Here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Digit Wireless, was one of the honorees in the 2007 CES Innovations Awards in the category of Wireless Communications. The company has come up with a very innovative approach to giving users of garden variety flip phone designs access every letter in the alphabet without using the numeric keypad. The technology is called Fastap technology.
As you can see from the image to the right, the design squeezes a dedicated letter-key in between the traditional keys found on a numeric keypad. There are several advantages to this approach. One major advantage to this approach is how, when text messaging or responding to an interactive voice response system, you don't have to press a numeric key three times to get to the last letter on the key (or six times to get to the lower case version of it).
there aren't any phones on the American market with this technology in them. But, according to company officials, the first one should hit the market later this year. [Update 2/6/2007: Actually, the LG AX490 (pictured), is currently available in the United States through Alltel Wireless]. In this video interview from CES, you'll get to see a few of Digit Wireless' variations on the design and here about the other benefits to using Fastap.
Here's the video: