Toronto-based Whirlscape attracted plenty of attention when it first debuted its innovative Minuum software keyboard, and sought funding for the project on Indiegogo. Now, the project is moving forward with the launch of the Minuum keyboard beta app for Android, which will give Indiegogo supporters their first chance to actually play with the tech and see what it is they’ve helped pay for.
In the video above, you can see the demo of how the software operates designed to help orient new users. The keyboard layout, as you can see, is squeezed down, but still retains a basic QWERTY layout. It then suggests words, based on typing that’s designed to do as much as it can with incredibly imprecise input. You only have to tap on the basic area, and then you can cycle through suggestions if the first one isn’t correct. There isn’t even a space bar by default; it’s designed to be as minimal as possible. Gestures control cycling between different keyboards, too, including all-caps and numeric input.
Whirlscape raised $87,000 from its Indiegogo campaign, and the beta will go out to its nearly 10,000 supporters today. But those who missed out can also request access to the next phase of testing, by signing up at Minuum.com. The startup is also going to be issuing a “wearable development kit” by the end of the year since it smashed through its funding goal, which will allow people to build versions of Minuum which can theoretically work with devices like Thalmic’s MYO, the Leap Motion Controller and more.
There’s a lot going on with software keyboards recently, which seems to suggest people are looking around for what comes next in mobile input methods. Minuum’s take is unique, so it’ll be interesting to see how its first users respond.