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Belgium’s iBeezi enables Chinese input on smartwatch

ibeezi Chinese input, smartwatch users

Typing English on the tiny touch screen of a smartwatch is challenging enough, let alone Chinese characters. However, a small Belgian company is confident that they have come up with an ideal solution that would make smartwatch users in China happy.

在智能手表上的微小屏幕上输入英文就已经具有足够的挑战性,更不用说汉字。然而,一家小的比利时公司相信,他们想出了一个理想的解决方案,将能迎合中国的智能手表用户,让他们用的开心。

The name of this startup, iBeezi, resembles the sound of "yibiyizi" or "one stroke one character" in Chinese, and that is exactly the concept of the new Chinese input method it developed.

这家公司,名称iBeezi,类似汉语的发音"yibiyizi"或"一笔一字",它恰好就是研发这种新的中文输入法所引入的概念。

On its interface, the iBeezi input allows users to type even the trickiest character with only one stroke, which makes it perfect for smartwatches and other electronic devices with small touch screens.

在它的界面上,iBeezi输入法可以实现用户汉字输入,即使是非常复杂的汉字也只用输入一笔就能打出。这使得它能完美应用在智能手表和其它小触摸屏的电子设备上。

"It's currently the only solution for writing Chinese on a smartwatch," CEO of iBeezi Alexis Van Gestel told Xinhua. "When the project started, smartwatches or wearables weren't even considered a serious device category. However, as time evolves we noticed how wearables in general became a global trend."

"这是目前在智能手表上输入汉字的唯一解决方案," iBeezi公司首席执行官Alexis Van Gestel告诉新华社记者。"在项目初启动时,智能手表或其它可穿戴电子设备甚至不被考虑在设备种类内,然而,随着时间的推移,我们注意到可穿戴电子设备已经成为一个全球性的趋势。"

Van Gestel used to work in Hong Kong, and the company managed to raise funding from both Belgium and China for this innovative project. The first incorporation of the input on smartwatches was made successful in August.

Van Gestel过去曾在香港工作,公司设法从比利时和中国为这一创新项目筹集资金。首次汉字编入程序已在8月取得成功。

The algorithm for the keyboard was designed by Pierre-Henry de Bruyn, co-founder and chief researcher of iBeezi, who used to be a Chinese teacher in France and had lived in China for almost 10 years.

对键盘的编程是由彼埃尔亨利德布鲁因设计,他是iBeezi的联合创始人和首席研究员,曾在法国教中文。他在中国生活过差不多10年。

De Bruyn said the original idea was purely to simplify the Chinese input for students. "For beginners, you have to memorise either the traditional stroke orders, or Pinyin, the phonetic forms, to be able to type a Chinese character, but with iBeezi it's simply one stroke, and the characters are located in fixed positions so it is easy to remember the paths."

德布鲁因说,他最初的想法是纯粹为他的学生简化中文输入。"对于初学者,你得记住传统的笔顺,拼音,或者发音形式任何一样,你才能够输入一个汉字。但用iBeezi,你只需简单的一笔,汉字都设定在固定的位置,所以很容易记住路径。"

So far the iBeezi input method has incorporated over 8,500 characters, according to de Bruyn, and the corpus is still expanding. At the moment, both free versions and paid professional versions of the input app can be downloaded for wearables as well as smartphones and tablets.

到目前为止,iBeezi输入法已经编入了超过8500个字符,据德布鲁因讲,并且,数据库仍在扩大。目前,输入APP的免费版本和付费的专业版本已经可以下载,供智能手表,智能手机和平板电脑使用。

"We didn't want to engage lots of marketing efforts, because that requires a lot of funding and we are only a startup, but we are lucky that this market is a centralised one, meaning that only a very few number of manufacturers or brands serve almost 100 percent of the market," Van Gestel explained.

"我们不想花太多努力去开拓市场,因为这需要大量的资金,我们只是一个创业的小公司,但我们是幸运的,这个市场相对集中,这意味着只有很少数量的厂家或品牌,服务于几乎百分百的市场。"Gestel解释。

The two founders are quite optimistic about the market potential of iBeezi. In the near future they plan to partner with main manufacturers to make iBeezi a reference keyboard for wearable devices, and to incorporate more complex languages.

两位创始人对iBeezi市场潜力相当乐观。在不久的将来,他们计划和主要的厂商合作,使iBeezi发展成为可穿戴设备的标准键盘,并编程出更复杂的语言。

2016-06-23

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