Above image shows some keys that I can remember almost anytime while I am typing. It seems that even after using my keyboard for so long, I don’t know where all the keys are. But take a glance at the keyboard and my fingers automatically type the keys that I am thinking of. It seems that in this age we have all adopted to this keyboard layout so well that we can type with our instinct.
This above layout is known as the QWERTY keyboard. The name is given on the basis of the first six alphabets in the keyboard.
QWERTY has grown so common that almost all keyboards that we can find use this format. Even the mobile devices and tablets use this format as virtual keypads.
But how was QWERTY really evolved? Most of us do not know the reason behind the use of this specific keyboard.
QWERTY was developed in 1875 by Christopher Sholes.
At the time typewriters were used exhaustively. And the older design of keyboard contained alphabets arranged in alphabetical manner.
This arrangement led to a bad typing experience because the levers and switches used inside the mechanical typewriter stuck frequently and jamming would occur when to nearby keys were pressed too quickly. This problem had only one remedy and that was not to type too quickly.
This became quite problematic and because of this C.L. Sholes rearranged the alphabets on the basis of the frequency in which two alphabets had greatest probability to appear together. This rearrangement was named as the QWERTY keyboard and it also solved the problems found in the typewriter.
Well this still does not explain why they are used even today so extensively. The reason is as in the past typewriters were used so much that people had the arrangements memorized and probably was better to leave the layout the way it was.
Even though we may not feel so, but some believe that in the electronic age where no jamming would occur in the modern keyboards, the QWERTY only slows down the typing speed since the frequently appearing letters are kept further and fingers have to travel quite longer distances to type, some new keyboards are being researched which can really exploit the use to thumbs while typing in smartphones and tablets namely the KALQ keyboards.