There is a staggering statistic: less than 30 % of professionals can touch type.
But what is touch typing, anyway? Touch typing is a method of typing without looking at the keyboard, using all ten fingers. Touch typing has many benefits for professionals.
While various voice recognition algorithms are certainly changing the way we interact with computers, touch typing remains a valuable skill that can help you be more productive and efficient when you need to use a keyboard.
At the same time touch typing is not a new phenomenon and it has been around for almost 150 years. Since then people relied on dozens of hours of sweating and repetitive exercises for mastering typing.
Today there are many resources and programs available for mastering typing. However, nearly all of those rely on practicing typing specific words or combinations of characters for at least 20 to 40 hours.
Touch typing is not a natural skill, but is it possible to master typing faster in the modern age?
Thanks to the use of computers, it’s now possible to gather data on a typist’s typing patterns. This approach, known as Typing Biometrics, was first developed and tested by Microsoft in 1984.
Typing biometrics can accurately register the time of keyboard events, such as pressing or releasing a key with an accuracy of a few milliseconds. This technique has revealed that each person’s typing style is unique.
The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) concluded that “keystroke biometric authentication achieved at least 98% accuracy.”
But what typing biometrics looks like and what it is good for? The way a person types can reveal which hand they are using to type. For example, left-handed typists may have a different typing pattern than right-handed typists.
A similar difference can be observed in typing patterns of individual fingers. Different typing patterns can be attributed to individual fingers, which when combined with the numerous keys and letter sequences, results in a wide variety of typist patterns.
Typing patterns are distinctive to individuals and can form a biometric profile for identity verification. It offers advantages like being non-intrusive, and remote use without special equipment.
Today, with the use of AI, it is possible to develop algorithms for recognition of a person simply by the typing gait or pattern. This approach is called keystroke biometric authentication.
The keystroke biometric authentication has many potential applications, including online banking, e-commerce, and other online transactions and it is expected to become more widely used in the future.
However, at the ViaTyping RnD, an independent research lab in Florida, the focus of research was not on identification, but the feasibility of creating a new, faster and more efficient approach for mastering touch typing.
Besides many discoveries on typing, shared at https://viatyping.com there is one important discovery, which everyone should know about – the touch typing learning curves. This model, discovered at the ViaTyping R & D, can be used to estimate a person’s typing capacity based on the age, when a subject first acquired the touch typing skill.
In the first approximation the Touch Typing Learning Curves (TTLC) are described using three-parameter inverse hyperbolic regression, a family of functions used to describe skill development processes.
Based on the learning curves above, one can see that it is crucial to learn basic touch typing as early as at 5-6 years of age, because the ability to master typing fluency decreases with age. The time saved by mastering touch typing may vary between 20-60%, and can be translated to an estimated annual cost no less than ₽100,000 – ₽800,000. Therefore, it is essential to invest in typing skills early on to reap the benefits in the future.
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