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Rewriting the Smartphone Keyboard at Age 28

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This story appears in the September 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ever feel like you're all thumbs when typing on a smartphone? Jon Reynolds can lend a hand. The 28-year-old's London-based startup, SwiftKey, eliminates the clumsiness and frustration of inputting text into smart devices by replacing the stock on-screen keyboard with an artificial-intelligence-driven alternative that analyzes typing and language patterns to accurately forecast which words users will enter next.

Introduced for Google's Android mobile operating system in 2010, SwiftKey Keyboard leverages a proprietary prediction engine that probes the relationships between more than a trillion words, concurrently examining and recording user behaviors across platforms like SMS, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. Once SwiftKey understands your writing style, the engine accurately anticipates what you're going to type faster than your fingers can follow. One-third of the app's suggestio­ns are correct on the first attempt; more than 80 percent of the time, users don't need to press more than two letters before SwiftKey fills in the rest. The software also helps clean up grammar and spelling errors.

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