Thursday, July 02, 2009

Morse Code VS Text Messaging

I've seen this clip from Jay Leno's show on some Ham Radio sites:

Morse Code-Leno - More amazing video clips are a click away

It's a demonstration that Morse Code is faster than Text Messaging.

At least that's what it seems to be, but some have argued that if you had to send Morse Code over a cell phone, it would take longer to type all the dots and dashes on a cell phone keypad. Maybe, it sounds plausible. I don't do text messaging, so I can't say from experience.

But even if that is true, there may be a way around it. There is a portable accessory, that purports to make Morse Code and texting devices compatible:

Wireless SMS/IM/chat by Morse code
[...] The project's goal is to endow existing mobile devices and create new custom-designed devices with a Morse code text entry/output interface and allow them to tie into existing message-based communication networks such as SMS and IM as well as a new character-based chat medium in which each letter is transmitted as it is encoded. [...]

The author explains that Morse code would indeed be faster than conventional texting. Read the whole thing for the details, it sounds like it has interesting possibilities.

But that's not all, there is another device called "Clique" from Toshiba that also sounds interesting:

The wheel turns. What was old becomes new. Morse Code is back in favor.
Twittering text-aholics will soon have a new plaything: Toshiba has teamed up with American microprocessor giant Intel to produce Clique, a handheld, thumb-operated device that uses only three keys. Text addicts will need to learn Morse code.

Perhaps the most startling features of ‘Clique’ are its uni-directional text stream and its reliance on an old-fashioned technology: 160 year old Morse code. ‘Clique’ users can only text out. Responses are collected by the user’s designated electronic mail account. [...]

Much of the terminology used in computer networking and communications comes from radio terminology. It's interesting to see the many ways in which the two technologies are now converging.


Unknown said...

This sounds really cool, though as you say, its success will depend on how quickly the Morse can be sent to the phone. Morse keys are specially designed for that purpose. Mobile phone keys are not.

But it could be very popular. Kids love morse code and can pick it up very quickly. And long-sighted radio hams like me would love to be able to do this instead of hunting for the reading glasses whenever we need to read or send a text message.

Chas said...

A member of our local Ham Radio Club has been offering to teach Morse Code at one of the local high schools, and there has been a lot of interest. It seems that the students think that talking on a radio is boring, (they can do that on cell phones), but CW is cool, because it's faster than texting, and it's a challenge to learn.

If someone can mass produce an inexpensive device to allow keying Morse Code on texting devices, I think they would potentially have a big market for it. We could see a revival of interest in CW.

I looked at your blog (very nice) and found something of great interest to me. Your post about the Morse Machine Software.

In an earlier post of mine about CW, I asked if anyone knew about a program that does, well, pretty much what you describe in your post! So I was thrilled that you offered it for download there, I've got it now and am looking forward to trying it.

Thank you for making it available.