Good fortune has come early in life to Morten Proschowsky, a PhD student at the Technical University of Denmark. After developing an intelligent dictionary for mobile telephones and music players, he had the good sense to patent it. Now the patent has been bought by one of the world's largest companies - the mobile telephone giant Nokia.
Proschowsky's invention is more subtle than the technology currently used in most mobile phones. Intuitive dictionaries in today's mobiles predict whole words, so the text constantly jumps ahead while the user is inputting individual characters, and this can be visually off-putting. What Proschowsky has developed is a system that instead recognizes character combinations. When the user inputs a character, predictive algorithms suggest the most likely next character the user will enter, while the text already entered stays unchanged. It's a more peaceful system.
Although Nokia has bought the patent, Proschowsky himself reckons that his system, which uses a touch sensitive wheel, is perhaps best suited for equipment with insufficient space for a keyboard, such as music players and digital cameras.
User Experience Manager Niels Ebbe Jacobsen from Nokia comments that the great achievement of Morten Proschowsky's technology is that it doesn't distract from helping the user. "It's a bit like servo steering on a car," he says. "We are not interested in seeing how it works, we're just happy that it makes driving easier."
Jacobsen echoes Proschowsky's feeling that today's customers want mobile phones with large screens and lots of functions, which leave little space for a keyboard. "For that reason, Morten Proschowsky's development of his dictionary has obvious interest for us," says Jacobsen.
The news was reported by Ingeniøren (The Engineer)