We were featured in a round-up by Mobile News after our pitch at the SMART UK competition on the 6th of February, where we made it through to the finals:

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Rewriting the rules

“Moving away from healthcare, ETAOI Systems impressed the judges with its five-button (tile) keyboard product, which it claims allows up to 100 words per-minute typing with greater accuracy than on a QWERTY keyboard. ETAIO Systems claims just 34 per cent of users are satisfied with their phone’s keyboard, with the most common complaints being keys are too small, keyboard too big, and too many typos.

As the name suggests, 5 Tiles relies on only that number of tiles running along the bottom of a smartphone, tablet or smartwatch screen, taking up a third less space than the more traditional QWERTY, which needs at least 30 small keys to work.

Four or five letters (for example one tile = A, B, C, D and E), as well as a range of punctuation marks and symbols, are assigned to each tile.

Letters are selected by sliding your finger between the tiles – which whilst impressive in demonstrations, were difficult to understand. The firm claims it takes just half an hour to master.

The firm’s co-founder Margaret Gold said the free version of the product, which launched last May on Android, has been downloaded more that 20,000 times. A more advanced version, which comes with editing features such as copy and paste, costs £1.99. Gold added that in addition to smartphones, the product has great potential in the smartwatch space – given its smaller form factors.

“The most exciting bit is that it works on smartwatches,” said Gold. “At the moment we are all dreaming about what smartwatches and other wearable tech is going to mean – but they are not smart yet. They are just dumb alert gadgets. We are the first product that will open up a wide range of use cases.”