Having to enter letters and numbers via a control pad sucks, as anyone typing out credit card numbers or download codes on an Xbox 360 or PS3 will attest. If only there was a way to make this necessary evil easier...
Maybe there us! This is called the "Circboard", and going by the explanation provided on the thing's website, it certainly looks promising. Rather than presenting the user with a replica of an existing keyboard and making them scroll all over it laboriously, it uses a number of circles strung together to form a large circle.
To pick a letter, you move around the large circle with the left thumbstick, then when you're at the letter you want, you select it with a flick of the right thumbstick.
Like I said, it looks like it could actually work! Thing is, while it looks similar to the menu and inventory systems of some older games (like Beyond Good & Evil), it looks very similar to a patent submitted in 2007 for a similar method.
Hopefully the idea doesn't get bogged down in a legal quagmire, because if it can really make typing on a control pad easier, then it needs to be in gamer's hands soon, not at the end of a lengthy court process.