Phraze-It Sign Language Text Messaging is a Bad, Bad Idea

What's easier than hitting a button? I'll tell you what! Flailing your fingers around! Phraze-It is a patented one-handed text messaging system that, as far as we can tell, is a step back from the ASL alphabet and way less convenient than existing systems. Designed for use with electronic gloves, we can guarantee you, without a shadow of a doubt, that this gesture system will never be adopted by the masses. So here's how it works (remember, this is the only chance you'll ever have to find out):

Essentially, users memorise five initial hand gestures. Those are the vowels. So far, so good. Who can't remember five hand gestures?

But the consonants get tricky. The good news is that users can reuse those initial five gestures and just add one more. But the bad news is that you have to constantly count how many letters your consonant is away from one of the five base vowels.

So to gesture "j" the subject has to first gesture "i" then "one." To gesture "is" the subject would sign "i" then "o" then "four." Now imagine spelling a word like "encyclopedia." You have to map every consonant back to its vowel, then sign the vowel to get back to the consonant.

Is your head spinning? So is ours. This is way too much information for a Sunday hangover. Needless to say, someone has invented a system even worse than numeric pad based text messaging. Congrats.

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