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Circboard devises new way to type with controllers

Gamers looking to find new ways to type out messages on game consoles might like Circboard's new system, which includes a circle of characters users can highlight with their analog stick.

Circboard in action.
Circboard in action. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

If you're as frustrated as I am when trying to type a message out with a game controller, Circboard might have the solution.

The fledgling company recently unveiled a demo of its new character-entry system for console controllers. The service includes a circle of characters that users can highlight with their analog stick. Once they do so, they can choose which letter to type in with the Xbox 360's or PlayStation 3's four action buttons to the right.

Currently, most implementations of character entry on consoles require users to scroll through a keyboard with the left analog stick and then choose a letter with a single button. It's a time waster that most folks find quite annoying as typing becomes more prevalent in the gaming space. It's used to input online gaming credentials, type out tweets through Xbox Live, and much more.

Circboard's text-entry option, which was demoed on an Xbox 360 controller, lets users backspace with the left bumper and add a space with the right bumper. The left trigger on the Xbox 360 controller displays capital letters while held. The right trigger will eventually be used for special characters. The D-pad lets users scroll through text.

For now, Circboard isn't available in any games or as part of a hardware company's default text-input system. Going forward, the company hopes to demo its technology to developers and console makers to see if it can bring the service to their products. And at least for now, it seems quite optimistic that it will succeed in doing that.

"Our invention will be soon popping up on many console games and applications," the company wrote on its site.

(Via Engadget)