Baidu Research has developed a new ‘TalkType’ keyboard which focuses on a user’s vocal input. In order to get around the problem of typing on smaller screens, the company has released a new app that prioritises voice recognition over typing. Bijit Halder, leader of Baidu Research’s AI Lab, said that whilst most other smartphone keyboards use voice as a secondary feature, “TalkType is designed to make voice the primary mode”, making it “the first full-function smartphone keyboard that is ‘voice first’, not ‘voice also’”. With the release of the app, Baidu has put itself in direct competition with Google and Microsoft, who have also got their own third-party keyboards with voice recognition. However, Baidu is the first that will present the voice feature as the primary form of communication. Whilst the app is still being developed in its final stages, it is already available to download in an imperfect state on Google Play.