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Cincinnati man beats speed typing record with new device

The Cincy Typing Challenge Finals were held Thursday at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Seven finalists from Saturday’s public competition met in head to head competitions.

Robert Price, of East Walnut Hills shut out the other finalists with gross speeds of up to 137 words per minute.

The competition promoted a new “rear-typing” technique which uses a rear-mounted split keyboard on a curved, handheld device. The product, still in development, is called “TREWGrip mobile QWERTY” for the user’s ability to type on a full-sized QWERTY-style keyboard while on the go.

Mark Parker of Outlier Technologies, the inventor of the new device, timed the Cincy Typing Challenge for the anniversary of the first typing competition, which was held in Cincinnati on July 25, 1888.

Parker says his invention would enable a typist to deliver both speed and accuracy without the need to be stationary. He also says the historical typing speed record could be broken.

The 1888 typing competition pitted challenger Frank McGurrin of Salt Lake City against Cincinnatian Louis Traub. McGurrin used a QWERTY-style typewriter with a shift bar and the touch typing technique. Traub used a typewriter with double rows of keys, both upper and lower case, and typed while looking at the keyboard. McGurrin won the competition in 1888 and set a new speed standard of 98 words per minute. His win also popularized the QWERTY-style keyboard and touch technique.

Cincy’s Typing Challenge included a texting competition, won by a brother and sister. Also a celebrity online typing challenge benefited WordPlay, a nonprofit organization located in Northside which supports children through literacy skills and creative expression. Ann Parker presented a check to WordPlay before the final round of Thursday’s challenge.