Qwerty keyboards: Google wants to change the rules

Soon the keyboard we're all used to using could change. Find out how and why Google wants to change the Qwerty keyboard

Qwerty keyboards are the most popular in the world. It is an alphanumeric scheme, born in the nineteenth century and still in use in most computers, mobile devices but also in typewriters. The name comes from the first six keys on the keyboard, which are Q-W-E-R-T-Y.

This solution is now a standard adopted universally and changing the layout or adding more buttons could be a bit 'difficult and worsen the experience of using keyboards. Nevertheless, Google has made a game-changing request: to insert a button next to the Q that allows quick access to the Digital Assistant. This proposal applies to both desktop and mobile device keyboards. The change would give the right boost to voice searches and the use of digital assistants, for now exploited only by a small slice of consumers.

Google wants to revolutionize Qwerty keyboards

Have you ever paid attention to the first five letters present in the keyboard of your computer or mobile device that you normally use? If you pay attention, you'll find the sequence of the following letters: Q, W, E, R, T, Y. This is the name of the well-known alphanumeric standard that gives the name to the Qwerty keyboards, the most widely used in the world.

Born in the 1800s, these solutions have survived to this day and are available for desktop computers and also in the touch systems of smartphones and tablets. In short, they are a certainty and allow an experienced user to write without looking at the keyboard. But now Google wants to insert a new key that will change the standard forever. The proposal was made during the USB - Implementers Forum. The Mountain View company would like to introduce before the Q a key for quick access to the Google Assistant. Of course, each operating system will be free to connect its own voice assistant. This is not a replacement, but an addition that could bring consequences in the user experience. Many, however, argue that users will not have any difficulty because the QWERTY succession will not be touched but only expanded.

In the request document, Google has advanced the hypothesis of introducing a new way of conceiving the keyboard: it will not be used only to write, but also to "talk" with the device. This idea was born following the spread of voice searches, which in recent years have conquered more and more web users. We are still at the beginning and we don't know if the Voice Assistant key will be added anytime soon. We'll see how and if keyboards will adapt to new consumer habits.