POBox (Predictive Operation Based On eXample)

A text entry system able to predict and understand users’ feelings


POBox (Predictive Operation Based on eXample) is a text entry technology based on forecasting and ambiguous retrieval, proposed in 1998 by Sony CSL fellow Toshiyuki Masuda.

The more frequently used, the easier text entry;
Japanese texting likely to undergo a radical change in operability

The conventional text entry technology called on users to provide all necessary information in each text message. For example, the handwriting-recognition system calls for the correct spellings of words. The kana-kanji conversion system requires the correct reading for each kanji character. But, with POBox, a user can enter text without giving the full information. For example, to enter “nyuryoku,” there is no need to hit all eight keys to spell out the word. Instead, by entering just the first three letters of “nyu,” candidate words will appear, listed in order of frequency, from which “nyuryoku” can be selected.

Entering “nyuryoku” on POBox requires only four steps, compared with eight for the conventional kana-kanji conversion system. POBox, thanks to its dictionary with learning functions, displays the selected word at the top of the candidate word list. This means that the more frequently a word is entered in the POBox system, the easier it will be to find the text entry. Moreover, POBox has an advanced dictionary of sample sentences, which can show how to use a word naturally, or in conjunction with other words in a phrase or sentence. In this case, too, the phrase or sentence that was used will be listed at the top of a list of candidates. POBox was installed on au C406S in 2000 as a joint development of Sony CSL and Sony Mobile Communications. The POBox family expanded in subsequent years, with Sony Mobile developing POBox Pro, POBox Touch, and POBox Plus (2014) for installation on the firm’s mobile phone series.

* POBox is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Science Laboratories (CSL).
* POBox is a technology developed jointly by Sony CSL and Sony Mobile Communications.