Swiftkey powering BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 keyboard

Industry sources have confirmed to Pocket-lint that Swiftkey does indeed power the keyboard in the new PlayBook 2.0 operating system.

For those unaware of Swiftkey, it is a small British company that offers one of the most popular third-party keyboards on Android which tries to auto-complete your sentences by suggesting the next word.

The news of the deal - which some eagle-eyed PlayBook users spotted when the new OS update rolled out on 21 February - means PlayBook owners, and presumably BB OS 10 owners in the future, will have a very clever keyboard indeed.

Word that Swiftkey had done a deal with RIM was spotted after users found one of Swiftkey's Easter eggs in the new Playbook OS.

Typing the word Ben auto-suggests "Medlock", giving the name of Swiftkey's chief technology officer.

RIM has remained cagey about detailing Swiftkey's involvement in the new operating system, but our industry sources have told us the two companies are working together and that it is Swiftkey's technology that's being used. 

Industry insiders have also told Pocket-lint they believe the move to the new technology is in preparation for Research In Motion dropping the hardware QWERTY keyboards in favour of all-touch devices. 

The news comes as Swiftkey announced that the next phone, tablet or even TV you buy might have a smarter keyboard than your last, because of a new software developers kit for manufacturers.

The SDK will allow original equipment manufacturers, to take the basics of the SwiftKey keyboard that you know (and we love) to create their own smart keyboard.

"The SDK will also enable other consumer technology devices, beyond the tablet and smartphone, to receive the benefits of our unique language engine. We have already seen interesting applications of our language engine in Smart TVs and assistive technology devices," said Swiftkey's Dr Ben Medlock, .

The SDK offers support for the following platforms: Android, C++, iOS, JVM (Java, Scala), Linux, Mac OS X, .NET (C#, VB), WebOS and Windows, and would you know it, QNX and BlackBerry 10.

Both RIM and Swiftkey declined to comment. 

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