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Nuance T9 Trace: Gesture-driven goodness

Nuance, the people behind the T9 predicitive text service, has just announced a new product for touchscreens.

T9 Trace is a gesture-driven input method for touchscreen phones. You can tap the keys of your virtual keyboard as normal or write a word by tracing a line between the keys.

While it looks and sounds an awful lot like Swype, T9 Trace comes with a number of additions to the gesture input method. So-called ‘sloppy type correction’ automatically corrects common typos like thier (their) and instances where you over type (‘mooney’ instead of ‘money’) or under type (‘toorrow’ instead of ‘tomorrow’).

‘Next word’ prediction suggests entire phrases based on wording you’ve used in the past. It also allows you to easily customise the dictionary and won’t auto-correct chat/IM shorthand. You can also back up your personalised word database so you won’t have to input your lingo again when you upgrade to a new handset. It sounds a lot like ThickButtons, which we saw earlier this week, in that it adapts to your personal style, rather than forcing you to learn a whole new way of doing things.

Judging by the screen shots it looks as though Nuance has done away with the annoying smiley key on the Android version of T9 Trace – for this we are incredibly grateful. You can also save your own emoticons to the dictionary if you’re into that sort of thing.

No word yet on which mobile manufacturers plan on using T9 Trace but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.