Home > Statistic of the Week > Archive List > Detail

<< Prev 11/19/2006 Next >>

Fast-Fingers Ben

Consider the 160-character phrase: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."

The world record for being able to punch this phrase into a cell phones is 42.22 seconds. The speed record belongs to 18-year-old Ben Cook, of Provo, UT, besting by more than a full second, the previous record of 43.24 seconds held by Kimberly Yeo, a Singapore woman who won $17,500 for her feat in mid-2004. Contestants cannot use the cell phone's predictive text function and the punctuation must be exact.

Task: Hold a contest in your class....what is the best time achieved?

Question 1: What is Cook's input rate in characters/sec?

Question 2: If Ben Cook was to input either the Webster's Dictionary or the Encyclopedia Britannica into his text phone (assuming its memory was large enough), how long would he take?

Some Extra Trivia: In April-June, 2006, Verizon Wireless customers sent and received an industry-record-setting 12 billion text messages, downloaded nearly 55 million games and ring tones, exchanged more than 232 million picture and video messages.