SwiftKey already helps hundreds of thousands of people with its predictive typing app, and now the company can add Professor Stephen Hawking to the list. Working with Intel over the past two years, the SwiftKey team has integrated its technology into the communication tool used by Hawking.
Professor Hawking, whose body is paralyzed by a motor neuron disease, is still able to communicate using a small sensor controlled by the muscle in his cheek to type out sentences. Thanks to SwiftKey, his system will now be able to predict entire words to save time, and the company says its technology has “roughly doubled” his speech rate already.
As part of the integration process, SwiftKey created a personal dictionary based on Hawking’s own writing. Of course, the software will also continue to learn as it’s used, just like SwiftKey’s regular app, and will even be able to analyze whatever he’s working on at the moment.
There are a few more differences between the regular SwiftKey app and Professor Hawking’s version. First, he uses a specially designed keyboard divided into two sections, with letters on one side and numbers and punctuation on the other. Second, SwiftKey serves up 10 suggestions at a time for Hawking, increasing the odds that one option will be the right one.