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Fat Fingered Follies no longer an excuse! May 22, 2007

Posted by alimassoudi in Uncategorized.
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   phone_keypad_x220.jpg 

It’s really quite amusing that at the age of 30, I rely more and more on my 18 year old brother and 16 year old sister to discover what’s hot in the world of technology. Moreover, what I find intriguing is how their generation uses the technology.  My brother would have friends over and they would all get on various messaging tools to contact all their friends, and their friends’ friends! Within seconds, a network of tech savvy teens were all aware of each other’s whereabouts, goals and resources for the evening… Both highly efficient and potentially disastrous!

When instant messaging and text messaging first became popular, I never saw their advantages over good ol’ fashioned phone calls. Besides, my fingers were too fat to use the three-type alpha-numeric buttons provided on the ever smaller and smaller cell phones. In fact I recall a trip to Thailand and Malasya in 2000 where I noticed thousands of kids sitting around, fanatically tapping the keys on their cell phones. I hadn’t even really become aware of text messaging before this, but figured it to be a technology for kids…Thus explaining the tiny buttons one had to tap (up to 3 times more than than the number of letters in the word and that’s just the English alphabet!) in order to get a message across.

As time passed by, I began to expirement with the effecient technology. It was cheaper than calling, took less time and kept record/detail of the conversation for recall if necessary. My brother recently went on a trip back home to Iran. This trip, from Canada can take upwards of 24 hours, and in the past we had little or no contact with one another untill someone arrived safely at a land line where they could call us to inform us of a safe arrival. Well, that’s so last year!

This year, my brother was text messaging me from every airport where he had a lay- over, Toronto, Amsterdam, UAE, Tehran! In between he even stopped at a few cyber- cafes (so he claims!) in order to flip me a few instant messages and cell phone photos, it’s like we travelled together this time. My mind was certainly at ease.

All this to say that finallythe design on some cell phones will be enhanced to incorporate buttons (as shown in the above captioned photo) that will in fact expedite the use of text messaging on phones. David Levy, has designed this new fastap phone and envisions that it will significantly increase the use of text messaging amongst the “rest of us” (that being the non-tech savvy, or late adopters to technology).

In his article, A Key Change for Mobile phones, Wade Roush quotes, “The new layout, called Fastap, is the first major overhaul of the traditional phone keypad since it debuted on touch-tone phones in the 1960s. Levy founded Digit Wireless, based in Lexington, MA, in 2005 to license the idea to phone manufacturers. So far, two mobile operators–Alltel in the United States, and Telus in Canada–have introduced Fastap phones, both made in South Korea by electronics giant LG. (Telus offers the LG 490, and Alltel offers the nearly identical AX490.)”.

I have yet to decide whether Treo or Blackberry will be my next business tool, however should I decide to keep a cell phone separate to a smart phone, you can bet that it will be fastap enabled, one tap is certainly better than three!

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