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Gov. Chris Gregoire gets a Swype lesson from CEO Mike McSherry. (Photo: Alvin Ngan/Via World Trade Club)

Governor Chris Gregoire loves to promote Washington products, from wine to cherries to airplanes. And now she’s got another one to add to her list: Swype. The governor gave the cutting-edge text-input technology for mobile phones and tablets a spin at an event earlier this week in Seattle.

Swype was honored on Monday night as the “Emerging Trader of the Year,” an award given to a company that contributes to the expansion of the state’s international trade. The 70-person company has been doing a good job of that. In the past year, it has gone from zero to 25 million installations on handsets worldwide.

Eleven of the company’s 14 handset customers are located overseas.

Swype has other implications beyond just helping teenagers and geeks send mobile emails or text messages faster. CEO Mike McSherry noted that a quadriplegic man recently set a record for the world’s fastest hands-free text message, using an eye tracking device connected to Swype. With the technology in place, McSherry noted that the man was able to compose thoughts at a speed of 25 words per minute.

“This has meaningfully changed his life,” said McSherry.

Previously: What’s next for Swype? Old-school ‘tapping’

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews. Got a cool or especially geeky photo: Send it to us at


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