Indiegogo project “Minuum” is finally becoming a reality, and will be launched today as a beta application in the Android software store.
Whirlscape’s Minuum software keyboard attracted a lot of attention while it was only a startup on the Indiegogo site. The company sought $10,000 to make the app a reality, and raised $87,000.
Today, donators will be able to download a beta version of the app from Android’s Play store.
According to the Minuum website,
“Minuum is a tiny, one-dimensional keyboard that frees up screen space while allowing fast, accurate typing.
Current technology assumes that sticking a full typewriter into a touchscreen device is the best way to enter text, giving us keyboards that are error-prone and cover up half the usable screen space (or more) on most smartphones and tablets.”
Minuum compresses the qwerty keyboard into one line of letters. The keyboard does not even have a spacebar, opting to be as minimalistic as possible. Spaces are entered by swiping across the line of keys. While it takes up much less space than a regular full-size qwerty keyboard, the cramped layout makes precision difficult.
But the idea behind the keyboard is that precision is not required. Using software prediction, Whirlscape has designed the keyboard to guess at intended words even if they are severely misspelled.
Think spellcheck on steroids.
An abundance of non-traditional software keyboards, such as Swype and MessagEase, suggests that there is a need for revision to the regular design of software keyboards. Perhaps some genius will someday discover what pleases everybody, and nobody will be able to remember why they ever used full-sized keyboards on mobile devices.
With luck, that is precisely what Whirlscape would like its product to do.