The good news: Texting is becoming easier and faster thanks to new technologies developed. Earlier cell phones had clumsy if not awkward keyboards, they were made progressively larger, illuminated and easier to use. Larger keys and even full keyboards were later built in on almost every cell phone in the market. Many cell phone service providers have what they call predictive software for texting. This is a feature included at no charge in almost all cell phone plans. This was done in an effort to anticipate the word before it was completely typed, therefore saving a few seconds in every text message sent. However, the main problem remained, you are still looking at the phone and your eyes are not on the road, where they should be all the time. Overall it may have cut just a fraction of your texting time or maybe not because you may have to correct the autofill program if you meant to say something different from the expected message.
The use of handheld devices for texting is becoming more restricted every day. Laws are being passed in Canada and the United States that prevent the uses of such devices while driving. In 2012, (1)the Northwest Territories in Canada made it illegal to be driving and to be using any portable handheld device.
According to their study, taking your eyes of the road for just one second traveling at 50km/hr is like not seeing 45ft of road for every second your eyes are looking elsewhere. Multiply that for a couple of seconds it takes to look at a text message, and you can see that you are actually driving blind.
Texting Technology Advancements
A vast improvement, T9 texting technology developed by Nuance Communications allows the use of just nine keys to create a word, instead of tapping each key up to four times to get the correct letter typed. Other similar technologies are iTap from technology giant Motorola, and RIM uses a method called suretype. These systems cut texting times in half over conventional methods. All cell phone plans include a text service feature, not too long ago it was an added option to your phone service. Most providers now give unlimited free texting services. Remember when cell phone wireless Bluetooth devices appeared? You could see them in people’s ears as they went about their business. Even while driving, some you may have seen people using them. Making the users look a bit looney talking to them in appearance. You could now dictate a text message to your smartphone, yet the same situation happens you want to look and check before sending. No time saved here.
The phone companies like that you text your messages instead of taking. A text message is just a very small burst of data. It reduces the amount of bandwidth the service provider allocates for their subscribers as the data bandwidth requirements are minimal.
Nowadays you can link your vehicle without affecting your cell phone plans; major vehicle manufacturers are installing smart voice activated computers in their vehicles. Unfortunately, the problem remains. You look away from the road to make sure the smart device is doing what you ask for. Because it is human nature to feel a bit unsecure when delegating a function to a computer or smart device. While an adult can send an average text message in 15 seconds, a teenager can send the same message in three or four seconds using shortcuts and symbols.
Fastest Texting Speed
LG Electronics used to hold annually the LG Mobile World Cup in Toronto until 2011 when voice technology started to surpass the fastest fingers in the world. (2)The Guinness Book of World Records keeps a section dedicated to the fastest text messages sent. In 2010 the award was given to Portugal’s Pedro Matias. In an amazing one minute and fifty nine seconds he sent a 264-character text message. Every year a new record holder is named in the book as the technology progresses and texting becomes second nature. This is especially true for young kids when they learned at an early age, taking advantage of their dexterity and acute vision.
(1)01/01/2012 – Dept of Transportation Northwest Territories article: Distracted
Driving Legisslation Takes Effect in the NWT. http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/Cellphones_and_Texting.aspx
(2)01/15/2010 – Mobile Worldcup Final Results – News – LG Electronics website http://www.lg.com/global/press-release/article/third-annual-lg-mobile-worldcup-underway-to-crown-worlds-fastest-mobile-texter.jsp
Paul Chai is a technology and mobile industry enthusiastist writer with interests around cell phones and canada companies phone plans at WIND Mobile.