Two international standards groups have jointly adopted a common design for keyboards used on everything from computers to ATMs to smartphones.
The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have adopted standard 9995 on keyboard layouts so that individuals can intuitively operate such keyboards anywhere in the world.
The standard divides keyboards into clearly recognizable sections, and allocates functions to the keys so that, for instance, keys such as ‘Return’, ‘Escape’ or ‘Insert’ are always in the same place.
The subcommittee of ISO/IEC that developed the standard is also working on a “multilingual, multiscript” standard to accommodate characters from all the writing systems of the world.
“At least 95 percent of the keyboards in use today conform to this international standard,” said Dr. Yves Neuville, chair of the subcommittee. “Our vision is for users around the world to be able to type in their own language on any keyboard.”