Award for Nikasoft's Revolutionary Touch Typing Tutoring

The innovative new software typing tutor from British educational software supplier Nikasoft (UK), which offers to teach touch typing in 10 hours or less, has won the JPC Training Initiative of the Year award.

Nikasoft (UK) Managing Director Keith Smith said after receiving the award for Touch Typing NoW!: "This is the first award we have received and we are delighted. Having been released only last month it is very satisfying for such a new product to already be an award winner."

He went on to add: "We estimate that whilst there are already alternatives to using a keyboard to input data into a computer, such as speech recognition software, the keyboard will be around for at least the next 10 years. This means that the skills taught by our software are now, and will continue to be for some time yet, of great importance to many people and their work."

Unlike some of its rivals, Keith Smith believes that the product genuinely delivers its promises, omitting "glitzy" unhelpful extras and instead concentrating all its efforts on providing structure which keeps users interested and provides the right amount of encouragement to complete the course. Touch Typing NoW! has been designed to be fun to use, whilst serving a serious purpose.

The software is the first to use an interactive video teacher to teach keyboard skills. This "teacher" guides, corrects and encourages students throughout the course, working in conjunction with the on-screen 3-D keyboard, with animated shadow hands emulating the actions of the student's hands on the real keyboard.

The course is covered in 19 lessons, with a choice of five different skill tests to examine speed, accuracy and dictation at the end of lessons to measure progress. Each lesson's results are recorded enabling the viewing of a complete analysis of the student's progress whenever required.

If the computer is connected to the Internet, users can also use Nikasoft's unique "Student Chat" forum, where its students from around the globe can meet and "chat" online, whilst practising their skills.

The UK English version is available from selected major computer stores, mail order catalogues and direct from Nikasoft's on-line store. Other language versions are also available.

For further information, contact: Nikasoft (UK) Ltd, The Lawn, 100 Lampton Road, Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 4EB. T el: 020 8607 7703. Fax: 020 8607 7707. Web: www. Nikasoft.com

Leicester Business Journal
15th Jan 2000

Keyed in to touch typing

Nikasoft, a UK-based educational software supplier, has developed a software typing tutor aimed at home, business and educational users that it claims will teach touch typing in 10 hours or less.

Touch Typing NoW! uses an interactive video teacher, a new method of keyboard learning, and an internet "chat" forum for its students while teaching correct keyboard skills. The interactive video teacher guides, corrects and encourages students throughout the course. The teacher works with an on-screen 3-D keyboard with animated shadow hands emulating the actions of the student's hands on the real keyboard.

Nikasoft's tutorial range also provides users with a choice of languages in which to be taught.

www.nikasoft.com

Financial Times
18th Jan 2000
Reverting to Type

The latest typing tutor's here and, like all of them, it aims to give Mavis Beacon a run for her money. Could Touch Typing NoW! be the program that gives new users control over their keyboards? GARRICK WEBSTER gives you the lowdown at a breathtaking 68wpm.

Since the earliest days of home computing, PC hobbyists have been stigmatised with that nerdy stereotype. Part of the problem is that it's physically impossible to look cool when you're sat in front of a computer. This is compounded by the fact that most users don't know how to type, so instead of appearing to be in control of their 500MHz powerhouse PCs they sit hunched over in front of them, stabbing at their keyboards with jarring peter-pointer finger motions. And the inventor of the backspace key must be a rich man (or woman) today.

It's no surprise that mums and dads shelling out on new computers often justify their credit extensions by saying one of the things they'll do with the machine is learn to type. And hence a whole genre of multimedia typing tutors has developed enabling such users to justify their purchase. Leading products in the field like TLC's Mavis Beacon Teaches Touch Typing and Kaz (the talking parrot) have long milked the market, and they're joined on the shelves this week by a brand new competitor from a brand new company.

Touch Typing NoW! is the first consumer release by Nikasoft, a company formed this year. At 24.99 the disc claims to teach users to type in less than 10 hours via 19 half-hour tutorials. So how is newcomer Nikasoft proposing to take on the established products in the market?

"As a first step we're promoting at the distributor and chain store levels where the product has been well received and seen as a refreshing new addition to a generally tired group of older products", says Managing Director Keith Smith. "This is a product of mass appeal and every retail outlet, mail order catalogue and retail Web-site are our targets. Dixons Store Group are already selling."

Smith also believes the product itself has three significant features that puts it ahead of alternatives like Mavis. Firstly, it has a fully interactive video tutor who hosts the lessons and responds to the user's typing in a live and instant fashion. Instruction is given as you go rather than through reviews of performance.

Secondly, Touch Typing NoW! has an interesting built-in Internet chat facility wherein people using the program can practice typing by chatting with other learners through Nikasoft's Web service.

Thirdly, the program is fully UK-localised. The interactive tutor is in fact an English woman, with an English accent, and all the dictation tests are in UK English. Other features include typing games to reward pupils, and a pair of virtual hands that appear on the screen to demonstrate techniques to users. There's even support for ergonomic and children's keyboards.

The product is out for review in the specialist press at the moment and according to Keith Smith there may be some limited advertising behind it if necessary. Some indicator of its appeal can be drawn from the fact that the program is based on a previous Israeli product which sold an impressive 15,000 copies in the Hebrew market.

"The thing about learning to type is that nobody really likes to learn to type" says Keith Smith. "It's an ability you need - you need to learn to type if you want to write E-Mails and so on. Our program just makes it easier and more fun."

CTW
24th Dec 1999

Touch Typing NoW!

Learning to type using more than a couple of fingers is a tough task. So it was that we approached another typing tutor after many failed attempts to convert using Mavis Beacon's famous software.

This isn't to say that typing tutors don't work - they just don't work for us. Those people that are new to typing will benefit greatly from Touch Typing NoW! because it's designed to help you understand where your hands are supposed to be on a keyboard and how to make them go faster. It does this by showing you diagrams, offering you tests and games to play and by providing you with grades which keep your morale up!

It's a terrific program but it's no better than anything else we've encountered, despite the inclusion of the online Internet chat facility. This is just a distraction. Of more use is the UK native English-speaking dictation test that really stretches your finger span!

The makers claim to be able to help you type correctly within 10 hours. By then, you will have worn your fingers to the bone (literally), so please pace yourself and have fun.

PC GUIDE RATING
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PC GUIDE
MARCH 2000