Nuance bringing Swype-like functionality to T9

News Ryan Hamrick 17:05, Oct 13 2010

T9-maker Nuance is set to add Swype ease-of-use to an already easy-to-use T9

Nuance Communications, the company that brings the familiar T9 text input method to millions of handsets all over the globe, is bringing continuous-touch functionality to its already winning combo of input options in an attempt to steal back some of Swype's recent thunder, Wireless Week reports. This option will be dubbed Trace.

Swype is turning up on a new device every time you turn around and is now available -- preinstalled -- on 20 devices in over 40 languages. Cliff Kushler, one of the masterminds behind the Swype keyboard, knows a thing or two about mobile text entry -- he developed T9. So it's no wonder why Swype came out the gate in such solid form.

With the industry moving ever-further into the touchscreen-only realm, Nuance has recognized not only the benefit, but also the speed of always-in-contact entry. Instead of making it an always-on experience like Swype, however, Trace would make it an option in addition to it's already familiar methods, allowing OEMs to install one kit, and give the user the ultimate preference as opposed to making it a difficult-to-get-out-of keyboard of its own.

Another key advantage over Swype is that Trace is already fully compatible with the 80 different languages supported by T9.

No word on when we might start to see Trace embedded into our favorite devices, but Matt Revis, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing for Nuance, makes it sound as if Trace is all but ready to ship.

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