1. MBY's Avatar
    There's been a lot of talk from MS and others about the one remaining focus of Windows 10 mobile being about enterprise and productivity. And I think this makes sense. But I think from a productivity perspective, there are few worse methods of technology interaction than touchscreen typing.

    Touchscreen typing has a low threshold to entry - it's easier to start using it than it is a standard computer keyboard if you've never used one before. But building muscle memory makes mastery of touch typing far superior to touchscreen typing.

    Microsoft has recognized this with Continuum. I think that's awesome, but I think there should also be other options for input based on the sense of touch that are more mobile. Fortunately, I think we've just seen an inspiring introduction to this with the new Lenovo Yoga Book.

    The Yoga Book has a "Halo Keyboard" attached to the laptop body that can act as a virtual keyboard. I think that's just ok, and typing on it probably won't be that great. What's way more exciting for me is the fact that it can be used for inking. I think this is the real opportunity for mobile. After all, a small pen for inking is way more portable than a keyboard with room for your fingers. But inking on a 5" screen would be hard to manage. But what if it had an attachable folding case/cover with that kind of input pad below the screen? That would allow for much more room to ink without blocking the screen you're looking at.

    When Dan and Zac discussed the lessons for a Surface Phone to take from the Yoga Book, they focused on the use of that halo keyboard for typing. But I think this isn't the right focus. I think the real next phase of productivity for mobile (in addition to continuum) will be inking. Of course there would have to be quite the innovations in Redstone 2 for this, but if you're looking for a great software-hardware pairing, this seems like an awesome path forward.
    09-10-2016 09:10 PM
  2. Chintan Gohel's Avatar
    And who is to say that people will still be writing using a pen in the next few years? There are people who can type faster than they can write using a pen, regardless of the surface or medium used.
    Timbre70 and Maurizio Troso like this.
    09-12-2016 01:18 AM
  3. MBY's Avatar
    Given the discussions of digital natives, I take your point. But part of my reason for this idea is that I believe that touch typing (on a physical keyboard) and touchscreen writing are totally and completely different. Touchscreens are really mostly visual, with a little bit of practice thrown in. Touch typing is so fast (for people like me who learned this really well) because it really isn't visual at all - it's based on muscle memory.
    09-12-2016 02:42 PM

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