboy’), I hadn’t seen Swype or any other gesture input up until a month or so ago. 

Of course I know my way around Android handsets and their OS but there aren’t too many handsets that have this capability built in and, as yet, it isn’t available in the Android Market. At present, the majority of people are gaining access to the typing alternative by directly downloading it from the Swype website. 
swypelogo.jpgAs for iPhone handsets, Swype functionality has not been officially announced, although jailbroken devices can install an add-on called Swype using Cydia’s app directory. I’ve even seen it work. This at least means that we know Swype will be compatible with and can work on iOS. 

swpyeinput.jpg

HTC became one of the first manufacturers to include Swype as a different text input option, with Motorola and Samsung soon following suit. The finger sliding tool also works on tablets. 
Following a surge in popularity, Swype was recently bought by speech recognition and digital imaging software maker Nuance. The deal, which was reportedly in the region of $102.5 million, further increases Nuance’s smartphone and tablet offerings, with their technology already powering the iPhone 4S assistant Siri. 
I have friends who use Swype and they now stare blankly, like a dog out of a window, when you hand them a touchscreen smartphone, occasionally sliding their finger across the screen and then looking up, puzzled as to why the normal touch input is only displaying one character at a time.  
Don’t even try and hand them a phone with an actually keyboard, they just end up huddled in a corner, crying whilst rocking backward and forward. I call it Swype syndrome and it’s highly infectious. 
I’ve only ever tried Swype once and I was nearly hooked, if not for my strong will power I could have quite easily walked down Oxford Street, into the nearest phone shop and swapped my iPhone for a Swype-ready Android handset. It really is that damn good. 
swpyeslide.jpgThe friends I mentioned a couple of paragraphs earlier swear they will never go back to typing and touch input. Swype has changed them and they now fully believe that ‘Swyping’ will replace normal texting. 
Judging by Sony’s (formerly Sony Ericsson) actions, it seems that it may well also hold the same opinion. It has just announced it’s own gesture input is being brought to it’s humongous Xperia range. Check out the video below: 
Me? I can see it happening, Swype is fast, intuitive and most importantly, a whole lot more fun than than wearing out your thumb joints typing each letter individually. 

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