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The Velotype

Velotype is the old trademark for a type of keyboard for typing text known as a syllabic chord keyboard, an invention of the Dutchmen Nico Berkelmans and Marius den Outer. The current tradename is Veyboard. Veyboard is a Dutch company.

Contrary to traditional QWERTY type keyboards, on which a typist usually presses one key at a time to create one character at a time, a Veyboard requires the user to press several keys simultaneously, producing syllables rather than letters.

A practiced "veyboarder" can produce more text than on a traditional keyboard, as much as 200 words per minute, double the rate of a fast traditional typist. Because of this, Veyboards are often used for live applications, such as subtitling for television and for the hearing impaired.

The keyboard is an orthographic chord keyboard, very different from phonetic chord keyboards used for verbatim transcription, like the stenotype. Such chorded phonetic keyboards, such as those manufactured by Stenograph, produce an intermediate shorthand format in which a combination of phonetics- and spelling-based strokes are translated by software to produce the output. Orthographic keyboards, on the other hand, allow the operator to rely on more traditional spelling in shaping the output, hence the term "orthographic" as opposed to "phonetic".

Stenographic keyboards are generally more difficult to learn than the Veyboard, but trained stenotype operators can go faster, even upwards of 300 words per minute. However, if unusual words appear, a typist using a stenotype slows down, while the Velotypist can continue with the same speed, which can go up to 200 words per minute.

The Velotype-pro contains software that allows the user to create their own abbreviations and short forms in addition to those pre-built into the machine.

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