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Software wants to predict your thoughts

Predictive Keyboard comes with a 31,000-item dictionary. Type in a few keystrokes and the computer attempts to spell the rest.

WordLogic has just released software that lets people type in a few keystrokes--then has the computer spell the rest of the word.

Predictive Keyboard essentially tries to anticipate what a person is trying to type by analyzing the first one or two keystrokes and then providing probable answers. As the user continues to type, the selection of words is narrowed down, providing the most likely word as selectable options in the prediction window.

English word-processing applications can also prospectively fill in words, but not as extensively, according to a WordLogic representative. Predictive Keyboard comes with a dictionary listing 31,000 words and phrases. People can add words and phrases to the dictionary.

The software is geared toward people with physical disabilities or conditions such as dyslexia, who may have trouble typing. It will also be marketed to nonnative English speakers, said a representative of the company, based in Vancouver, Canada.

Chinese computers have worked with similar software for years. Chinese contains several thousand written characters, but the keyboards are in English. As a result, users type in a few English letters and the software throws up what it thinks the user is trying to type. The more letters, the narrower the results. One of the reasons handwriting recognition has yet to become widespread in China, say some researchers, is that users tend to adapt to predictive systems somewhat rapidly.

The application costs $24.95 as a download or $49.95 on a USB key.