iBeezi® Press Release
Only six keys for writing on a smartwatch
any Chinese character or alphabet letter.
Brussels (Belgium) and Hong Kong – July 29, 2015 – iBeezi today announced availability as of August 2, 2015 on Google Play Store of a truly innovative six-key dynamic virtual keyboard made for writing effortlessly on smartwatches Chinese characters and letters of the alphabet. The iBeezi® keyboard will be presented in Hong Kong during RISE, Web Summit’s first event in Asia (July 31 – August 1, 2015).
The paradox for smartwatches – The market for smartwatches is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, with smartwatches increasingly operating without being dependent upon a smartphone. Yet, efficient and user-friendly solutions for basic functions, such as writing on small screens, are still missing.
The challenge – The challenge for developers, particularly for writing Chinese characters, is to design an essentials-only interface that people will actually want to use. Without the luxury of a large screen, simplification becomes critical, requiring new approaches.
A breakthrough technology – For the Chinese writing, iBeezi® took the challenge upstream by designing an innovative algorithm that simplifies the encoding of Chinese characters and as a consequence allows for a simplified user interface, totally adapted to small screens. The result is the iBeezi® keyboard: the definitive solution for writing Chinese characters on smartwatches. A simplified version of the algorithm also allows the easy and fast encoding of letters of the alphabet.
A smart and finger-friendly interface – iBeezi®’s minimal six-key interface is optimized for the tiny screen of a smartwatch. Design and function reinforce each other. Each of the keys comfortably matches the size of a fingertip, offering unrivalled ergonomics. No fiddling any more with tiny QWERTY keyboards.
An enjoyable experience of fast writing – Thanks to the iBeezi® algorithm, users can write any Chinese character effortlessly in maximum four logical steps and each letter of the Latin alphabet in one logical step only. Aesthetic colors help in reinforcing muscle memory and hence writing speed. This provides a truly new and unique writing experience.
Easy to learn and easy to use – For the Chinese writing, the method is Pinyin-based and also calls upon the usual Chinese radicals. The writing process is not interrupted by random lists of possible Chinese characters and does not require memorizing arbitrary input code. Users always find the Chinese character or the letter of the alphabet in its same and unique location on the dynamic keyboard, quickly triggering muscle memory. Writing with iBeezi® is intuitive, natural and seamless.
Why is iBeezi® radically different from any other Chinese character input method?
1. The power of the iBeezi® logic – The iBeezi® algorithm offers a definitive solution to the issue of disambiguation of homophonous Chinese characters (same pronunciation but different writing). Users of existing Pinyin-based methods are constantly interrupted by often long lists of possible Chinese characters from which they must choose. Taking a radically different approach, the iBeezi® algorithm tackles the issue upfront: it provides for each Chinese character a unique, short and logical sequence of maximum four steps on a six-key keyboard. Hence the Chinese name of iBeezi®: 一笔一字 (yibi yizi), meaning “one stroke, one character”. The algorithm is further optimized with the ability for context-intelligent prediction for the most probable user’s choice for the next characters. This also contributes to solving a central theme: speed.
2. Preserving the Chinese characters – iBeezi® has overcome the decades-long dilemma of designers of input methods for computers and other digital devices, which is choosing between cultural preservation of Chinese characters and fast writing. Combining both, iBeezi® (i) refers to the usual Chinese radicals in addition to Pinyin and thus preserves the Chinese characters including the cultural information embedded therein (not present in Pinyin) and (ii) at the same time offers a simple input sequence, ensuring fast writing.
Pierre-Henry De Bruyn, a co-founder of iBeezi® and an expert in Chinese language and culture, commented as follows:
“We are excited to launch the first concrete application based on our iBeezi® technology. Made primarily for Chinese, the iBeezi® keyboard is the only method available today for encoding Chinese characters on smartwatches in a user-friendly and efficient way. Our approach, freeing users from the QWERTY keyboard, also makes writing letters of the alphabet on tiny screens now easy and fast. Besides the Latin alphabet, the iBeezi® technology can also be adapted to any other alphabet-based language. This project highlights our company vision that Chinese characters are a powerful vehicle for compact but extremely meaning-rich communication.”
iBeezi® will present its new iBeezi® keyboard in a world premiere at RISE, Web Summit’s first event in Asia (Hong Kong, July 31 – August 1, 2015).
The iBeezi® keyboard will be available as of August 2, 2015 on Google Play Store for Android smartwatches.
Alexis Van Gestel: firstname.lastname@example.org
iBeezi® is a tech start-up powered by its vision that efficient communication tools adapted to small screens will contribute significantly to the growth of the wearables market. The multidisciplinary iBeezi® team, based in Brussels (Belgium) and Hong Kong, is a blend of IT experts, passionates of the Chinese language and business professionals, all with strong international exposure and experience. The team is proud to announce the launch of a definitive solution to writing Chinese characters effortlessly on a smartwatch. This is a world première for the smartwatch industry. iBeezi® further plans the successive launches of other innovative products, both in and outside of the wearables segment, based on its iBeezi® technology (patent pending).
RISE is Web Summit’s first event in Asia. In four short years, Web Summit has become Europe’s largest tech conference attracting over 20,000 attendees from around the world. RISE is a new tech conference that will give leaders of enterprise a place to congregate and demonstrate how their companies are changing the way we live. Web Summit organises “the best technology conferences on the planet” for attendees, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the most exciting startups in the world.
iBeezi® logo and photos of iBeezi® keyboard in action