Have you wondered why every keyboard follows the QWERTY design? QWERTY has become so synonymous that finding something unlike it is very difficult. For instance, if you buy a new keyboard randomly without checking any specification, there is a 99% chance that the new keyboard has QWERTY in the top strip. Qwerty keyboards are simply everywhere, on the mobile phones, in the laptops and in the PC as an attachment. QWERTY keyboards are so cross-functional that they are used in every operating system that is functional till date.
You will be surprised to know that QWERTY has been in existence from the 1870’s and hasn’t changed in its form ever since. Before this invention, lots of people have tried to jumble the letters of the alphabets to make the keyboard. There was an inherent debate over the position of letters in the keyboard for almost 50 years. However, in the 1840’s Hughes Printing Telegraph arranged the keys in a piano model. This keyboard had the ABCD order. Later in 1865 writing ball was introduced. This keyboard had varied orders based on its versions. The Ball keyboard generally looked like a metal ball with lots of nails and people needed to push each nail to have an input. The 1868 printer looked a lot different from what we are currently having, but it still had some connection to the current version we are using in the modern era.
This invention was made by Christopher Latham Sholes, which had an arrangement equivalent to the latest ones. There were some drastic changes but still, the basic model was very much similar. The next change to this design came about with the company Remington, which incidentally came to typewriting business from the ammunition industry. They patented the invention under the name of Latham and bought it. The question of why qwerty is so much of a monopoly in the design standards is gaining much more doubt when we know that the inventor of the keyboard himself was not satisfied with QWERTY and came up with another design before he died. But QWERTY persisting till date creates doubt.
The Monopoly of QWERTY:
The reason for QWERTY becoming famous and being implemented worldwide is because of the patent Christopher Latham had. The patent holder after Latham was Remington. Remington who at that time was the biggest manufacturer and in the late 1800 and early 1900, the phenomena of companies merging and forming trusts were very much the reason for having the huge market power. The Remington being the biggest company in the trust influenced the fellow makers to follow QWERTY. In addition, the consumers were also the reason for QWERTY to become a standard. Typing those days were not the same as it is now. People were trained and they attended classes to learn to type. When people invested so much time in learning they needed a standard to learn. When the market became infested with devices having QWERTY keyboard, the consumers also learned to type with QWERTY and this left little room for new designs to come to the market.
The current influence is in such a way that typing has become synonymous to QWERTY and the development of the industry clearly shows us that the industry is having QWERTY as the only reason for the development. The latest development of the motion sensing typer is the exact reason why QWERTY can never be left out.
QWERTY & Voice-to-Text Applications
The fact that QWERTY has been around for so many years speaks much about its success and fame. However, with technology evolving every single day as we speak, voice-to-text applications are slowly inching behind and taking over the market. With technology giants like Google and Microsoft introducing voice diction for professional and personal use and products like Mysteno.io specifically catering to easing the lives of lawyers, sooner or later, voice typing may become the only means of typing and the wave of the future posing as a threatening competitor for the long fruitful run of the QWERTY keyboards.
However, will it survive the rapid changes of the technology? Only time will tell.