Guy Katabi is passionate about finding ways to use technology in order to make a positive impact on people’s lives. With over twelve years of experience in software engineering ranging from user experience to machine learning, Guy founded Lightkey with his partner Eran Brauer. Together, they developed a computer software that offers inline text predictions and spelling corrections supporting more than 80 languages. Lightkey saves millions of keystrokes to its users in more than 110 countries.
In this conversation, Guy discusses Lightkey.
Geetesh: Guy, can you tell us more about Lightkey, what motivated you to create it, and how the product evolved?
Guy: Absolutely! I would like to first point out some figures to better understand the challenge we’re facing; it appears that while we’re able to form thoughts at a rate of over 1,000 words per minute, most of us type at approx. 40 words per minute. It’s like our brain is sitting in traffic a few hours a day while trying to transform thoughts into written text.
Lightkey is about beating the traffic. It’s like taking the highway…
Personally, it all started 7 years ago when I found myself typing tons of documents, emails and presentations and I remember sitting in my office wondering whether it’s normal to type everything character by character, word by word (like our ancestors did since the first typing machine was invented 150 years ago…). I was certain that a quick web search will lead me to some tools that offer intelligent typing experience. However, my search came up empty. This frustration turned into a side project that eventually turned into a company. At that point, I met Eran who joined as co-founder and helped shape Lightkey’s vision and mission statement while taking the lead on various business aspects, product design and user experience.
Lightkey is a computer software that seamlessly integrates with Word, Outlook and PowerPoint (as well as other applications) and offers a highly personalized text prediction experience. Lightkey utilizes a wide spectrum of machine learning techniques to offer contextual predictions of up to 12 words ahead including punctuation marks, as well as spelling corrections, all of which are highly personalized and stem from a deep understanding of your own created content.
Geetesh: How intuitive is the use of Lightkey in Microsoft Office products such as PowerPoint? Can you share some unique scenarios that would relate particularly to PowerPoint usage?
Guy: Thanks to its uniquely designed technology, Lightkey seamlessly integrates with Word, Outlook and Power Point. That essentially means that Lightkey’s predictions appear in-line with your text as you type.
Using Lightkey is highly intuitive. Although it incorporates deep and highly sophisticated technology, we made sure the user experience is very natural and simple. Thus, it all comes down to pressing the TAB key whenever you want to select Lightkey’s suggested predictions and/ or spelling corrections. Of course, there are advanced features which might involve settings configuration or keyboard combinations, but simply getting used to the ‘type & tab’ concept will get you very far in terms of productivity improvement.
When thinking of unique scenarios that Lightkey particularly assists in creating Power Point presentations, we recalled some of the user feedback we got over the years:
Personalized Predictive Typing Experience
Across Office programs: for many of us, Power Point presentations actually start as a Word document where we draft our ideas broadly. Lightkey analyzes this content in real-time and incorporates it into your personalized prediction profile, which will then be used when calculating future predictions. In other words, when you get to the point of working on your presentation Lightkey already ‘knows what’s it about’ and will offer highly relevant and accurate predictions, based on content you created earlier.
Within Power Point: thanks to Lightkey’s contextual learning capabilities, when you create a new presentation on an ongoing topic, Lightkey will use its analysis of content included in earlier presentations to finetune its predictions to an even higher level of accuracy.
Avoid Embarrassing Typos on Your Pitch Slides
Thanks to Lightkey’s ability to learn your typing patterns and unique vocabulary, you get to avoid unwanted typos while entering a client/project name, complicated definitions etc.