Tech City: Time-saving app cuts conversations short
PUBLISHED: 10:27 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:28 27 March 2015
Thought phone buttons were hard work? Now people who can’t be bothered to use a touchscreen either can streamline their conversations with a new app.
Kboard lets users load a set of phrases, emoticons or words to create a time saving keyboard at their fingertips.
The app was created by app developer and computer programmer Arjun Gadhia, 25, while he was trying to think of ways to leave a conversation with minimal effort.
Arjun, who is based in Paul Street, Shoredtich, said: “I was actually having a conversation with someone and it was a conversation I wanted to leave, so thinking of the idea was essentially a way to distract myself.
“It’s a custom keyboard for Android. My initial idea was to make a keyboard which just had the letter ‘k’ on it as an annoying way to end a conversation with someone you didn’t really want to talk to.
“But after working on it, I came up with a couple of ideas to customize the keys so you can put whatever you want in them and it lets you send the text in one tap.”
The keyboard has a set of eight customisable keys which users can change to reflect the need.
Despite the seemingly facetious description of Kboard on the Android’s app store: “Do you hate people as much as I do? Do you find yourself wasting time trying to find the right condescending message in order to get rid of them? Then you need kboard - a keyboard designed specifically to end conversations. Don’t waste time with all those other superfluous letters when all you really need is ‘k’” - implying Kboard’s function to shut down unwanted conversations, the app also opens up major implications for how we can communicate in the future.
Arjun said: “Initially it was just supposed to be a funny app, targeted at internet-savvy people who use Reddit or people who like memes but, after posting it on Reddit and getting some feedback, I started to have ideas of other things it could be used for.
“One idea I had was to quickly make hashtags, for people who use Instagram a lot. You could also use it to write email responses on the move to save time. Eventually, I want to add more keys and create an iPhone version.”
Kboard has already led to a series of knock-offs from developers who see potential in the idea.
Arjun wants to transport the model into the wearable tech market, with smart watches and other items.
He said: “With the ‘Internet of Things’ – you can run apps for any device or object that can be connected to the internet. Like we have smart phones – microwaves could be connected and Facebook is going to announce something related to this soon. I would love to develop a platform for being able to do that because I think it is one thing that will be quite big in the near future.”
Kboard is free on to download on Android and Arjun said he doesn’t see himself charging for his creations in the near future.
He added: “For me it’s never been about making money. I always have written code to express myself, and I first saw this app as basically an extravagant way of telling someone to get lost.
“Technology for me is like a canvas, or it’s no different to writing a poem and I guess I genuinely believe that many people who write books and paint in the future will write code.
“But though there is creativity in technology, it is also pragmatic – there is room for both. Most of my ideas come from day to day observations – I like to do things that make people smile and draw a laugh - and if it becomes useful then great.”
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