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Zi adds text input prediction to Qtopia, Linux

Apr 6, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Zi Corporation says it will integrate its polyglot predictive text software with Trolltech's Qtopia application framework, in order to address the growing market represented by mobile phones based on Linux. eZiText supports some 54 languages — more than any other predictive text input software, Zi claims.

Zi's predictive text input technology has already been used in several Linux phones, including Taiwanese ODM Winstron NeWeb's dual-mode GW1 Linux/Qtopia phone (pictured above), and Chinese appliance vendor Haier's N60 (pictured at right).

According to Zi, eZiText can enable faster, more efficient text entry, on devices with keypads, as well as full hardware and software keyboards. The company claims the technology reduces keystrokes, compared with “single-tap” technologies, thanks to features such as adaptive learning, personal dictionaries, contextual ranking, single-touch word completion, dual language prediction, and next-word prediction.

How Zi works

According to Zi, most single-tap solutions on the market require typing the whole word. Although this is typically a 50 percent improvement over standard multi-tapping, eZiText's predictive word-completion strategy does even better, by combining single-tap and predictive text technologies, Zi says. For example, in entering the word “Tomorrow” (see illustration below), conventional multi-tap technologies require 18 taps, whereas eZiText can do it in four — a 78 percent improvement.

Zi offers an online demonstration of eZiText, in several languages, here.

Milos Djokovic, CTO of Zi, stated, “With more device manufacturers choosing the Linux operating system… Zi is further expanding its market presence to all Linux-based devices.”

Trolltech CEO Haavard Nord stated, “By combining Qtopia with Zi's predictive text software, mobile device manufacturers can develop customizable user interfaces and user-friendly text-based applications that can be adopted by customers around the world. Zi realizes the tremendous market opportunities presented by the embedded Linux operating system.”

Trolltech earlier this week announced an update to QPE, that brings it up-to-date with Qtopia 4 technology.

Zi competitor Tegic offers a “T9” predictive text input product that was used in a Linux phone reference design from Philips. Tegic acquired by AOL Wireless, last summer, in a buying spree that also included Wildseed, the first company we know of to ship a Linux phone in the US..

Recent Motorola phones based on Linux also include predictive text input capabilities.

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