As smartwatches become a device category that most major hardware makers are turning their attention to, there’s a question of how much smartphone utility we’ll be able to translate to the wrist. One big convenience hurdle is making it possible to reply to texts and emails quickly from the wrist, and that’s where Minuum‘s go-anywhere software keyboard comes in.
The Minuum keyboard from Toronto-based startup Whirlscape is an alternative input method originally prototyped on smartphones that makes it easier to type naturally without using much of the screen. It launched previously in beta on Android, and has done well on smartphones, according to user reviews.
Whirlscape had always designed their keyboard to be usable on any number of connected devices, including wearables, the founders told me in the past. Today, they’ve got proof: As you can see in the video above, Minuum running on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch manages text input much more conveniently than you might imagine possible from a screen so small. It was filmed in a single take, too, according to the Minuum team, without any fancy camera tricks.
For now, Minuum says this is just an “in-house demo,” at least until Samsung opens up the Gear platform, but the company also tells me that it’s already in talks with other smartwatch manufacturers who can put the software on shipping devices “in the upcoming months.”