Imagine Swype. But in Chinese.

Imagine Swype. But in Chinese.

Typing Chinese characters in computers and mobile devices is not exactly a walk in the park. How about an intuitive app that lets you type Chinese ala Swype?

Most mobile devices uses PinYin for Chinese character input. This entails having to phonetically spell out each character and then selecting the correct character among the choices. If you’re not familiar, the entire Chinese language is represented by 412 phonetic combinations so it’s going to be a pretty long, tedious list. Now if you’re using T9 or any of the modern predictive text input methods that are available in smartphones today, you’ll find out that most of them aren’t really Chinese-friendly.

Aeviou is created by four students (范晔, 傅承彦, 夏嘉斌, 董浩亮) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and is currently being tested on Android devices. The name is essentially conceived out of the concept behind the keyboard app–a simplified QWERTY keyboard sans the vowels and the letter “v.” The remaining letters are the starting alphabets of the 412 PinYin combinations and when pressed, the surrounding letters change to the possible letter combinations. This lets you literally swipe through the letters with ease just like you would with Swype. Aeviou claims that their speed tests show an increase of more than 3x against other  input methods.

Check out the demo video. It looks pretty cool I wish I knew Chinese just so I could use it myself.

There are no details yet on the release date of the app but we would surely like to give it a spin once it’s out. To our Chinese friends, do you think this app will make typing easier for you?

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