This man had made SMS ‘usable’.
Times before when manufacturers crammed an entire keyboard on a small device, there was only one way to ‘write’ on a mobile phone – using the cumbersome keypads and repeatedly pressing it till you get the desired letter.
Probably annoyed by the multi-tap approach, a the then young and bustling inventor saw this as an opportunity to better lives and came out with a product that single handedly revolutionized the way people composed messages on mobile phones. He is Martin King, the inventor of the predictive-text technology called T9, which is now being used in every single mobile phone today.
Unfortunately, he passed away this week after a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.
“It leaves a big hole in the Seattle tech community because Martin was known as a real innovator,” said Bill Valenti, the former chief executive of Tegic. “Martin was a very, very rare and unusual person. He combined the brilliance and curiosity of an Einstein with the heart and compassion of a Mother Teresa.” Valenti added that he’s never before met anyone with that “breadth of character.”
T9 was a product from Tegic Communications which was founded in 1995 by Martin King and Cliff Kushler. The company was latter sold to AOL for $305 million before being part of Nuance Communications.
We will compose a whole message with T9 in your memory, Martin.